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35 U.S.C. 41 governs payment of patent fees necessary to keep patent in force for the entitled term. Maintenance fees are not required for any plant patents or for any design patents. Maintenance fees are not required for a reissue patent if the patent being reissued did not require maintenance fees.

Maintenance Fees:

Fees for maintaining a patent in force based on an application filed on or after December 12, 1980.

Make Special:

New applications ordinarily are taken up for examination in the order of their effective United States filing dates. Certain exceptions are made by way of petitions to make special, which may be granted under certain conditions such as: special manufacture needs, infringement, applicant’s health, applicant’s age, environmental quality, development of energy resources, inventions relating to recombinant dna, applications relating to superconductivity, inventions relating to HIV/aids and cancer, inventions for countering terrorism, for applications relating to biotechnology filed by applicants who are small entities.

Mask Work:

Images that are used to create the layers of a semiconductor chip product.

Means For Claim:

A patent claim that recites an element as a means for carrying out a function.


The intentional, illegal use of the property or funds of another person for one’s own use or other unauthorized purpose, particularly by a public official, a trustee of a trust, an executor or administrator of a dead person’s estate or by any person with a responsibility to care for and protect another’s assets (a fiduciary duty). It is a felony (a crime punishable by a prison sentence).

Multiple Dependent Claim:

A dependent claim, which further limits and refers back in the alternative to more than one preceding independent or dependent claim. Acceptable multiple dependent claims shall refer to preceding claims using the terms “or, any one of, one of, any of, either.” A multiple dependent claim may not depend on another multiple dependent claim, either directly or indirectly.