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National Stage Application:

An application which has entered the national phase of the Patent Cooperation Treaty by the fulfillment of certain requirements in a national Office, which is an authority entrusted with the granting of national or regional patents. Such an application is filed under 35 U.S.C. §371 in the United States and is referred to as a “371 application.”

Negative Limitation:

A Claim that defines the invention in terms of what it was not, rather than pointing out the invention. A claim which recited the limitation “said homopolymer being free from the proteins, soaps, resins, and sugars present in natural Hevea rubber” in order to exclude the characteristics of the prior art product, was considered definite because each recited limitation was definite. In re Wakefield, 422 F.2d 897, 899, 904, 164 USPQ 636, 638, 641 (CCPA 1970). In addition, the court found that the negative limitation “incapable of forming a dye with said oxidized developing agent” was definite because the boundaries of the patent protection sought were clear. In re Barr, 444 F.2d 588, 170 USPQ 330 (CCPA 1971).

New Matter:

No amendment may introduce new matter into the disclosure of a patent application.

Non-Confidential Agreement:

A one-sided contract between a company and an inventor for the purpose of review of intellectual property. The company requires the inventor to relinquish the confidentiality and thus his/her rights in preserving the invention.

Non-Disclosure Agreement:

A contract in which the parties promise to protect the confidentiality of secret information that is disclosed during employment or another type of business transaction.

Non-Analogous Art:

The examiner must determine what is “analogous prior art” for the purpose of analyzing the obviousness of the subject matter at issue. “In order to rely on a reference as a basis for rejection of an applicant’s invention, the reference must either be in the field of applicant’s endeavor or, if not, then be reasonably pertinent to the particular problem with which the inventor was concerned.” In re Oetiker,977 F.2d 1443.

Non-Elected Invention:

When the examiner makes a restriction requirement (the examiner has determined that the inventor has claimed more than on invention and requires that an applicant choose which of the inventions disclosed in a patent application that he/she wishes to be examined) the inventor must choose which invention he/she want examined and the invention not chosen is the non-elected invention.

Non-Exclusive License:

A grant of the right to use some intellectual property such as a patent, trademark or copyright that does not restrict the licensor from granting the same license rights to others.


A patent may not be obtained even though it is a new invention, if the differences between the subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art are such that the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious at the time the invention was made to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which said subject matter pertains. Therefore a non-obvious invention would be patentable.

Non-Provisional Patent Application:

An application for patent filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a); wherein patent application includes all patent applications (i.e., utility, design, plant, and reissue) except provisional applications. The non-provisional application establishes the filing date and initiates the examination process.


Patentees, and persons making, offering for sale, or selling within the United States any patented article for or under them, or importing any patented article into the United States, may give notice to the public that the same is patented, either by fixing thereon the word “patent” or the abbreviation “pat.”, together with the number of the patent.

Notice Of Allowance:

If, on examination, it appears that the applicant is entitled to a patent under the law, a notice of allowance will be sent to the applicant at the correspondence address. The notice of allowance shall specify a sum constituting the issue fee that must be paid within three months from the date of mailing of the notice of allowance to avoid abandonment of the application.


35 USC 102 establishes requirements for patentability. An invention must be new, useful and non- obvious. If it is not new it lacks novelty.


Something that may be treated as nothing, as if it did not exist or never happened. This can occur by court ruling or enactment of a statute.