Skip to content

Unavailable Inventor:
If the inventor is dead, insane, or otherwise legally incapacitated, refuses to execute an application, or cannot be found, an application may be made by someone other than the inventor.

Unfair Competition:
A legal action addressing different forms of competition that illegally interfere with the legitimate commercial interests of competitors in the marketplace. It covers such diverse activities as passing off, false advertising, commercial disparagement, misappropriation, trademark dilution, trademark infringement and theft of trade secrets. The modern-day legal action for “unfair competition” has developed from the common-law action for “unfair competition” that sought relief against a competitor because of misrepresentation of the source of goods or services.

Unity Of Invention:
An international and a national stage application shall relate to one invention only or to a group of inventions so linked as to form a single general inventive concept (“requirement of unity of invention”). Where a group of inventions is claimed in an application, the requirement of unity of invention shall be fulfilled only when there is a technical relationship among those inventions involving one or more of the same or corresponding special technical features. The expression “special technical features” shall mean those technical features that define a contribution which each of the claimed inventions, considered as a whole, makes over the prior art.

Useful Invention:
A patent application must comply with the “useful invention” (“utility”) requirement of 35 USC 101 and 35 USC 112, first paragraph. A patent on will not issue to a frivolous invention that has no use.

An invention has a well-established utility if (i) a person of ordinary skill in the art would immediately appreciate why the invention is useful based on the characteristics of the invention (e.g., properties or applications of a product or process), and (ii) the utility is specific, substantial, and credible.

Utility Patent:
May be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new, useful, and non-obvious process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.

Utility Patent Application Transmittal Form:
A Utility Patent Application Transmittal Form (Form PTO/SB/05) or a transmittal letter should be filed with every patent application to instruct the USPTO as to what actual types of papers are being filed (e.g., specification, claims drawings, declaration, information disclosure statement). It identifies the name of the applicant, the type of application, the title of the invention, the contents of the application, and any accompanying enclosures. (Form PTO/SB/21 is to be used for all correspondence after initial filing.)