Antedating in patent law
In United States law, an active patent application, prior to final action, may give rise to additional applications for additional claims carrying the priority date of the original application.With the move to published applications, this has become a common way of producing submarine patents.
Under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), a national patent office of or acting for a State elected by the applicant under Chapter II of the PCT. In a patent or patent application, "a specific combination of features or a specific mode of carrying out the invention, by contrast to a more abstract definition of features which can be carried out in more than one way." A legal concept according to which intellectual property (IP) rights, such as patent rights, in a product are exhausted by its sale.
A practice consisting in "obtaining patents to stake [one's] claim to an area of technology in hopes of preventing other companies from suing them." The act of developing an alternative apparatus or method (which may in itself also be a patentable invention), that does not infringe upon an issued patent. Under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), a national patent office of or acting for a State designated by the applicant under Chapter I of the PCT. A legal rule that allows a court to hold a party liable for patent infringement even though the infringing device or process does not fall within the literal scope of a patent claim, but nevertheless is equivalent to the claimed invention.
The protection of one single invention by two patents usually owned by the same proprietor.
The common general knowledge "is the common knowledge in the field to which the invention relates." The information "must be generally known and generally regarded as a good basis for further action by the bulk of those engaged in that art before it becomes part of their common stock of knowledge relating to the art, and so part of the common general knowledge." Regarding the inventive step assessment, "[if] information is part of the common general knowledge then it forms part of the stock of knowledge which will inform and guide the skilled person's approach to the problem from the outset.
It may, for example, affect the steps it will be obvious for him to take, including the nature and extent of any literature search." Exceptionally however, common general knowledge may also be established on the basis of the content of patent specifications "and in particular when a series of patent specifications provides a consistent picture that a particular technical procedure was generally known and belonged to the common general knowledge in the art at the relevant date".
The EPO now applies the sometimes named "any hardware" or "any technical means" approach, notably formulated in EPO Board of Appeal decisions T 258/03 (Auction Method/Hitachi) and T 424/03 (Microsoft). A declaration obtained from a court that one's actions do not infringe a particular patent.