2008年10月31日 星期五

Prior Smart


這個Prior Smart . com提供了可以檢索各國的介面


印度第一件聲音商標 (soundmark)

印度第一件聲音商標 (soundmark)

文件中形容three-note Yahoo yodel


Intel的Pentium processor的三個和弦聲也被核准!



2008年10月30日 星期四

About claims XIV - Omnibus Claims


MPEP2173.05(r)提到Omnibus Claim (應該可翻譯成綜合性的請求項)

Some applications are filed with an omnibus claim which reads as follows: A device substantially as shown and described. This claim should be rejected under 35 U.S.C. 112, second paragraph, because it is indefinite in that it fails to point out what is included or excluded by the claim language. See Ex parte Fressola, 27 USPQ2d 1608 (Bd. Pat. App. & Inter. 1993), for a discussion of the history of omnibus claims and an explanation of why omnibus claims do not comply with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 112, second paragraph.

此段內容提到一個錯誤的請求項範例:一個實質上如圖顯示並說明書描述的裝置(我盡力全部的字都翻出來,A device substantially as shown and descreibed),或是"the apparatus as shown and described in figures 1-6",或是"any and all features of novelty described, referred to, exemplified, or shown,..."這樣的範圍,都是不符合112第二段的規定(non-statutory),原因是這句話並未清楚指出何者是要保護的或是要排除的範圍,表示種綜合性的請求項語句並不符合發明專利的規定,但是設計專利(design patent)卻可使用,因為以圖說為主!

實務上可以看到,審查委員幾乎都是在申請專利範圍的語句上打轉,強調單純由Claim就要知道範圍(也就是常講的:Claims must define "the invention"),雖然也是要參考說明書內容來解釋專利申請範圍,但是如果由Claim language就可以清楚得知,就是不錯的Claim。尤其是面對日後可能的侵權問題,對於建構何者為專利排他的部分、何者不是,都是圍繞在Claim language上,所以清楚表達該發明的申請專利範圍的Claim是最基本的要求!

要符合一或以上的法定類別(statutory classes),包括美國專利法第101條規定的process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter

以上資料來源:MPEP, Landis on Mechanics of Patent Claim Drafting

上述omnibus claims在一些國家仍可被接受


2008年10月22日 星期三

37 CFR 1.121(d) - 圖式修正

37 CFR 1.121(d)規範圖式修正的注意事項
Drawings: One or more application drawings shall be amended in the following manner:
Any changes to an application drawing must be in compliance with Sec. 1.84 and must be submitted on a replacement sheet of drawings which shall be an attachment to the amendment document and, in the top margin, labeled "Replacement Sheet."
這裡說到,修正的圖式上方要標明"Replacement Sheet"

Any replacement sheet of drawings shall include all of the figures appearing on the immediate prior version of the sheet, even if only one figure is amended. Any new sheet of drawings containing an additional figure must be labeled in the top margin as "New Sheet." All changes to the drawings shall be explained, in detail, in either the drawing amendment or remarks section of the amendment paper.
新增的圖式則標明"New Sheet",有任何圖式修正,都要將所有的圖呈交USPTO

(1)A marked-up copy of any amended drawing figure, including annotations indicating the changes made, may be included. The marked-up copy must be clearly labeled as "Annotated Sheet" and must be presented in the amendment or remarks section that explains the change to the drawings.
(2)A marked-up copy of any amended drawing figure, including annotations indicating the changes made, must be provided when required by the examiner.


審查委員在審查意見中會提出類似以下範例的要求,如不用在修正圖面上標示amended,如果有刪除的圖式,應該要移除,並重新編號圖式的號碼,如Fig.3改為Fig.2,在修正/新增圖面上標示"replacement sheet"或是"new sheet"


2008年10月20日 星期一

JPO patent searching

進入 http://www.jpo.go.jp/
點選左下角 "Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL)"進入各種專利資料庫


  1. Patent & Utility Model Gazette DB (公報資料庫)
  2. Patent & Utility Model Concordance (簡易介面,可以顯示各專利文件的狀態)
  3. FI/F-term Search (算是一種進階檢索)
  4. PAJ (利用多種關鍵字的檢索介面)
  5. Patent Map Guidance (專利地圖)


2008年10月15日 星期三

About claims XIII - 負面表示

美國專利審查基準M.P.E.P.2173.05(i)規範了負面表示(Negative Limitations)的用法

The current view of the courts is that there is nothing inherently ambiguous or uncertain about a
negative limitation. So long as the boundaries of the patent protection sought are set forth definitely, albeit negatively, the claim complies with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 112, second
paragraph. Some older cases were critical of negative limitations because they tended to define the invention in terms of what it was not, rather than pointing out the invention. Thus, the court
observed that the limitation "R is an alkenyl radical other than 2-butenyl and 2,4-pentadienyl" was a negative limitation that rendered the claim indefinite because it was an attempt to claim the invention by excluding what the inventors did not invent rather than distinctly and particularly pointing out what they did invent. In re Schechter, 205 F.2d 185, 98 USPQ 144 (CCPA 1953).

在目前法院的觀點,負面表示(negative limitation)本身沒有模糊或是不明確的問題,在特定情況下,若需定義非為何比指出何為發明還清楚,就可使用負面表示

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).

此處舉例,使用沒有(free from)蛋白質、鹼、樹脂、天然膠的糖的方式來描述一種聚合物,藉以排除一些先前技術的特色,則為明確的寫法

Any negative limitation or exclusionary proviso must have basis in the original disclosure. If alternative elements are positively recited in the specification, they may be explicitly excluded in the claims. See In re Johnson, 558 F.2d 1008, 1019, 194 USPQ 187, 196 (CCPA 1977) ("[the] specification, having described the whole, necessarily described the part remaining."). See also Ex parte Grasselli, 231 USPQ 393 (Bd. App. 1983), aff'd mem., 738 F.2d 453 (Fed. Cir. 1984). The mere absence of a positive recitation is not basis for an exclusion. Any claim containing a negative limitation which does not have basis in the original disclosure should be rejected under 35 U.S.C. 112, first paragraph, as failing to comply with the written description requirement. Note that a lack of literal basis in the specification for a negative limitation may not be sufficient to establish a prima facie case for lack of descriptive support. Ex parte Parks, 30 USPQ2d 1234, 1236 (Bd. Pat. App. & Inter. 1993). See MPEP § 2163 - § 2163.07(b) for a discussion of the written description requirement of 35 U.S.C. 112, first paragraph.


1. A computer program product comprising one or more computer-readable media having computer- executable instructions for implementing, in a processing device associated with a display device that has a plurality of pixels each having a plurality of pixel sub-components, a method of processing image data in preparation for displaying an image on the display device such that the pixel sub-components represent different portions of the image and the image is rendered with a desired degree of luminance accuracy and a corresponding desired degree of color accuracy, wherein the method comprises the steps for: passing a signal in which the image data is encoded through a low-pass filter, the signal having a plurality of channels each representing a different color component of the image; and based on the filtered signal, generating a data structure in which data representing spatially different regions of the image data are mapped to individual pixel sub-components of a particular pixel rather than being mapped to the entire pixel.

1. In a computerized system that includes one or more mobile devices and an electronic message
server supporting wireless communication, wherein at least some of the mobile devices have an input system that is optimized for numeric input rather than text input, and wherein at least some of e mobile devices are capable of sending and receiving electronic messages, a method of composing an electronic message using a mobile device, the method comprising acts of: receiving a command to begin composing an electronic message at a mobile device; receiving a command to add audio content to the electronic message at the mobile device, wherein a total amount of audio content added is limited to a predetermined maximum set for a single electronic message, wherein the limitation of the predetermined maximum set is dictated by an available storage and a communication bandwidth of said device; diverting to a temporary storage within the mobile device, an audio content stream received at an audio input wherein the total amount of audio content diverted to the temporary storage is limited to the predetermined maximum; displaying a progress indicator to show a current amount of temporary storage used in storing the data audio content stream compared to the predetermined maximum; storing the audio content stream within the mobile device in a format that is compatible with adding audio content to the electronic message; and attaching the formatted audio content to the electronic message at the mobile device.

4. An image display apparatus for displaying gray-scale images by representing each gray-scale level of the images by an ON/OFF pattern of a set of sub-fields constituting one field, the image display apparatus comprising: an input image conversion unit configured to convert an input image signal into image information; a sub-field information generating unit configured to generate display information for each sub-field, based on the image information output from the input image conversion unit; and an address driver configured to write the display information for each sub-field generated by the sub-field information generating unit, into an image display area wherein the input image conversion unit converts the input image signal by setting an area composed of a plurality of adjacent pixels in response to the input image signal, then setting a standard pixel in the area, then changing gray-scale levels of pixels excluding at least the standard pixel in the area so that the number of sub-fields that are different between the standard pixel and pixels adjacent to the standard pixel is restricted, and so that if a luminance difference between main gray-scale levels in the area is no less than a first predetermined value, the luminance difference is changed to be no less than a second predetermined value.

2. The ultra clean spring steel as of claim 1, wherein the wire is formed from a steel comprising; C: no more than 1.2 mass % (excluding 0%); Si: 0.4 to 4 mass %; Mn: 0.12.0 mass; and Al: no more than 0.01 mass % (excluding 0%).



與歐洲專利代理人Adam Bogsch談話重點

整理文件時,發現一個小檔案,其中記載一次參與與一位歐洲代理人Adam Bogsch談話的紀錄,其中除了談合作、價格之外,有一些有關專利的重點,雖無新意,但有點參考價值:

1. new matter (有關新事務的判斷)
  1. 歐洲專利局受理的後續答辯案,對new matter的判斷比任何一個國家的專利審核更嚴格,幾乎所有新增的內容都不會被接受,即使是inherently或是imply的技術內容都不可
  2. 如果arguement修正的部分為說明書的幾個部分的組合,且各部分間的關係是可以清楚由說明書中得知,可能可以被接受
2. prior art supplement (有關習知技術的補充)
  1. 在修正程序中,需將歐洲或歐盟的國家的專利審委提出的引證資料引述在專利說明書的背景技術或prior art文獻
  2. 可僅加入重要的引證資料,不必全部
  3. 代理人可代為修正這部分
3. drawing deleted (刪除圖式)
  1. 如果說明書中有圖式並該案申請專利範圍的內容時,可能會被要求刪除
  2. 如果圖式之間有明顯相關,即使沒有寫入Claim,應不會被要求刪除
  3. 如果有無關申請案技術或是申請專利範圍內容的圖式,可能會被要求刪除該圖式
  4. 可以爭辯該圖式為本案技術,並非不需要
  5. 如果審委要求刪除部分無關申請案技術的圖示,最好還是遵守刪除的要求,以利獲取專利
4. PCT/EPO (有關PCT/EPO的一點注意事項)
  1. 台灣(非PCT會員國)PCT的申請可透過中國大陸,然仍有enforcement的困擾
  2. PCT(Patent Cooperation Treaty)為一申請系統,新的方案是有30個月的優先權期限可請求該組織會員國的專利申請,優先權期限內指定National stage的申請
  3. EPO(European Patent Office),歐洲專利局為一獨立的專利審查機構,可透過EPO的申請與實質審查,指定進入歐盟各國家獲取專利

2008年10月8日 星期三

美國專利法第103(a)條 - 補充II

在美國專利法第103(a) (可參閱http://enpan.blogspot.com/2008/09/103a.html) 中的最後一句話:
Patentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made.

由於103規定一個專利標的要在其發明之初(at the time the invention was made)是否顯而易見來判斷其專利性,故連引用的核駁前案也都要在被核駁的發明的時間點以前,所以判斷何時發明是很重要的,尤其是針對first to invent的系統而言!

一個發明可能起因於一個偶然因素(accident,比如威而剛)、努力嘗試/錯誤(trial and error,比如燈泡的發明)、大量的實驗(extensive experimentation,比如阿斯匹靈的發明)或是革命性的想像力(revolutionary imagination,比如光讀寫媒體CD)

第一個人發現了一個發明 (conception)
第二個人給予改良、實現 (reduction to practice)
第三個人發展此改良的進一步改良 (improvement)


美國專利法第171條 - patents for designs

§171. Patents for designs

Whoever invents any new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.
The provisions of this title relating to patents for inventions shall apply to patents for designs, except as otherwise provided.


A design patent protects only the ornamental appearance of an article, and not its structure or utilitarian features.
設計專利僅保護物品的裝飾外觀,而非結構或是功能特徵,比如"好用"的滑鼠,並是設計專利的標的,包括外觀與其功能是由一般認知的實用專利(utility patent)保護(美國專利並無區分發明或是新型)

  1. 設計專利的說明書很短,依照一種制式的格式即可,重點是""
  2. 僅准一個申請專利範圍
  3. 圖示僅需表達外觀即可,無須表達功能性特徵
  4. 核准後無須支付年費
  5. 設計專利與著作權(copyright)不同的是:設計專利應用於具有產業利用性的物品"外觀特徵"上,並需要具有新穎與獨創性;而著作權則是可保護無產業利用的作品,如書、歌曲、繪畫等,且可獨立於其他物品之外
  6. 同一個設計專利可與商標(trademark)並存,兩者的保護的標的不同:如,經設計專利保護的物品禁止他人製造、販賣與使用,侵權比對是依照"人眼"作外觀相似比對,與物品內容無關;而經商標保護的物品的侵權比對則是判斷是否有混淆(confusion)、誤導或是欺騙公眾購買等行為上
    原文:To infringe a design patent, the infringing container and the container shape shown in the design patent must look alike to the eye of the ordinary observer. It makes no difference what is inside of the container. Under trademark law, the infringing container must be such as to cause confusion, mistake, or deception among the consuming public. This determination will, of necessity, take into account what was actually sold within each container. In addition, courts analyzing a trademark infringement action would look at the buying habits of the consuming public, and the sales methods used by each manufacturer.
  7. 設計專利可核准顯示於電腦螢幕上的圖案,如icon
    原文:In addition to these standard uses for design patents, patent attorneys are expanding the use of design patents by applying for protection on software displays. Design patents have already been granted on icons which appear on computer displays, and the uses of design patents will continue to expand.
介紹一個1901年的設計專利案 D25468,一個藥品標示的箱子,並有個不算短的說明書,描述這個箱子的外觀造型






2008年10月4日 星期六


在MPEP Section 608.01(n), Dependent Claims中提及有關附屬項的侵權測試,如果通過測試,表示此附屬項至少形式上是合適的


The test as to whether a claim is a proper dependent claim is that it shall include every limitation of the claim from which it depends ( 35 U.S.C. 112, fourth paragraph) or in other words that it shall not conceivably be infringed by anything which would not also infringe the basic claim.


A dependent claim does not lack compliance with 35 U.S.C. 112, fourth paragraph, simply because there is a question as to (1) the significance of the further limitation added by the dependent claim, or (2) whether the further limitation in fact changes the scope of the dependent claim from that of the claim from which it depends. The test for a proper dependent claim under the fourth paragraph of 35 U.S.C. 112 is whether the dependent claim includes every limitation of the claim from which it depends. The test is not one of whether the claims differ in scope.


Thus, for example, if claim 1 recites the combination of elements A, B, C, and D, a claim reciting the structure of claim 1 in which D was omitted or replaced by E would not be a proper dependent claim, even though it placed further limitations on the remaining elements or added still other elements.


Examiners are reminded that a dependent claim is directed to a combination including everything recited in the base claim and what is recited in the dependent claim. It is this combination that must be compared with the prior art, exactly as if it were presented as one independent claim.


The fact that a dependent claim which is otherwise proper might relate to a separate invention which would require a separate search or be separately classified from the claim on which it depends would not render it an improper dependent claim, although it might result in a requirement for restriction.



The fact that the independent and dependent claims are in different statutory classes does not, in itself, render the latter improper. Thus, if claim 1 recites a specific product, a claim for the method of making the product of claim 1 in a particular manner would be a proper dependent claim since it could not be infringed without infringing claim 1. Similarly, if claim 1 recites a method of making a product, a claim for a product made by the method of claim 1 could be a proper dependent claim.

(若沒有侵害被依附項(Claim 1),而此附屬項亦不被侵害時,如果被依附項(Claim 1)是指向一個特定的產品,而製作該產品的方法仍為一個適合的附屬項;反之亦然,在同樣前提下,如果被依附項是一個方法,而其附屬項是該方法製作的產品,同樣為合適的附屬項)

On the other hand, if claim 1 recites a method of making a specified product, a claim to the product set forth in claim 1 would not be a proper dependent claim since it is conceivable that the product claim can be infringed without infringing the base method claim if the product can be made by a method other than that recited in the base method claim.

(參考所舉之例子,Claim 1為方法,而附屬項是以此方法所做的產品,若此產品可非由此方法製作,造成附屬項的產品被侵權,而所依附的方法項(Claim 1)可能沒有被侵權,這就不是合適的附屬項)



About claims XI - MPEP Section 608.01(n)

MPEP Section 608.01(n)規範了附屬項(dependent claims)的形式
之前已介紹37 CFR 1.75規範了Claim的寫作原則

然此則提出一些可接受,與不適當的附屬項的形式(Improper Multiple Dependent Claims):

A. Acceptable Multiple Dependent Claim Wording

Claim 5. A gadget according to claims 3 or 4, further comprising --- (這是最標準的多重附屬項)
Claim 5. A gadget as in any one of the preceding claims, in which --- (這在部分歐洲國家常常看到)
Claim 5. A gadget as in any one of claims 1, 2, and 3, in which --- (這也多半在歐洲國家中看到)
Claim 3. A gadget as in either claim 1 or claim 2, further comprising ---
Claim 4. A gadget as in claim 2 or 3, further compri­sing --- (差不多)
Claim 16. A gadget as in claims 1, 7, 12, or 15, further comprising ---
Claim 5. A gadget as in any of the preceding claims, in which ---
Claim 8. A gadget as in one of claims 4-7, in which --- (這也算常見)
Claim 5. A gadget as in any preceding claim, in which ---
Claim 10. A gadget as in any of claims 1-3 or 7-9, in which ---
Claim 11. A gadget as in any one of claims 1, 2, or 7-10 inclusive, in which ---


B. Unacceptable Multiple Dependent Claim Wording

1. Claim Does Not Refer Back in the Alternative Only (沒有以選擇的形式)

Claim 5. A gadget according to claim 3 and 4, further comprising ---
Claim 9. A gadget according to claims 1-3, in which ---
Claim 9. A gadget as in claims 1 or 2 and 7 or 8, which ---
Claim 6. A gadget as in the preceding claims in which ---
Claim 6. A gadget as in claims 1, 2, 3, 4 and/or 5, in which ---
Claim 10. A gadget as in claims 1-3 or 7-9, in which ---

2. Claim Does Not Refer to a Preceding Claim (沒有向前項依附)

Claim 3. A gadget as in any of the following claims, in which ---
Claim 5. A gadget as in either claim 6 or claim 8, in which --- (Claim 6與8在Claim 5之後)

3. Reference to Two Sets of Claims to Different Features (產生兩個不同技術特徵,不符Claim寫作,範圍不明)

Claim 9. A gadget as in claim 1 or 4 made by the process of claims 5, 6, 7, or 8, in which ---

4. Reference Back to Another Multiple Dependent Claim (多重附屬項依附至另一多重附屬項)

Claim 8. A gadget as in claim 5 (claim 5 is a multiple dependent claim) or claim 7, in which ---


  1. 多重附屬項可能會遭遇限制要求(restriction),如果一個多重附屬項中包括兩個實施例,當其中一個實施例於限制性選擇而暫時撤回(withdraw)時,此項同樣應withdraw
  2. 多重附屬項的審查費將不同於拆成個單一附屬項(singular)的總合

  3. 經過修正的Claim,應小心查閱依附項次的更正


2008年10月2日 星期四


(c) Subject matter developed by another person, which qualifies as prior art only under one or more of subsections (e), (f), and (g) of section 102 of this title, shall not preclude patentability under this section where the subject matter and the claimed invention were, at the time the invention was made, owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person

103(c)規定,若引用他人發明且符合102(e), 102(f), 102(g)規定的前案,但該發明之標的及所請求的範圍在發明完成時與當下的申請案為同一人擁有,或經合約規定讓與給同一人時,則不得排除該發明之可專利性。



35 U.S.C. 103(c)(1) (formerly 35 U.S.C. 103(c)):
Subject matter developed by another person, which qualifies as prior art only under one or more of subsections (e), (f), and (g) of section 102 of this title, shall not preclude patentability under this section where the subject matter and the claimed invention were, at the time the claimed invention was made, owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.

35 U.S.C. 103(c)(2):

For purposes of this subsection, subject matter developed by another person and a claimed invention shall be deemed to have been owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person if–

  1. the claimed invention was made by or on behalf of parties to a joint research agreement that was in effect on or before the date the claimed invention was made;
  2. the claimed invention was made as a result of activities undertaken within the scope of the joint research agreement; and
  3. the application for patent for the claimed invention discloses or is amended to disclose the names of the parties to the joint research agreement. (emphasis added)

35 U.S.C. 103(c)(3):
For purposes of paragraph (2), the term “joint research agreement” means a written contract, grant, or cooperative agreement entered into by two or more persons or entities for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work in the field of the claimed invention. (Emphasis added.)





曾經介紹Firefox的附加元件─ Aspator