In the world of patents for innovative ideas and original inventions, establishing the validity of a unique concept goes far beyond the idea itself. Often, inventors must invalidate patents others are trying to establish, or stop someone else from capitalizing on their ideas.
There are two requirements to establish a patent. First, when completing a patent application, the prospective inventor must disclose exact details of the concept’s design and construction so that someone skilled in similar arts would be able to manufacture it without confusion. If someone decided to recreate this invention, the description must detail the inventor’s most complete intention of the idea. For example, if an inventor knows certain additions to this concept would allow it perform optimally but suggests other techniques for the sake of cost, time, or future profit, the concept would not follow proper guidelines, unless these other techniques were described in detail. The description must include any particular steps used and make the case that it is a better solution. To avoid patents deemed invalid, these procedures are required.
Invalidating a patent can also be done by establishing “prior art”. Prior art is a term used to describe any information which is made known to the public before an application for patent is filed which can strongly challenge the validity of said patent. Information such as previously filed patent applications can help to invalidate a patent, whether published or not. Establishing prior art will help thwart the patents of others trying to capitalize on ideas that may not entirely be their own.
If someone has knowledge of prior art and the affect it may have on a pending patent, it is advantageous to send any information gathered to either the patent’s examiner or the inventor. The primary responsibility for proving the intended patent is indeed original and not prior art lies squarely on the inventor and the person who is approving the patent. To maintain that this course of action receives due attention, forwarding these concerns to an additional third party will also aide this course of action if the inventor or filer have not followed through on prior art claims.
Whether an inventor or a person trying to invalidate a patent, it is important to be thorough and concise when filing paperwork. Simple negligence could result in an idea receiving a patent undeservingly or a concept never patented due to a lack of critical information. It is important to explore all options to invalidate a patent.