When Does Your Patent Application Get Rejected?

Patents are crucial for businesses for the protection of their inventions and can be used to improve their positioning in the marketplace. They are also individual rights granted to inventors which allow them to earn from their work profitably. Being able to obtain exclusive rights to commercialize their Intellectual Property (IP) is important for inventors as well as businesses.

However, the process of filing and obtaining a patent can be a complex one. The Federal Annual Report Corporate Statistics reflected that out of the 37,526 patent applications filed in 2015, only 23,746 were granted registration. This is indicative of the fact that a large section of claims filed every year face objections from the patent examiners. Here’s a closer look at key patent claim objections that may lead to its complete rejection:

Incorrect Filing

Filing a patent claim is a cumbersome process which needs to be completed systematically. Incorrect submission of your patent application may lead to its complete rejection. Most inventors make two types of mistakes while filing their application:

  1. Informalities – notable but benign procedural errors such as grammatical mistakes which may lead to an office action and re-filing of the claim.
  2. Incomplete description of the product, idea or design – lack of sufficient information regarding the function and the practicality of the product for which the patent claim is filed.

Incorrect or incomplete description of the design, for which the patent is requested, may lead to its entire rejection. It is essential for the inventors to describe accurately and comprehensively how the invention operates in order to receive approval. A patent agent can assist with the filing of your patent application and may be able to help prevent these issues from occurring.

Lack of Novelty

This is one of the 3 key criteria for receiving approval on your patent claim. Patents are granted to products and designs which are considered novel, non-obvious and useful to the industry for which the patent is valid. It is important to keep in mind that these parameters can be termed as subjective as your opinion of novel may differ from that of a patent examiner. Consulting a skilled patent agent can help you evaluate the patentability of your product more precisely and obtain a successful registration.

Novelty, as the term suggests, is a measure used to gauge the newness or the originality of the product, idea or design for which the claim is filed. In Canada, the concept of novelty is measured differently as compared to other countries. If the product for which the patent application is filed is available to the public through sources other than the ones made retrievable by the applicant himself, the patent claim can be denied.

Obviousness of the Invention

The concept of non-obviousness for Canadian patent claims differs from that of novelty. A product or design is considered non-obvious, if a technician or a professional from the industry for which the patent is applicable finds the invention unique and unprecedented, then the patent is usually considered non-obvious.

Beyond these main patent claim objections, there are other factors such as commercial feasibility and ownership of the invention which, if not specified precisely in your patent application, may lead to an office action or rejection. Book a consultation with a patent agent to redress these objections and file a successful patent claim.