The patent process focuses on filing and securing patents for OHSU technologies that have commercial promise.
Patentability of inventions is assessed according to the requirements for patents established by the US Congress and the US Patent and Trademark Office as well as patent offices in other countries. For an invention to receive a patent, the invention must be:
1. Patentable subject matter
4. Inventive (not an obvious derivative of a known invention)
5. Described in sufficient detail to enable someone else to make and use the invention
6. Described in sufficient detail to show that the inventor is in possession of the invention.
Whether or not an invention is new and inventive is determined by a prior art search. A prior art search involves searching databases of patents and publications made public prior to the filing date of the patent application for references that could be used in a novelty or obviousness rejection by the Patent Office. Novelty rejection requires a single reference describing every element of the invention. For an obviousness rejection, multiple references may be combined to provide a description of the invention. At OHSU, prior art searches are performed by or under the supervision of a Patent Associate within Technology Transfer. After the search, the scope of the potential patent claims is communicated to the Technology Development Manager in Technology Transfer who uses the information to help determine whether or not to file or continue prosecution of a patent application.
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