Patent Examiner

Patent Examiner Job Description

Patent Examiners Assess Applications For Patents, Which Are Granted To Inventors To Give Them The Right To Stop Other People Using, Selling Or Making Their Inventions.

The role Also Includes Checking That The Invention Is New, Not Merely An Adjustment To Something Which Already Exists, By Carrying Out Searches Using National And Foreign Patent Specifications, Technical Literature And Databases.

Patent Examiners Develop Specialist Expertise Within A Particular Area Such As Biotechnology Or Electrical Engineering, But Opportunities May Arise To Change Specialist Subject Areas.

Patent Examiner Duties/Functions/Responsibilities

  • investigating each application to ascertain that the invention is described clearly and in such a way that a skilled person would be able to use it;
  • conducting a substantive examination, including a detailed examination of the description and the claims (i.e. the extent of the monopoly sought);
  • making a final decision as to the novelty of the invention, which is written in a final report;
  • discussing and negotiating with the applicant and patent attorney to resolve any matters raised in the final report;
  • presenting cases at hearings before a principal examiner;
  • examining the invention from a technical standpoint;
  • searching through earlier publications, technical literature and online databases of National and foreign patent specifications to make sure that the application is novel;
  • considering legal matters affecting acceptability and entitlement to the monopoly claimed by the applicant;
  • gathering information on which to base a judgement as to the originality of the invention;
  • preparing an initial report and giving the results of the search to the applicant or, more usually, a patent attorney, who then decides whether to proceed to the second stage of the application;
  • maintaining up-to-date knowledge of developments through study and visits to laboratories, factories, exhibitions and seminars;
  • occasional specialised work, such as intellectual property policy, information retrieval and publicity.

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