Nonobviousness: Practical Guidelines to Defeating an Obviousness Rejection by Kenneth Horton

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Originally published in Bloomberg Law Reports - Intellectual Property, March 5, 2012.Vol 6 No 10.

One of the common obstacles preventing a patent application from being issued by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office ("USPTO") is the dreaded "obviousness rejection," where the examiner rejects the applicaton on the basis that the invention is "obvious" in light of one or more prior art references ("prior art"). As a former patent examiner, there are several guidelines I follow when replying to these rejections.

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