Claim: a comprehensive and precise description that defines the scope of an invention.

Continuation: a filing, while a patent is active, which contains additions or changes to the previous claims.

Copyright: the exclusive legal right to publish, perform, display, or distribute an original work.

Divisional patent: a patent that covers the same specification as a previous (parent) patent, but claims a different invention.

Ex parte: a legal proceeding where only one party is represented. Patent prosecution is an ex parte procedure.

Experimental use: the practice of a patented invention solely with intention of experimentation or perfection of the invention.

Evergreening: the practice of launching new formulations, combinations, delivery methods, and indications for drugs facing patent expiration to effectively increase the duration of patent protected-sales.

Filing date: the date on which a complete patent application is received by the Patent and Trademark Office.

Inter partes reexamination: a method by which third parties challenge the validity of a patent on the grounds of prior art publication without resorting to litigation.

Interference: when two or more patent applications or issued patents claim the same invention.

Non-disclosure agreement (NDA): an agreement, common between entrepreneurs and potential investors, that allows a company to share protected information while preventing its release.

Office action: a formal response by a patent examiner regarding a patent application or amendment.

Patent: a description of an invention. Patents contain one or more claims that describe the subject matter covered in sufficient detail to permit skilled experts to practice an invention, and grant the right to exclude others from practicing an invention.

Patent agent: an individual with technical training capable who is capable of representing an inventor in patent prosecution.

Patent attorney: an individual with legal training in patent law who is capable of representing an inventor in patent prosecution and litigation.

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