Methodological analysis of patent applications PRODUCT DEVICE. (aid to colleagues) 

Methodological analysis of patent applications PRODUCT DEVICE. (aid to colleagues) 

 

Recently, we are getting more and more formal examination requests stating noncompliance of the claimed technical solutions to Ukrainian legislation, without any explanation and line of reasoning.        

Certainly, we are not alone in this situation. Thus, we are sharing with you our best practices because every time we have to write almost a whole article and do a lot of work to gather the arguments and teach Ukrainian legislation to members of the formal examination.         

We publish part of our response to the formal examination below. This is not a simple response, but certain methodological analysis, which our colleagues may need to work with the examination.     


Background. 

 

An application claiming a kit of face masks that consists of 3 parts for different skin areas was submitted.     

The examination wrote that our solution is not a product, and, therefore, cannot be patented.   

The examination referred directly to paragraphs 10.1, 10.3.1, 10.3.2 of the Rules without any explanation of their expert opinion.      

(Quotation … there are no features characterizing the said object. Please be reminded that for the product subject you should provide characteristics, such as the presence of structural elements, connections between them and the like (paragraphs 10.1, 10.3.1, 10.3.2 of the Rules…).                

That is, the examination considers that the product is always a construction, i.e. a device. The formal examination does not provide any additional arguments or explanations of its opinion.         

A bit of emotions: This demonstrates the level of Ukrainian examination. And, according to the examination, it means that cheese, cookies, substances, creams, pharmaceutical preparations must also include construction elements and connections between them, judging from the request. Having received such a request, you are experiencing confusion for some time. And then, you need to write down arguments and persuade the competent examination to change its opinion.

Further, we publish only a part of the response to your benefit, with hope that the examination will improve and move up to the professional level.   


 

Response to the preliminary conclusion of the formal examination (certain excerpts).  

… Regarding the examination opinion of the independent claim (c. 1), such as the absence of the features characterizing a “product” subject in this claim, the applicant has analyzed the request and provides the arguments that the requirements of the Ukrainian legislation regarding characterizing such “product” subject are met in the independent claim.            

From the following text of the examination opinion:

for the “product” subject you should provide characteristics, such as the presence of structural elements, connections between them and the like (paragraphs 10.1, 10.3.1, 10.3.2 of the Rules…)”

it can be seen that the examination supposes that an article subject specified in the independent claim relates to device subject. This follows from the reciting paragraphs of the Rules, such as 10.1., 10.3.1., 10.3.2 of the Rules that relate to the specific aspects of the content of the application for device invention, in particular, the specific aspects of the claims for device.                             

Part 2 of Article 6 of the Law of Ukraine “On Protection of Rights to Inventions and Utility Models” (hereinafter this regulatory act is abbreviated as the Law) determines the list of subjects of the invention or utility model, which enjoy legal protection:              

2. The subject of the invention (utility model), to which legal protection is provided according to the present Law, can be:               

product (device, substance, microorganism strain, plant and animal cell culture, etc.);         

process (method), as well as a new application of a known product or process”.       

The text of Part 2 of Article 6 of the Law shows that one of the subjects of the invention is a product, and the product is a general term that includes a list of the subjects that are the types of the product, namely, a device, a substance, a strain of microorganism, a plant cell culture, an animal cell culture. The terms “device”, “substance”, “microorganism strain”, “plant cell culture”, and “animal cell culture” are individual types of the general term “product”.                                 

The list of the subjects that can be the types of the general term ” the product”, and are specified in Part 2 of Article 6 of the Law, is not limiting and all-inclusive, which is indicated by the word “etc.”.     

 

The Law does not define the term “product”. 

Paragraph 2.3.1. of the Rules of drafting and submission of an application for invention and application for utility model approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine of 22.01.2001 No. 22 (hereinafter this regulatory act is abbreviated as the Rules) provides definition of the term “product”:              

2.3.1. A product as a material object of the technology is a material object as a result of human activity. In particular, this product is a device, mechanism, system (complex) of interacting devices, construction, article, substance, microorganism strain, plant and animal cell culture and other biological material, including a transgenic plant and animal”.                                       

As can be seen from the text of paragraph 2.3.1. of the Rules, such types of the product as the “device”, “mechanism”, “system (complex) of interacting devices”, “construction”, “article”, “substance”, “microorganism strain”, “plant cell culture”, “animal cell culture”, “transgenic plant”, and “transgenic animal” are ascribed to the general term “product”.                                 

Analysis of the text of paragraph 2.3.1. of the Rules shows that:     

the list of the subjects that can be the types of the product, and are specified in the paragraph 2.3.1 of the Rules, is not limiting and all-inclusive, which is indicated by the word “in particular”;                             

– there is a number of the subjects that are in the list of the subjects ascribed to the product types, but are not mentioned in Part 2 of Article 6 of the Law, namely,  “system (complex) of interacting devices”, “construction”, “article”, “transgenic plant”, and “transgenic animal”.                                                

Analysis of the text of the Rules shows that: 

– according to paragraph 2.3.1 of the Rules, for subjects that are the product types, namely a “device”, “substance”, “microorganism strain”, “plant cell culture”, ‘animal cell culture”, the text of the Rules provides the recommendations regarding the features that characterize these subjects;              

– according to paragraph 2.3.1 of the Rules, for subjects that are the product types, namely a “system (complex) of interacting devices”, “construction”, “transgenic plant”, and “transgenic animal”, the text of the Rules does not provide any recommendations regarding the features that characterize these subjects.

Subjects that also are the product types also include such subjects as a “material” and “kit of material objects”. The Rules specified the substance subject types – a substance refers to individual chemical compounds, a composition as a homogeneous mixture of the components of the defined formulation, substances of the undefined composition, substances obtained by nuclear transformation.                 

Material product type differs from such composition product type – many materials are not a homogeneous mixture of constituents, and characterized by a certain structure and certain physical and chemical properties. The fact that material subject is often characterized by the structure in the claims of the invention and utility model, is supported by the patents of Ukraine, for example, patent for invention No. 42058 “HEAT SHRINK PACKING MATERIAL”, granted on 15.10.2001, patent for utility model No. 41738 “PACKING MATERIAL WITH PACKAGE INTEGRITY INDICATION”, granted on 10.06.2009, patent for utility model No. 138019 “TEXTILE MATERIAL FOR SHIELDING ELECROMAGNETIC FIELD”, granted on 11.11.2019. The claims of the said patents for inventions and utility models shows that the material is characterized by the structure in the claims of the inventions and utility models.                             

Kit of the material objects as a product type has the specific feature, namely, it comprises a combination of several similar or different material object designed to perform a specific function. Special aspects of the features of the kit of the material objects is that material objects as the constituents of the kit may not be structural elements of any object, and can have none of the connections between each other. This is confirmed by the following patents of Ukraine:   

Patent for utility model No. 5348 “KIT FOR OTOLARYNGOLOGIC INSPECTION”, granted on March 15, 2005

in the claims of the utility model, it is indicated that the kit consists of 3 tools; and, there are not any connections between the tools in the claims of utility model;  

Patent for utility model No. 50692 “ID CARDS KIT”, granted on June 25, 2010,

in the claims of the utility model, it is indicated that the kit contains one main identification card and at least one additional identification card; and, there are not any connections between the cards in the claims of utility model;

Patent for utility model No. 109870 “KIT OF CAPILLARY VISCOMETER NOZZLES”, granted on September 12, 2016,

in the claims of the utility model, it is indicated that the kit contains several pairs of nozzles with circular channels of a certain diameter and length; and, there are not any connections between the nozzles in the claims of utility model;

Patent for utility model No. 130710 “KIT FOR INJECTION”, granted on December 26, 2018,

in the claims of the utility model, it is indicated that the kit includes an injection syringe for single use, the first removable injection needle, the second removable injection needle, wherein the claims indicates that the first removable injection needle and the second removable injecting needle are packaged in the individual packaging; thus, there are not any connections between the syringe and two removable needles in the utility model claims;      

No. a 2019 10337

the subject of the independent claim 1 of the application for invention No. a 2019 10337 is a product type, such as a manufactured article. In paragraph 2.3.1 of the Rules, the list of the subjects that can be product types, include such product type as an “article”, among others. The Law and the Rules do not provide the definition of the term “article” and definition of the term “device”.   


Wikipedia web-resource gives the following definition of the term “device” in Russian (see the web – page https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/ device ):           

“Device is:  

-a man-made object (instrument, mechanism, construction, installation, apparatus, machine) with a complex internal structure created to perform specific functions, usually in the field of technology.                                        

– apparatus (radio engineering) is a kit of elements representing a single construction (block, board). It may NOT have a specific functionality in the manufactured article.                                  

– Designation of the action from the verb “to arrange” (used only in the singular), and as part of complex words and expressions.                                             

– Ratio of parts, location, structure, description of the internal structure of the object, its parts and their interconnections (for example: “the internal structure of the electric motor turned out to be surprisingly simple”, “motor vehicle construction for dummies”).                                              

– Prescribed procedure, order (“Chapter 3 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation on 1993 is called ” Federative framework”).”                             


Wikipedia web-resource gives the following definition of the term “device” in Ukrainian (see the web – page https://uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/ device ):

– Device is a kit of technical means, an individual technical mean or its constituents, which are designed to perform one or more specified functions. This is a structurally completed technical system with specific functions, by means of which any work can be carried out, or which simplifies or facilitates any production process. For example, a blocking device, an alarm device, a protection device, etc. Devices can be classified according to the physical principle of their functioning, and according to the purpose:                                           

– mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic, optical, electrical, electronic device, etc.;                     

– electrical, radio engineering, household appliance, etc.”.  

               

As you can see, the term “device” does not have a universally accepted, established and clearly defined concept. From the above definitions it can be concluded, that the device means instrument to perform or facilitate, or simplify any kind of work or any manufacturing process; it has been constructed and has a complicated internal structure, which is an integral system.        

           

The fact that the device is the result of construction and has a complex internal structure, which is an integral system, is also indicated in the text of the Rules. Paragraph 10.1 of the Rules states that to characterize the “device” subject, in particular, the following features are used:                       

  •                        presence of the structural element(s);        

  •                        presence of the connections between the elements;     

  •                        mutual arrangement of the elements. 


Article. 

Wikipedia web-resource gives the following definition of the “article” in Ukrainian (see the web – page https://uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/ product ):     

Article is an object or kit of objects produced at the plant. The article is a result of a manufacturing process.       

Articles classification

Depending on the purpose articles are divided into:  

Articles of the primary production, namely, finished products intended for delivery (implementation) to consumers.       

Articles of the auxiliary production – the articles intended for the enterprises own needs and used to manufacture articles of the primary production.  

Depending on the presence of constituents in the articles, they are: 

Unspecified that do not contain constituents (e.g., parts);     

Specified that consist of two or more constituents:  

Assembly units – articles consisting of several parts connected by means of the assembly operations at manufacturing enterprise. Constituents of the assembly unit may include other assembly units, parts, and kits;           

Complexes – two or more specified articles that are not connected by means of the assembly operations at manufacturing enterprise, but designed to perform the interrelated operational functions, such as personal computer and the power supply thereto. The constituents of the complex may be other complexes, assembly units, parts and kits;                       

Kits – two or more specified articles that are not connected by means of the assembly operations at manufacturing enterprise, and have common operational purpose of the auxiliary nature, for example, spare parts kit. The kit also includes assembly units and parts supplied along with the main article and designed to perform auxiliary functions, for example, a special tool for regulating the article.                    

Article technical information

Technical information about the product is a set of data on functionality, form, material, product dimensions and performance requirements imposed on it”.           

Wikipedia web-resource gives the following definition of the term “device” in Russian (see the web – page https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/ product (definition)):

Article (definition)    

Article is an item or set of items that is to be manufactured at the enterprise, or that is already a result the manufacturing process.                

Articles or article duty is a synonym of forced labour.      

Article 117 (AL-41F1) is Russian aircraft turbojet engine.          

Article 181 is a Soviet experimental flying machine.      

Article 64992 is a Soviet draft design of the missile tank.      

Article D “Woodpecker” is a Soviet silent-running rifle – grenade launcher system.       

Article DM “The Storm” is a Soviet silent-running rifle – grenade launcher complex based on the D “Woodpecker” article complex.           

Article № 2 – euphemism indicating a condom”.    

      

As you can see, there is no universally recognized and established definition of the term “article”. According to the definition of Wikipedia web – resource, the article as the type of the product, has the following properties:         

    

it is an object or set of objects produced at the plant, and is a result of the production process;    

depending on the presence of constituents in the article, the articles can have none of the constituents, i.e., there are the articles that does not have a complex internal structure, which is an integral system;       

  

articles technical characteristics are data on the functionality, shape, material, product dimensions and performance requirements imposed on it, that is, the features that characterize the article are the data on the functionality of the article, the shape of the article, the material of the article, the article dimensions, and the technical and operating characteristics of the article.   

                      

Thus, as can be seen from the above definitions of the terms “device” and “product”, the term “product” in its meaning and essence is not the same as the term “device” in its meaning and essence; and, the article as the product type is not synonymous with such product type as the device, respectively. The term “product” in its meaning and essence is more general concept, than the term “device”. The article may not be the result of the design, and can have none of the constituents, can be characterized by other features, than the device can.          

       

Since the Rules states such product type as an article, and does not provide any recommendations regarding features that characterize the article as the product type, the article as the product type is characterized by technical characteristics recited and described in the definition of the term “article”. Such technical characteristics are data on the functionality of the article, article shape, article material, article dimensions, technical and operational characteristics of the article.                     

  

The independent claim 1 of the claims of patent application provides the subject of the invention that is an article as the product type characterized by the following features, which are the technical characteristics of the article, such as:              

the functionality of the article (to prevent drying of the skin during the cosmetic procedure);   

material the article is made of (film material);      

the article execution, i.e., the product is completed; 

technical and operational characteristics of the article (ready for use and disposable).     

In summary …

Further, argumentation on the features. 

We do not give features of the invention, because the data has not yet been published.    

Fedor Pavlovsky and Elena Yakobchuk