There are three key sources of patent law:

  1. Statutory: Patent code 35 U.S.C
  2. Rules: Patent Regulations in 37 C.F.R.
  3. Case law. Courts shape the interpretation of laws

The America Invests Act (AIA) is relevant for filings on or after March 16, 2013.  Before AIA, priority was given to first to invent.  After enactment of AIA, priority is given to first to file.  These priorities may be subject to other situational factors.

The requirements as to invention are

  1. Utility (see 35 U.S.C. § 101 which covers Utility, Statutory Subject Matter)
  2. Novelty (see U.S.C. §102 which addresses Anticipation (Novelty)
  3. Non-obviousness (see U.S.C. §112 addressing enablement, written description and best mode as well as ‘definiteness’ of the invention.

Requirements as to the application are a written description, enablement and best mode.

Prior art considerations include any information available for consideration when determining whether an invention is patentable, public information including patents, publications, article, product, information on the internet, etc. and printed publications both U.S. or foreign.