What is patent prosecution?
Patent “prosecution” refers to the process of obtaining a patent from the government (specifically from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which is generally referred to as the PTO). After an application is filed with the PTO, there is a generally a period of negotiations between the inventor (or, more often than not, the inventor’s patent attorney) and an employee of the PTO known as a patent examiner. As a result of these negotiations, the patent application will be granted or rejected by the examiner (and often times, for the examiner to grant the application, the inventor will have to narrow or make changes to his application). These negotiations may also lead to a “continuation application” or a “continuation- in-part application.”