How To Return To One Patent, One Invention: Part 1

By Michael Powell, Michelle Ann Clark and Patrick Schmidt (November 1, 2018, 10:38 AM EDT) -- More than 100 years ago, the United States Supreme Court set forth, as a fundamental rule of U.S. patent law, that a patentee is entitled to only one patent per "invention":

[N]o patent can issue for an invention actually covered by a former patent, especially to the same patentee, although the terms of the claims may differ; that the second patent, although containing a broader claim, more generical in its character, than the specific claims, contained in the prior patent, is also void; but that where the second patent covers matter described in the prior patent, essentially distinct and separable from...

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