MPEP Q & A 66: Relevance of Long-Felt Need and the Failure of Others

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Question:

What three things does the relevance of long-felt need and the failure of others to the issue of obviousness depend on?

Answer:

The relevance of long-felt need and the failure of others to the issue of obviousness depends on several factors:

  • First, the need must have been a persistent one that was recognized by those of ordinary skill in the art.
  • Second, the long-felt need must not have been satisfied by another before the invention by applicant.
  • Third, the invention must in fact satisfy the long-felt need.

Chapter Details:

The answer to this question can be found in chapter 700 of the MPEP. This chapter covers Examination of Applications.

The answer is from the 9th Edition, Revision 07.2015. Depending on future changes to the MPEP, the question and answer may or may not be applicable in later Editions or revisions.

Section Summary:

This question and answer comes from section 716.04 of the MPEP.  The following is a brief summary of section 716.04.

716.04   Long-Felt Need and Failure of Others

This section covers the long-felt need and failure of others. The claimed invention must satisfy a long-felt need which was recognized, was persistent, and was not solved by others. The long-felt need is measured from the date a problem is identified and efforts are made to solve it. Other factors contributing to the presence of a long-felt need must be considered.

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