Morgan Lewis Seminars

2017 IP Academy Series: Doctrine of Inherency

Friday, January 13, 2017

Inherency is a doctrine in US patent prosecution by which unstated or unillustrated aspects of cited art are treated as if they are expressly disclosed.

For example, when a claimed product is produced by a process substantially identical to that disclosed in cited art, it is presumed that the cited art inherently disclosed the claimed product—because an identical process would produce identical products. Thus, the doctrine of inherency permits the patent office to rely on more than just the mere express disclosures of applied art in making anticipation or obviousness rejections of claims.

We will discuss several strategies to respond to an examiner’s rejection based on inherency.

Topics will include:

  • A review of the doctrine of inherency
  • Recent cases regarding inherency
  • Practical tips to overcome rejections based on inherency