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The"Predictability" Issue in Patenting of Personal Care/Cosmetic Compositions

SpecialChem / Dr. Theodore Gottlieb – Jun 13, 2007

It is widely known in certain technological sectors and in patent law that many patent applications may be directed to new combinations of already-known components. For example, in the cosmetic, dermatologic and personal care product-related arts, patent protection is often sought for compositions containing mixtures of known moisturizers, emollients, surfactants, emulsifiers, pigments, non-prescription therapeutics, etc. During prosecution of the patent application, claims directed to such compositions are likely to draw rejections for being obvious over the prior art, i.e., for being a trivial modification of what was already known at the time of filing the application.1 Equally important is that once the patent is granted, it should be a strong and enforceable one. This means that defeating an accused infringer's patent invalidity defense based on allegations that the claims were obvious at the time of filing the patent application, is aided by properly preparing a patent specification.

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