“Attached is the notice of allowance received today. In addition to getting all 21 claims allowed, you are also getting 544 days added to the end of the term of your Hexaflex patent.”(10th April 2009)
It truly seemed in this last year or so that my patent application was totally doomed to failure. The reason was due to a special condition known as Non-Obviousness or 35 U.S.C. 103.(a)
"A patent may not be obtained though the invention is not identically disclosed or described as set forth in section 102 of this title, if the differences between the subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art are such that the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious at the time the invention was made to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which said subject matter pertains. Patentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made."
Some perverse interpretations of previous patents combined with an extremely vigilant U.S.Patent Office Examiner. My application, at that particular point, had been pending for nearly seven years .The Examiner insisted on uncovering what seemed an endless stream of prior art which was felt to be similar to my invention.
Mind you, let me be the first to say that, the diagrams that were being presented, in order to claim obviousness, were difficult to grasp, given their poor presentation and cross referencing. I willingly volunteered to send them a prototype to clarify the situation.
All major thanks to my patent lawyer Seth Reiss, who behaved impeccably cool and collected under great duress during our two or three conference calls that we had with the U.S.P.O. Examiners. Through a combination of good manners, logic, case knowledge & true compassion I feel privileged to have witnessed his professionalism in action.
Thanks to all those wonderful friends from the last forty years of my life whose paths I have serendipitously crossed who have given encouragement in all forms. Now I trust that my opportunity will be coming soon when I may be able to show my vast appreciation to all of you.