Patent Knowledge Quiz

The following 20 questions are designed to demonstrate key points about patents (see Top 10 things to know about patents) in a contextual framework. It is by way of encounters with real-life situations that the facts and theory of patent law and procedures are learned.

These particular questions focus mainly on patent standards and minimum requirements as set out in the Trade Related Intellectual Property Aspects Agreement, better known as TRIPs, an international treaty acceded to by over 140 countries. Implementation of the standards and requirements occur by legislation in member countries, and as such, patent law varies somewhat among the members. Historically, the patent law system of the United States exhibits some substantial differences to the system of Europe and many other countries. Because the United States has one of the largest and most established patent systems, some of the questions are designed to illustrate these differences.

The original recipients of this quiz were enthusiastic about it as a learning tool. We hope you enjoy it, learn from it, and improve your own skills.

  1. A patent gives the owner the right to:

    1. make her invention
    2. commercialize her invention
    3. publish the results of tests using the invention
    4. keep others from making her invention
    5. collect a monetary award from the government
    6. a and b
    7. all of the above

    Answer


  2. A policy (or policies) behind the patent system is:

    1. to encourage innovation by granting a legal monopoly for the invention to the inventor
    2. to encourage innovation by publishing a full disclosure of the technicalities of the invention
    3. to guarantee that the inventor can commercialize his/her invention
    4. a and b
    5. a and c
    6. a, b and c

    Answer


  3. The minimum requirements for obtaining a patent are that the invention must be:

    1. novel
    2. non-obvious or include an inventive step
    3. be capable of industrial application or be useful
    4. a and b
    5. a and b and c

    Answer


  4. An inventor was awarded a patent in the U.K. on a method for selecting transformed plants and has practiced the mentioned method only in the U.K. Six months later, another person who independently invented the same method in Australia wants to obtain a patent in Australia. She:

    1. could do it without major problems
    2. would not be able to do it because the granted patent was published in the U.K.
    3. would not be able to do it because the method is used in the U.K.
    4. b and c
    5. none of the above

    Answer


  5. The method mentioned above was not patented or published anywhere but has been used in the U.K. and only in the U.K. since 1997. Another person who independently invented the same method in Australia in 2001 wants to obtain a patent in Australia. She:

    1. could do it without major problems
    2. would not be able to do it because the invented method has been used in the U.K.
    3. could do it only if the method has not been described in a written publication anywhere in the world
    4. a and c
    5. none of the above

    Answer


  6. A patent is applied for on 1 January 1999. The application is published 18 months later on 1 July 2000 and granted on 30 May 2001. The patent is valid until:

    1. 30 May 2021; 20 years from the grant date of the patent
    2. 1 July 2020; 20 years from the publication date of the application
    3. 1 January 2019; 20 years from the filing date of the application
    4. some other date

    Answer


  7. A patent awarded by the patent office in Australia is valid in:

    1. Indonesia
    2. Australia and its territories
    3. Australia and New Zealand
    4. All countries that adhere to TRIPS

    Answer


  8. Assuming an applicant has indicated a desire to have a patent valid in all European countries and elects to have the application examined by the European Patent Office, a regional patent office, the patent that is ultimately granted is valid:

    1. automatically in all countries that are members of the European Patent Office
    2. automatically in all European countries, regardless of whether they are member
    3. upon registration in each country that supports the European Patent Office

    Answer


  9. An international patent:

    1. is the result of an international application filed under the international Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
    2. is valid in all member countries of the PCT
    3. is valid only in the PCT countries designated by the applicant upon filing the application
    4. a and b
    5. a and c
    6. there is no such thing as an international patent

    Answer


  10. You have a granted patent in the United States and in Australia on using GUSPlus™, a very sensitive detection system for identifying transformed plants. A couple of colleagues of yours are working at an Australian non-profit research institute and the other one at Cornell University in the United States, and they want to use the GUSPlus™ system for research purposes of identifying transgenic plants. They can:

    1. use it freely without the need to tell you
    2. use it, but they should tell you first
    3. use it only if they get a license or permission from you
    4. cannot use it at all

    Answer


  11. You are a farmer growing Bt-transgenic soybeans in Argentina and Humongous Company, a very large multi-national agricultural company, has a valid patent in the United States, but not in Argentina, that claims Bt-transgenic soybeans. You will be:

    1. infringing Humongous' patent rights by growing Bt-transgenic soybeans in Argentina
    2. infringing Humongous' patent rights by growing Bt-transgenic soybeans and saving seeds for next sowing season in Argentina
    3. infringing Humongous' patent rights by exporting Bt-transgenic soybeans to the U.S.
    4. none of the above

    Answer


  12. A published patent specification:

    1. is always a granted patent and is enforceable
    2. is always an application for a patent and is not enforceable
    3. is always an application for a patent and is enforceable
    4. could be either a granted patent or a patent application

    Answer


  13. A PCT publication is:

    1. always a granted patent
    2. sometimes a granted patent
    3. always a patent application

    Answer


  14. If you want to know what is actually protected by a granted patent, you will look at:

    1. the title
    2. the title and the abstract
    3. the abstract
    4. the detailed description of the invention and the drawings
    5. the detailed description of the invention and the claims
    6. the claims

    Answer


  15. A published application in Brazil describes the cloning of glucuronidases, enzymes that degrade glucuronides, from five different bacteria including Staphylococcus, Pneumococcus, Arthrobacter, Clavibacter, and Thermobacter, and teaches how to obtain glucuronidases from other bacteria genuses. The only claim recites:
    "An isolated DNA sequence encoding glucuronidase isolated from Staphylococcus".

    Do you need a license in Brazil in order to use DNA encoding:

    1. Staphylococcus glucuronidase
    2. Haemophilus glucuronidase
    3. Pneumococcus glucuronidase
    4. a and c
    5. none of the above

    Answer


  16. The publication mentioned above is a Brazilian granted patent. Do you need a license in Brazil in order to use, DNA encoding:

    1. Staphylococcus glucuronidase
    2. Haemophilus glucuronidase
    3. Pneumococcus glucuronidase
    4. a and c
    5. none of the above

    Answer


  17. Two independent inventors come up with the same patentable invention and each of them decides to file a patent application in Canada, Germany and the United States. Who would get the patents?

    1. in each country, the first one to file the patent application
    2. in Canada, the first to file the patent application, and in Germany and the United States, the first to invent the invention
    3. in Germany, the first to file the patent application, and in Canada and the United States, the first to invent the invention
    4. in Canada and Germany, the first to file the patent application, and in the United States, the first to invent the invention
    5. in each country, the first to invent

    Answer


  18. If you infringe a patent:

    1. you go to jail if caught
    2. you pay a large fine to the government
    3. the owner of the patent will sue you in a court
    4. nothing may happen
    5. b or c
    6. c or d

    Answer


  19. You and a couple of colleagues are the inventors of a new drug that successfully tackles stomach cancer and has few unwanted side effects. Your colleagues decide to publish the methodology used to develop the drug in a prestigious scientific journal. The article is published in January 2001 and the research results are presented in two international conferences in March 2001 with great success. In the meantime, your team realizes that it would be worthwhile obtaining a patent for the new drug. A patent specification is diligently prepared and filed in the United States, Australia and in Europe in April 2001. Which of the following scenarios is the most likely:

    1. because the invented drug fulfills the criteria for patentability, your team is awarded the patent in all three jurisdictions.
    2. because the invention was published before the filing of the patent application, your team is denied a patent in all three jurisdictions.
    3. because the invention was published within the first year of the filing of the patent application, your team is denied a patent in all three jurisdictions.
    4. because the invention was published within the first year of the filing of the patent application, your team is denied a patent in Australia and Europe, but granted in the United States

    Answer

  20. A patent on a method to heal wounds using turmeric has been granted in both Europe and in the U.S. in January 2001. You, as a person not involved at all in the alleged invention, have written evidence proving that the method was well-known not only in the mentioned places, but also in other parts of the world. You find out about the patent in August 2001. In the present circumstances you could:

    1. file an opposition against the granted patent before the patent offices in both the United States and in Europe alleging lack of novelty
    2. file an opposition against the granted patent before the United States patent office alleging lack of novelty
    3. file an opposition against the granted patent before the European patent office alleging lack of novelty

    Answer

  21. Why would you search for patents on the CAMBIA IP Resource database:

    1. for scientific information
    2. for freedom to operate
    3. to see if your idea is patentable (mainly if it is novel)
    4. to see what your competitor is up to
    5. b, c, and d
    6. all of the above

    Answer