In patent law, a procedure to resolve a conflict that occurs when two or more patent applications have been filed on the same invention. When this happens, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) examines a number of factors in order to determine who gets the patent, including who first conceived of the invention and worked on it diligently, who first built and tested the invention and who was first to file a patent application.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
In patent law, this term designates a collision between rights claimed or granted; that is, where a person claims a patent for the whole or any integral part of the ground already covered by an existing patent or by a pending application. Strictly speaking, an “interference” is declared to exist by the patent office whenever it is decided by the properly constituted authority in that bureau that two pending applications (or a patent and a pending application), in their claims or essence, cover the same discovery or invention, so as to render necessary an investigation into the question of priority of invention between the two applications or the application and the patent, as the case may be. Lowrey v. Cowles Electric Smelting, etc., Co. (C. C.) 68 Fed. 372.