I noticed this sentence in many patents:

Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.

What exactly are the authors trying to say by "be obvious"?

For examples of how much this sentence can be found, search for "other objects of the invention will in part" (even in quotes, it returns over 1 million hits).

  • It is obvious what the sentence means. What need not be explained is ignored and the rest discussed below. – Kris Mar 18 '13 at 7:59
  • Btw, you mean ambiguous sentence, not ubiquitous. – Kris Mar 18 '13 at 8:00
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    @Kris No, I mean ubiquitous, given that it occurs in so many patents. – user13107 Mar 18 '13 at 8:05

Obvious does have its usual meaning:


  • easily perceived or understood; clear, self-evident, or apparent


A quirk of patent law is that obvious things cannot be patented. The sentence is saying that everything about the invention is either obvious (and therefore not patentable) or included in the application and therefore part of the patent.

What the sentence does is limit the patent to what is explicitly stated in the application, and by saying that everything else is "obvious", seek to stop anyone else applying for a patent for the invention based on some other benefit not listed.

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  • +1 Good answer. However, that makes the question 'Too-localized'. – Kris Mar 18 '13 at 8:07
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    @Kris is ask patents better forum for this question then? – user13107 Mar 18 '13 at 8:08
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    @user13107: Time will tell if this question is really too localized or too obvious. Sometimes one close vote is just the start of many others; other times, the person casting the first close vote is in the steadfast minority, and the question stays open. That's why it takes five votes to close a question. I found this question rather interesting, to be honest. – J.R. Mar 18 '13 at 9:35
  • I learned something about patents from the question. So, that's something. – tylerharms Mar 18 '13 at 13:19

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