the firm's post-grant practitioners are some of the most experienced in the country.


Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Digital Health
Digital Health
Energy & Renewables
Energy & Renewables

Fast Facts

About Our

Law Firm

About Our Law Firm

Headquartered within steps of the USPTO with an affiliate office in Tokyo, Oblon is one of the largest law firms in the United States focused exclusively on intellectual property law.

Get to know our


Get to know our History

Norman Oblon with Stanley Fisher and Marvin Spivak launched what was to become Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, LLP, one of the nation's leading full-service intellectual property law firms.

Our Local and

Global Reach

Our Local and Global Reach

Outside the US, we service companies based in Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and farther corners of the world. Our culturally aware attorneys speak many languages, including Japanese, French, German, Mandarin, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Farsi, Chinese.

A few of our


A few of our ACCOLADES

Oblon's professionals provide industry-leading IP legal services to many of the world's most admired innovators and brands.




From the minute you walk through our doors, you'll become a valuable part of a team that fosters a culture of innovation, client service and collegiality.

A few ways to

GET In Touch

A few ways to GET In Touch
US Office

Telephone: 703-413-3000
Learn More +

Tokyo Office

Telephone: +81-3-6212-0550
Learn More +


Patent Forms

Downloadable Patent Forms

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued final rules implementing the inventor's oath or declaration provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA) on August 14, 2012.

Stay informed with

Our Blogs

USPTO Publishes Updated Guidance on Obviousness

  • February 28, 2024
  • Firm News

Associated People

On February 27, 2024, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published updated guidance in the Federal Register regarding making a proper obviousness determination. The updated guidance reiterates the flexible approach to obviousness required by KSR v. Teleflex since 2007, focusing on post-KSR precedential cases from the Federal Circuit. The “updated guidance also emphasizes the need for a reasoned explanation when reaching a conclusion that a claimed invention would have been obvious.” 

According to the USPTO, “The Office does not intend to announce any new Office practice or procedure by way of this updated guidance,” although “[t]his updated guidance will be incorporated into the MPEP in due course.”  Curiously, this latter quote ends with a footnote stating that “[t]his notice does not address the impact, if any, of artificial intelligence on the obviousness inquiry.”  This may be a clue as to potential future guidance or remarks concerning artificial intelligence that are not yet ready for prime time.

This updated guidance addresses the impact of the America Invents Act, the Graham factors in obviousness determinations post-KSR, the Federal Circuit’s implementation of KSR, the consideration of all evidence relevant to the question of obviousness, and the application of reasoning to facts in order to make a proper legal determination of obviousness.

Importantly, according to the USPTO, “[t]his updated guidance reinforces the directive that Office personnel are required to provide a clear articulation of their reasoning, grounded in relevant facts, when making a determination that a claim would have been obvious under 35 U.S.C. 103,” noting that this “serve[s] the goal of compact prosecution.” 

In applying this updated guidance, the USPTO reminds its personnel that “[a]ny legally proper obviousness rejection must identify facts and then articulate sound reasoning that leads to the conclusion that the claims would have been obvious to a  "person of ordinary skill in the art," and that “Office personnel must explain on the record how the conclusion of obviousness was reached.”  However, the USPTO also emphasizes that “there is no one-size-fits-all approach to crafting an obviousness rejection.”

We will continue to monitor the impact of this updated guidance, if any, on U.S. prosecution practice. 

The Notice is available here: