submarine patentSlang. A patent that is delayed in prosecution by the applicant in order to let an infringing user continue to develop its business, with the intention of taking in later-invented technology once the patent finally ¡°surfaces¡± from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
? Typically, the patent applicant is aware of the developments and consciously delays the PTO’s issuance of a patent, so that the invention’s unwitting users will be forced to pay license fees. As of November 29, 2000, most patent applications must be published within 18 months of filing, so submarine patents are relatively rare now. See CONTINUATION-APPLICATION LACHES DOCTRINE.
How do Chinese lawyers translate the term submarine patent?