I am applying for a provisional patent application. Am I allowed to use problems from other studies in my Background/Problems section?

1 Answer 1


Yes, but probably not copied word-for-word.

Copying another person's text word-for-word could well be copyright infringement, at least in theory. It certainly wouldn't be a good look. Copyright issues are off-topic for this site however.

However, I can't see that using the problems identified in other studies in your own words would raise any problems. Indeed, it arguably shows that you're solving a previously unsolved problem in the art, which suggests non-obviousness.

  • Thanks for your answer! Just one more question; should the study be referenced, and where in the application.
    – Blahmastah
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 0:09
  • Whether to identify prior art in your application is a controversial point which intelligent people can differ on. You can see the different, equally correct points of views in the answers here and here. If you were to reference it, it would be in the background section.
    – Maca
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 0:15

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