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The Everyday Dictionary of Law

The Everyday Dictionary of Law provides legal vocabulary currently in use in common law jurisdictions such as most notably, in the United States. The dictionary is compiled specifically for commercial and intellectual property law practitioners, which provides simple definitions and meanings in American English, for legal terms (including Latin terms) used in formal correspondence, court proceedings, and motion practice as well as common language words that are frequently used in the same. It is a simple reference guide for attorneys, paralegals as well as casual readers who need to check the meaning of a particular legal term in due course of their work.


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Office Action Correspondence System - used by patent examiners to generate office actions.


Originating Beneficiary Information - the informational portion of a wire (electronic) transfer of funds. It is a necessary and important element, providing the USPTO information as to why the "wire" was sent, by whom, and how to apply the payment.


Omnibus Budget and Reconciliation Act.


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


Office of Enrollment and Discipline.


Office of Electronic Information Products.


Official Gazette. The official journal of the USPTO. There are two editions, one for patents and one for trade marks. It includes bibliographic information and a representative drawing for each patent granted or trademark published on that issue date. It is published weekly, every Tuesday.

OG - Patents

Official Gazette eOG:P - weekly publication of the USPTO that permits you to browse issued patents and view important notices.

OG - Trademarks

Official Gazette eOG:T - weekly publication of the USPTO that includes marks that have been published for opposition. The five most recent issues are available online.


Office of General Counsel.


Office for the Harmonization of the Internal Market. This has now been superseded by the European Intellectual Property Office.


Office of Human Resources.


Office of Independent Inventors Programs (prior), now part of the Inventors Assistance Center.


Open Invention Network. A defensive patent pool and community of patent non-aggression which enables freedom of action in Linux. OIN licenses its global patent pool in exchange for a pledge of non-aggression.


Office of Initial Patent Examination.


Office for Legislative and International Affairs - currently known as Administrator for External Affairs, composed of Office of International Relations, Office of Congressional Relations, and Office of Enforcement.


Office of Management and Budget, a branch of The Executive Office of the President.


Office of Patent Legal Administration.


Office of Personnel Management - an agency of the U. S. Government.


Office of Public Records.


Office of Technical Plans and Policy.


A solemn declaration before another, complying with the laws of the state or country where made, that the document in which an applicant for patent declares that (1) he or she is the original or sole inventor, (2) shall state of what country he or she is a citizen, (3) that he or she has reviewed and understands the contents of the specification and claims which the declaration refers to, and (4) acknowledges the duty to disclose information that is material to patentability as defined by 37 CFR Section 1.56. An oath or declaration must be filed in each nonprovisional patent application.

Objection In Point Of Law

A form of pleading by a defendant in his defence that raises an issue of law. When such an objection is raised the court may order the issue to be tried as a *preliminary point of law.

Objection To Indictment

A procedure in which the accused in a *trial on indictment attempts to prove some objection to the indictment on legal grounds (e.g. that it contravenes, or fails to comply with, an enactment). The objection is raised by application to quash the indictment.


“Offensive” refers to the cause of displeasure, anger or resentment; repugnant to the prevailing sense of what is decent or moral.

Office Action

A letter from a trademark examining attorney setting forth the legal status of a trademark application. There are several types of Office actions: examiner's amendments, priority actions, non-final Office actions, final Office actions, and suspension inquiry letters.

Opposition Proceeding

A proceeding before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in which the plaintiff seeks to prevent the issuance of a registration of a mark. An opposition is similar to a proceeding in a federal court, but is held before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, a USPTO administrative tribunal.
Any person who believes that he or she will be damaged by the registration of a mark may file an opposition, but the opposition may only be filed in response to the publication of the mark in the Official Gazette.

Ordre Public

Sometimes referred to as "public policy doctrine", this refers to the principles that define or underpin the law in a particular legal system or jurisdiction.

Original Application

Original is used in the patent statute and rules to refer to an application which is not a reissue application. An original application may be a first filing or a continuing application.

Original Filing Basis

The basis set forth in the application as initially filed.

Ouster of Jurisdiction

The exclusion of judicial proceedings in respect of any dispute. There is a presumption that statutes and other documents (e.g. contracts) do not oust the jurisdiction of the courts.


When an organization or entity allows another to use its intellectual property in return for a fee.

obiter dictum

/ɒbɪtə ˈdɪktəm/ /ɑbɪtər ˈdɪktəm/

Latin for "a thing said in passing". In law, an observation by a judge on some point of law not directly relevant to the case before him, and thus neither requiring his decision nor serving as a precedent, but nevertheless of persuasive authority. In general, any comment, remark or observation made in passing.

onus probandi

/əʊnəs prəʊˈbændɪ/
/ˈounəs prouˈbændai/

Latin for "Burden of proof".

opinio juris

/əˈpɪnjəʊ dʒʊərɪs/ /oʊˈpɪnjəoʊ dʒʊrɪs/

[Latin, from opinio juris sivenecessitatis (whether the opinion of law is compulsory)] An essential element of *custom, one of the four sources of *international law as outlined in the Statute of the *International Court of Justice. Opinio juris requires that custom should be regarded as state practice amounting to a legal obligation, which distinguishes it from mere usage.

ore tenus

/ørə tɛnjuː/ /ɔr tɛnju/

Latin for "(evidence) presented orally".

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