So you’ve just heard that your competitor filed a patent application and he’s about to receive a patent. But, you know his alleged invention is not patentable because you read about it some years ago. You also know that the patent examination is between the applicant, that is your competitor, and the Patent Office. So what to do? It’s called a third-party pre-issuance submission. You, the third party, submit older patents or other printed publications together with a concise description of what you believe is the relevance of the documents. If the submission is timely, the Patent Office will review the additional prior art and decide on the patentability of your competitor’s application. In view of the additional materials, while it is possible for anyone to file such a third-party submission, it might be better and more efficient if you contact your patent attorney or patent agent to further discuss the process.