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In the law of Patents, the presence of two pending applications, or an existing patent and a pending application that encompass an identical invention or discovery.

When interference exists, the Patent and Trademark Office conducts an investigation to ascertain the priority of invention between the conflicting applications, or the application and the patent. A patent is customarily granted to the earlier invention.


noun antagonism, antipathy, bar, barrier, censure, check, collision, conflict, contravention, damper, disapproval, disturbance, encumbrance, fetter, frustration, hindrance, impediment, imposition, interception, intercession, intermediacy, interruption, intervention, intrusion, invasion, meddling, nuisance, obstruction, onus, opposition, resistance, restraint, setback, stricture, stumbling block
Associated concepts: contempt, frustration of contract, interrerence with contractual relations
See also: bar, barrier, burden, check, collision, conflict, damper, deterrence, deterrent, disadvantage, dispute, embargo, encroachment, encumbrance, fetter, filibuster, frustration, handicap, hiatus, hindrance, impediment, imposition, infringement, intercession, interruption, intervention, intrusion, invasion, mediation, molestation, nuisance, obstruction, onus, opposition, prohibition, resistance, restraint, veto
References in periodicals archive ?
Secretary Block ran interference for us and, for a while, stymied the efforts of politicians who objected to the project, although ultimately the pressure of politics did bring our actions to a halt.
Working closely with Marsha Miller, Fleet's administrative service manager who ran interference to unravel a tangle of administrative and legal arrangements necessary to form the partnership with the school, the team established the Fleet branch in time for the opening of school this fall.
Lady Gael Lauren Crossman ran interference for Hart, clearing an opening in front of Blue Devils goalie Kerrie Dempsey.