Derek Abeyta is an Associate with Harrity & Harrity LLP. He is a seasoned patent attorney with extensive experience in preparing and prosecuting patent applications for clients in the United States and abroad. His areas of expertise include mechanical, electrical, and electromechanical fields, such as telecommunications, extended reality systems, camera processing, power electronics, video coding, aerospace systems, autonomous vehicles, and medical device arts. Derek is currently a patent attorney at Harrity & Harrity LLP, where he focuses his practice on patent preparation and prosecution, as well as patent infringement and validity counseling. Prior to joining Harrity & Harrity, he worked as a patent attorney at Quarles & Brady, LLP in Arizona, and also served as an IP associate for Shumaker & Sieffert, P.A. and Knobbe, Martens, Olson, & Bear, LLP. Derek received his law degree from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, where he served as President of the Arizona Intellectual Property and Cyberlaw Society and Co-Founder of Arizona’s Journal of Emerging Technologies. Before embarking on his legal career, Derek worked as a project and control systems engineer at Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix, where he developed and tested commercial and military aircraft engines. With his substantial experience and in-depth knowledge of the patent process, Derek is committed to helping clients protect their intellectual property rights and achieve their business goals.
The patent examination process is subject to the well-known issue of hindsight bias. Issues with hindsight bias come up when a patent examiner, without realizing it, uses their knowledge of the invention itself to reject a claim as being obvious. If left unchecked, these issues can lead to incorrect determinations of obviousness, which prolong prosecution, cause unnecessary ex parte appeals to be filed, and force unfair narrowing of independent claims. However, even when an examiner learns about an invention that seems straightforward, human emotions and subjectivity can make it difficult for that examiner to appreciate that the invention was not obvious based on prior art that existed before the invention.