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Appendix L - Patent Laws

United States Code Title 35 - Patents

[Editor Note: Updated April 2013. Incorporates the changes made by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), Public Law 112-29, 125 Stat. 284 (Sept. 16, 2011) and the Technical Corrections to the AIA, Public Law 112-274 (Jan. 14, 2013). Where either the current statute or an earlier version thereof would be applicable under specified conditions, the earlier version is indicated by the designation "(pre-AIA)" or "(transitional)" following the statute number. Where the AIA sets forth detailed applicability or effective date provisions these are paraphrased and indicated by the designation "(note)" following the statute number at the begininning of the affected chapter or section. Additional relevant uncodified law is reproduced immediately preceeding the Selected Provisions of Title 18, United States Code in this document.]

PART I - UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE

I

CHAPTER 1 - ESTABLISHMENT, OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES, FUNCTIONS

  • 1 Establishment.
  • 2 Powers and duties.
  • 3 Officers and employees.
  • 4 Restrictions on officers and employees as to interest in patents.
  • 5 Patent and Trademark Office Public Advisory Committees.
  • 6 Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
  • 6 (pre-AIA) Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences.
  • 7 Library.
  • 8 Classification of patents.
  • 9 Certified copies of records.
  • 10 Publications.
  • 11 Exchange of copies of patents and applications with foreign countries.
  • 12 Copies of patents and applications for public libraries.
  • 13 Annual report to Congress.

35 U.S.C. 1   Establishment.

  • (a) ESTABLISHMENT.— The United States Patent and Trademark Office is established as an agency of the United States, within the Department of Commerce. In carrying out its functions, the United States Patent and Trademark Office shall be subject to the policy direction of the Secretary of Commerce, but otherwise shall retain responsibility for decisions regarding the management and administration of its operations and shall exercise independent control of its budget allocations and expenditures, personnel decisions and processes, procurements, and other administrative and management functions in accordance with this title and applicable provisions of law. Those operations designed to grant and issue patents and those operations which are designed to facilitate the registration of trademarks shall be treated as separate operating units within the Office.
  • (b) OFFICES.— The United States Patent and Trademark Office shall maintain its principal office in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, for the service of process and papers and for the purpose of carrying out its functions. The United States Patent and Trademark Office shall be deemed, for purposes of venue in civil actions, to be a resident of the district in which its principal office is located, except where jurisdiction is otherwise provided by law. The United States Patent and Trademark Office may establish satellite offices in such other places in the United States as it considers necessary and appropriate in the conduct of its business.
  • (c) REFERENCE.— For purposes of this title, the United States Patent and Trademark Office shall also be referred to as the “Office” and the “Patent and Trademark Office”.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-572 (S. 1948 sec. 4711).)

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35 U.S.C. 2   Powers and duties.

  • (a) IN GENERAL.— The United States Patent and Trademark Office, subject to the policy direction of the Secretary of Commerce—
    • (1) shall be responsible for the granting and issuing of patents and the registration of trademarks; and
    • (2) shall be responsible for disseminating to the public information with respect to patents and trademarks.
  • (b) SPECIFIC POWERS.— The Office—
    • (1) shall adopt and use a seal of the Office, which shall be judicially noticed and with which letters patent, certificates of trademark registrations, and papers issued by the Office shall be authenticated;
    • (2) may establish regulations, not inconsistent with law, which—
      • (A) shall govern the conduct of proceedings in the Office;
      • (B) shall be made in accordance with section 553 of title 5;
      • (C) shall facilitate and expedite the processing of patent applications, particularly those which can be filed, stored, processed, searched, and retrieved electronically, subject to the provisions of section 122 relating to the confidential status of applications;
      • (D) may govern the recognition and conduct of agents, attorneys, or other persons representing applicants or other parties before the Office, and may require them, before being recognized as representatives of applicants or other persons, to show that they are of good moral character and reputation and are possessed of the necessary qualifications to render to applicants or other persons valuable service, advice, and assistance in the presentation or prosecution of their applications or other business before the Office;
      • (E) shall recognize the public interest in continuing to safeguard broad access to the United States patent system through the reduced fee structure for small entities under section 41(h(1) ;
      • (F) provide for the development of a performance-based process that includes quantitative and qualitative measures and standards for evaluating cost-effectiveness and is consistent with the principles of impartiality and competitiveness; and
      • (G) may, subject to any conditions prescribed by the Director and at the request of the patent applicant, provide for prioritization of examination of applications for products, processes, or technologies that are important to the national economy or national competitiveness without recovering the aggregate extra cost of providing such prioritization, notwithstanding section 41 or any other provision of law;
    • (3) may acquire, construct, purchase, lease, hold, manage, operate, improve, alter, and renovate any real, personal, or mixed property, or any interest therein, as it considers necessary to carry out its functions;
    • (4)
      • (A) may make such purchases, contracts for the construction, or management and operation of facilities, and contracts for supplies or services, without regard to the provisions of subtitle I and chapter 33 of title 40, division C (except sections 3302, 3501(b), 3509, 3906, 4710, and 4711) of subtitle I of title 41, and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11301 et seq.);
      • (B) may enter into and perform such purchases and contracts for printing services, including the process of composition, platemaking, presswork, silk screen processes, binding, microform, and the products of such processes, as it considers necessary to carry out the functions of the Office, without regard to sections 501 through 517 and 1101 through 1123 of title 44;
    • (5) may use, with their consent, services, equipment, personnel, and facilities of other departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Federal Government, on a reimbursable basis, and cooperate with such other departments, agencies, and instrumentalities in the establishment and use of services, equipment, and facilities of the Office;
    • (6) may, when the Director determines that it is practicable, efficient, and cost-effective to do so, use, with the consent of the United States and the agency, instrumentality, Patent and Trademark Office, or international organization concerned, the services, records, facilities, or personnel of any State or local government agency or instrumentality or foreign patent and trademark office or international organization to perform functions on its behalf;
    • (7) may retain and use all of its revenues and receipts, including revenues from the sale, lease, or disposal of any real, personal, or mixed property, or any interest therein, of the Office;
    • (8) shall advise the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on national and certain international intellectual property policy issues;
    • (9) shall advise Federal departments and agencies on matters of intellectual property policy in the United States and intellectual property protection in other countries;
    • (10) shall provide guidance, as appropriate, with respect to proposals by agencies to assist foreign governments and international intergovernmental organizations on matters of intellectual property protection;
    • (11) may conduct programs, studies, or exchanges of items or services regarding domestic and international intellectual property law and the effectiveness of intellectual property protection domestically and throughout the world, and the Office is authorized to expend funds to cover the subsistence expenses and travel-related expenses, including per diem, lodging costs, and transportation costs, of persons attending such programs who are not Federal employees;
    • (12)
      • (A) shall advise the Secretary of Commerce on programs and studies relating to intellectual property policy that are conducted, or authorized to be conducted, cooperatively with foreign intellectual property offices and international intergovernmental organizations; and
      • (B) may conduct programs and studies described in subparagraph (A); and
    • (13)
      • (A) in coordination with the Department of State, may conduct programs and studies cooperatively with foreign intellectual property offices and international intergovernmental organizations; and
      • (B) with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, may authorize the transfer of not to exceed $100,000 in any year to the Department of State for the purpose of making special payments to international intergovernmental organizations for studies and programs for advancing international cooperation concerning patents, trademarks, and other matters.
  • (c) CLARIFICATION OF SPECIFIC POWERS.—
    • (1) The special payments under subsection (b)(13)(B) shall be in addition to any other payments or contributions to international organizations described in subsection (b)(13)(B) and shall not be subject to any limitations imposed by law on the amounts of such other payments or contributions by the United States Government.
    • (2) Nothing in subsection (b) shall derogate from the duties of the Secretary of State or from the duties of the United States Trade Representative as set forth in section 141 of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2171).
    • (3) Nothing in subsection (b) shall derogate from the duties and functions of the Register of Copyrights or otherwise alter current authorities relating to copyright matters.
    • (4) In exercising the Director’s powers under paragraphs (3) and (4)(A) of subsection (b), the Director shall consult with the Administrator of General Services.
    • (5) In exercising the Director’s powers and duties under this section, the Director shall consult with the Register of Copyrights on all copyright and related matters.
  • (d) CONSTRUCTION.— Nothing in this section shall be construed to nullify, void, cancel, or interrupt any pending request-for-proposal let or contract issued by the General Services Administration for the specific purpose of relocating or leasing space to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-572 (S. 1948 sec. 4712); subsection (b)(4)(A) amended Oct. 30, 2000, Public Law 106-400, sec. 2, 114 Stat. 1675; subsections (b)(2)(B) and (b)(4)(B) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1904; subsection (b)(4)(A) amended Dec. 15, 2003, Public Law 108-178, sec. 4(g), 117 Stat. 2641; subsection (b)(4)(A) amended January 4, 2011, Public Law 111-350, sec. 5(i)(1), 124 Stat. 3849; subsection (b)(2)(G) added and subsections (b)(2)(E) and (b)(11) amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 20(j), 21(a), and 25 (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 3   Officers and employees.

  • (a) UNDER SECRETARY AND DIRECTOR.—
    • (1) IN GENERAL.— The powers and duties of the United States Patent and Trademark Office shall be vested in an Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (in this title referred to as the “Director”), who shall be a citizen of the United States and who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Director shall be a person who has a professional background and experience in patent or trademark law.
    • (2) DUTIES.—
      • (A) IN GENERAL.— The Director shall be responsible for providing policy direction and management supervision for the Office and for the issuance of patents and the registration of trademarks. The Director shall perform these duties in a fair, impartial, and equitable manner.
      • (B) CONSULTING WITH THE PUBLIC ADVISORY COMMITTEES.— The Director shall consult with the Patent Public Advisory Committee established in section 5 on a regular basis on matters relating to the patent operations of the Office, shall consult with the Trademark Public Advisory Committee established in section 5 on a regular basis on matters relating to the trademark operations of the Office, and shall consult with the respective Public Advisory Committee before submitting budgetary proposals to the Office of Management and Budget or changing or proposing to change patent or trademark user fees or patent or trademark regulations which are subject to the requirement to provide notice and opportunity for public comment under section 553 of title 5, as the case may be.
    • (3) OATH.— The Director shall, before taking office, take an oath to discharge faithfully the duties of the Office.
    • (4) REMOVAL.— The Director may be removed from office by the President. The President shall provide notification of any such removal to both Houses of Congress.
  • (b) OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE OFFICE.—
    • (1) DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR.— The Secretary of Commerce, upon nomination by the Director, shall appoint a Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office who shall be vested with the authority to act in the capacity of the Director in the event of the absence or incapacity of the Director. The Deputy Director shall be a citizen of the United States who has a professional background and experience in patent or trademark law.
    • (2) COMMISSIONERS.—
      • (A) APPOINTMENT AND DUTIES.— The Secretary of Commerce shall appoint a Commissioner for Patents and a Commissioner for Trademarks, without regard to chapter 33, 51, or 53 of title 5. The Commissioner for Patents shall be a citizen of the United States with demonstrated management ability and professional background and experience in patent law and serve for a term of 5 years. The Commissioner for Trademarks shall be a citizen of the United States with demonstrated management ability and professional background and experience in trademark law and serve for a term of 5 years. The Commissioner for Patents and the Commissioner for Trademarks shall serve as the chief operating officers for the operations of the Office relating to patents and trademarks, respectively, and shall be responsible for the management and direction of all aspects of the activities of the Office that affect the administration of patent and trademark operations, respectively. The Secretary may reappoint a Commissioner to subsequent terms of 5 years as long as the performance of the Commissioner as set forth in the performance agreement in subparagraph (B) is satisfactory.
      • (B) SALARY AND PERFORMANCE AGREEMENT.— The Commissioners shall be paid an annual rate of basic pay not to exceed the maximum rate of basic pay for the Senior Executive Service established under section 5382 of title 5, including any applicable locality-based comparability payment that may be authorized under section 5304(h)(2)(C) of title 5. The compensation of the Commissioners shall be considered, for purposes of section 207(c)(2)(A) of title 18, to be the equivalent of that described under clause (ii) of section 207(c)(2)(A) of title 18. In addition, the Commissioners may receive a bonus in an amount of up to, but not in excess of, 50 percent of the Commissioners’ annual rate of basic pay, based upon an evaluation by the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Director, of the Commissioners’ performance as defined in an annual performance agreement between the Commissioners and the Secretary. The annual performance agreements shall incorporate measurable organization and individual goals in key operational areas as delineated in an annual performance plan agreed to by the Commissioners and the Secretary. Payment of a bonus under this subparagraph may be made to the Commissioners only to the extent that such payment does not cause the Commissioners’ total aggregate compensation in a calendar year to equal or exceed the amount of the salary of the Vice President under section 104 of title 3.
      • (C) REMOVAL.— The Commissioners may be removed from office by the Secretary for misconduct or nonsatisfactory performance under the performance agreement described in subparagraph (B), without regard to the provisions of title 5. The Secretary shall provide notification of any such removal to both Houses of Congress.
    • (3) OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES.— The Director shall—
      • (A) appoint such officers, employees (including attorneys), and agents of the Office as the Director considers necessary to carry out the functions of the Office; and
      • (B) define the title, authority, and duties of such officers and employees and delegate to them such of the powers vested in the Office as the Director may determine.

        The Office shall not be subject to any administratively or statutorily imposed limitation on positions or personnel, and no positions or personnel of the Office shall be taken into account for purposes of applying any such limitation.

    • (4) TRAINING OF EXAMINERS.— The Office shall submit to the Congress a proposal to provide an incentive program to retain as employees patent and trademark examiners of the primary examiner grade or higher who are eligible for retirement, for the sole purpose of training patent and trademark examiners.
    • (5) NATIONAL SECURITY POSITIONS.— The Director, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, shall maintain a program for identifying national security positions and providing for appropriate security clearances, in order to maintain the secrecy of certain inventions, as described in section 181 , and to prevent disclosure of sensitive and strategic information in the interest of national security.
    • (6) ADMINISTRATIVE PATENT JUDGES AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRADEMARK JUDGES.—The Director may fix the rate of basic pay for the administrative patent judges appointed pursuant to section 6 and the administrative trademark judges appointed pursuant to section 17 of the Trademark Act of 1946 (15 U.S.C. 1067) at not greater than the rate of basic pay payable for level III of the Executive Schedule under section 5314 of title 5. The payment of a rate of basic pay under this paragraph shall not be subject to the pay limitation under section 5306(e) or 5373 of title 5.
  • (c) CONTINUED APPLICABILITY OF TITLE 5. — Officers and employees of the Office shall be subject to the provisions of title 5, relating to Federal employees.
  • (d) ADOPTION OF EXISTING LABOR AGREEMENTS.— The Office shall adopt all labor agreements which are in effect, as of the day before the effective date of the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act, with respect to such Office (as then in effect).
  • (e) CARRYOVER OF PERSONNEL.—
    • (1) FROM PTO.— Effective as of the effective date of the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act, all officers and employees of the Patent and Trademark Office on the day before such effective date shall become officers and employees of the Office, without a break in service.
    • (2) OTHER PERSONNEL.— Any individual who, on the day before the effective date of the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act, is an officer or employee of the Department of Commerce (other than an officer or employee under paragraph (1)) shall be transferred to the Office, as necessary to carry out the purposes of that Act, if—
      • (A) such individual serves in a position for which a major function is the performance of work reimbursed by the Patent and Trademark Office, as determined by the Secretary of Commerce;
      • (B) such individual serves in a position that performed work in support of the Patent and Trademark Office during at least half of the incumbent’s work time, as determined by the Secretary of Commerce; or
      • (C) such transfer would be in the interest of the Office, as determined by the Secretary of Commerce in consultation with the Director.

      Any transfer under this paragraph shall be effective as of the same effective date as referred to in paragraph (1), and shall be made without a break in service.

  • (f) TRANSITION PROVISIONS.—
    • (1) INTERIM APPOINTMENT OF DIRECTOR.— On or after the effective date of the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act, the President shall appoint an individual to serve as the Director until the date on which a Director qualifies under subsection (a). The President shall not make more than one such appointment under this subsection.
    • (2) CONTINUATION IN OFFICE OF CERTAIN OFFICERS.—
      • (A) The individual serving as the Assistant Commissioner for Patents on the day before the effective date of the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act may serve as the Commissioner for Patents until the date on which a Commissioner for Patents is appointed under subsection (b).
      • (B) The individual serving as the Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks on the day before the effective date of the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act may serve as the Commissioner for Trademarks until the date on which a Commissioner for Trademarks is appointed under subsection (b).

(Amended Sept. 6, 1958, Public Law 85-933, sec. 1, 72 Stat. 1793; Sept. 23, 1959, Public Law 86-370, sec. 1(a), 73 Stat. 650; Aug. 14, 1964, Public Law 88-426, sec. 305(26), 78 Stat. 425; Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-601, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1956; Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 4, 96 Stat. 319; Oct. 25, 1982, Public Law 97-366, sec. 4, 96 Stat. 1760; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 405, 98 Stat. 3392; Oct. 28, 1998, Public Law 105-304, sec. 401(a)(1), 112 Stat. 2887; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-575 (S. 1948 sec. 4713); subsections (a)(2)(B), (b)(2), and (c) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1904; subsection (b)(6) added and (e)(2) amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 20(i) and 21(b) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 4   Restrictions on officers and employees as to interest in patents.

Officers and employees of the Patent and Trademark Office shall be incapable, during the period of their appointments and for one year thereafter, of applying for a patent and of acquiring, directly or indirectly, except by inheritance or bequest, any patent or any right or interest in any patent, issued or to be issued by the Office. In patents applied for thereafter they shall not be entitled to any priority date earlier than one year after the termination of their appointment.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

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35 U.S.C. 5   Patent and Trademark Office Public Advisory Committees.

  • (a) ESTABLISHMENT OF PUBLIC ADVISORY COMMITTEES.—
    • (1) APPOINTMENT.— The United States Patent and Trademark Office shall have a Patent Public Advisory Committee and a Trademark Public Advisory Committee, each of which shall have nine voting members who shall be appointed by the Secretary of Commerce and serve at the pleasure of the Secretary of Commerce. In each year, 3 members shall be appointed to each Advisory Committee for 3-year terms that shall begin on December 1 of that year. Any vacancy on an Advisory Committee shall be filled within 90 days after it occurs. A new member who is appointed to fill a vacancy shall be appointed to serve for the remainder of the predecessor’s term.
    • (2) CHAIR.— The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Director, shall designate a Chair and Vice Chair of each Advisory Committee from among the members appointed under paragraph (1). If the Chair resigns before the completion of his or her term, or is otherwise unable to exercise the functions of the Chair, the Vice Chair shall exercise the functions of the Chair.
  • (b) BASIS FOR APPOINTMENTS.— Members of each Advisory Committee—
    • (1) shall be citizens of the United States who shall be chosen so as to represent the interests of diverse users of the United States Patent and Trademark Office with respect to patents, in the case of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and with respect to trademarks, in the case of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee;
    • (2) shall include members who represent small and large entity applicants located in the United States in proportion to the number of applications filed by such applicants, but in no case shall members who represent small entity patent applicants, including small business concerns, independent inventors, and nonprofit organizations, constitute less than 25 percent of the members of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and such members shall include at least one independent inventor; and
    • (3) shall include individuals with substantial background and achievement in finance, management, labor relations, science, technology, and office automation. In addition to the voting members, each Advisory Committee shall include a representative of each labor organization recognized by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Such representatives shall be nonvoting members of the Advisory Committee to which they are appointed.
  • (c) MEETINGS.— Each Advisory Committee shall meet at the call of the chair to consider an agenda set by the chair.
  • (d) DUTIES.— Each Advisory Committee shall—
    • (1) review the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the United States Patent and Trademark Office with respect to patents, in the case of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and with respect to Trademarks, in the case of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee, and advise the Director on these matters;
    • (2) within 60 days after the end of each fiscal year—
      • (A) prepare an annual report on the matters referred to in paragraph (1);
      • (B) transmit the report to the Secretary of Commerce, the President, and the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and the House of Representatives; and
      • (C) publish the report in the Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • (e) COMPENSATION.— Each member of each Advisory Committee shall be compensated for each day (including travel time) during which such member is attending meetings or conferences of that Advisory Committee or otherwise engaged in the business of that Advisory Committee, at the rate which is the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay in effect for level III of the Executive Schedule under section 5314 of title 5. While away from such member’s home or regular place of business such member shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by section 5703 of title 5.
  • (f) ACCESS TO INFORMATION.— Members of each Advisory Committee shall be provided access to records and information in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, except for personnel or other privileged information and information concerning patent applications required to be kept in confidence by section 122 .
  • (g) APPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN ETHICS LAWS.— Members of each Advisory Committee shall be special Government employees within the meaning of section 202 of title 18.
  • (h) INAPPLICABILITY OF FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT.— The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to each Advisory Committee.
  • (i) OPEN MEETINGS.— The meetings of each Advisory Committee shall be open to the public, except that each Advisory Committee may by majority vote meet in executive session when considering personnel, privileged, or other confidential information.
  • (j) INAPPLICABILITY OF PATENT PROHIBITION.— Section 4 shall not apply to voting members of the Advisory Committees.

(Added Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-578 (S. 1948 sec. 4714); subsections (e) and (g) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1904; subsection (i) amended and subsection (j) added Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13203, 116 Stat. 1902; subsection (a) amended Jan. 14, 2013, Public Law 112-274, sec. 1(l), ____ Stat. ____.)

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35 U.S.C. 6  Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

[Editor Note: Applicable to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012.* See 35 U.S.C. 6 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—There shall be in the Office a Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The Director, the Deputy Director, the Commissioner for Patents, the Commissioner for Trademarks, and the administrative patent judges shall constitute the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The administrative patent judges shall be persons of competent legal knowledge and scientific ability who are appointed by the Secretary, in consultation with the Director. Any reference in any Federal law, Executive order, rule, regulation, or delegation of authority, or any document of or pertaining to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences is deemed to refer to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
  • (b) DUTIES.—The Patent Trial and Appeal Board shall—
    • (1) on written appeal of an applicant, review adverse decisions of examiners upon applications for patents pursuant to section 134(a) ;
    • (2) review appeals of reexaminations pursuant to section 134(b) ;
    • (3) conduct derivation proceedings pursuant to section 135 ; and
    • (4) conduct inter partes reviews and post-grant reviews pursuant to chapters 31 and 32 .
  • (c) 3-MEMBER PANELS.—Each appeal, derivation proceeding, post-grant review, and inter partes review shall be heard by at least 3 members of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, who shall be designated by the Director. Only the Patent Trial and Appeal Board may grant rehearings.
  • (d) TREATMENT OF PRIOR APPOINTMENTS.—The Secretary of Commerce may, in the Secretary’s discretion, deem the appointment of an administrative patent judge who, before the date of the enactment of this subsection, held office pursuant to an appointment by the Director to take effect on the date on which the Director initially appointed the administrative patent judge. It shall be a defense to a challenge to the appointment of an administrative patent judge on the basis of the judge’s having been originally appointed by the Director that the administrative patent judge so appointed was acting as a de facto officer.

(Repealed by Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S. 1948 sec. 4715(a).)

(Added Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S. 1948 sec. 4717(2)); subsection (a) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13203, 116 Stat. 1902; subsection(a) amended and subsections (c) and (d) added Aug. 12, 2008, Public Law 110-313, sec. 1(a)(1), 122 Stat. 3014; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 7(a) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.*)

*NOTE: The provisions of this section as in effect on Sept. 15, 2012 ( 35 U.S.C. 6 (pre-AIA) ) apply to interference proceedings that are declared after September 15, 2012 under 35 U.S.C. 135 (pre-AIA) . See Public Law 112-274, sec. 1(k)(3), ___ Stat. ___ (Jan. 14, 2013).

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35 U.S.C. 6 (pre-AIA)   Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012.* See 35 U.S.C. 6 for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) ESTABLISHMENT AND COMPOSITION.— There shall be in the United States Patent and Trademark Office a Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. The Director, the Deputy Director, the Commissioner for Patents, the Commissioner for Trademarks, and the administrative patent judges shall constitute the Board. The administrative patent judges shall be persons of competent legal knowledge and scientific ability who are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Director.
  • (b) DUTIES.— The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences shall, on written appeal of an applicant, review adverse decisions of examiners upon applications for patents and shall determine priority and patentability of invention in interferences declared under section 135(a) . Each appeal and interference shall be heard by at least three members of the Board, who shall be designated by the Director. Only the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences may grant rehearings.
  • (c) AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY.— The Secretary of Commerce may, in his or her discretion, deem the appointment of an administrative patent judge who, before the date of the enactment of this subsection, held office pursuant to an appointment by the Director to take effect on the date on which the Director initially appointed the administrative patent judge.
  • (d) DEFENSE TO CHALLENGE OF APPOINTMENT.— It shall be a defense to a challenge to the appointment of an administrative patent judge on the basis of the judge's having been originally appointed by the Director that the administrative patent judge so appointed was acting as a de facto officer.

(Repealed by Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S. 1948 sec. 4715(a).)

(Added Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S. 1948 sec. 4717(2)); subsection (a) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13203, 116 Stat. 1902; subsection(a) amended and subsections (c) and (d) added Aug. 12, 2008, Public Law 110-313, sec. 1(a)(1), 122 Stat. 3014.)

*NOTE: The provisions of this section as in effect on Sept. 15, 2012 apply to interference proceedings that are declared after September 15, 2012 under 35 U.S.C. 135 (pre-AIA) . See Public Law 112-274, sec. 1(k)(3), ___ Stat. ___ (Jan. 14, 2013).

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35 U.S.C. 7   Library.

The Director shall maintain a library of scientific and other works and periodicals, both foreign and domestic, in the Patent and Trademark Office to aid the officers in the discharge of their duties.

(Repealed Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S. 1948 sec. 4717(1)).)

(Transferred from 35 U.S.C. 8 Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S. 1948 sec. 4717(1)); amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 8   Classification of patents.

The Director may revise and maintain the classification by subject matter of United States letters patent, and such other patents and printed publications as may be necessary or practicable, for the purpose of determining with readiness and accuracy the novelty of inventions for which applications for patent are filed.

(Transferred to 35 U.S.C. 7 Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S. 1948 sec. 4717(1)).)

(Transferred from 35 U.S.C. 9 Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S. 1948 sec. 4717(1)).)

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 9   Certified copies of records.

The Director may furnish certified copies of specifications and drawings of patents issued by the Patent and Trademark Office, and of other records available either to the public or to the person applying therefor.

(Transferred to 35 U.S.C. 8 Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S. 1948 sec. 4717(1)).)

(Transferred from 35 U.S.C. 10 Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S. 1948 sec. 4717(1)); amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 10   Publications.

  • (a) The Director may publish in printed, typewritten, or electronic form, the following:
    • (1) Patents and published applications for patents, including specifications and drawings, together with copies of the same. The Patent and Trademark Office may print the headings of the drawings for patents for the purpose of photolithography.
    • (2) Certificates of trademark registrations, including statements and drawings, together with copies of the same.
    • (3) The Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    • (4) Annual indexes of patents and patentees, and of trademarks and registrants.
    • (5) Annual volumes of decisions in patent and trademark cases.
    • (6) Pamphlet copies of the patent laws and rules of practice, laws and rules relating to trademarks, and circulars or other publications relating to the business of the Office.
  • (b) The Director may exchange any of the publications specified in items 3, 4, 5, and 6 of subsection (a) of this section for publications desirable for the use of the Patent and Trademark Office.

(Transferred to 35 U.S.C. 9 Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S. 1948 sec. 4717(1)).)

(Transferred from 35 U.S.C. 11 Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S 1948 sec. 4717(1)); amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-589 (S. 1948 sec. 4804(b)).)

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-565, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4507(1) and 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 11   Exchange of copies of patents and applications with foreign countries.

The Director may exchange copies of specifications and drawings of United States patents and published applications for patents for those of foreign countries. The Director shall not enter into an agreement to provide such copies of specifications and drawings of United States patents and applications to a foreign country, other than a NAFTA country or a WTO member country, without the express authorization of the Secretary of Commerce. For purposes of this section, the terms “NAFTA country” and “WTO member country” have the meanings given those terms in section 104(b) .

(Transferred to 35 U.S.C. 10 Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S 1948 sec. 4717(1)).)

(Transferred from 35 U.S.C. 12 Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S 1948 sec. 4717(1)); amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-591 (S. 1948 sec. 4808).)

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-565, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4507(2)(A), 4507(2)(B), and 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 12   Copies of patents and applications for public libraries.

The Director may supply copies of specifications and drawings of patents and published applications for patents in printed or electronic form to public libraries in the United States which shall maintain such copies for the use of the public, at the rate for each year’s issue established for this purpose in section 41(d) .

(Transferred to 35 U.S.C. 11 Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S. 1948 sec. 4717(1)).)

(Transferred from 35 U.S.C. 13 Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S 1948 sec. 4717(1)); amended Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 15, 96 Stat. 321; amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-565, 566, 580, 582, and 589 (S. 1948 secs. 4507(3)(A), 4507(3)(B), 4507(4), 4717(1), 4732(a)(10)(A), and 4804(c)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 13   Annual report to Congress.

The Director shall report to the Congress, not later than 180 days after the end of each fiscal year, the moneys received and expended by the Office, the purposes for which the moneys were spent, the quality and quantity of the work of the Office, the nature of training provided to examiners, the evaluation of the Commissioner of Patents and the Commissioner of Trademarks by the Secretary of Commerce, the compensation of the Commissioners, and other information relating to the Office.

(Transferred to 35 U.S.C. 12 Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S 1948 sec. 4717(1)).)

(Transferred from 35 U.S.C. 14 Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S 1948 sec. 4717(1)).)

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-565, 581 (S. 1948 secs. 4507(2), 4718).)

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CHAPTER 2 - PROCEEDINGS IN THE PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE

  • 21 Filing date and day for taking action.
  • 22 Printing of papers filed.
  • 23 Testimony in Patent and Trademark Office cases.
  • 24 Subpoenas, witnesses.
  • 25 Declaration in lieu of oath.
  • 26 Effect of defective execution.

35 U.S.C. 21   Filing date and day for taking action.

  • (a) The Director may by rule prescribe that any paper or fee required to be filed in the Patent and Trademark Office will be considered filed in the Office on the date on which it was deposited with the United States Postal Service or would have been deposited with the United States Postal Service but for postal service interruptions or emergencies designated by the Director.
  • (b) When the day, or the last day, for taking any action or paying any fee in the United States Patent and Trademark Office falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a Federal holiday within the District of Columbia, the action may be taken, or fee paid, on the next succeeding secular or business day.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 12, 96 Stat. 321; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 22   Printing of papers filed.

The Director may require papers filed in the Patent and Trademark Office to be printed, typewritten, or on an electronic medium.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88  Stat. 1949; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582, 589 (S. 1948 secs. 4732(a)(10)(A), 4804(a)).)

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35 U.S.C. 23   Testimony in Patent and Trademark Office cases.

The Director may establish rules for taking affidavits and depositions required in cases in the Patent and Trademark Office. Any officer authorized by law to take depositions to be used in the courts of the United States, or of the State where he resides, may take such affidavits and depositions.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 24   Subpoenas, witnesses.

The clerk of any United States court for the district wherein testimony is to be taken for use in any contested case in the Patent and Trademark Office, shall, upon the application of any party thereto, issue a subpoena for any witness residing or being within such district, commanding him to appear and testify before an officer in such district authorized to take depositions and affidavits, at the time and place stated in the subpoena. The provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure relating to the attendance of witnesses and to the production of documents and things shall apply to contested cases in the Patent and Trademark Office.

Every witness subpoenaed and in attendance shall be allowed the fees and traveling expenses allowed to witnesses attending the United States district courts.

A judge of a court whose clerk issued a subpoena may enforce obedience to the process or punish disobedience as in other like cases, on proof that a witness, served with such subpoena, neglected or refused to appear or to testify. No witness shall be deemed guilty of contempt for disobeying such subpoena unless his fees and traveling expenses in going to, and returning from, and one day’s attendance at the place of examination, are paid or tendered him at the time of the service of the subpoena; nor for refusing to disclose any secret matter except upon appropriate order of the court which issued the subpoena.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

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35 U.S.C. 25   Declaration in lieu of oath.

  • (a) The Director may by rule prescribe that any document to be filed in the Patent and Trademark Office and which is required by any law, rule, or other regulation to be under oath may be subscribed to by a written declaration in such form as the Director may prescribe, such declaration to be in lieu of the oath otherwise required.
  • (b) Whenever such written declaration is used, the document must warn the declarant that willful false statements and the like are punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both (18 U.S.C. 1001).

(Added Mar. 26, 1964, Public Law 88-292, sec. 1, 78 Stat. 171; amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 26   Effect of defective execution.

Any document to be filed in the Patent and Trademark Office and which is required by any law, rule, or other regulation to be executed in a specified manner may be provisionally accepted by the Director despite a defective execution, provided a properly executed document is submitted within such time as may be prescribed.

(Added Mar. 26, 1964, Public Law 88-292, sec. 1, 78 Stat. 171; amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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CHAPTER 3 - PRACTICE BEFORE PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE

  • 31 [Repealed]
  • 32 Suspension or exclusion from practice.
  • 33 Unauthorized representation as practitioner.

35 U.S.C. 31   [Repealed].

(Repealed Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580 (S. 1948 sec. 4715(b)).)

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35 U.S.C. 32   Suspension or exclusion from practice.

The Director may, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, suspend or exclude, either generally or in any particular case, from further practice before the Patent and Trademark Office, any person, agent, or attorney shown to be incompetent or disreputable, or guilty of gross misconduct, or who does not comply with the regulations established under section 2(b)(2)(D) , or who shall, by word, circular, letter, or advertising, with intent to defraud in any manner, deceive, mislead, or threaten any applicant or prospective applicant, or other person having immediate or prospective business before the Office. The reasons for any such suspension or exclusion shall be duly recorded. The Director shall have the discretion to designate any attorney who is an officer or employee of the United States Patent and Trademark Office to conduct the hearing required by this section. A proceeding under this section shall be commenced not later than the earlier of either the date that is 10 years after the date on which the misconduct forming the basis for the proceeding occurred, or 1 year after the date on which the misconduct forming the basis for the proceeding is made known to an officer or employee of the Office as prescribed in the regulations established under section 2(b)(2)(D) . The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, under such conditions and upon such proceedings as it by its rules determines, may review the action of the Director upon the petition of the person so refused recognition or so suspended or excluded.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat.1949; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-580, 581, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4715(c), 4719, 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 3(k) and 9 (effective Sept. 16, 2011) and 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 33   Unauthorized representation as practitioner.

Whoever, not being recognized to practice before the Patent and Trademark Office, holds himself out or permits himself to be held out as so recognized, or as being qualified to prepare or prosecute applications for patent, shall be fined not more than $1,000 for each offense.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

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CHAPTER 4 - PATENT FEES; FUNDING; SEARCH SYSTEMS

  • 41 Patent fees; patent and trademark search systems.
  • 42 Patent and Trademark Office funding.

35 U.S.C. 41   Patent fees; patent and trademark search systems.

  • (a) GENERAL FEES. — The Director shall charge the following fees:
    • (1) FILING AND BASIC NATIONAL FEES. —
      • (A) On filing each application for an original patent, except for design, plant, or provisional applications, $330.
      • (B) On filing each application for an original design patent, $220.
      • (C) On filing each application for an original plant patent, $220.
      • (D) On filing each provisional application for an original patent, $220.
      • (E) On filing each application for the reissue of a patent, $330.
      • (F) The basic national fee for each international application filed under the treaty defined in section 351(a) entering the national stage under section 371 , $330.
      • (G) In addition, excluding any sequence listing or computer program listing filed in electronic medium as prescribed by the Director, for any application the specification and drawings of which exceed 100 sheets of paper (or equivalent as prescribed by the Director if filed in an electronic medium), $270 for each additional 50 sheets of paper (or equivalent as prescribed by the Director if filed in an electronic medium) or fraction thereof.
    • (2) EXCESS CLAIMS FEES. —
      • (A) IN GENERAL. — In addition to the fee specified in paragraph (1) —
        • (i) on filing or on presentation at any other time, $220 for each claim in independent form in excess of 3;
        • (ii) on filing or on presentation at any other time, $52 for each claim (whether dependent or independent) in excess of 20; and
        • (iii) for each application containing a multiple dependent claim, $390.
      • (B) MULTIPLE DEPENDENT CLAIMS.— For the purpose of computing fees under subparagraph (A), a multiple dependent claim referred to in section 112 or any claim depending therefrom shall be considered as separate dependent claims in accordance with the number of claims to which reference is made.
      • (C) REFUNDS; ERRORS IN PAYMENT.— The Director may by regulation provide for a refund of any part of the fee specified in subparagraph (A) for any claim that is canceled before an examination on the merits, as prescribed by the Director, has been made of the application under section 131 . Errors in payment of the additional fees under this paragraph may be rectified in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Director.
    • (3) EXAMINATION FEES. —
      • (A) IN GENERAL.—
        • (i) For examination of each application for an original patent, except for design, plant, provisional, or international applications, $220.
        • (ii) For examination of each application for an original design patent, $140.
        • (iii) For examination of each application for an original plant patent, $170.
        • (iv) For examination of the national stage of each international application, $220.
        • (v) For examination of each application for the reissue of a patent, $650.
      • (B) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER FEE PROVISIONS.— The provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4) of section 111 (a) relating to the payment of the fee for filing the application shall apply to the payment of the fee specified in subparagraph (A) with respect to an application filed under section 111 (a). The provisions of section 371 (d) relating to the payment of the national fee shall apply to the payment of the fee specified subparagraph (A) with respect to an international application.
    • (4) ISSUE FEES. —
      • (A) For issuing each original patent, except for design or plant patents, $1,510.
      • (B) For issuing each original design patent, $860.
      • (C) For issuing each original plant patent, $1,190.
      • (D) For issuing each reissue patent, $1,510.
    • (5) DISCLAIMER FEE. — On filing each disclaimer, $140.
    • (6) APPEAL FEES. —
      • (A) On filing an appeal from the examiner to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, $540.
      • (B) In addition, on filing a brief in support of the appeal, $540, and on requesting an oral hearing in the appeal before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, $1,080.
    • (7) REVIVAL FEES. — On filing each petition for the revival of an unintentionally abandoned application for a patent, for the unintentionally delayed payment of the fee for issuing each patent, or for an unintentionally delayed response by the patent owner in any reexamination proceeding, $1,620, unless the petition is filed under section 133 or 151 , in which case the fee shall be $540.
    • (8) EXTENSION FEES. — For petitions for 1-month extensions of time to take actions required by the Director in an application —
      • (A) on filing a first petition, $130;
      • (B) on filing a second petition, $360; and
      • (C) on filing a third or subsequent petition, $620.
  • (b) MAINTENANCE FEES. —
    • (1) IN GENERAL.— The Director shall charge the following fees for maintaining in force all patents based on applications filed on or after December 12, 1980:
      • (A) Three years and 6 months after grant, $980.
      • (B) Seven years and 6 months after grant, $2,480.
      • (C) Eleven years and 6 months after grant, $4,110.
    • (2) GRACE PERIOD; SURCHARGE.— Unless payment of the applicable maintenance fee under paragraph (1) is received in the Office on or before the date the fee is due or within a grace period of 6 months thereafter, the patent shall expire as of the end of such grace period. The Director may require the payment of a surcharge as a condition of accepting within such 6-month grace period the payment of an applicable maintenance fee.
    • (3) NO MAINTENANCE FEE FOR DESIGN OR PLANT PATENT.— No fee may be established for maintaining a design or plant patent in force.

  • (c) DELAYS IN PAYMENT OF MAINTENANCE FEES.—
    • (1) ACCEPTANCE.—The Director may accept the payment of any maintenance fee required by subsection (b) of this section which is made within twenty-four months after the six-month grace period if the delay is shown to the satisfaction of the Director to have been unintentional, or at any time after the six-month grace period if the delay is shown to the satisfaction of the Director to have been unavoidable. The Director may require the payment of a surcharge as a condition of accepting payment of any maintenance fee after the six-month grace period. If the Director accepts payment of a maintenance fee after the six-month grace period, the patent shall be considered as not having expired at the end of the grace period.
    • (2) EFFECT ON RIGHTS OF OTHERS.— A patent, the term of which has been maintained as a result of the acceptance of a payment of a maintenance fee under this subsection, shall not abridge or affect the right of any person or that person’s successors in business who made, purchased, offered to sell, or used anything protected by the patent within the United States, or imported anything protected by the patent into the United States after the 6-month grace period but prior to the acceptance of a maintenance fee under this subsection, to continue the use of, to offer for sale, or to sell to others to be used, offered for sale, or sold, the specific thing so made, purchased, offered for sale, used, or imported. The court before which such matter is in question may provide for the continued manufacture, use, offer for sale, or sale of the thing made, purchased, offered for sale, or used within the United States, or imported into the United States, as specified, or for the manufacture, use, offer for sale, or sale in the United States of which substantial preparation was made after the 6-month grace period but before the acceptance of a maintenance fee under this subsection, and the court may also provide for the continued practice of any process that is practiced, or for the practice of which substantial preparation was made, after the 6-month grace period but before the acceptance of a maintenance fee under this subsection, to the extent and under such terms as the court deems equitable for the protection of investments made or business commenced after the 6-month grace period but before the acceptance of a maintenance fee under this subsection.
  • (d) PATENT SEARCH AND OTHER FEES. —
    • (1) PATENT SEARCH FEES. —
      • (A) IN GENERAL.— The Director shall charge the fees specified under subparagraph (B) for the search of each application for a patent, except for provisional applications. The Director shall adjust the fees charged under this paragraph to ensure that the fees recover an amount not to exceed the estimated average cost to the Office of searching applications for patent by Office personnel.
      • (B) SPECIFIC FEES.—The fees referred to in subparagraph (A) are—
        • (i) $540 for each application for an original patent, except for design, plant, provisional, or international applications;
        • (ii) $100 for each application for an original design patent;
        • (iii) $330 for each application for an original plant patent;
        • (iv) $540 for the national stage of each international application; and
        • (v) $540 for each application for the reissue of a patent.
      • (C) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER PROVISIONS.— The provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4) of section 111 (a) relating to the payment of the fee for filing the application shall apply to the payment of the fee specified in this paragraph with respect to an application filed under section 111 (a). The provisions of section 371 (d) relating to the payment of the national fee shall apply to the payment of the fee specified in this paragraph with respect to an international application.
      • (D) REFUNDS.— The Director may by regulation provide for a refund of any part of the fee specified in this paragraph for any applicant who files a written declaration of express abandonment as prescribed by the Director before an examination has been made of the application under section 131 .
    • (2) OTHER FEES.—
      • (A) IN GENERAL.— The Director shall establish fees for all other processing, services, or materials relating to patents not specified in this section to recover the estimated average cost to the Office of such processing, services, or materials, except that the Director shall charge the following fees for the following services:
        • (i) For recording a document affecting title, $40 per property.
        • (ii) For each photocopy, $.25 per page.
        • (iii) For each black and white copy of a patent, $3.
      • (B) COPIES FOR LIBRARIES.—The yearly fee for providing a library specified in section 12 with uncertified printed copies of the specifications and drawings for all patents in that year shall be $50.
  • (e) WAIVER OF FEES; COPIES REGARDING NOTICE.— The Director may waive the payment of any fee for any service or material related to patents in connection with an occasional or incidental request made by a department or agency of the Government, or any officer thereof. The Director may provide any applicant issued a notice under section 132 with a copy of the specifications and drawings for all patents referred to in that notice without charge.
  • (f) ADJUSTMENT OF FEES.— The fees established in subsections (a) and (b) of this section may be adjusted by the Director on October 1, 1992, and every year thereafter, to reflect any fluctuations occurring during the previous 12 months in the Consumer Price Index, as determined by the Secretary of Labor. Changes of less than 1 per centum may be ignored.
  • (g) [Repealed]

  • (h) FEES FOR SMALL ENTITIES.—
    • (1) REDUCTIONS IN FEES.— Subject to paragraph (3), fees charged under subsections (a), (b) and (d)(1) shall be reduced by 50 percent with respect to their application to any small business concern as defined under section 3 of the Small Business Act, and to any independent inventor or nonprofit organization as defined in regulations issued by the Director.
    • (2) SURCHARGES AND OTHER FEES.— With respect to its application to any entity described in paragraph (1), any surcharge or fee charged under subsection (c) or (d) shall not be higher than the surcharge or fee required of any other entity under the same or substantially similar circumstances.
    • (3) REDUCTION FOR ELECTRONIC FILING.— The fee charged under subsection (a)(l)(A) shall be reduced by 75 percent with respect to its application to any entity to which paragraph (1) applies, if the application is filed by electronic means as prescribed by the Director.
  • (i) ELECTRONIC PATENT AND TRADEMARK DATA.—
    • (1) MAINTENANCE OF COLLECTIONS.— The Director shall maintain, for use by the public, paper, microform or electronic collections of United States patents, foreign patent documents, and United States trademark registrations arranged to permit search for and retrieval of information. The Director may not impose fees directly for the use of such collections, or for the use of the public patent and trademark search rooms or libraries.
    • (2) AVAILABILITY OF AUTOMATED SEARCH SYSTEMS.— The Director shall provide for the full deployment of the automated search systems of the Patent and Trademark Office so that such systems are available for use by the public, and shall assure full access by the public to, and dissemination of, patent and trademark information, using a variety of automated methods, including electronic bulletin boards and remote access by users to mass storage and retrieval systems.
    • (3) ACCESS FEES.— The Director may establish reasonable fees for access by the public to the automated search systems of the Patent and Trademark Office. If such fees are established, a limited amount of free access shall be made available to users of the systems for purposes of education and training. The Director may waive the payment by an individual of fees authorized by this subsection upon a showing of need or hardship, and if such waiver is in the public interest.
    • (4) ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS.— The Director shall submit to the Congress an annual report on the automated search systems of the Patent and Trademark Office and the access by the public to such systems. The Director shall also publish such report in the Federal Register. The Director shall provide an opportunity for the submission of comments by interested persons on each such report.

(Amended July 24, 1965, Public Law 89-83, sec. 1, 2, 79 Stat. 259; Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 14, 1975, Public Law 94-131, sec. 3, 89 Stat. 690; subsection (g) amended Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 2, 94 Stat. 3017; Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 3(a)-(e), 96 Stat. 317; subsections (a)-(d) amended Sept. 8, 1982, Public Law 97-256, sec. 101, 96 Stat. 816; subsection (a)(6) amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 204(a), 98 Stat. 3388; subsection (h) added Nov. 6, 1986, Public Law 99-607, sec. 1(b)(2), 100 Stat. 3470; subsections (a), (b), (d), (f), and (g) amended Dec. 10, 1991, Public Law 102-204, sec. 5, 105 Stat. 1637; subsections (a)(9) - (15) and (i) added Dec. 10, 1991, Public Law 102-204, sec. 5, 105 Stat. 1637; subsection (c)(1) amended Oct. 23, 1992, Public Law 102-444, sec. 1, 106 Stat. 2245; subsection (a)(1)(C) added Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 532(b)(2), 108 Stat. 4986; subsection (c)(2) amended, Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 533(b)(1), 108 Stat. 4988; subsections (a)-(b) revised Nov. 10, 1998, Public Law 105-358, sec. 3, 112 Stat. 3272.; amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-554, 570, 582, 589 (S. 1948 secs. 4202, 4605(a), 4732(a)(5), 4732(a)(10)(A)) and 4804(d)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 11 (effective Sept. 16, 2011) and 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 42   Patent and Trademark Office funding.

  • (a) All fees for services performed by or materials furnished by the Patent and Trademark Office will be payable to the Director.
  • (b) All fees paid to the Director and all appropriations for defraying the costs of the activities of the Patent and Trademark Office will be credited to the Patent and Trademark Office Appropriation Account in the Treasury of the United States.
  • (c)
    • (1) To the extent and in the amounts provided in advance in appropriations Acts, fees authorized in this title or any other Act to be charged or established by the Director shall be collected by and shall, subject to paragraph (3), be available to the Director to carry out the activities of the Patent and Trademark Office.
    • (2) There is established in the Treasury a Patent and Trademark Fee Reserve Fund. If fee collections by the Patent and Trademark Office for a fiscal year exceed the amount appropriated to the Office for that fiscal year, fees collected in excess of the appropriated amount shall be deposited in the Patent and Trademark Fee Reserve Fund. To the extent and in the amounts provided in appropriations Acts, amounts in the Fund shall be made available until expended only for obligation and expenditure by the Office in accordance with paragraph (3).
    • (3)
      • (A) Any fees that are collected under this title, and any surcharges on such fees, may only be used for expenses of the Office relating to the processing of patent applications and for other activities, services, and materials relating to patents and to cover a proportionate share of the administrative costs of the Office.
      • (B) Any fees that are collected under section 31 of the Trademark Act of 1946, and any surcharges on such fees, may only be used for expenses of the Office relating to the processing of trademark registrations and for other activities, services, and materials relating to trademarks and to cover a proportionate share of the administrative costs of the Office.
  • (d) The Director may refund any fee paid by mistake or any amount paid in excess of that required.
  • (e) The Secretary of Commerce shall, on the day each year on which the President submits the annual budget to the Congress, provide to the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and the House of Representatives:
    • (1) a list of patent and trademark fee collections by the Patent and Trademark Office during the preceding fiscal year;
    • (2) a list of activities of the Patent and Trademark Office during the preceding fiscal year which were supported by patent fee expenditures, trademark fee expenditures, and appropriations;
    • (3) budget plans for significant programs, projects, and activities of the Office, including out-year funding estimates;
    • (4) any proposed disposition of surplus fees by the Office; and
    • (5) such other information as the committees consider necessary.

(Amended Nov. 14, 1975, Public Law 94-131, sec. 4, 89 Stat. 690; Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 3, 94 Stat. 3018; Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 3(g), 96 Stat. 319; Sept. 13, 1982, Public Law 97-258, sec. 3(i), 96 Stat. 1065; subsection (c) amended Dec. 10, 1991, Public Law 102-204, sec. 5(e), 105 Stat. 1640; subsection (e) added Dec. 10, 1991, Public Law 102-204, sec. 4, 105 Stat. 1637; subsection (c) revised Nov. 10, 1998, Public Law 105-358, sec. 4, 112 Stat. 3274; amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-555, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4205 and 4732(a)(10)(A)); subsection (c) amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 22, 125 Stat. 284, effective Oct. 1, 2011; subsection (c)(3) amended Jan. 14, 2013, Public Law 112-274, sec. 1(j), ____ Stat. ____.)

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PART II - PATENTABILITY OF INVENTIONS AND GRANT OF PATENTS

II

CHAPTER 10 - PATENTABILITY OF INVENTIONS

  • 100 (note) AIA First inventor to file provisions.
  • 100 Definitions
  • 100 (pre-AIA) Definitions.
  • 101 Inventions patentable.
  • 102 Conditions for patentability; novelty.
  • 102 (pre-AIA) Conditions for patentability; novelty and loss of right to patent.
  • 103 Conditions for patentability; non-obvious subject matter.
  • 103 (pre-AIA) Conditions for patentability; non-obvious subject matter.
  • 104 [Repealed]
  • 104 (pre-AIA) Invention made abroad.
  • 105 Inventions in outer space.

35 U.S.C. 100 (note)  AIA First inventor to file provisions.

The first inventor to file provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) apply to any application for patent, and to any patent issuing thereon, that contains or contained at any time—

  • (A) a claim to a claimed invention that has an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013 wherein the effective filing date is:
    • (i) if subparagraph (ii) does not apply, the actual filing date of the patent or the application for the patent containing a claim to the invention; or
    • (ii) the filing date of the earliest application for which the patent or application is entitled, as to such invention, to a right of priority under section 119 , 365(a) , or 365(b) or to the benefit of an earlier filing date under section 120 , 121 , or 365(c) ; or
  • (B) a specific reference under section 120 , 121 , or 365(c) of title 35, United States Code, to any patent or application that contains or contained at any time such a claim.

(Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 3(n)(1) (effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 100  Definitions.

[Editor Note: 35 U.S.C. 100(e)-(j) as set forth below are only applicable to patent applications and patents subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA ( 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 100(e) (pre-AIA) for subsection (e) as otherwise applicable.]

When used in this title unless the context otherwise indicates -

  • (a) The term “invention” means invention or discovery.
  • (b) The term “process” means process, art, or method, and includes a new use of a known process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or material.
  • (c) The terms “United States” and “this country” mean the United States of America, its territories and possessions.
  • (d) The word “patentee” includes not only the patentee to whom the patent was issued but also the successors in title to the patentee.
  • (e) The term “third-party requester” means a person requesting ex parte reexamination under section 302 who is not the patent owner.
  • (f) The term "inventor" means the individual or, if a joint invention, the individuals collectively who invented or discovered the subject matter of the invention.
  • (g) The terms "joint inventor" and "coinventor" mean any 1 of the individuals who invented or discovered the subject matter of a joint invention.
  • (h) The term "joint research agreement" means a written contract, grant, or cooperative agreement entered into by 2 or more persons or entities for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work in the field of the claimed invention.
  • (i)
    • (1) The term "effective filing date" for a claimed invention in a patent or application for patent means—
      • (A) if subparagraph (B) does not apply, the actual filing date of the patent or the application for the patent containing a claim to the invention; or
      • (B) the filing date of the earliest application for which the patent or application is entitled, as to such invention, to a right of priority under section 119 , 365(a) , or 365(b) or to the benefit of an earlier filing date under section 120 , 121 , or 365(c) .
    • (2) The effective filing date for a claimed invention in an application for reissue or reissued patent shall be determined by deeming the claim to the invention to have been contained in the patent for which reissue was sought.
  • (j) The term "claimed invention" means the subject matter defined by a claim in a patent or an application for a patent.

(Subsection (e) added Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-567 (S. 1948 sec. 4603); subsection (e) amended and subsections (f) - (j) added Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 3(a) (effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 100 (pre-AIA)   Definitions.

[Editor Note: Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 100(e) as set forth below is is not applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 100(e)-(j) for the law otherwise applicable.]

When used in this title unless the context otherwise indicates -

  • *****
  • (e) The term “third-party requester” means a person requesting ex parte reexamination under section 302 or inter partes reexamination under section 311 who is not the patent owner.

(Subsection (e) added Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-567 (S. 1948 sec. 4603).)

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35 U.S.C. 101   Inventions patentable.

Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.

(Public Law 112-29, sec. 33, 125 Stat. 284 (Sept. 16, 2011) provided a limitation on the issuance of patents (see AIA § 33 ).)

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35  U.S.C. 102  Conditions for patentability; novelty.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 102 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) NOVELTY; PRIOR ART.—A person shall be entitled to a patent unless—
    • (1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention; or
    • (2) the claimed invention was described in a patent issued under section 151 , or in an application for patent published or deemed published under section 122(b) , in which the patent or application, as the case may be, names another inventor and was effectively filed before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.
  • (b) EXCEPTIONS.—
    • (1) DISCLOSURES MADE 1 YEAR OR LESS BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE FILING DATE OF THE CLAIMED INVENTION.—A disclosure made 1 year or less before the effective filing date of a claimed invention shall not be prior art to the claimed invention under subsection (a)(1) if—
      • (A) the disclosure was made by the inventor or joint inventor or by another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor; or
      • (B) the subject matter disclosed had, before such disclosure, been publicly disclosed by the inventor or a joint inventor or another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor.
    • (2) DISCLOSURES APPEARING IN APPLICATIONS AND PATENTS.—A disclosure shall not be prior art to a claimed invention under subsection (a)(2) if—
      • (A) the subject matter disclosed was obtained directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor;
      • (B) the subject matter disclosed had, before such subject matter was effectively filed under subsection (a)(2), been publicly disclosed by the inventor or a joint inventor or another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor; or
      • (C) the subject matter disclosed and the claimed invention, not later than the effective filing date of the claimed invention, were owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.
  • (c) COMMON OWNERSHIP UNDER JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENTS.—Subject matter disclosed and a claimed invention shall be deemed to have been owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person in applying the provisions of subsection (b)(2)(C) if—
    • (1) the subject matter disclosed was developed and the claimed invention was made by, or on behalf of, 1 or more parties to a joint research agreement that was in effect on or before the effective filing date of the claimed invention;
    • (2) the claimed invention was made as a result of activities undertaken within the scope of the joint research agreement; and
    • (3) the application for patent for the claimed invention discloses or is amended to disclose the names of the parties to the joint research agreement.
  • (d) PATENTS AND PUBLISHED APPLICATIONS EFFECTIVE AS PRIOR ART.—For purposes of determining whether a patent or application for patent is prior art to a claimed invention under subsection (a)(2), such patent or application shall be considered to have been effectively filed, with respect to any subject matter described in the patent or application—
    • (1) if paragraph (2) does not apply, as of the actual filing date of the patent or the application for patent; or
    • (2) if the patent or application for patent is entitled to claim a right of priority under section 119 , 365(a) , or 365(b) or to claim the benefit of an earlier filing date under section 120 , 121 , or 365(c) , based upon 1 or more prior filed applications for patent, as of the filing date of the earliest such application that describes the subject matter.

(Amended July 28, 1972, Public Law 92-358, sec. 2, 86 Stat. 501; Nov. 14, 1975, Public Law 94-131, sec. 5, 89 Stat. 691; subsection (e) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-565 (S. 1948 sec. 4505); subsection (g) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-590 (S. 1948 sec. 4806); subsection (e) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13205, 116 Stat. 1903; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 3(b), 125 Stat. 284, effective March 16, 2013.*)

(Public Law 112-29, sec. 14, 125 Stat. 284 (Sept. 16, 2011) provided that tax strategies are deemed to be within the prior art (see AIA § 14 ).)

*NOTE: The provisions of 35 U.S.C. 102(g) , as in effect on March 15, 2013, shall also apply to each claim of an application for patent, and any patent issued thereon, for which the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA apply (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ), if such application or patent contains or contained at any time a claim to a claimed invention to which is not subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA.]

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35 U.S.C. 102 (pre-AIA)   Conditions for patentability; novelty and loss of right to patent.

[Editor Note: With the exception of subsection (g)*), not applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 102 for the law otherwise applicable.]

A person shall be entitled to a patent unless —

  • (a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent, or
  • (b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country, more than one year prior to the date of the application for patent in the United States, or
  • (c) he has abandoned the invention, or
  • (d) the invention was first patented or caused to be patented, or was the subject of an inventor’s certificate, by the applicant or his legal representatives or assigns in a foreign country prior to the date of the application for patent in this country on an application for patent or inventor’s certificate filed more than twelve months before the filing of the application in the United States, or
  • (e) the invention was described in — (1) an application for patent, published under section 122(b) , by another filed in the United States before the invention by the applicant for patent or (2) a patent granted on an application for patent by another filed in the United States before the invention by the applicant for patent, except that an international application filed under the treaty defined in section 351(a) shall have the effects for the purposes of this subsection of an application filed in the United States only if the international application designated the United States and was published under Article 21(2) of such treaty in the English language; or
  • (f) he did not himself invent the subject matter sought to be patented, or
  • (g)
    • (1) during the course of an interference conducted under section 135 or section 291 , another inventor involved therein establishes, to the extent permitted in section 104 , that before such person’s invention thereof the invention was made by such other inventor and not abandoned, suppressed, or concealed, or
    • (2) before such person’s invention thereof, the invention was made in this country by another inventor who had not abandoned, suppressed, or concealed it. In determining priority of invention under this subsection, there shall be considered not only the respective dates of conception and reduction to practice of the invention, but also the reasonable diligence of one who was first to conceive and last to reduce to practice, from a time prior to conception by the other.

(Amended July 28, 1972, Public Law 92-358, sec. 2, 86 Stat. 501; Nov. 14, 1975, Public Law 94-131, sec. 5, 89 Stat. 691; subsection (e) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-565 (S. 1948 sec. 4505); subsection (g) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-590 (S. 1948 sec. 4806); subsection (e) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13205, 116 Stat. 1903.)

(Public Law 112-29, sec. 14, 125 Stat. 284 (Sept. 16, 2011) provided that tax strategies are deemed to be within the prior art (see AIA § 14 ).)

*NOTE: The provisions of 35 U.S.C. 102(g) , as in effect on March 15, 2013, shall apply to each claim of an application for patent, and any patent issued thereon, for which the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA apply (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) , if such application or patent contains or contained at any time—

  • (A) a claim to an invention having an effective filing date as defined in section 100(i) of title 35, United States Code, that occurs before March 16, 2013; or
  • (B) a specific reference under section 120 , 121 , or 365(c) of title 35, United States Code, to any patent or application that contains or contained at any time such a claim.

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35 U.S.C. 103  Conditions for patentability; non-obvious subject matter.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 103 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

A patent for a claimed invention may not be obtained, notwithstanding that the claimed invention is not identically disclosed as set forth in section 102 , if the differences between the claimed invention and the prior art are such that the claimed invention as a whole would have been obvious before the effective filing date of the claimed invention to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which the claimed invention pertains. Patentability shall not be negated by the manner in which the invention was made.

(Amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 103, 98 Stat. 3384; Nov. 1, 1995, Public Law 104-41, sec.1, 109 Stat. 3511; subsection (c) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-591 (S. 1948 sec. 4807); subsection (c) amended Dec. 10, 2004, Public Law 108-453, sec. 2, 118 Stat. 3596; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012) and 3(c) (effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284.)

(Public Law 112-29, sec. 14, 125 Stat. 284 (Sept. 16, 2011) provided that tax strategies are deemed to be within the prior art (see AIA § 14 ).)

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35 U.S.C. 103 (pre-AIA)   Conditions for patentability; non-obvious subject matter.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 103 for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) A patent may not be obtained though the invention is not identically disclosed or described as set forth in section 102 , if the differences between the subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art are such that the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious at the time the invention was made to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which said subject matter pertains. Patentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made.
  • (b)
    • (1) Notwithstanding subsection (a), and upon timely election by the applicant for patent to proceed under this subsection, a biotechnological process using or resulting in a composition of matter that is novel under section 102 and nonobvious under subsection (a) of this section shall be considered nonobvious if-
      • (A) claims to the process and the composition of matter are contained in either the same application for patent or in separate applications having the same effective filing date; and
      • (B) the composition of matter, and the process at the time it was invented, were owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.
    • (2) A patent issued on a process under paragraph (1)-
      • (A) shall also contain the claims to the composition of matter used in or made by that process, or
      • (B) shall, if such composition of matter is claimed in another patent, be set to expire on the same date as such other patent, notwithstanding section 154 .
    • (3) For purposes of paragraph (1), the term “biotechnological process” means-
      • (A) a process of genetically altering or otherwise inducing a single- or multi-celled organism to-
        • (i) express an exogenous nucleotide sequence,
        • (ii) inhibit, eliminate, augment, or alter expression of an endogenous nucleotide sequence, or
        • (iii) express a specific physiological characteristic not naturally associated with said organism;
      • (B) cell fusion procedures yielding a cell line that expresses a specific protein, such as a monoclonal antibody; and
      • (C) a method of using a product produced by a process defined by subparagraph (A) or (B), or a combination of subparagraphs (A) and (B).
  • (c)
    • (1) Subject matter developed by another person, which qualifies as prior art only under one or more of subsections (e), (f), and (g) of section 102 , shall not preclude patentability under this section where the subject matter and the claimed invention were, at the time the claimed invention was made, owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.
    • (2) For purposes of this subsection, subject matter developed by another person and a claimed invention shall be deemed to have been owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person if —
      • (A) the claimed invention was made by or on behalf of parties to a joint research agreement that was in effect on or before the date the claimed invention was made;
      • (B) the claimed invention was made as a result of activities undertaken within the scope of the joint research agreement; and
      • (C) the application for patent for the claimed invention discloses or is amended to disclose the names of the parties to the joint research agreement.
    • (3) For purposes of paragraph (2), the term “joint research agreement” means a written contract, grant, or cooperative agreement entered into by two or more persons or entities for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work in the field of the claimed invention.

(Amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 103, 98 Stat. 3384; Nov. 1, 1995, Public Law 104-41, sec.1, 109 Stat. 3511; subsection (c) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-591 (S. 1948 sec. 4807); subsection (c) amended Dec. 10, 2004, Public Law 108-453, sec. 2, 118 Stat. 3596; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

(Public Law 112-29, sec. 14, 125 Stat. 284 (Sept. 16, 2011) provided that tax strategies are deemed to be within the prior art (see AIA § 14 ).)

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35  U.S.C. 104  [Repealed.]

(Repealed Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 3(d) (effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 104 (pre-AIA)  Invention made abroad.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). 35 U.S.C. 104 repealed with regard to such applications).]

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—
    • (1) PROCEEDINGS.—In proceedings in the Patent and Trademark Office, in the courts, and before any other competent authority, an applicant for a patent, or a patentee, may not establish a date of invention by reference to knowledge or use thereof, or other activity with respect thereto, in a foreign country other than a NAFTA country or a WTO member country, except as provided in sections 119 and 365.
    • (2) RIGHTS.—If an invention was made by a person, civil or military—
      • (A) while domiciled in the United States, and serving in any other country in connection with operations by or on behalf of the United States,
      • (B) while domiciled in a NAFTA country and serving in another country in connection with operations by or on behalf of that NAFTA country, or
      • (C) while domiciled in a WTO member country and serving in another country in connection with operations by or on behalf of that WTO member country, that person shall be entitled to the same rights of priority in the United States with respect to such invention as if such invention had been made in the United States, that NAFTA country, or that WTO member country, as the case may be.
    • (3) USE OF INFORMATION.—To the extent that any information in a NAFTA country or a WTO member country concerning knowledge, use, or other activity relevant to proving or disproving a date of invention has not been made available for use in a proceeding in the Patent and Trademark Office, a court, or any other competent authority to the same extent as such information could be made available in the United States, the Director, court, or such other authority shall draw appropriate inferences, or take other action permitted by statute, rule, or regulation, in favor of the party that requested the information in the proceeding.
  • (b) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section—
    • (1) The term “NAFTA country” has the meaning given that term in section 2(4) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act; and
    • (2) The term “WTO member country” has the meaning given that term in section 2(10) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 14, 1975, Public Law 94-131, sec. 6, 89 Stat. 691; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 403(a), 98 Stat. 3392; Dec. 8, 1993, Public Law 103-182, sec. 331, 107 Stat. 2113; Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 531(a), 108 Stat. 4982; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.

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35 U.S.C. 105   Inventions in outer space.

  • (a) Any invention made, used, or sold in outer space on a space object or component thereof under the jurisdiction or control of the United States shall be considered to be made, used or sold within the United States for the purposes of this title, except with respect to any space object or component thereof that is specifically identified and otherwise provided for by an international agreement to which the United States is a party, or with respect to any space object or component thereof that is carried on the registry of a foreign state in accordance with the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space.
  • (b) Any invention made, used, or sold in outer space on a space object or component thereof that is carried on the registry of a foreign state in accordance with the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space, shall be considered to be made, used, or sold within the United States for the purposes of this title if specifically so agreed in an international agreement between the United States and the state of registry.

(Added Nov. 15, 1990, Public Law 101-580, sec. 1(a), 104 Stat. 2863.)

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CHAPTER 11 - APPLICATION FOR PATENT

  • 111 Application.
  • 111 (pre-AIA) Application.
  • 112 Specification.
  • 112 (pre-AIA) Specification.
  • 113 Drawings.
  • 114 Models, specimens.
  • 115 Inventor's oath or declaration.
  • 115 (pre-AIA) Oath of applicant.
  • 116 Inventors.
  • 116 (pre-AIA) Inventors.
  • 117 Death or incapacity of inventor.
  • 118 Filing by other than inventor.
  • 118 (pre-AIA) Filing by other than inventor.
  • 119 Benefit of earlier filing date; right of priority.
  • 119 (pre-AIA) Benefit of earlier filing date; right of priority.
  • 120 Benefit of earlier filing date in the United States.
  • 120 (pre-AIA) Benefit of earlier filing date in the United States.
  • 121 Divisional applications.
  • 121 (pre-AIA) Divisional applications.
  • 122 Confidential status of applications; publication of patent applications.
  • 123 Micro entity defined.

35 U.S.C. 111   Application.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application filed on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 111 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—
    • (1) WRITTEN APPLICATION.—An application for patent shall be made, or authorized to be made, by the inventor, except as otherwise provided in this title, in writing to the Director.
    • (2) CONTENTS.—Such application shall include—
    • (3) FEE AND OATH OR DECLARATION.—The application must be accompanied by the fee required by law. The fee and oath or declaration may be submitted after the specification and any required drawing are submitted, within such period and under such conditions, including the payment of a surcharge, as may be prescribed by the Director.
    • (4) FAILURE TO SUBMIT.—Upon failure to submit the fee and oath or declaration within such prescribed period, the application shall be regarded as abandoned, unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Director that the delay in submitting the fee and oath or declaration was unavoidable or unintentional. The filing date of an application shall be the date on which the specification and any required drawing are received in the Patent and Trademark Office.
  • (b) PROVISIONAL APPLICATION.—
    • (1) AUTHORIZATION.—A provisional application for patent shall be made or authorized to be made by the inventor, except as otherwise provided in this title, in writing to the Director. Such application shall include—
      • (A) a specification as prescribed by section 112(a) ; and
      • (B) a drawing as prescribed by section 113 .
    • (2) CLAIM.—A claim, as required by subsections (b) through (e) of section 112 , shall not be required in a provisional application.
    • (3) FEE.—
      • (A) The application must be accompanied by the fee required by law.
      • (B) The fee may be submitted after the specification and any required drawing are submitted, within such period and under such conditions, including the payment of a surcharge, as may be prescribed by the Director.
      • (C) Upon failure to submit the fee within such prescribed period, the application shall be regarded as abandoned, unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Director that the delay in submitting the fee was unavoidable or unintentional.
    • (4) FILING DATE.—The filing date of a provisional application shall be the date on which the specification and any required drawing are received in the Patent and Trademark Office.
    • (5) ABANDONMENT.—Notwithstanding the absence of a claim, upon timely request and as prescribed by the Director, a provisional application may be treated as an application filed under subsection (a). Subject to section 119(e)(3) , if no such request is made, the provisional application shall be regarded as abandoned 12 months after the filing date of such application and shall not be subject to revival after such 12-month period.
    • (6) OTHER BASIS FOR PROVISIONAL APPLICATION.—Subject to all the conditions in this subsection and section 119(e) of this title, and as prescribed by the Director, an application for patent filed under subsection (a) may be treated as a provisional application for patent.
    • (7) NO RIGHT OF PRIORITY OR BENEFIT OF EARLIEST FILING DATE.—A provisional application shall not be entitled to the right of priority of any other application under section 119 or 365(a) or to the benefit of an earlier filing date in the United States under section 120 , 121 , or 365(c) .
    • (8) APPLICABLE PROVISIONS.—The provisions of this title relating to applications for patent shall apply to provisional applications for patent, except as otherwise provided, and except that provisional applications for patent shall not be subject to sections 131 and 135 .

(Amended Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 5, 96 Stat. 319; Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 532(b)(3), 108 Stat. 4986; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582, 588 (S. 1948 secs. 4732(a)(10)(A), 4801(a); Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 4 and 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012) and sec. 3(e) (effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 111 (pre-AIA)   Application.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to any patent application filed on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 111 for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—
    • (1) WRITTEN APPLICATION.—An application for patent shall be made, or authorized to be made, by the inventor, except as otherwise provided in this title, in writing to the Director.
    • (2) CONTENTS.—Such application shall include—
      • (A) a specification as prescribed by section 112 of this title;
      • (B) a drawing as prescribed by section 113 of this title; and
      • (C) an oath by the applicant as prescribed by section 115 of this title.
    • (3) FEE AND OATH.—The application must be accompanied by the fee required by law. The fee and oath may be submitted after the specification and any required drawing are submitted, within such period and under such conditions, including the payment of a surcharge, as may be prescribed by the Director.
    • (4) FAILURE TO SUBMIT.—Upon failure to submit the fee and oath within such prescribed period, the application shall be regarded as abandoned, unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Director that the delay in submitting the fee and oath was unavoidable or unintentional. The filing date of an application shall be the date on which the specification and any required drawing are received in the Patent and Trademark Office.
  • (b) PROVISIONAL APPLICATION.—
    • (1) AUTHORIZATION.—A provisional application for patent shall be made or authorized to be made by the inventor, except as otherwise provided in this title, in writing to the Director. Such application shall include—
      • (A) a specification as prescribed by the first paragraph of section 112 of this title; and
      • (B) a drawing as prescribed by section 113 of this title.
    • (2) CLAIM.—A claim, as required by the second through fifth paragraphs of section 112 , shall not be required in a provisional application.
    • (3) FEE.—
      • (A) The application must be accompanied by the fee required by law.
      • (B) The fee may be submitted after the specification and any required drawing are submitted, within such period and under such conditions, including the payment of a surcharge, as may be prescribed by the Director.
      • (C) Upon failure to submit the fee within such prescribed period, the application shall be regarded as abandoned, unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Director that the delay in submitting the fee was unavoidable or unintentional.
    • (4) FILING DATE.—The filing date of a provisional application shall be the date on which the specification and any required drawing are received in the Patent and Trademark Office.
    • (5) ABANDONMENT.—Notwithstanding the absence of a claim, upon timely request and as prescribed by the Director, a provisional application may be treated as an application filed under subsection (a). Subject to section 119(e)(3) of this title, if no such request is made, the provisional application shall be regarded as abandoned 12 months after the filing date of such application and shall not be subject to revival after such 12-month period.
    • (6) OTHER BASIS FOR PROVISIONAL APPLICATION.—Subject to all the conditions in this subsection and section 119(e) of this title, and as prescribed by the Director, an application for patent filed under subsection (a) may be treated as a provisional application for patent.
    • (7) NO RIGHT OF PRIORITY OR BENEFIT OF EARLIEST FILING DATE.—A provisional application shall not be entitled to the right of priority of any other application under section 119 or 365(a) of this title or to the benefit of an earlier filing date in the United States under section 120 , 121 , or 365(c) of this title.
    • (8) APPLICABLE PROVISIONS.—The provisions of this title relating to applications for patent shall apply to provisional applications for patent, except as otherwise provided, and except that provisional applications for patent shall not be subject to sections 115 , 131 , 135 , and 157 of this title.

(Amended Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 5, 96 Stat. 319; Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 532(b)(3), 108 Stat. 4986; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582, 588 (S. 1948 secs. 4732(a)(10)(A), 4801(a)).)

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35 U.S.C. 112  Specification.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application filed on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 112 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—The specification shall contain a written description of the invention, and of the manner and process of making and using it, in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make and use the same, and shall set forth the best mode contemplated by the inventor or joint inventor of carrying out the invention.
  • (b) CONCLUSION.—The specification shall conclude with one or more claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which the inventor or a joint inventor regards as the invention.
  • (c) FORM.—A claim may be written in independent or, if the nature of the case admits, in dependent or multiple dependent form.
  • (d) REFERENCE IN DEPENDENT FORMS.—Subject to subsection (e), a claim in dependent form shall contain a reference to a claim previously set forth and then specify a further limitation of the subject matter claimed. A claim in dependent form shall be construed to incorporate by reference all the limitations of the claim to which it refers.
  • (e) REFERENCE IN MULTIPLE DEPENDENT FORM.—A claim in multiple dependent form shall contain a reference, in the alternative only, to more than one claim previously set forth and then specify a further limitation of the subject matter claimed. A multiple dependent claim shall not serve as a basis for any other multiple dependent claim. A multiple dependent claim shall be construed to incorporate by reference all the limitations of the particular claim in relation to which it is being considered.
  • (f) ELEMENT IN CLAIM FOR A COMBINATION.—An element in a claim for a combination may be expressed as a means or step for performing a specified function without the recital of structure, material, or acts in support thereof, and such claim shall be construed to cover the corresponding structure, material, or acts described in the specification and equivalents thereof.

(Amended July 24, 1965, Public Law 89-83, sec. 9, 79 Stat. 261; Nov. 14, 1975, Public Law 94-131, sec. 7, 89 Stat. 691; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 4(c), 125 Stat. 284, effective Sept. 16, 2012.)

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35 U.S.C. 112 (pre-AIA)   Specification.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to any patent application filed on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 112 for the law otherwise applicable.]

The specification shall contain a written description of the invention, and of the manner and process of making and using it, in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make and use the same, and shall set forth the best mode contemplated by the inventor of carrying out his invention.

The specification shall conclude with one or more claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which the applicant regards as his invention.

A claim may be written in independent or, if the nature of the case admits, in dependent or multiple dependent form.

Subject to the following paragraph, a claim in dependent form shall contain a reference to a claim previously set forth and then specify a further limitation of the subject matter claimed. A claim in dependent form shall be construed to incorporate by reference all the limitations of the claim to which it refers.

A claim in multiple dependent form shall contain a reference, in the alternative only, to more than one claim previously set forth and then specify a further limitation of the subject matter claimed. A multiple dependent claim shall not serve as a basis for any other multiple dependent claim. A multiple dependent claim shall be construed to incorporate by reference all the limitations of the particular claim in relation to which it is being considered.

An element in a claim for a combination may be expressed as a means or step for performing a specified function without the recital of structure, material, or acts in support thereof, and such claim shall be construed to cover the corresponding structure, material, or acts described in the specification and equivalents thereof.

(Amended July 24, 1965, Public Law 89-83, sec. 9, 79 Stat. 261; Nov. 14, 1975, Public Law 94-131, sec. 7, 89 Stat. 691.)

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35 U.S.C. 113   Drawings.

The applicant shall furnish a drawing where necessary for the understanding of the subject matter sought to be patented. When the nature of such subject matter admits of illustration by a drawing and the applicant has not furnished such a drawing, the Director may require its submission within a time period of not less than two months from the sending of a notice thereof. Drawings submitted after the filing date of the application may not be used (i) to overcome any insufficiency of the specification due to lack of an enabling disclosure or otherwise inadequate disclosure therein, or (ii) to supplement the original disclosure thereof for the purpose of interpretation of the scope of any claim.

(Amended Nov. 14, 1975, Public Law 94-131, sec. 8, 89 Stat. 691; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 114   Models, specimens.

The Director may require the applicant to furnish a model of convenient size to exhibit advantageously the several parts of his invention.

When the invention relates to a composition of matter, the Director may require the applicant to furnish specimens or ingredients for the purpose of inspection or experiment.

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 115  Inventor’s oath or declaration.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application filed on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 115 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) NAMING THE INVENTOR; INVENTOR’S OATH OR DECLARATION.—An application for patent that is filed under section 111(a) or commences the national stage under section 371 shall include, or be amended to include, the name of the inventor for any invention claimed in the application. Except as otherwise provided in this section, each individual who is the inventor or a joint inventor of a claimed invention in an application for patent shall execute an oath or declaration in connection with the application.
  • (b) REQUIRED STATEMENTS.—An oath or declaration under subsection (a) shall contain statements that—
    • (1) the application was made or was authorized to be made by the affiant or declarant; and
    • (2) such individual believes himself or herself to be the original inventor or an original joint inventor of a claimed invention in the application.
  • (c) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS.—The Director may specify additional information relating to the inventor and the invention that is required to be included in an oath or declaration under subsection (a).
  • (d) SUBSTITUTE STATEMENT.—
    • (1) IN GENERAL.—In lieu of executing an oath or declaration under subsection (a), the applicant for patent may provide a substitute statement under the circumstances described in paragraph (2) and such additional circumstances that the Director may specify by regulation.
    • (2) PERMITTED CIRCUMSTANCES.—A substitute statement under paragraph (1) is permitted with respect to any individual who—
      • (A) is unable to file the oath or declaration under subsection (a) because the individual—
        • (i) is deceased;
        • (ii) is under legal incapacity; or
        • (iii) cannot be found or reached after diligent effort; or
      • (B) is under an obligation to assign the invention but has refused to make the oath or declaration required under subsection (a).
    • (3) CONTENTS.—A substitute statement under this subsection shall—
      • (A) identify the individual with respect to whom the statement applies;
      • (B) set forth the circumstances representing the permitted basis for the filing of the substitute statement in lieu of the oath or declaration under subsection (a); and
      • (C) contain any additional information, including any showing, required by the Director.
  • (e) MAKING REQUIRED STATEMENTS IN ASSIGNMENT OF RECORD.—An individual who is under an obligation of assignment of an application for patent may include the required statements under subsections (b) and (c) in the assignment executed by the individual, in lieu of filing such statements separately.
  • (f) TIME FOR FILING.—The applicant for patent shall provide each required oath or declaration under subsection (a), substitute statement under subsection (d), or recorded assignment meeting the requirements of subsection (e) no later than the date on which the issue fee is paid.
  • (g) EARLIER-FILED APPLICATION CONTAINING REQUIRED STATEMENTS OR SUBSTITUTE STATEMENT.—
    • (1) EXCEPTION.—The requirements under this section shall not apply to an individual with respect to an application for patent in which the individual is named as the inventor or a joint inventor and that claims the benefit under section 120 , 121 , or 365(c) of the filing of an earlier-filed application, if—
      • (A) an oath or declaration meeting the requirements of subsection (a) was executed by the individual and was filed in connection with the earlier-filed application;
      • (B) a substitute statement meeting the requirements of subsection (d) was filed in connection with the earlier filed application with respect to the individual; or
      • (C) an assignment meeting the requirements of subsection (e) was executed with respect to the earlier-filed application by the individual and was recorded in connection with the earlier-filed application.
    • (2) COPIES OF OATHS, DECLARATIONS, STATEMENTS, OR ASSIGNMENTS.—Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Director may require that a copy of the executed oath or declaration, the substitute statement, or the assignment filed in connection with the earlier-filed application be included in the later-filed application.
  • (h) SUPPLEMENTAL AND CORRECTED STATEMENTS; FILING ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS.—
    • (1) IN GENERAL.—Any person making a statement required under this section may withdraw, replace, or otherwise correct the statement at any time. If a change is made in the naming of the inventor requiring the filing of 1 or more additional statements under this section, the Director shall establish regulations under which such additional statements may be filed.
    • (2) SUPPLEMENTAL STATEMENTS NOT REQUIRED.—If an individual has executed an oath or declaration meeting the requirements of subsection (a) or an assignment meeting the requirements of subsection (e) with respect to an application for patent, the Director may not thereafter require that individual to make any additional oath, declaration, or other statement equivalent to those required by this section in connection with the application for patent or any patent issuing thereon.
    • (3) SAVINGS CLAUSE.—A patent shall not be invalid or unenforceable based upon the failure to comply with a requirement under this section if the failure is remedied as provided under paragraph (1).
  • (i) ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PENALTIES.—Any declaration or statement filed pursuant to this section shall contain an acknowledgment that any willful false statement made in such declaration or statement is punishable under section 1001 of title 18 by fine or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both.

(Amended Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 14(a), 96 Stat. 321; Oct. 21, 1998, Pub. L. 105-277, sec. 2222(d), 112 Stat. 2681-818; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 4(a) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284; subsections (f) and (g)(1) amended Jan. 14, 2013, Public Law 112-274, sec. 1(f), ____ Stat. ____.)

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35 U.S.C. 115 (pre-AIA)  Oath of applicant.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to any patent application filed on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 115 for the law otherwise applicable.]

The applicant shall make oath that he believes himself to be the original and first inventor of the process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or improvement thereof, for which he solicits a patent; and shall state of what country he is a citizen. Such oath may be made before any person within the United States authorized by law to administer oaths, or, when made in a foreign country, before any diplomatic or consular officer of the United States authorized to administer oaths, or before any officer having an official seal and authorized to administer oaths in the foreign country in which the applicant may be, whose authority is proved by certificate of a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States, or apostille of an official designated by a foreign country which, by treaty or convention, accords like effect to apostilles of designated officials in the United States. Such oath is valid if it complies with the laws of the state or country where made. When the application is made as provided in this title by a person other than the inventor, the oath may be so varied in form that it can be made by him. For purposes of this section, a consular officer shall include any United States citizen serving overseas, authorized to perform notarial functions pursuant to section 1750 of the Revised Statutes, as amended (22 U.S.C. 4221).

(Amended Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 14(a), 96 Stat. 321; Oct. 21, 1998, Pub. L. 105-277, sec. 2222(d), 112 Stat. 2681-818.)

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35 U.S.C. 116   Inventors.

[Editor Note: Applicable to proceedings commenced on or after Sept. 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 116 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) JOINT INVENTIONS.—When an invention is made by two or more persons jointly, they shall apply for patent jointly and each make the required oath, except as otherwise provided in this title. Inventors may apply for a patent jointly even though (1) they did not physically work together or at the same time, (2) each did not make the same type or amount of contribution, or (3) each did not make a contribution to the subject matter of every claim of the patent.
  • (b) OMITTED INVENTOR.—If a joint inventor refuses to join in an application for patent or cannot be found or reached after diligent effort, the application may be made by the other inventor on behalf of himself and the omitted inventor. The Director, on proof of the pertinent facts and after such notice to the omitted inventor as he prescribes, may grant a patent to the inventor making the application, subject to the same rights which the omitted inventor would have had if he had been joined. The omitted inventor may subsequently join in the application.
  • (c) CORRECTION OF ERRORS IN APPLICATION.—Whenever through error a person is named in an application for patent as the inventor, or through an error an inventor is not named in an application, the Director may permit the application to be amended accordingly, under such terms as he prescribes.

(Amended Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 6(a), 96 Stat. 320; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 104(a), 98 Stat. 3384; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(a), 125 Stat. 284, effective Sept. 16, 2012.)

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35 U.S.C. 116 (pre-AIA)  Inventors.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 116 for the law otherwise applicable.]

When an invention is made by two or more persons jointly, they shall apply for patent jointly and each make the required oath, except as otherwise provided in this title. Inventors may apply for a patent jointly even though (1) they did not physically work together or at the same time, (2) each did not make the same type or amount of contribution, or (3) each did not make a contribution to the subject matter of every claim of the patent.

If a joint inventor refuses to join in an application for patent or cannot be found or reached after diligent effort, the application may be made by the other inventor on behalf of himself and the omitted inventor. The Director, on proof of the pertinent facts and after such notice to the omitted inventor as he prescribes, may grant a patent to the inventor making the application, subject to the same rights which the omitted inventor would have had if he had been joined. The omitted inventor may subsequently join in the application.

Whenever through error a person is named in an application for patent as the inventor, or through an error an inventor is not named in an application, and such error arose without any deceptive intention on his part, the Director may permit the application to be amended accordingly, under such terms as he prescribes.

(Amended Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 6(a), 96 Stat. 320; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 104(a), 98 Stat. 3384; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 117   Death or incapacity of inventor.

Legal representatives of deceased inventors and of those under legal incapacity may make application for patent upon compliance with the requirements and on the same terms and conditions applicable to the inventor.

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35 U.S.C. 118  Filing by other than inventor.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application filed on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 118 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

A person to whom the inventor has assigned or is under an obligation to assign the invention may make an application for patent. A person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter may make an application for patent on behalf of and as agent for the inventor on proof of the pertinent facts and a showing that such action is appropriate to preserve the rights of the parties. If the Director grants a patent on an application filed under this section by a person other than the inventor, the patent shall be granted to the real party in interest and upon such notice to the inventor as the Director considers to be sufficient.

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 4(b), 125 Stat. 284, effective Sept. 16, 2012.)

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35 U.S.C. 118 (pre-AIA)   Filing by other than inventor.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to any patent application filed on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 118 for the law otherwise applicable.]

Whenever an inventor refuses to execute an application for patent, or cannot be found or reached after diligent effort, a person to whom the inventor has assigned or agreed in writing to assign the invention or who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter justifying such action, may make application for patent on behalf of and as agent for the inventor on proof of the pertinent facts and a showing that such action is necessary to preserve the rights of the parties or to prevent irreparable damage; and the Director may grant a patent to such inventor upon such notice to him as the Director deems sufficient, and on compliance with such regulations as he prescribes.

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 119   Benefit of earlier filing date; right of priority.

[Editor Note: 35 U.S.C. 119(a) as set forth below is only applicable to patent applications subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 119(a) (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) An application for patent for an invention filed in this country by any person who has, or whose legal representatives or assigns have, previously regularly filed an application for a patent for the same invention in a foreign country which affords similar privileges in the case of applications filed in the United States or to citizens of the United States, or in a WTO member country, shall have the same effect as the same application would have if filed in this country on the date on which the application for patent for the same invention was first filed in such foreign country, if the application in this country is filed within twelve months from the earliest date on which such foreign application was filed.
  • (b)
    • (1) No application for patent shall be entitled to this right of priority unless a claim is filed in the Patent and Trademark Office, identifying the foreign application by specifying the application number on that foreign application, the intellectual property authority or country in or for which the application was filed, and the date of filing the application, at such time during the pendency of the application as required by the Director.
    • (2) The Director may consider the failure of the applicant to file a timely claim for priority as a waiver of any such claim. The Director may establish procedures, including the payment of a surcharge, to accept an unintentionally delayed claim under this section.
    • (3) The Director may require a certified copy of the original foreign application, specification, and drawings upon which it is based, a translation if not in the English language, and such other information as the Director considers necessary. Any such certification shall be made by the foreign intellectual property authority in which the foreign application was filed and show the date of the application and of the filing of the specification and other papers.
  • (c) In like manner and subject to the same conditions and requirements, the right provided in this section may be based upon a subsequent regularly filed application in the same foreign country instead of the first filed foreign application, provided that any foreign application filed prior to such subsequent application has been withdrawn, abandoned, or otherwise disposed of, without having been laid open to public inspection and without leaving any rights outstanding, and has not served, nor thereafter shall serve, as a basis for claiming a right of priority.
  • (d) Applications for inventors’ certificates filed in a foreign country in which applicants have a right to apply, at their discretion, either for a patent or for an inventor’s certificate shall be treated in this country in the same manner and have the same effect for purpose of the right of priority under this section as applications for patents, subject to the same conditions and requirements of this section as apply to applications for patents, provided such applicants are entitled to the benefits of the Stockholm Revision of the Paris Convention at the time of such filing.
  • (e)
    • (1) An application for patent filed under section 111(a) or section 363 for an invention disclosed in the manner provided by section 112(a) (other than the requirement to disclose the best mode) in a provisional application filed under section 111(b) , by an inventor or inventors named in the provisional application, shall have the same effect, as to such invention, as though filed on the date of the provisional application filed under section 111(b) , if the application for patent filed under section 111(a) or section 363 is filed not later than 12 months after the date on which the provisional application was filed and if it contains or is amended to contain a specific reference to the provisional application. No application shall be entitled to the benefit of an earlier filed provisional application under this subsection unless an amendment containing the specific reference to the earlier filed provisional application is submitted at such time during the pendency of the application as required by the Director. The Director may consider the failure to submit such an amendment within that time period as a waiver of any benefit under this subsection. The Director may establish procedures, including the payment of a surcharge, to accept an unintentionally delayed submission of an amendment under this subsection during the pendency of the application
    • (2) A provisional application filed under section 111(b) may not be relied upon in any proceeding in the Patent and Trademark Office unless the fee set forth in subparagraph (A) or (C) of section 41(a)(1) has been paid.
    • (3) If the day that is 12 months after the filing date of a provisional application falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia, the period of pendency of the provisional application shall be extended to the next succeeding secular or business day.
  • (f) Applications for plant breeder’s rights filed in a WTO member country (or in a foreign UPOV Contracting Party) shall have the same effect for the purpose of the right of priority under subsections (a) through (c) of this section as applications for patents, subject to the same conditions and requirements of this section as apply to applications for patents.
  • (g) As used in this section—
    • (1) the term “WTO member country” has the same meaning as the term is defined in section 104(b)(2) ; and
    • (2) the term “UPOV Contracting Party” means a member of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants.

(Amended Oct. 3, 1961, Public Law 87-333, sec. 1, 75 Stat. 748; July 28, 1972, Public Law 92-358, sec. 1, 86 Stat. 501; Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 532(b)(1), 108 Stat. 4985; subsection (b) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-563 (S. 1948 sec.4503(a)); subsection (e) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-564, 588, 589 (S. 1948 secs. 4503(b)(2), 4801 and 4802; subsections (f) and (g) added Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-589 (S. 1948 sec. 4802); subsections (e), (g) amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 15(b) (effective Sept. 16, 2011) and 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284; subsection (a) amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 3(g) (effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 119 (pre-AIA)  Benefit of earlier filing date; right of priority.

[Editor Note: Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 119(a) as set forth below is applicable to patent applications not subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 119(a) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) An application for patent for an invention filed in this country by any person who has, or whose legal representatives or assigns have, previously regularly filed an application for a patent for the same invention in a foreign country which affords similar privileges in the case of applications filed in the United States or to citizens of the United States, or in a WTO member country, shall have the same effect as the same application would have if filed in this country on the date on which the application for patent for the same invention was first filed in such foreign country, if the application in this country is filed within twelve months from the earliest date on which such foreign application was filed; but no patent shall be granted on any application for patent for an invention which had been patented or described in a printed publication in any country more than one year before the date of the actual filing of the application in this country, or which had been in public use or on sale in this country more than one year prior to such filing.

* * * * *

(Amended Oct. 3, 1961, Public Law 87-333, sec. 1, 75 Stat. 748; July 28, 1972, Public Law 92-358, sec. 1, 86 Stat. 501; Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 532(b)(1), 108 Stat. 4985; subsection (b) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-563 (S. 1948 sec.4503(a)); subsection (e) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-564, 588, 589 (S. 1948 secs. 4503(b)(2), 4801 and 4802; subsections (f) and (g) added Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-589 (S. 1948 sec. 4802); subsections (e), (g) amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 15(b) (effective Sept. 16, 2011) and 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 120  Benefit of earlier filing date in the United States.

[Editor Note: Applicable to a patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 120 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

An application for patent for an invention disclosed in the manner provided by section 112(a) (other than the requirement to disclose the best mode) in an application previously filed in the United States, or as provided by section 363 which names an inventor or joint inventor in the previously filed application shall have the same effect, as to such invention, as though filed on the date of the prior application, if filed before the patenting or abandonment of or termination of proceedings on the first application or on an application similarly entitled to the benefit of the filing date of the first application and if it contains or is amended to contain a specific reference to the earlier filed application. No application shall be entitled to the benefit of an earlier filed application under this section unless an amendment containing the specific reference to the earlier filed application is submitted at such time during the pendency of the application as required by the Director. The Director may consider the failure to submit such an amendment within that time period as a waiver of any benefit under this section. The Director may establish procedures, including the payment of a surcharge, to accept an unintentionally delayed submission of an amendment under this section.

(Amended Nov. 14, 1975, Public Law 94-131, sec. 9, 89 Stat. 691; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 104(b), 98 Stat. 3385; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-563 (S. 1948 sec. 4503(b)(1)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 15(b) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012) and 3(f) (effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 120 (pre-AIA)  Benefit of earlier filing date in the United States.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to patent applications subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 120 for the law otherwise applicable.]

An application for patent for an invention disclosed in the manner provided by section 112(a) (other than the requirement to disclose the best mode) in an application previously filed in the United States, or as provided by section 363 , which is filed by an inventor or inventors named in the previously filed application shall have the same effect, as to such invention, as though filed on the date of the prior application, if filed before the patenting or abandonment of or termination of proceedings on the first application or on an application similarly entitled to the benefit of the filing date of the first application and if it contains or is amended to contain a specific reference to the earlier filed application. No application shall be entitled to the benefit of an earlier filed application under this section unless an amendment containing the specific reference to the earlier filed application is submitted at such time during the pendency of the application as required by the Director. The Director may consider the failure to submit such an amendment within that time period as a waiver of any benefit under this section. The Director may establish procedures, including the payment of a surcharge, to accept an unintentionally delayed submission of an amendment under this section.

(Amended Nov. 14, 1975, Public Law 94-131, sec. 9, 89 Stat. 691; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 104(b), 98 Stat. 3385; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-563 (S. 1948 sec. 4503(b)(1)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 15(b) (effective Sept. 16, 2011) and 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 121   Divisional applications.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application filed on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 121 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

If two or more independent and distinct inventions are claimed in one application, the Director may require the application to be restricted to one of the inventions. If the other invention is made the subject of a divisional application which complies with the requirements of section 120 it shall be entitled to the benefit of the filing date of the original application. A patent issuing on an application with respect to which a requirement for restriction under this section has been made, or on an application filed as a result of such a requirement, shall not be used as a reference either in the Patent and Trademark Office or in the courts against a divisional application or against the original application or any patent issued on either of them, if the divisional application is filed before the issuance of the patent on the other application. The validity of a patent shall not be questioned for failure of the Director to require the application to be restricted to one invention.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 4(a) and 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 121 (pre-AIA)   Divisional applications.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to any patent application filed on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 121 for the law otherwise applicable.]

If two or more independent and distinct inventions are claimed in one application, the Director may require the application to be restricted to one of the inventions. If the other invention is made the subject of a divisional application which complies with the requirements of section 120 of this title it shall be entitled to the benefit of the filing date of the original application. A patent issuing on an application with respect to which a requirement for restriction under this section has been made, or on an application filed as a result of such a requirement, shall not be used as a reference either in the Patent and Trademark Office or in the courts against a divisional application or against the original application or any patent issued on either of them, if the divisional application is filed before the issuance of the patent on the other application. If a divisional application is directed solely to subject matter described and claimed in the original application as filed, the Director may dispense with signing and execution by the inventor. The validity of a patent shall not be questioned for failure of the Director to require the application to be restricted to one invention.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 122   Confidential status of applications; publication of patent applications.

  • (a) CONFIDENTIALITY.— Except as provided in subsection (b), applications for patents shall be kept in confidence by the Patent and Trademark Office and no information concerning the same given without authority of the applicant or owner unless necessary to carry out the provisions of an Act of Congress or in such special circumstances as may be determined by the Director.
  • (b) PUBLICATION.—
    • (1) IN GENERAL.—
      • (A) Subject to paragraph (2), each application for a patent shall be published, in accordance with procedures determined by the Director, promptly after the expiration of a period of 18 months from the earliest filing date for which a benefit is sought under this title. At the request of the applicant, an application may be published earlier than the end of such 18-month period.
      • (B) No information concerning published patent applications shall be made available to the public except as the Director determines.
      • (C) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a determination by the Director to release or not to release information concerning a published patent application shall be final and nonreviewable.
    • (2) EXCEPTIONS.—
      • (A) An application shall not be published if that application is—
        • (i) no longer pending;
        • (ii) subject to a secrecy order under section 181 ;
        • (iii) a provisional application filed under section 111(b) ; or
        • (iv) an application for a design patent filed under chapter 16 .
      • (B)
        • (i) If an applicant makes a request upon filing, certifying that the invention disclosed in the application has not and will not be the subject of an application filed in another country, or under a multilateral international agreement, that requires publication of applications 18 months after filing, the application shall not be published as provided in paragraph (1).
        • (ii) An applicant may rescind a request made under clause (i) at any time.
        • (iii) An applicant who has made a request under clause (i) but who subsequently files, in a foreign country or under a multilateral international agreement specified in clause (i), an application directed to the invention disclosed in the application filed in the Patent and Trademark Office, shall notify the Director of such filing not later than 45 days after the date of the filing of such foreign or international application. A failure of the applicant to provide such notice within the prescribed period shall result in the application being regarded as abandoned, unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Director that the delay in submitting the notice was unintentional.
        • (iv) If an applicant rescinds a request made under clause (i) or notifies the Director that an application was filed in a foreign country or under a multilateral international agreement specified in clause (i), the application shall be published in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (1) on or as soon as is practical after the date that is specified in clause (i).
        • (v) If an applicant has filed applications in one or more foreign countries, directly or through a multilateral international agreement, and such foreign filed applications corresponding to an application filed in the Patent and Trademark Office or the description of the invention in such foreign filed applications is less extensive than the application or description of the invention in the application filed in the Patent and Trademark Office, the applicant may submit a redacted copy of the application filed in the Patent and Trademark Office eliminating any part or description of the invention in such application that is not also contained in any of the corresponding applications filed in a foreign country. The Director may only publish the redacted copy of the application unless the redacted copy of the application is not received within 16 months after the earliest effective filing date for which a benefit is sought under this title. The provisions of section 154(d) shall not apply to a claim if the description of the invention published in the redacted application filed under this clause with respect to the claim does not enable a person skilled in the art to make and use the subject matter of the claim.
  • (c) PROTEST AND PRE-ISSUANCE OPPOSITION.— The Director shall establish appropriate procedures to ensure that no protest or other form of pre-issuance opposition to the grant of a patent on an application may be initiated after publication of the application without the express written consent of the applicant.
  • (d) NATIONAL SECURITY.— No application for patent shall be published under subsection (b)(1) if the publication or disclosure of such invention would be detrimental to the national security. The Director shall establish appropriate procedures to ensure that such applications are promptly identified and the secrecy of such inventions is maintained in accordance with chapter 17 .
  • (e) PREISSUANCE SUBMISSIONS BY THIRD PARTIES.—
    • (1) IN GENERAL.—Any third party may submit for consideration and inclusion in the record of a patent application, any patent, published patent application, or other printed publication of potential relevance to the examination of the application, if such submission is made in writing before the earlier of—
      • (A) the date a notice of allowance under section 151 is given or mailed in the application for patent; or
      • (B) the later of—
        • (i) 6 months after the date on which the application for patent is first published under section 122 by the Office, or
        • (ii) the date of the first rejection under section 132 of any claim by the examiner during the examination of the application for patent.
    • (2) OTHER REQUIREMENTS.—Any submission under paragraph (1) shall—
      • (A) set forth a concise description of the asserted relevance of each submitted document;
      • (B) be accompanied by such fee as the Director may prescribe; and
      • (C) include a statement by the person making such submission affirming that the submission was made in compliance with this section.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-563 (S. 1948 sec. 4503(b)(1)); amended and subsection (e) added Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 8 and 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 123  Micro entity defined.

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of this title, the term "micro entity" means an applicant who makes a certification that the applicant—
    • (1) qualifies as a small entity, as defined in regulations issued by the Director;
    • (2) has not been named as an inventor on more than 4 previously filed patent applications, other than applications filed in another country, provisional applications under section 111(b) , or international applications filed under the treaty defined in section 351(a) for which the basic national fee under section 41(a) was not paid;
    • (3) did not, in the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the applicable fee is being paid, have a gross income, as defined in section 61(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, exceeding 3 times the median household income for that preceding calendar year, as most recently reported by the Bureau of the Census; and
    • (4) has not assigned, granted, or conveyed, and is not under an obligation by contract or law to assign, grant, or convey, a license or other ownership interest in the application concerned to an entity that, in the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the applicable fee is being paid, had a gross income, as defined in section 61(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, exceeding 3 times the median household income for that preceding calendar year, as most recently reported by the Bureau of the Census.
  • (b) APPLICATIONS RESULTING FROM PRIOR EMPLOYMENT.—An applicant is not considered to be named on a previously filed application for purposes of subsection (a)(2) if the applicant has assigned, or is under an obligation by contract or law to assign, all ownership rights in the application as the result of the applicant’s previous employment.
  • (c) FOREIGN CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATE.—If an applicant’s or entity’s gross income in the preceding calendar year is not in United States dollars, the average currency exchange rate, as reported by the Internal Revenue Service, during that calendar year shall be used to determine whether the applicant’s or entity’s gross income exceeds the threshold specified in paragraphs (3) or (4) of subsection (a).
  • (d) INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION.—For purposes of this section, a micro entity shall include an applicant who certifies that—
    • (1) the applicant’s employer, from which the applicant obtains the majority of the applicant’s income, is an institution of higher education as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)); or
    • (2) the applicant has assigned, granted, conveyed, or is under an obligation by contract or law, to assign, grant, or convey, a license or other ownership interest in the particular applications to such an institution of higher education.
  • (e) DIRECTOR’S AUTHORITY.—In addition to the limits imposed by this section, the Director may, in the Director’s discretion, impose income limits, annual filing limits, or other limits on who may qualify as a micro entity pursuant to this section if the Director determines that such additional limits are reasonably necessary to avoid an undue impact on other patent applicants or owners or are otherwise reasonably necessary and appropriate. At least 3 months before any limits proposed to be imposed pursuant to this subsection take effect, the Director shall inform the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate of any such proposed limits.

(Added Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 10(g), 125 Stat. 284; amended Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j), 125 Stat. 284 and corrected Jan. 14, 2013, Public Law 112-274, sec. 1(m), ____Stat. ____.)

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CHAPTER 12 - EXAMINATION OF APPLICATION

  • 131 Examination of application.
  • 132 Notice of rejection; reexamination.
  • 133 Time for prosecuting application.
  • 134 Appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
  • 134 (transitional) Appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences.
  • 134 (pre-AIA) Appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences.
  • 135 Derivation proceedings.
  • 135 (pre-AIA) Interferences.

35 U.S.C. 131   Examination of application.

The Director shall cause an examination to be made of the application and the alleged new invention; and if on such examination it appears that the applicant is entitled to a patent under the law, the Director shall issue a patent therefor.

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 132   Notice of rejection; reexamination.

  • (a) Whenever, on examination, any claim for a patent is rejected, or any objection or requirement made, the Director shall notify the applicant thereof, stating the reasons for such rejection, or objection or requirement, together with such information and references as may be useful in judging of the propriety of continuing the prosecution of his application; and if after receiving such notice, the applicant persists in his claim for a patent, with or without amendment, the application shall be reexamined. No amendment shall introduce new matter into the disclosure of the invention.
  • (b) The Director shall prescribe regulations to provide for the continued examination of applications for patent at the request of the applicant. The Director may establish appropriate fees for such continued examination and shall provide a 50 percent reduction in such fees for small entities that qualify for reduced fees under section 41(h)(1) .

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-560, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4403 and 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 133   Time for prosecuting application.

Upon failure of the applicant to prosecute the application within six months after any action therein, of which notice has been given or mailed to the applicant, or within such shorter time, not less than thirty days, as fixed by the Director in such action, the application shall be regarded as abandoned by the parties thereto, unless it be shown to the satisfaction of the Director that such delay was unavoidable.

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 134  Appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

[Editor Note: Applicable to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012 and applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 134 (transitional) for the law applicable to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012 but not applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA. See 35 U.S.C. 134 (pre-AIA) for the law applicable to proceedings commenced before September 16, 2012.]

  • (a) PATENT APPLICANT.— An applicant for a patent, any of whose claims has been twice rejected, may appeal from the decision of the primary examiner to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, having once paid the fee for such appeal.
  • (b) PATENT OWNER.— A patent owner in a reexamination may appeal from the final rejection of any claim by the primary examiner to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, having once paid the fee for such appeal.

(Amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 204(b)(1), 98 Stat. 3388; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-570 (S. 1948 sec. 4605(b)); subsections (a)-(c) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, secs. 13106 and 13202, 116 Stat. 1901; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 7(b) (effective Sept. 16, 2012) and 3(j) (effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 134 (transitional)  Appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences.

[Editor Note: Applicable to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012, but not applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 134 for the law applicable to patent applications subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA.] See 35 U.S.C. 134 (pre-AIA) for the law applicable to proceedings commenced before September 16, 2012.]

  • (a) PATENT APPLICANT.— An applicant for a patent, any of whose claims has been twice rejected, may appeal from the decision of the primary examiner to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, having once paid the fee for such appeal.
  • (b) PATENT OWNER.— A patent owner in a reexamination may appeal from the final rejection of any claim by the primary examiner to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, having once paid the fee for such appeal.

(Amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 204(b)(1), 98 Stat. 3388; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-570 (S. 1948 sec. 4605(b)); subsections (a)-(c) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, secs. 13106 and 13202, 116 Stat. 1901; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 7(b) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 134 (pre-AIA)  Appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 134 or 35 U.S.C. 134 (transitional) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) PATENT APPLICANT.— An applicant for a patent, any of whose claims has been twice rejected, may appeal from the decision of the primary examiner to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, having once paid the fee for such appeal.
  • (b) PATENT OWNER.— A patent owner in any reexamination proceeding may appeal from the final rejection of any claim by the primary examiner to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, having once paid the fee for such appeal.
  • (c) THIRD-PARTY.— A third-party requester in an inter partes proceeding may appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences from the final decision of the primary examiner favorable to the patentability of any original or proposed amended or new claim of a patent, having once paid the fee for such appeal.

(Amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 204(b)(1), 98 Stat. 3388; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-570 (S. 1948 sec. 4605(b)); subsections (a)-(c) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, secs. 13106 and 13202, 116 Stat. 1901.)

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35 U.S.C. 135  Derivation proceedings.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application subject to the AIA first inventor to file provisions (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ).* See 35 U.S.C. 135 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) INSTITUTION OF PROCEEDING.—
    • (1) IN GENERAL.— An applicant for patent may file a petition with respect to an invention to institute a derivation proceeding in the Office. The petition shall set forth with particularity the basis for finding that an individual named in an earlier application as the inventor or a joint inventor derived such invention from an individual named in the petitioner’s application as the inventor or a joint inventor and, without authorization, the earlier application claiming such invention was filed. Whenever the Director determines that a petition filed under this subsection demonstrates that the standards for instituting a derivation proceeding are met, the Director may institute a derivation proceeding.
    • (2) TIME FOR FILING.—A petition under this section with respect to an invention that is the same or substantially the same invention as a claim contained in a patent issued on an earlier application, or contained in an earlier application when published or deemed published under section 122(b) , may not be filed unless such petition is filed during the 1-year period following the date on which the patent containing such claim was granted or the earlier application containing such claim was published, whichever is earlier.
    • (3) EARLIER APPLICATION.—For purposes of this section, an application shall not be deemed to be an earlier application with respect to an invention, relative to another application, unless a claim to the invention was or could have been made in such application having an effective filing date that is earlier than the effective filing date of any claim to the invention that was or could have been made in such other application.
    • (4) NO APPEAL.—A determination by the Director whether to institute a derivation proceeding under paragraph (1) shall be final and not appealable.
  • (b) DETERMINATION BY PATENT TRIAL AND APPEAL BOARD.— In a derivation proceeding instituted under subsection (a), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board shall determine whether an inventor named in the earlier application derived the claimed invention from an inventor named in the petitioner’s application and, without authorization, the earlier application claiming such invention was filed. In appropriate circumstances, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board may correct the naming of the inventor in any application or patent at issue. The Director shall prescribe regulations setting forth standards for the conduct of derivation proceedings, including requiring parties to provide sufficient evidence to prove and rebut a claim of derivation.
  • (c) DEFERRAL OF DECISION.—The Patent Trial and Appeal Board may defer action on a petition for a derivation proceeding until the expiration of the 3-month period beginning on the date on which the Director issues a patent that includes the claimed invention that is the subject of the petition. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board also may defer action on a petition for a derivation proceeding, or stay the proceeding after it has been instituted, until the termination of a proceeding under chapter 30 , 31, or 32 involving the patent of the earlier applicant.
  • (d) EFFECT OF FINAL DECISION.—The final decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, if adverse to claims in an application for patent, shall constitute the final refusal by the Office on those claims. The final decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, if adverse to claims in a patent, shall, if no appeal or other review of the decision has been or can be taken or had, constitute cancellation of those claims, and notice of such cancellation shall be endorsed on copies of the patent distributed after such cancellation.
  • (e) SETTLEMENT.—Parties to a proceeding instituted under subsection (a) may terminate the proceeding by filing a written statement reflecting the agreement of the parties as to the correct inventor of the claimed invention in dispute. Unless the Patent Trial and Appeal Board finds the agreement to be inconsistent with the evidence of record, if any, it shall take action consistent with the agreement. Any written settlement or understanding of the parties shall be filed with the Director. At the request of a party to the proceeding, the agreement or understanding shall be treated as business confidential information, shall be kept separate from the file of the involved patents or applications, and shall be made available only to Government agencies on written request, or to any person on a showing of good cause.
  • (f) ARBITRATION.—Parties to a proceeding instituted under subsection (a) may, within such time as may be specified by the Director by regulation, determine such contest or any aspect thereof by arbitration. Such arbitration shall be governed by the provisions of title 9, to the extent such title is not inconsistent with this section. The parties shall give notice of any arbitration award to the Director, and such award shall, as between the parties to the arbitration, be dispositive of the issues to which it relates. The arbitration award shall be unenforceable until such notice is given. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude the Director from determining the patentability of the claimed inventions involved in the proceeding.

(Subsection (c) added Oct. 15, 1962, Public Law 87-831, 76 Stat. 958; subsections (a) and (c) amended, Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; subsection (a) amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 202, 98 Stat. 3386; subsection (d) added Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 105, 98 Stat. 3385; amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-566, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4507(11) and 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012) and (3)(i)(effective March 16, 2013)*, 125 Stat. 284; subsections (a) and (e) amended Jan. 14, 2013, Public Law 112-274, secs. 1(e) and (k), ____ Stat. ____, effective March 16, 2013.*)

  • *NOTE: The provisions of 35 U.S.C. 135 (pre-AIA) , as in effect on March 15, 2013 , shall apply to each claim of an application for patent, and any patent issued thereon, for which the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA also apply (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ), if such application or patent contains or contained at any time—

    • (A) a claim to an invention having an effective filing date as defined in section 100(i) , that occurs before March 16, 2013; or
    • (B) a specific reference under section 120 , 121 , or 365(c) to any patent or application that contains or contained at any time such a claim.

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35 U.S.C. 135 (pre-AIA)  Interferences.

[Editor Note: Except as noted below,* not applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 135 for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) Whenever an application is made for a patent which, in the opinion of the Director, would interfere with any pending application, or with any unexpired patent, an interference may be declared and the Director shall give notice of such declaration to the applicants, or applicant and patentee, as the case may be. The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences shall determine questions of priority of the inventions and may determine questions of patentability. Any final decision, if adverse to the claim of an applicant, shall constitute the final refusal by the Patent and Trademark Office of the claims involved, and the Director may issue a patent to the applicant who is adjudged the prior inventor. A final judgment adverse to a patentee from which no appeal or other review has been or can be taken or had shall constitute cancellation of the claims involved in the patent, and notice of such cancellation shall be endorsed on copies of the patent distributed after such cancellation by the Patent and Trademark Office.
  • (b)
    • (1) A claim which is the same as, or for the same or substantially the same subject matter as, a claim of an issued patent may not be made in any application unless such a claim is made prior to one year from the date on which the patent was granted.
    • (2) A claim which is the same as, or for the same or substantially the same subject matter as, a claim of an application published under section 122(b) may be made in an application filed after the application is published only if the claim is made before 1 year after the date on which the application is published.
  • (c) Any agreement or understanding between parties to an interference, including any collateral agreements referred to therein, made in connection with or in contemplation of the termination of the interference, shall be in writing and a true copy thereof filed in the Patent and Trademark Office before the termination of the interference as between the said parties to the agreement or understanding. If any party filing the same so requests, the copy shall be kept separate from the file of the interference, and made available only to Government agencies on written request, or to any person on a showing of good cause. Failure to file the copy of such agreement or understanding shall render permanently unenforceable such agreement or understanding and any patent of such parties involved in the interference or any patent subsequently issued on any application of such parties so involved. The Director may, however, on a showing of good cause for failure to file within the time prescribed, permit the filing of the agreement or understanding during the six-month period subsequent to the termination of the interference as between the parties to the agreement or understanding.

    The Director shall give notice to the parties or their attorneys of record, a reasonable time prior to said termination, of the filing requirement of this section. If the Director gives such notice at a later time, irrespective of the right to file such agreement or understanding within the six-month period on a showing of good cause, the parties may file such agreement or understanding within sixty days of the receipt of such notice.

    Any discretionary action of the Director under this subsection shall be reviewable under section 10 of the Administrative Procedure Act.

  • (d) Parties to a patent interference, within such time as may be specified by the Director by regulation, may determine such contest or any aspect thereof by arbitration. Such arbitration shall be governed by the provisions of title 9 to the extent such title is not inconsistent with this section. The parties shall give notice of any arbitration award to the Director, and such award shall, as between the parties to the arbitration, be dispositive of the issues to which it relates. The arbitration award shall be unenforceable until such notice is given. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude the Director from determining patentability of the invention involved in the interference.

(Subsection (c) added Oct. 15, 1962, Public Law 87-831, 76 Stat. 958; subsections (a) and (c) amended, Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; subsection (a) amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 202, 98 Stat. 3386; subsection (d) added Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 105, 98 Stat. 3385; amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-566, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4507(11) and 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284 .

  • * NOTE: The provisions of 35 U.S.C. 135 (pre-AIA) , as in effect on March 15, 2013 , shall apply to each claim of an application for patent, and any patent issued thereon, for which the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA also apply (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ), if such application or patent contains or contained at any time—

    • (A) a claim to an invention having an effective filing date as defined in section 100(i) , that occurs before March 16, 2013; or
    • (B) a specific reference under section 120 , 121 , or 365(c) to any patent or application that contains or contained at any time such a claim.

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CHAPTER 13 - REVIEW OF PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE DECISION

  • 141 Appeal to Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
  • 141 (pre-AIA) Appeal to Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
  • 142 Notice of appeal.
  • 143 Proceedings on appeal.
  • 143 (pre-AIA) Proceedings on appeal.
  • 144 Decision on appeal.
  • 145 Civil action to obtain patent.
  • 145 (pre-AIA) Civil action to obtain patent.
  • 146 Civil action in case of derivation proceeding.
  • 146 (pre-AIA) Civil action in case of interference.

35 U.S.C. 141   Appeal to Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

[Editor Note: Applicable to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 141 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.*]

  • (a) EXAMINATIONS.—An applicant who is dissatisfied with the final decision in an appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board under section 134(a) may appeal the Board’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. By filing such an appeal, the applicant waives his or her right to proceed under section 145.
  • (b) REEXAMINATIONS.—A patent owner who is dissatisfied with the final decision in an appeal of a reexamination to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board under section 134(a) may appeal the Board’s decision only to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
  • (c) POST-GRANT AND INTER PARTES REVIEWS.—A party to an inter partes review or a post-grant review who is dissatisfied with the final written decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board under section 318(a) or 328(a) (as the case may be) may appeal the Board’s decision only to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
  • (d) DERIVATION PROCEEDINGS.—A party to a derivation proceeding who is dissatisfied with the final decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in the proceeding may appeal the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, but such appeal shall be dismissed if any adverse party to such derivation proceeding, within 20 days after the appellant has filed notice of appeal in accordance with section 142 , files notice with the Director that the party elects to have all further proceedings conducted as provided in section 146 . If the appellant does not, within 30 days after the filing of such notice by the adverse party, file a civil action under section 146 , the Board’s decision shall govern the further proceedings in the case.

(Amended Apr. 2, 1982, Public Law 97-164, sec. 163(a)(7), (b)(2), 96 Stat. 49, 50; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 203(a), 98 Stat. 3387; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-571, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4605(c) and 4732(a)(10)(A)); Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13106, 116 Stat. 1901; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 7(c) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

* NOTE: The provisions of this section as in effect on Sept. 15, 2012 ( 35 U.S.C. 141 (pre-AIA) ) apply to interference proceedings that are declared after September 15, 2012 under 35 U.S.C. 135 (pre-AIA) . See Public Law 112-274, sec. 1(k)(3), ___ Stat. ___ (Jan. 14, 2013).

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35 U.S.C. 141 (pre-AIA)  Appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012.* See 35 U.S.C. 141 for the law otherwise applicable.]

An applicant dissatisfied with the decision in an appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences under section 134 of this title may appeal the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. By filing such an appeal the applicant waives his or her right to proceed under section 145 of this title. A patent owner, or a third-party requester in an inter partes reexamination proceeding, who is in any reexamination proceeding dissatisfied with the final decision in an appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences under section 134 may appeal the decision only to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. A party to an interference dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences on the interference may appeal the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, but such appeal shall be dismissed if any adverse party to such interference, within twenty days after the appellant has filed notice of appeal in accordance with section 142 of this title, files notice with the Director that the party elects to have all further proceedings conducted as provided in section 146 of this title. If the appellant does not, within thirty days after filing of such notice by the adverse party, file a civil action under section 146 , the decision appealed from shall govern the further proceedings in the case.

(Amended Apr. 2, 1982, Public Law 97-164, sec. 163(a)(7), (b)(2), 96 Stat. 49, 50; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 203(a), 98 Stat. 3387; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-571, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4605(c) and 4732(a)(10)(A)); Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13106, 116 Stat. 1901.)

* NOTE: The provisions of 35 U.S.C. 141 (pre-AIA) as in effect on Sept. 15, 2012 apply to interference proceedings that are declared after September 15, 2012 under 35 U.S.C. 135 (pre-AIA) . See Public Law 112-274, sec. 1(k)(3), ___ Stat. ___ (Jan. 14, 2013).

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35 U.S.C. 142   Notice of appeal.

When an appeal is taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the appellant shall file in the Patent and Trademark Office a written notice of appeal directed to the Director, within such time after the date of the decision from which the appeal is taken as the Director prescribes, but in no case less than 60 days after that date.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Apr. 2, 1982, Public Law 97-164, sec. 163(a)(7), 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-620, sec. 414(a), 98 Stat. 3363; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 143   Proceedings on appeal.

[Editor Note: Applicable to proceedings commenced on or after Sept. 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 143 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

With respect to an appeal described in section 142 , the Director shall transmit to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit a certified list of the documents comprising the record in the Patent and Trademark Office. The court may request that the Director forward the original or certified copies of such documents during the pendency of the appeal. In an ex parte case, the Director shall submit to the court in writing the grounds for the decision of the Patent and Trademark Office, addressing all of the issues raised in the appeal. The Director shall have the right to intervene in an appeal from a decision entered by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in a derivation proceeding under section 135 or in an inter partes or post-grant review under chapter 31 or 32 .

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Apr. 2, 1982, Public Law 97-164, sec. 163(a)(7), 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-620, sec. 414(a), 98 Stat. 3363; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-571, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4605(d) and 4732(a)(10)(A)); Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13202, 116 Stat. 1901; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 7(c) and 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 143 (pre-AIA)  Proceedings on appeal.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 143 for the law otherwise applicable.]

With respect to an appeal described in section 142 of this title, the Director shall transmit to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit a certified list of the documents comprising the record in the Patent and Trademark Office. The court may request that the Director forward the original or certified copies of such documents during the pendency of the appeal. In an ex parte case or any reexamination case, the Director shall submit to the court in writing the grounds for the decision of the Patent and Trademark Office, addressing all the issues involved in the appeal. The court shall, before hearing an appeal, give notice of the time and place of the hearing to the Director and the parties in the appeal.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Apr. 2, 1982, Public Law 97-164, sec. 163(a)(7), 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-620, sec. 414(a), 98 Stat. 3363; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-571, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4605(d) and 4732(a)(10)(A)); Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13202, 116 Stat. 1901.)

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35 U.S.C. 144   Decision on appeal.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit shall review the decision from which an appeal is taken on the record before the Patent and Trademark Office. Upon its determination the court shall issue to the Director its mandate and opinion, which shall be entered of record in the Patent and Trademark Office and shall govern the further proceedings in the case.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Apr. 2, 1982, Public Law 97-164, sec. 163(a)(7), 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-620, sec. 414(a), 98 Stat. 3363; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 145  Civil action to obtain patent.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 145 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

An applicant dissatisfied with the decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in an appeal under section 134(a) may, unless appeal has been taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, have remedy by civil action against the Director in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia if commenced within such time after such decision, not less than sixty days, as the Director appoints. The court may adjudge that such applicant is entitled to receive a patent for his invention, as specified in any of his claims involved in the decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, as the facts in the case may appear, and such adjudication shall authorize the Director to issue such patent on compliance with the requirements of law. All the expenses of the proceedings shall be paid by the applicant.

(Amended Apr. 2, 1982, Public Law 97-164, sec. 163(a)(7), 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 203(b), 98 Stat. 3387; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-571, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4605(e) and 4732(a)(10)(A) ); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 9 (effective Sept. 16, 2011), 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), and 3(j) (effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 145 (pre-AIA)  Civil action to obtain patent.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 145 for the law otherwise applicable.]

An applicant dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences in an appeal under section 134(a) may, unless appeal has been taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, have remedy by civil action against the Director in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia if commenced within such time after such decision, not less than sixty days, as the Director appoints. The court may adjudge that such applicant is entitled to receive a patent for his invention, as specified in any of his claims involved in the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, as the facts in the case may appear, and such adjudication shall authorize the Director to issue such patent on compliance with the requirements of law. All the expenses of the proceedings shall be paid by the applicant.

(Amended Apr. 2, 1982, Public Law 97-164, sec. 163(a)(7), 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 203(b), 98 Stat. 3387; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-571, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4605(e) and 4732(a)(10)(A) ); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 9 (effective Sept. 16, 2011) and 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 146  Civil action in case of derivation proceeding.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 146 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

Any party to a derivation proceeding dissatisfied with the decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on the derivation proceeding, may have remedy by civil action, if commenced within such time after such decision, not less than sixty days, as the Director appoints or as provided in section 141 , unless he has appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and such appeal is pending or has been decided. In such suits the record in the Patent and Trademark Office shall be admitted on motion of either party upon the terms and conditions as to costs, expenses, and the further cross-examination of the witnesses as the court imposes, without prejudice to the right of the parties to take further testimony. The testimony and exhibits of the record in the Patent and Trademark Office when admitted shall have the same effect as if originally taken and produced in the suit.

Such suit may be instituted against the party in interest as shown by the records of the Patent and Trademark Office at the time of the decision complained of, but any party in interest may become a party to the action. If there be adverse parties residing in a plurality of districts not embraced within the same state, or an adverse party residing in a foreign country, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia shall have jurisdiction and may issue summons against the adverse parties directed to the marshal of any district in which any adverse party resides. Summons against adverse parties residing in foreign countries may be served by publication or otherwise as the court directs. The Director shall not be a necessary party but he shall be notified of the filing of the suit by the clerk of the court in which it is filed and shall have the right to intervene. Judgment of the court in favor of the right of an applicant to a patent shall authorize the Director to issue such patent on the filing in the Patent and Trademark Office of a certified copy of the judgment and on compliance with the requirements of law.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Apr. 2, 1982, Public Law 97-164, sec. 163(a)(7), 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 203(c), 98 Stat. 3387; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 9 (effective Sept. 16, 2011), sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012) and 3(j) (effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 146 (pre-AIA)  Civil action in case of interference.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 146 for the law otherwise applicable.]

Any party to an interference dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences on the interference, may have remedy by civil action, if commenced within such time after such decision, not less than sixty days, as the Director appoints or as provided in section 141 , unless he has appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and such appeal is pending or has been decided. In such suits the record in the Patent and Trademark Office shall be admitted on motion of either party upon the terms and conditions as to costs, expenses, and the further cross-examination of the witnesses as the court imposes, without prejudice to the right of the parties to take further testimony. The testimony and exhibits of the record in the Patent and Trademark Office when admitted shall have the same effect as if originally taken and produced in the suit.

Such suit may be instituted against the party in interest as shown by the records of the Patent and Trademark Office at the time of the decision complained of, but any party in interest may become a party to the action. If there be adverse parties residing in a plurality of districts not embraced within the same state, or an adverse party residing in a foreign country, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia shall have jurisdiction and may issue summons against the adverse parties directed to the marshal of any district in which any adverse party resides. Summons against adverse parties residing in foreign countries may be served by publication or otherwise as the court directs. The Director shall not be a necessary party but he shall be notified of the filing of the suit by the clerk of the court in which it is filed and shall have the right to intervene. Judgment of the court in favor of the right of an applicant to a patent shall authorize the Director to issue such patent on the filing in the Patent and Trademark Office of a certified copy of the judgment and on compliance with the requirements of law.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Apr. 2, 1982, Public Law 97-164, sec. 163(a)(7), 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 203(c), 98 Stat. 3387; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 9 (effective Sept. 16, 2011) and 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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CHAPTER 14 - ISSUE OF PATENT

  • 151 Issue of patent.
  • 152 Issue of patent to assignee.
  • 153 How issued.
  • 154 Contents and term of patent; provisional rights.
  • 154 (pre-AIA) Contents and term of patent; provisional rights.
  • 155 [Repealed.]
  • 155A [Repealed.]
  • 156 Extension of patent term.
  • 157 [Repealed.]
  • 157 (pre-AIA) Statutory invention registration.

35 U.S.C. 151   Issue of patent.

If it appears that applicant is entitled to a patent under the law, a written notice of allowance of the application shall be given or mailed to the applicant. The notice shall specify a sum, constituting the issue fee or a portion thereof, which shall be paid within three months thereafter.

Upon payment of this sum the patent shall issue, but if payment is not timely made, the application shall be regarded as abandoned.

Any remaining balance of the issue fee shall be paid within three months from the sending of a notice thereof, and, if not paid, the patent shall lapse at the termination of this three-month period. In calculating the amount of a remaining balance, charges for a page or less may be disregarded.

If any payment required by this section is not timely made, but is submitted with the fee for delayed payment and the delay in payment is shown to have been unavoidable, it may be accepted by the Director as though no abandonment or lapse had ever occurred.

(Amended July 24, 1965, Public Law 89-83, sec. 4, 79 Stat. 260; Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-601, sec. 3, 88 Stat. 1956; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)); Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 152   Issue of patent to assignee.

Patents may be granted to the assignee of the inventor of record in the Patent and Trademark Office, upon the application made and the specification sworn to by the inventor, except as otherwise provided in this title.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

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35 U.S.C. 153   How issued.

Patents shall be issued in the name of the United States of America, under the seal of the Patent and Trademark Office, and shall be signed by the Director or have his signature placed thereon and shall be recorded in the Patent and Trademark Office.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)); Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13203, 116 Stat. 1902.)

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35 U.S.C. 154   Contents and term of patent; provisional rights.

[Editor Note: 35 U.S.C. 154(b)(1) as set forth below is only applicable to patent applications subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 154(b)(1) (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—
    • (1) CONTENTS.—Every patent shall contain a short title of the invention and a grant to the patentee, his heirs or assigns, of the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States, and, if the invention is a process, of the right to exclude others from using, offering for sale or selling throughout the United States, or importing into the United States, products made by that process, referring to the specification for the particulars thereof.
    • (2) TERM.—Subject to the payment of fees under this title, such grant shall be for a term beginning on the date on which the patent issues and ending 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States or, if the application contains a specific reference to an earlier filed application or applications under section 120 , 121 , or 365(c) , from the date on which the earliest such application was filed.
    • (3) PRIORITY.—Priority under section 119 , 365(a) , or 365(b) shall not be taken into account in determining the term of a patent.
    • (4) SPECIFICATION AND DRAWING.—A copy of the specification and drawing shall be annexed to the patent and be a part of such patent.
  • (b) ADJUSTMENT OF PATENT TERM.—
    • (1) PATENT TERM GUARANTEES.—
      • (A) GUARANTEE OF PROMPT PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE RESPONSES.— Subject to the limitations under paragraph (2), if the issue of an original patent is delayed due to the failure of the Patent and Trademark Office to—
        • (i) provide at least one of the notifications under section 132 or a notice of allowance under section 151 not later than 14 months after—
          • (I) the date on which an application was filed under section 111(a) ; or
          • (II) the date of commencement of the national stage under section 371 in an international application;
        • (ii) respond to a reply under section 132 , or to an appeal taken under section 134 , within 4 months after the date on which the reply was filed or the appeal was taken;
        • (iii) act on an application within 4 months after the date of a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board under section 134 or 135 or a decision by a Federal court under section 141 , 145 , or 146 in a case in which allowable claims remain in the application; or
        • (iv) issue a patent within 4 months after the date on which the issue fee was paid under section 151 and all outstanding requirements were satisfied,

        the term of the patent shall be extended 1 day for each day after the end of the period specified in clause (i), (ii), (iii), or (iv), as the case may be, until the action described in such clause is taken.

      • (B) GUARANTEE OF NO MORE THAN 3-YEAR APPLICATION PENDENCY.— Subject to the limitations under paragraph (2), if the issue of an original patent is delayed due to the failure of the United States Patent and Trademark Office to issue a patent within 3 years after the actual filing date of the application under section 111(a) in the United States or, in the case of an international application, the date of commencement of the national stage under section 371 in the international application not including—
        • (i) any time consumed by continued examination of the application requested by the applicant under section 132(b );
        • (ii) any time consumed by a proceeding under section 135(a) , any time consumed by the imposition of an order under section 181 , or any time consumed by appellate review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board or by a Federal court; or
        • (iii) any delay in the processing of the application by the United States Patent and Trademark Office requested by the applicant except as permitted by paragraph (3)(C),

        the term of the patent shall be extended 1 day for each day after the end of that 3-year period until the patent is issued.

      • (C) GUARANTEE OR ADJUSTMENTS FOR DELAYS DUE TO DERIVATION PROCEEDINGS, SECRECY ORDERS, AND APPEALS.— Subject to the limitations under paragraph (2), if the issue of an original patent is delayed due to—
        • (i) a proceeding under section 135(a) ;
        • (ii) the imposition of an order under section 181 ; or
        • (iii) appellate review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board or by a Federal court in a case in which the patent was issued under a decision in the review reversing an adverse determination of patentability,

        the term of the patent shall be extended 1 day for each day of the pendency of the proceeding, order, or review, as the case may be.

    • (2) LIMITATIONS.—
      • (A) IN GENERAL.— To the extent that periods of delay attributable to grounds specified in paragraph (1) overlap, the period of any adjustment granted under this subsection shall not exceed the actual number of days the issuance of the patent was delayed.
      • (B) DISCLAIMED TERM.— No patent the term of which has been disclaimed beyond a specified date may be adjusted under this section beyond the expiration date specified in the disclaimer.
      • (C) REDUCTION OF PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT.—
        • (i) The period of adjustment of the term of a patent under paragraph (1) shall be reduced by a period equal to the period of time during which the applicant failed to engage in reasonable efforts to conclude prosecution of the application.
        • (ii) With respect to adjustments to patent term made under the authority of paragraph (1)(B), an applicant shall be deemed to have failed to engage in reasonable efforts to conclude processing or examination of an application for the cumulative total of any periods of time in excess of 3 months that are taken to respond to a notice from the Office making any rejection, objection, argument, or other request, measuring such 3-month period from the date the notice was given or mailed to the applicant.
        • (iii) The Director shall prescribe regulations establishing the circumstances that constitute a failure of an applicant to engage in reasonable efforts to conclude processing or examination of an application.
    • (3) PROCEDURES FOR PATENT TERM ADJUSTMENT DETERMINATION.—
      • (A) The Director shall prescribe regulations establishing procedures for the application for and determination of patent term adjustments under this subsection.
      • (B) Under the procedures established under subparagraph (A), the Director shall—
        • (i) make a determination of the period of any patent term adjustment under this subsection, and shall transmit a notice of that determination no later than the date of issuance of the patent; and
        • (ii) provide the applicant one opportunity to request reconsideration of any patent term adjustment determination made by the Director.
      • (C) The Director shall reinstate all or part of the cumulative period of time of an adjustment under paragraph (2)(C) if the applicant, prior to the issuance of the patent, makes a showing that, in spite of all due care, the applicant was unable to respond within the 3-month period, but in no case shall more than three additional months for each such response beyond the original 3-month period be reinstated.
      • (D) The Director shall proceed to grant the patent after completion of the Director’s determination of a patent term adjustment under the procedures established under this subsection, notwithstanding any appeal taken by the applicant of such determination.
    • (4) APPEAL OF PATENT TERM ADJUSTMENT DETERMINATION.—
      • (A) An applicant dissatisfied with the Director's decision on the applicant's request for reconsideration under paragraph (3)(B)(ii) shall have exclusive remedy by a civil action against the Director filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia within 180 days after the date of the Director's decision on the applicant's request for reconsideration. Chapter 7 of title 5 shall apply to such action. Any final judgment resulting in a change to the period of adjustment of the patent term shall be served on the Director, and the Director shall thereafter alter the term of the patent to reflect such change.
      • (B) The determination of a patent term adjustment under this subsection shall not be subject to appeal or challenge by a third party prior to the grant of the patent.
  • (c) CONTINUATION.—
    • (1) DETERMINATION.—The term of a patent that is in force on or that results from an application filed before the date that is 6 months after the date of the enactment of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act shall be the greater of the 20-year term as provided in subsection (a), or 17 years from grant, subject to any terminal disclaimers.
    • (2) REMEDIES.—The remedies of sections 283 , 284 , and 285 shall not apply to acts which —
      • (A) were commenced or for which substantial investment was made before the date that is 6 months after the date of the enactment of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act; and
      • (B) became infringing by reason of paragraph (1).
    • (3) REMUNERATION.—The acts referred to in paragraph (2) may be continued only upon the payment of an equitable remuneration to the patentee that is determined in an action brought under chapter 28 and chapter 29 (other than those provisions excluded by paragraph (2)).
  • (d) PROVISIONAL RIGHTS.—
    • (1) IN GENERAL.— In addition to other rights provided by this section, a patent shall include the right to obtain a reasonable royalty from any person who, during the period beginning on the date of publication of the application for such patent under section 122(b) , or in the case of an international application filed under the treaty defined in section 351(a) designating the United States under Article 21(2)(a) of such treaty, the date of publication of the application, and ending on the date the patent is issued—
      • (A) (i) makes, uses, offers for sale, or sells in the United States the invention as claimed in the published patent application or imports such an invention into the United States; or
        • (ii) if the invention as claimed in the published patent application is a process, uses, offers for sale, or sells in the United States or imports into the United States products made by that process as claimed in the published patent application; and
      • (B) had actual notice of the published patent application and, in a case in which the right arising under this paragraph is based upon an international application designating the United States that is published in a language other than English, had a translation of the international application into the English language.
    • (2) RIGHT BASED ON SUBSTANTIALLY IDENTICAL INVENTIONS.— The right under paragraph (1) to obtain a reasonable royalty shall not be available under this subsection unless the invention as claimed in the patent is substantially identical to the invention as claimed in the published patent application.
    • (3) TIME LIMITATION ON OBTAINING A REASONABLE ROYALTY.— The right under paragraph (1) to obtain a reasonable royalty shall be available only in an action brought not later than 6 years after the patent is issued. The right under paragraph (1) to obtain a reasonable royalty shall not be affected by the duration of the period described in paragraph (1).
    • (4) REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICATIONS—
      • (A) EFFECTIVE DATE.— The right under paragraph (1) to obtain a reasonable royalty based upon the publication under the treaty defined in section 351(a) of an international application designating the United States shall commence on the date of publication under the treaty of the international application, or, if the publication under the treaty of the international application is in a language other than English, on the date on which the Patent and Trademark Office receives a translation of the publication in the English language.
      • (B) COPIES.— The Director may require the applicant to provide a copy of the international application and a translation thereof.

(Amended July 24, 1965, Public Law 89-83, sec. 5, 79 Stat. 261; Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 4, 94 Stat. 3018; Aug. 23, 1988, Public Law 100-418, sec. 9002, 102 Stat. 1563; Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 532 (a)(1), 108 Stat. 4983; Oct. 11, 1996, Public Law 104-295, sec. 20(e)(1), 110 Stat. 3529; subsection (b) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-557 (S. 1948 sec. 4402(a)); subsection (d) added Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-564 (S. 1948 sec. 4504); subsection (b)(4) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1904; subsection (d)(4)(A) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13204, 116 Stat. 1902; subsection (b)(4)(A) amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 9 (effective Sept. 16, 2011), 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), and 3(j) (effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284; subsection (b) amended Jan. 14, 2013, Public Law 112-274, sec. 1(h), ____ Stat. ____.)

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35 U.S.C. 154 (pre-AIA)  Contents and term of patent; provisional rights.

[Editor Note: 35 U.S.C. 154(b)(1)(pre-AIA) as set forth below is not applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 154(b)(1) for the law otherwise applicable.]

*****

  • (b) ADJUSTMENT OF PATENT TERM.—
    • (1) PATENT TERM GUARANTEES.—
      • (A) GUARANTEE OF PROMPT PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE RESPONSES.— Subject to the limitations under paragraph (2), if the issue of an original patent is delayed due to the failure of the Patent and Trademark Office to—
        • (i) provide at least one of the notifications under section 132 or a notice of allowance under section 151 not later than 14 months after—
          • (I) the date on which an application was filed under section 111(a) ; or
          • (II) the date of commencement of the national stage under section 371 in an international application;
        • (ii) respond to a reply under section 132 , or to an appeal taken under section 134 , within 4 months after the date on which the reply was filed or the appeal was taken;
        • (iii) act on an application within 4 months after the date of a decision by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences under section 134 or 135 or a decision by a Federal court under section 141 , 145 , or 146 in a case in which allowable claims remain in the application; or
        • (iv) issue a patent within 4 months after the date on which the issue fee was paid under section 151 and all outstanding requirements were satisfied,

        the term of the patent shall be extended 1 day for each day after the end of the period specified in clause (i), (ii), (iii), or (iv), as the case may be, until the action described in such clause is taken.

      • (B) GUARANTEE OF NO MORE THAN 3-YEAR APPLICATION PENDENCY.— Subject to the limitations under paragraph (2), if the issue of an original patent is delayed due to the failure of the United States Patent and Trademark Office to issue a patent within 3 years after the actual filing date of the application under section 111(a) in the United States or, in the case of an international application, the date of commencement of the national stage under section 371 in the international application not including—
        • (i) any time consumed by continued examination of the application requested by the applicant under section 132(b );
        • (ii) any time consumed by a proceeding under section 135(a) , any time consumed by the imposition of an order under section 181 , or any time consumed by appellate review by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences or by a Federal court; or
        • (iii) any delay in the processing of the application by the United States Patent and Trademark Office requested by the applicant except as permitted by paragraph (3)(C),

        the term of the patent shall be extended 1 day for each day after the end of that 3-year period until the patent is issued.

      • (C) GUARANTEE OR ADJUSTMENTS FOR DELAYS DUE TO INTERFERENCES, SECRECY ORDERS, AND APPEALS.— Subject to the limitations under paragraph (2), if the issue of an original patent is delayed due to—
        • (i) a proceeding under section 135(a) ;
        • (ii) the imposition of an order under section 181 ; or
        • (iii) appellate review by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences or by a Federal court in a case in which the patent was issued under a decision in the review reversing an adverse determination of patentability,

        the term of the patent shall be extended 1 day for each day of the pendency of the proceeding, order, or review, as the case may be.

*****

(Amended July 24, 1965, Public Law 89-83, sec. 5, 79 Stat. 261; Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 4, 94 Stat. 3018; Aug. 23, 1988, Public Law 100-418, sec. 9002, 102 Stat. 1563; Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 532 (a)(1), 108 Stat. 4983; Oct. 11, 1996, Public Law 104-295, sec. 20(e)(1), 110 Stat. 3529; subsection (b) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-557 (S. 1948 sec. 4402(a)); subsection (d) added Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-564 (S. 1948 sec. 4504); subsection (b)(4) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1904; subsection (d)(4)(A) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13204, 116 Stat. 1902; subsection (b)(4)(A) amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 9 (effective Sept. 16, 2011) and 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 155   [Repealed.]

(Repealed Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(k) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 155A   [Repealed.]

(Repealed Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(k) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 156   Extension of patent term.

  • (a) The term of a patent which claims a product, a method of using a product, or a method of manufacturing a product shall be extended in accordance with this section from the original expiration date of the patent, which shall include any patent term adjustment granted under section 154(b) if —
    • (1) the term of the patent has not expired before an application is submitted under subsection (d)(1) for its extension;
    • (2) the term of the patent has never been extended under subsection (e)(1) of this section;
    • (3) an application for extension is submitted by the owner of record of the patent or its agent and in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (d);
    • (4) the product has been subject to a regulatory review period before its commercial marketing or use;
    • (5)
      • (A) except as provided in subparagraph (B) or (C), the permission for the commercial marketing or use of the product after such regulatory review period is the first permitted commercial marketing or use of the product under the provision of law under which such regulatory review period occurred;
      • (B) in the case of a patent which claims a method of manufacturing the product which primarily uses recombinant DNA technology in the manufacture of the product, the permission for the commercial marketing or use of the product after such regulatory period is the first permitted commercial marketing or use of a product manufactured under the process claimed in the patent; or
      • (C) for purposes of subparagraph (A), in the case of a patent which —
        • (i) claims a new animal drug or a veterinary biological product which (I) is not covered by the claims in any other patent which has been extended, and (II) has received permission for the commercial marketing or use in non-food-producing animals and in food-producing animals, and
        • (ii) was not extended on the basis of the regulatory review period for use in non-food-producing animals,

        the permission for the commercial marketing or use of the drug or product after the regulatory review period for use in food-producing animals is the first permitted commercial marketing or use of the drug or product for administration to a food-producing animal.

    The product referred to in paragraphs (4) and (5) is hereinafter in this section referred to as the “approved product.”

  • (b) Except as provided in subsection (d)(5)(F), the rights derived from any patent the term of which is extended under this section shall during the period during which the term of the patent is extended —
    • (1) in the case of a patent which claims a product, be limited to any use approved for the product —
      • (A) before the expiration of the term of the patent —
        • (i) under the provision of law under which the applicable regulatory review occurred, or
        • (ii) under the provision of law under which any regulatory review described in paragraph (1), (4), or (5) of subsection (g) occurred, and
      • (B) on or after the expiration of the regulatory review period upon which the extension of the patent was based;
    • (2) in the case of a patent which claims a method of using a product, be limited to any use claimed by the patent and approved for the product —
      • (A) before the expiration of the term of the patent —
        • (i) under any provision of law under which an applicable regulatory review occurred, and
        • (ii) under the provision of law under which any regulatory review described in paragraph (1), (4), or (5) of subsection (g) occurred, and
      • (B) on or after the expiration of the regulatory review period upon which the extension of the patent was based; and
    • (3) in the case of a patent which claims a method of manufacturing a product, be limited to the method of manufacturing as used to make —
      • (A) the approved product, or
      • (B) the product if it has been subject to a regulatory review period described in paragraph (1), (4), or (5) of subsection (g).

      As used in this subsection, the term “product” includes an approved product.

  • (c) The term of a patent eligible for extension under subsection (a) shall be extended by the time equal to the regulatory review period for the approved product which period occurs after the date the patent is issued, except that—
    • (1) each period of the regulatory review period shall be reduced by any period determined under subsection (d)(2)(B) during which the applicant for the patent extension did not act with due diligence during such period of the regulatory review period;
    • (2) after any reduction required by paragraph (1), the period of extension shall include only one-half of the time remaining in the periods described in paragraphs (1)(B)(i), (2)(B)(i), (3)(B)(i), (4)(B)(i), and (5)(B)(i) of subsection (g);
    • (3) if the period remaining in the term of a patent after the date of the approval of the approved product under the provision of law under which such regulatory review occurred when added to the regulatory review period as revised under paragraphs (1) and (2) exceeds fourteen years, the period of extension shall be reduced so that the total of both such periods does not exceed fourteen years, and
    • (4) in no event shall more than one patent be extended under subsection (e)(i) for the same regulatory review period for any product.
  • (d)
    • (1) To obtain an extension of the term of a patent under this section, the owner of record of the patent or its agent shall submit an application to the Director. Except as provided in paragraph (5), such an application may only be submitted within the sixty-day period beginning on the date the product received permission under the provision of law under which the applicable regulatory review period occurred for commercial marketing or use. The application shall contain—
      • (A) the identity of the approved product and the Federal statute under which regulatory review occurred;
      • (B) the identity of the patent for which an extension is being sought and the identity of each claim of such patent which claims the approved product or a method of using or manufacturing the approved product;
      • (C) information to enable the Director to determine under subsections (a) and (b) the eligibility of a patent for extension and the rights that will be derived from the extension and information to enable the Director and the Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Secretary of Agriculture to determine the period of the extension under subsection (g);
      • (D) a brief description of the activities undertaken by the applicant during the applicable regulatory review period with respect to the approved product and the significant dates applicable to such activities; and
      • (E) such patent or other information as the Director may require.

      For purposes of determining the date on which a product receives permission under the second sentence of this paragraph, if such permission is transmitted after 4:30 P.M., Eastern Time, on a business day, or is transmitted on a day that is not a business day, the product shall be deemed to receive such permission on the next business day. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the term "business day" means any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, excluding any legal holiday under section 6103 of title 5.

    • (2)
      • (A) Within 60 days of the submittal of an application for extension of the term of a patent under paragraph (1), the Director shall notify —
        • (i) the Secretary of Agriculture if the patent claims a drug product or a method of using or manufacturing a drug product and the drug product is subject to the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, and
        • (ii) the Secretary of Health and Human Services if the patent claims any other drug product, a medical device, or a food additive or color additive or a method of using or manufacturing such a product, device, or additive and if the product, device, and additive are subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, of the extension application and shall submit to the Secretary who is so notified a copy of the application. Not later than 30 days after the receipt of an application from the Director, the Secretary reviewing the application shall review the dates contained in the application pursuant to paragraph (1)(C) and determine the applicable regulatory review period, shall notify the Director of the determination, and shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of such determination.
      • (B)
        • (i) If a petition is submitted to the Secretary making the determination under subparagraph (A), not later than 180 days after the publication of the determination under subparagraph (A), upon which it may reasonably be determined that the applicant did not act with due diligence during the applicable regulatory review period, the Secretary making the determination shall, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary, determine if the applicant acted with due diligence during the applicable regulatory review period. The Secretary making the determination shall make such determination not later than 90 days after the receipt of such a petition. For a drug product, device, or additive subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or the Public Health Service Act, the Secretary may not delegate the authority to make the determination prescribed by this clause to an office below the Office of the Commissioner of Food and Drugs. For a product subject to the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, the Secretary of Agriculture may not delegate the authority to make the determination prescribed by this clause to an office below the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Marketing and Inspection Services.
        • (ii) The Secretary making a determination under clause (i) shall notify the Director of the determination and shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of such determination together with the factual and legal basis for such determination. Any interested person may request, within the 60-day period beginning on the publication of a determination, the Secretary making the determination to hold an informal hearing on the determination. If such a request is made within such period, such Secretary shall hold such hearing not later than 30 days after the date of the request, or at the request of the person making the request, not later than 60 days after such date. The Secretary who is holding the hearing shall provide notice of the hearing to the owner of the patent involved and to any interested person and provide the owner and any interested person an opportunity to participate in the hearing. Within 30 days after the completion of the hearing, such Secretary shall affirm or revise the determination which was the subject of the hearing and notify the Director of any revision of the determination and shall publish any such revision in the Federal Register.
    • (3) For the purposes of paragraph (2)(B), the term “due diligence” means that degree of attention, continuous directed effort, and timeliness as may reasonably be expected from, and are ordinarily exercised by, a person during a regulatory review period.
    • (4) An application for the extension of the term of a patent is subject to the disclosure requirements prescribed by the Director.
    • (5)
      • (A) If the owner of record of the patent or its agent reasonably expects that the applicable regulatory review period described in paragraphs (1)(B)(ii), (2)(B)(ii), (3)(B)(ii), (4)(B)(ii), or (5)(B)(ii) of subsection (g) that began for a product that is the subject of such patent may extend beyond the expiration of the patent term in effect, the owner or its agent may submit an application to the Director for an interim extension during the period beginning 6 months, and ending 15 days before such term is due to expire. The application shall contain—
        • (i) the identity of the product subject to regulating review and the Federal statute under which such review is occurring;
        • (ii) the identity of the patent for which interim extension is being sought and the identity of each claim of such patent which claims the product under regulatory review or a method of using or manufacturing the product;
        • (iii) information to enable the Director to determine under subsection (a)(1), (2), and (3) the eligibility of a patent for extension;
        • (iv) a brief description of the activities undertaken by the applicant during the applicable regulatory review period to date with respect to the product under review and the significant dates applicable to such activities; and
        • (v) such patent or other information as the Director may require.
      • (B) If the Director determines that, except for permission to market or use the product commercially, the patent would be eligible for an extension of the patent term under this section, the Director shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of such determination, including the identity of the product under regulatory review, and shall issue to the applicant a certificate of interim extension for a period of not more than 1 year.
      • (C) The owner of record of a patent, or its agent, for which an interim extension has been granted under subparagraph (B), may apply for not more than 4 subsequent interim extensions under this paragraph, except that, in the case of a patent subject to subsection (g)(6)(C), the owner of record of the patent, or its agent, may apply for only 1 subsequent interim extension under this paragraph. Each such subsequent application shall be made during the period beginning 60 days before, and ending 30 days before, the expiration of the preceding interim extension.
      • (D) Each certificate of interim extension under this paragraph shall be recorded in the official file of the patent and shall be considered part of the original patent.
      • (E) Any interim extension granted under this paragraph shall terminate at the end of the 60-day period beginning on the day on which the product involved receives permission for commercial marketing or use, except that, if within that 60-day period, the applicant notifies the Director of such permission and submits any additional information under paragraph (1) of this subsection not previously contained in the application for interim extension, the patent shall be further extended, in accordance with the provisions of this section—
        • (i) for not to exceed 5 years from the date of expiration of the original patent term; or
        • (ii) if the patent is subject to subsection (g)(6)(C), from the date on which the product involved receives approval for commercial marketing or use.
      • (F) The rights derived from any patent the term of which is extended under this paragraph shall, during the period of interim extension—
        • (i) in the case of a patent which claims a product, be limited to any use then under regulatory review;
        • (ii) in the case of a patent which claims a method of using a product, be limited to any use claimed by the patent then under regulatory review; and
        • (iii) in the case of a patent which claims a method of manufacturing a product, be limited to the method of manufacturing as used to make the product then under regulatory review.
  • (e)
    • (1) A determination that a patent is eligible for extension may be made by the Director solely on the basis of the representations contained in the application for the extension. If the Director determines that a patent is eligible for extension under subsection (a) and that the requirements of paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (d) have been complied with, the Director shall issue to the applicant for the extension of the term of the patent a certificate of extension, under seal, for the period prescribed by subsection (c). Such certificate shall be recorded in the official file of the patent and shall be considered as part of the original patent.
    • (2) If the term of a patent for which an application has been submitted under subsection (d)(1) would expire before a certificate of extension is issued or denied under paragraph (1) respecting the application, the Director shall extend, until such determination is made, the term of the patent for periods of up to one year if he determines that the patent is eligible for extension.
  • (f) For purposes of this section:
    • (1) The term “product” means:
      • (A) A drug product.
      • (B) Any medical device, food additive, or color additive subject to regulation under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
    • (2) The term “drug product” means the active ingredient of—
      • (A) a new drug, antibiotic drug, or human biological product (as those terms are used in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Public Health Service Act), or
      • (B) a new animal drug or veterinary biological product (as those terms are used in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act) which is not primarily manufactured using recombinant DNA, recombinant RNA, hybridoma technology, or other processes involving site specific genetic manipulation techniques

      including any salt or ester of the active ingredient, as a single entity or in combination with another active ingredient.

    • (3) The term “major health or environmental effects test” means a test which is reasonably related to the evaluation of the health or environmental effects of a product, which requires at least six months to conduct, and the data from which is submitted to receive permission for commercial marketing or use. Periods of analysis or evaluation of test results are not to be included in determining if the conduct of a test required at least six months.
    • (4)
      • (A) Any reference to section 351 is a reference to section 351 of the Public Health Service Act.
      • (B) Any reference to section 503, 505, 512, or 515 is a reference to section 503, 505, 512, or 515 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
      • (C) Any reference to the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act is a reference to the Act of March 4, 1913 (21 U.S.C. 151 - 158).
    • (5) The term “informal hearing” has the meaning prescribed for such term by section 201(y) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
    • (6) The term “patent” means a patent issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    • (7) The term “date of enactment” as used in this section means September 24, 1984, for human drug product, a medical device, food additive, or color additive.
    • (8) The term “date of enactment” as used in this section means the date of enactment of the Generic Animal Drug and Patent Term Restoration Act for an animal drug or a veterinary biological product.
  • (g) For purposes of this section, the term “regulatory review period” has the following meanings:
    • (1)
      • (A) In the case of a product which is a new drug, antibiotic drug, or human biological product, the term means the period described in subparagraph (B) to which the limitation described in paragraph (6) applies.
      • (B) The regulatory review period for a new drug, antibiotic drug, or human biological product is the sum of —
        • (i) the period beginning on the date an exemption under subsection (i) of section 505 or subsection (d) of section 507 became effective for the approved product and ending on the date an application was initially submitted for such drug product under section 351, 505, or 507, and
        • (ii) the period beginning on the date the application was initially submitted for the approved product under section 351, subsection (b) of section 505, or section 507 and ending on the date such application was approved under such section.
    • (2)
      • (A) In the case of a product which is a food additive or color additive, the term means the period described in subparagraph (B) to which the limitation described in paragraph (6) applies.
      • (B) The regulatory review period for a food or color additive is the sum of —
        • (i) the period beginning on the date a major health or environmental effects test on the additive was initiated and ending on the date a petition was initially submitted with respect to the product under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requesting the issuance of a regulation for use of the product, and
        • (ii) the period beginning on the date a petition was initially submitted with respect to the product under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requesting the issuance of a regulation for use of the product, and ending on the date such regulation became effective or, if objections were filed to such regulation, ending on the date such objections were resolved and commercial marketing was permitted or, if commercial marketing was permitted and later revoked pending further proceedings as a result of such objections, ending on the date such proceedings were finally resolved and commercial marketing was permitted.
    • (3)
      • (A) In the case of a product which is a medical device, the term means the period described in subparagraph (B) to which the limitation described in paragraph (6) applies.
      • (B) The regulatory review period for a medical device is the sum of —
        • (i) the period beginning on the date a clinical investigation on humans involving the device was begun and ending on the date an application was initially submitted with respect to the device under section 515, and
        • (ii) the period beginning on the date an application was initially submitted with respect to the device under section 515 and ending on the date such application was approved under such Act or the period beginning on the date a notice of completion of a product development protocol was initially submitted under section 515(f)(5) and ending on the date the protocol was declared completed under section 515(f)(6).
    • (4)
      • (A) In the case of a product which is a new animal drug, the term means the period described in subparagraph (B) to which the limitation described in paragraph (6) applies.
      • (B) The regulatory review period for a new animal drug product is the sum of —
        • (i) the period beginning on the earlier of the date a major health or environmental effects test on the drug was initiated or the date an exemption under subsection (j) of section 512 became effective for the approved new animal drug product and ending on the date an application was initially submitted for such animal drug product under section 512, and
        • (ii) the period beginning on the date the application was initially submitted for the approved animal drug product under subsection (b) of section 512 and ending on the date such application was approved under such section.
    • (5)
      • (A) In the case of a product which is a veterinary biological product, the term means the period described in subparagraph (B) to which the limitation described in paragraph (6) applies.
      • (B) The regulatory period for a veterinary biological product is the sum of —
        • (i) the period beginning on the date the authority to prepare an experimental biological product under the Virus- Serum-Toxin Act became effective and ending on the date an application for a license was submitted under the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, and
        • (ii) the period beginning on the date an application for a license was initially submitted for approval under the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act and ending on the date such license was issued.
    • (6) A period determined under any of the preceding paragraphs is subject to the following limitations:
      • (A) If the patent involved was issued after the date of the enactment of this section, the period of extension determined on the basis of the regulatory review period determined under any such paragraph may not exceed five years.
      • (B) If the patent involved was issued before the date of the enactment of this section and —
        • (i) no request for an exemption described in paragraph (1)(B) or (4)(B) was submitted and no request for the authority described in paragraph (5)(B) was submitted,
        • (ii) no major health or environment effects test described in paragraph (2)(B) or (4)(B) was initiated and no petition for a regulation or application for registration described in such paragraph was submitted, or
        • (iii) no clinical investigation described in paragraph (3) was begun or product development protocol described in such paragraph was submitted, before such date for the approved product the period of extension determined on the basis of the regulatory review period determined under any such paragraph may not exceed five years.
      • (C) If the patent involved was issued before the date of the enactment of this section and if an action described in subparagraph (B) was taken before the date of enactment of this section with respect to the approved product and the commercial marketing or use of the product has not been approved before such date, the period of extension determined on the basis of the regulatory review period determined under such paragraph may not exceed two years or in the case of an approved product which is a new animal drug or veterinary biological product (as those terms are used in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act), three years.
  • (h) The Director may establish such fees as the Director determines appropriate to cover the costs to the Office of receiving and acting upon applications under this section.

(Added Sept. 24, 1984, Public Law 98-417, sec. 201(a), 98 Stat. 1598; amended Nov. 16, 1988, Public Law 100-670, sec. 201(a)-(h), 102 Stat. 3984; Dec. 3, 1993, Public Law 103-179, secs. 5, 6, 107 Stat. 2040, 2042; Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 532(c)(1), 108 Stat. 4987; subsection (f) amended Nov. 21, 1997, Public Law 105-115, sec. 125(b)(2)(P), 111 Stat. 2326; amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-560, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4404 and 4732(a)(10)(A)); subsections (b)(3)(B), (d)(2)(B)(i), and (g)(6)(B)(iii) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1904; subsection (d)(1) amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 37, 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 157  [Repealed.]

(Repealed Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 3(e) (effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 157 (pre-AIA)   Statutory invention registration.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to requests for statutory invention registrations filed on or after March 16, 2013. 35 U.S.C. 157 repealed with regard to such requests.]

  • (a) Notwithstanding any other provision, the Director is authorized to publish a statutory invention registration containing the specification and drawings of a regularly filed application for a patent without examination if the applicant —
    • (1) meets the requirements of section 112 ;
    • (2) has complied with the requirements for printing, as set forth in regulations of the Director;
    • (3) waives the right to receive a patent on the invention within such period as may be prescribed by the Director; and
    • (4) pays application, publication, and other processing fees established by the Director.

      If an interference is declared with respect to such an application, a statutory invention registration may not be published unless the issue of priority of invention is finally determined in favor of the applicant.

  • (b) The waiver under subsection (a)(3) of this section by an applicant shall take effect upon publication of the statutory invention registration.
  • (c) A statutory invention registration published pursuant to this section shall have all of the attributes specified for patents in this title except those specified in section 183 and sections 271 through 289 . A statutory invention registration shall not have any of the attributes specified for patents in any other provision of law other than this title. A statutory invention registration published pursuant to this section shall give appropriate notice to the public, pursuant to regulations which the Director shall issue, of the preceding provisions of this subsection. The invention with respect to which a statutory invention certificate is published is not a patented invention for purposes of section 292 .
  • (d) The Director shall report to the Congress annually on the use of statutory invention registrations. Such report shall include an assessment of the degree to which agencies of the federal government are making use of the statutory invention registration system, the degree to which it aids the management of federally developed technology, and an assessment of the cost savings to the Federal Government of the uses of such procedures.

(Added Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 102(a), 98 Stat. 3383; amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582, 583 (S. 1948 secs. 4732(a)(10)(A) and 4732(a)(11)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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CHAPTER 15 - PLANT PATENTS

  • 161 Patents for plants.
  • 162 Description, claim.
  • 163 Grant.
  • 164 Assistance of the Department of Agriculture.

35 U.S.C. 161   Patents for plants.

Whoever invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.

The provisions of this title relating to patents for inventions shall apply to patents for plants, except as otherwise provided.

(Amended Sept. 3, 1954, 68 Stat. 1190.)

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35 U.S.C. 162   Description, claim.

No plant patent shall be declared invalid for noncompliance with section 112 if the description is as complete as is reasonably possible.

The claim in the specification shall be in formal terms to the plant shown and described.

(Amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 163   Grant.

In the case of a plant patent, the grant shall include the right to exclude others from asexually reproducing the plant, and from using, offering for sale, or selling the plant so reproduced, or any of its parts, throughout the United States, or from importing the plant so reproduced, or any parts thereof, into the United States.

(Amended Oct. 27, 1998, Public Law 105-289, sec. 3, 112 Stat. 2781.)

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35 U.S.C. 164   Assistance of the Department of Agriculture.

The President may by Executive order direct the Secretary of Agriculture, in accordance with the requests of the Director, for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this title with respect to plants (1) to furnish available information of the Department of Agriculture, (2) to conduct through the appropriate bureau or division of the Department research upon special problems, or (3) to detail to the Director officers and employees of the Department.

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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CHAPTER 16 - DESIGNS

  • 171 Patents for designs.
  • 172 Right of priority.
  • 172 (pre-AIA) Right of priority.
  • 173 Term of design patent.

35 U.S.C. 171   Patents for designs.

Whoever invents any new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.

The provisions of this title relating to patents for inventions shall apply to patents for designs, except as otherwise provided.

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35 U.S.C. 172  Right of priority.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 172 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

The right of priority provided for by subsections (a) through (d) of section 119 shall be six months in the case of designs. The right of priority provided for by section 119(e) shall not apply to designs.

(Amended Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 532(c)(2), 108 Stat. 4987; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012) and sec. 3(g)(effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 172 (pre-AIA)  Right of priority.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 172 for the law otherwise applicable.]

The right of priority provided for by subsections (a) through (d) of section 119 and the time specified in section 102(d) shall be six months in the case of designs. The right of priority provided for by section 119(e) shall not apply to designs.

(Amended Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 532(c)(2), 108 Stat. 4987; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j), 125 Stat. 284, effective Sept. 16, 2012.)

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35 U.S.C. 173   Term of design patent.

Patents for designs shall be granted for the term of fourteen years from the date of grant.

(Amended Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 16, 96 Stat. 321; Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 532(c)(3), 108 Stat. 4987.)

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CHAPTER 17 - SECRECY OF CERTAIN INVENTIONS AND FILING APPLICATIONS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES

  • 181 Secrecy of certain inventions and withholding of patent.
  • 182 Abandonment of invention for unauthorized disclosure.
  • 183 Right to compensation.
  • 184 Filing of application in foreign country.
  • 184 (pre-AIA) Filing of application in foreign country.
  • 185 Patent barred for filing without license.
  • 185 (pre-AIA) Patent barred for filing without license.
  • 186 Penalty.
  • 187 Nonapplicability to certain persons.
  • 188 Rules and regulations, delegation of power.

35 U.S.C. 181   Secrecy of certain inventions and withholding of patent.

Whenever publication or disclosure by the publication of an application or by the grant of a patent on an invention in which the Government has a property interest might, in the opinion of the head of the interested Government agency, be detrimental to the national security, the Commissioner of Patents upon being so notified shall order that the invention be kept secret and shall withhold the publication of an application or the grant of a patent therefor under the conditions set forth hereinafter.

Whenever the publication or disclosure of an invention by the publication of an application or by the granting of a patent, in which the Government does not have a property interest, might, in the opinion of the Commissioner of Patents, be detrimental to the national security, he shall make the application for patent in which such invention is disclosed available for inspection to the Atomic Energy Commission, the Secretary of Defense, and the chief officer of any other department or agency of the Government designated by the President as a defense agency of the United States.

Each individual to whom the application is disclosed shall sign a dated acknowledgment thereof, which acknowledgment shall be entered in the file of the application. If, in the opinion of the Atomic Energy Commission, the Secretary of a Defense Department, or the chief officer of another department or agency so designated, the publication or disclosure of the invention by the publication of an application or by the granting of a patent therefor would be detrimental to the national security, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Secretary of a Defense Department, or such other chief officer shall notify the Commissioner of Patents and the Commissioner of Patents shall order that the invention be kept secret and shall withhold the publication of the application or the grant of a patent for such period as the national interest requires, and notify the applicant thereof. Upon proper showing by the head of the department or agency who caused the secrecy order to be issued that the examination of the application might jeopardize the national interest, the Commissioner of Patents shall thereupon maintain the application in a sealed condition and notify the applicant thereof. The owner of an application which has been placed under a secrecy order shall have a right to appeal from the order to the Secretary of Commerce under rules prescribed by him.

An invention shall not be ordered kept secret and the publication of an application or the grant of a patent withheld for a period of more than one year. The Commissioner of Patents shall renew the order at the end thereof, or at the end of any renewal period, for additional periods of one year upon notification by the head of the department or the chief officer of the agency who caused the order to be issued that an affirmative determination has been made that the national interest continues to so require. An order in effect, or issued, during a time when the United States is at war, shall remain in effect for the duration of hostilities and one year following cessation of hostilities. An order in effect, or issued, during a national emergency declared by the President shall remain in effect for the duration of the national emergency and six months thereafter. The Commissioner of Patents may rescind any order upon notification by the heads of the departments and the chief officers of the agencies who caused the order to be issued that the publication or disclosure of the invention is no longer deemed detrimental to the national security.

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-566, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4507(7) and 4732(a)(10)(B)).)

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35 U.S.C. 182   Abandonment of invention for unauthorized disclosure.

The invention disclosed in an application for patent subject to an order made pursuant to section 181 may be held abandoned upon its being established by the Commissioner of Patents that in violation of said order the invention has been published or disclosed or that an application for a patent therefor has been filed in a foreign country by the inventor, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, or anyone in privity with him or them, without the consent of the Commissioner of Patents. The abandonment shall be held to have occurred as of the time of violation. The consent of the Commissioner of Patents shall not be given without the concurrence of the heads of the departments and the chief officers of the agencies who caused the order to be issued. A holding of abandonment shall constitute forfeiture by the applicant, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, or anyone in privity with him or them, of all claims against the United States based upon such invention.

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(B)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 183   Right to compensation.

An applicant, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, whose patent is withheld as herein provided, shall have the right, beginning at the date the applicant is notified that, except for such order, his application is otherwise in condition for allowance, or February 1, 1952, whichever is later, and ending six years after a patent is issued thereon, to apply to the head of any department or agency who caused the order to be issued for compensation for the damage caused by the order of secrecy and/or for the use of the invention by the Government, resulting from his disclosure. The right to compensation for use shall begin on the date of the first use of the invention by the Government. The head of the department or agency is authorized, upon the presentation of a claim, to enter into an agreement with the applicant, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, in full settlement for the damage and/or use. This settlement agreement shall be conclusive for all purposes notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary. If full settlement of the claim cannot be effected, the head of the department or agency may award and pay to such applicant, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, a sum not exceeding 75 per centum of the sum which the head of the department or agency considers just compensation for the damage and/or use. A claimant may bring suit against the United States in the United States Court of Federal Claims or in the District Court of the United States for the district in which such claimant is a resident for an amount which when added to the award shall constitute just compensation for the damage and/or use of the invention by the Government. The owner of any patent issued upon an application that was subject to a secrecy order issued pursuant to section 181 , who did not apply for compensation as above provided, shall have the right, after the date of issuance of such patent, to bring suit in the United States Court of Federal Claims for just compensation for the damage caused by reason of the order of secrecy and/or use by the Government of the invention resulting from his disclosure. The right to compensation for use shall begin on the date of the first use of the invention by the Government. In a suit under the provisions of this section the United States may avail itself of all defenses it may plead in an action under section 1498 of title 28. This section shall not confer a right of action on anyone or his successors, assigns, or legal representatives who, while in the full-time employment or service of the United States, discovered, invented, or developed the invention on which the claim is based.

(Amended Apr. 2, 1982, Public Law 97-164, sec. 160(a)(12), 96 Stat. 48; Oct. 29, 1992, Public Law 102-572, sec. 902 (b)(1), 106 Stat. 4516; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 184   Filing of application in foreign country.

[Editor Note: Applicable to proceedings commenced on or after Sept. 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 184 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) FILING IN FOREIGN COUNTRY.—Except when authorized by a license obtained from the Commissioner of Patents a person shall not file or cause or authorize to be filed in any foreign country prior to six months after filing in the United States an application for patent or for the registration of a utility model, industrial design, or model in respect of an invention made in this country. A license shall not be granted with respect to an invention subject to an order issued by the Commissioner of Patents pursuant to section 181 without the concurrence of the head of the departments and the chief officers of the agencies who caused the order to be issued. The  license may be granted retroactively where an application has been filed abroad through error and the application does not disclose an invention within the scope of section 181 .
  • (b) APPLICATION.—The term “application” when used in this chapter includes applications and any modifications, amendments, or supplements thereto, or divisions thereof.
  • (c) SUBSEQUENT MODIFICATIONS, AMENDMENTS, AND SUPPLEMENTS.—The scope of a license shall permit subsequent modifications, amendments, and supplements containing additional subject matter if the application upon which the request for the license is based is not, or was not, required to be made available for inspection under section 181 and if such modifications, amendments, and supplements do not change the general nature of the invention in a manner which would require such application to be made available for inspection under such section 181 . In any case in which a license is not, or was not, required in order to file an application in any foreign country, such subsequent modifications, amendments, and supplements may be made, without a license, to the application filed in the foreign country if the United States application was not required to be made available for inspection under section 181 and if such modifications, amendments, and supplements do not, or did not, change the general nature of the invention in a manner which would require the United States application to have been made available for inspection under such section 181 .

(Amended Aug. 23, 1988, Public Law 100-418, sec. 9101(b)(1), 102 Stat. 1567; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(B)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 20(b) and (j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284)

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35 U.S.C. 184 (pre-AIA)  Filing of application in foreign country.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 184 for the law otherwise applicable.]

Except when authorized by a license obtained from the Commissioner of Patents a person shall not file or cause or authorize to be filed in any foreign country prior to six months after filing in the United States an application for patent or for the registration of a utility model, industrial design, or model in respect of an invention made in this country. A license shall not be granted with respect to an invention subject to an order issued by the Commissioner of Patents pursuant to section 181 of this title without the concurrence of the head of the departments and the chief officers of the agencies who caused the order to be issued. The  license may be granted retroactively where an application has been filed abroad through error and without deceptive intent and the application does not disclose an invention within the scope of section 181 of this title.

The term “application” when used in this chapter includes applications and any modifications, amendments, or supplements thereto, or divisions thereof.

The scope of a license shall permit subsequent modifications, amendments, and supplements containing additional subject matter if the application upon which the request for the license is based is not, or was not, required to be made available for inspection under section 181 of this title and if such modifications, amendments, and supplements do not change the general nature of the invention in a manner which would require such application to be made available for inspection under such section 181 . In any case in which a license is not, or was not, required in order to file an application in any foreign country, such subsequent modifications, amendments, and supplements may be made, without a license, to the application filed in the foreign country if the United States application was not required to be made available for inspection under section 181 and if such modifications, amendments, and supplements do not, or did not, change the general nature of the invention in a manner which would require the United States application to have been made available for inspection under such section 181 .

(Amended Aug. 23, 1988, Public Law 100-418, sec. 9101(b)(1), 102 Stat. 1567; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(B)).)

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35 U.S.C. 185   Patent barred for filing without license.

[Editor Note: Applicable to proceedings commenced on or after Sept. 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 185 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law any person, and his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, shall not receive a United States patent for an invention if that person, or his successors, assigns, or legal representatives shall, without procuring the license prescribed in section 184 , have made, or consented to or assisted another’s making, application in a foreign country for a patent or for the registration of a utility model, industrial design, or model in respect of the invention. A United States patent issued to such person, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives shall be invalid, unless the failure to procure such license was through error, and the patent does not disclose subject matter within the scope of section 181 .

(Amended Aug. 23, 1988, Public Law 100-418, sec. 9101(b)(2), 102 Stat. 1568; Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1904; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 20(c) and (j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 185 (pre-AIA)   Patent barred for filing without license.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 185 for the law otherwise applicable.]

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law any person, and his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, shall not receive a United States patent for an invention if that person, or his successors, assigns, or legal representatives shall, without procuring the license prescribed in section 184 of this title, have made, or consented to or assisted another’s making, application in a foreign country for a patent or for the registration of a utility model, industrial design, or model in respect of the invention. A United States patent issued to such person, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives shall be invalid, unless the failure to procure such license was through error and without deceptive intent, and the patent does not disclose subject matter within the scope of section 181 of this title.

(Amended Aug. 23, 1988, Public Law 100-418, sec. 9101(b)(2), 102 Stat. 1568; Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1904.)

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35 U.S.C. 186   Penalty.

Whoever, during the period or periods of time an invention has been ordered to be kept secret and the grant of a patent thereon withheld pursuant to section 181 , shall, with knowledge of such order and without due authorization, willfully publish or disclose or authorize or cause to be published or disclosed the invention, or material information with respect thereto, or whoever willfully, in violation of the provisions of section 184 , shall file or cause or authorize to be filed in any foreign country an application for patent or for the registration of a utility model, industrial design, or model in respect of any invention made in the United States, shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both.

(Amended Aug. 23, 1988, Public Law 100-418, sec. 9101(b)(3), 102 Stat. 1568; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j), 125 Stat. 284, effective Sept. 16, 2012.)

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35 U.S.C. 187   Nonapplicability to certain persons.

The prohibitions and penalties of this chapter shall not apply to any officer or agent of the United States acting within the scope of his authority, nor to any person acting upon his written instructions or permission.

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35 U.S.C. 188   Rules and regulations, delegation of power.

The Atomic Energy Commission, the Secretary of a defense department, the chief officer of any other department or agency of the Government designated by the President as a defense agency of the United States, and the Secretary of Commerce, may separately issue rules and regulations to enable the respective department or agency to carry out the provisions of this chapter, and may delegate any power conferred by this chapter.

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CHAPTER 18 - PATENT RIGHTS IN INVENTIONS MADE WITH FEDERAL ASSISTANCE

  • 200 Policy and objective.
  • 201 Definitions.
  • 202 Disposition of rights.
  • 202 (pre-AIA) Disposition of rights.
  • 203 March-in rights.
  • 204 Preference for United States industry.
  • 205 Confidentiality.
  • 206 Uniform clauses and regulations.
  • 207 Domestic and foreign protection of federally owned inventions.
  • 208 Regulations governing Federal licensing.
  • 209 Licensing federally owned inventions.
  • 210 Precedence of chapter.
  • 211 Relationship to antitrust laws.
  • 212 Disposition of rights in educational awards.

35 U.S.C. 200   Policy and objective.

It is the policy and objective of the Congress to use the patent system to promote the utilization of inventions arising from federally supported research or development; to encourage maximum participation of small business firms in federally supported research and development efforts; to promote collaboration between commercial concerns and nonprofit organizations, including universities; to ensure that inventions made by nonprofit organizations and small business firms are used in a manner to promote free competition and enterprise without unduly encumbering future research and discovery; to promote the commercialization and public availability of inventions made in the United States by United States industry and labor; to ensure that the Government obtains sufficient rights in federally supported inventions to meet the needs of the Government and protect the public against nonuse or unreasonable use of inventions; and to minimize the costs of administering policies in this area.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 6(a), 94 Stat. 3018; amended Nov. 1, 2000, Public Law 106-404, sec. 5, 114 Stat. 1745.)

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35 U.S.C. 201   Definitions.

As used in this chapter —

  • (a) The term “Federal agency” means any executive agency as defined in section 105 of title 5, and the military departments as defined by section 102 of title 5.
  • (b) The term “funding agreement” means any contract, grant, or cooperative agreement entered into between any Federal agency, other than the Tennessee Valley Authority, and any contractor for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work funded in whole or in part by the Federal Government. Such term includes any assignment, substitution of parties, or subcontract of any type entered into for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work under a funding agreement as herein defined.
  • (c) The term “contractor” means any person, small business firm, or nonprofit organization that is a party to a funding agreement.
  • (d) The term “invention” means any invention or discovery which is or may be patentable or otherwise protectable under this title or any novel variety of plant which is or may be protectable under the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2321, et seq.).
  • (e) The term “subject invention” means any invention of the contractor conceived or first actually reduced to practice in the performance of work under a funding agreement: Provided, That in the case of a variety of plant, the date of determination (as defined in section 41(d) of the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2401(d)) must also occur during the period of contract performance.
  • (f) The term “practical application” means to manufacture in the case of a composition or product, to practice in the case of a process or method, or to operate in the case of a machine or system; and, in each case, under such conditions as to establish that the invention is being utilized and that its benefits are to the extent permitted by law or Government regulations available to the public on reasonable terms.
  • (g) The term “made” when used in relation to any invention means the conception or first actual reduction to practice of such invention.
  • (h) The term “small business firm” means a small business concern as defined at section 2 of Public Law 85-536 (15 U.S.C. 632) and implementing regulations of the Administrator of the Small Business Administration.
  • (i) The term “nonprofit organization” means universities and other institutions of higher education or an organization of the type described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 501(c)) and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501(a)) or any nonprofit scientific or educational organization qualified under a State nonprofit organization statute.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 6(a), 94 Stat. 3019; subsection (d) amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-620, sec. 501(1), 98 Stat. 3364; subsection (e) amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-620, sec. 501(2), 98 Stat. 3364; subsection (i) amended Oct. 22, 1986, Public Law 99-514, sec. 2, 100 Stat. 2095; subsection (a) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1904.)

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35 U.S.C. 202   Disposition of rights.

[Editor Note: 35 U.S.C. 202(c)(2) and (c)(3) as set forth below are applicable only to patent applications subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 202(c)(2) and (c)(3) (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) Each nonprofit organization or small business firm may, within a reasonable time after disclosure as required by paragraph (c)(1) of this section, elect to retain title to any subject invention: Provided, however, That a funding agreement may provide otherwise (i) when the contractor is not located in the United States or does not have a place of business located in the United States or is subject to the control of a foreign government, (ii) in exceptional circumstances when it is determined by the agency that restriction or elimination of the right to retain title to any subject invention will better promote the policy and objectives of this chapter, (iii) when it is determined by a Government authority which is authorized by statute or Executive order to conduct foreign intelligence or counterintelligence activities that the restriction or elimination of the right to retain title to any subject invention is necessary to protect the security of such activities, or (iv) when the funding agreement includes the operation of a Government-owned, contractor-operated facility of the Department of Energy primarily dedicated to that Department’s naval nuclear propulsion or weapons related programs and all funding agreement limitations under this subparagraph on the contractor’s right to elect title to a subject invention are limited to inventions occurring under the above two programs of the Department of Energy. The rights of the nonprofit organization or small business firm shall be subject to the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section and the other provisions of this chapter.
  • (b)
    • (1) The rights of the Government under subsection (a) shall not be exercised by a Federal agency unless it first determines that at least one of the conditions identified in clauses (i) through (iii) of subsection (a) exists. Except in the case of subsection (a)(iii), the agency shall file with the Secretary of Commerce, within thirty days after the award of the applicable funding agreement, a copy of such determination. In the case of a determination under subsection (a)(ii), the statement shall include an analysis justifying the determination. In the case of determinations applicable to funding agreements with small business firms, copies shall also be sent to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. If the Secretary of Commerce believes that any individual determination or pattern of determinations is contrary to the policies and objectives of this chapter or otherwise not in conformance with this chapter, the Secretary shall so advise the head of the agency concerned and the Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, and recommend corrective actions.
    • (2) Whenever the Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy has determined that one or more Federal agencies are utilizing the authority of clause (i) or (ii) of subsection (a) of this section in a manner that is contrary to the policies and objectives of this chapter the Administrator is authorized to issue regulations describing classes of situations in which agencies may not exercise the authorities of those clauses.
    • (3) If the contractor believes that a determination is contrary to the policies and objectives of this chapter or constitutes an abuse of discretion by the agency, the determination shall be subject to section 203(b) .
  • (c) Each funding agreement with a small business firm or nonprofit organization shall contain appropriate provisions to effectuate the following:
    • (1) That the contractor disclose each subject invention to the Federal agency within a reasonable time after it becomes known to contractor personnel responsible for the administration of patent matters, and that the Federal Government may receive title to any subject invention not disclosed to it within such time.
    • (2) That the contractor make a written election within two years after disclosure to the Federal agency (or such additional time as may be approved by the Federal agency) whether the contractor will retain title to a subject invention: Provided, That in any case where the 1-year period referred to in section 102(b) would end before the end of that 2-year period, the period for election may be shortened by the Federal agency to a date that is not more than sixty days before the end of that 1-year period: And provided further, That the Federal Government may receive title to any subject invention in which the contractor does not elect to retain rights or fails to elect rights within such times.
    • (3) That a contractor electing rights in a subject invention agrees to file a patent application prior to the expiration of the 1-year period referred to in section 102(b) , and shall thereafter file corresponding patent applications in other countries in which it wishes to retain title within reasonable times, and that the Federal Government may receive title to any subject inventions in the United States or other countries in which the contractor has not filed patent applications on the subject invention within such times.
    • (4) With respect to any invention in which the contractor elects rights, the Federal agency shall have a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license to practice or have practiced for or on behalf of the United States any subject invention throughout the world: Provided, That the funding agreement may provide for such additional rights, including the right to assign or have assigned foreign patent rights in the subject invention, as are determined by the agency as necessary for meeting the obligations of the United States under any treaty, international agreement, arrangement of cooperation, memorandum of understanding, or similar arrangement, including military agreements relating to weapons development and production.
    • (5) The right of the Federal agency to require periodic reporting on the utilization or efforts at obtaining utilization that are being made by the contractor or his licensees or assignees: Provided, That any such information, as well as any information on utilization or efforts at obtaining utilization obtained as part of a proceeding under section 203 of this chapter shall be treated by the Federal agency as commercial and financial information obtained from a person and privileged and confidential and not subject to disclosure under section 552 of title 5.
    • (6) An obligation on the part of the contractor, in the event a United States patent application is filed by or on its behalf or by any assignee of the contractor, to include within the specification of such application and any patent issuing thereon, a statement specifying that the invention was made with Government support and that the Government has certain rights in the invention.
    • (7) In the case of a nonprofit organization, (A) a prohibition upon the assignment of rights to a subject invention in the United States without the approval of the Federal agency, except where such assignment is made to an organization which has as one of its primary functions the management of inventions (provided that such assignee shall be subject to the same provisions as the contractor); (B) a requirement that the contractor share royalties with the inventor; (C) except with respect to a funding agreement for the operation of a Government-owned-contractor-operated facility, a requirement that the balance of any royalties or income earned by the contractor with respect to subject inventions, after payment of expenses (including payments to inventors) incidental to the administration of subject inventions, be utilized for the support of scientific research, or education; (D) a requirement that, except where it is determined to be infeasible following a reasonable inquiry, a preference in the licensing of subject inventions shall be given to small business firms; and (E) with respect to a funding agreement for the operation of a Government-owned-contractor-operator facility, requirements (i) that after payment of patenting costs, licensing costs, payments to inventors, and other expenses incidental to the administration of subject inventions, 100 percent of the balance of any royalties or income earned and retained by the contractor during any fiscal year, up to an amount equal to 5 percent of the annual budget of the facility, shall be used by the contractor for scientific research, development, and education consistent with the research and development mission and objectives of the facility, including activities that increase the licensing potential of other inventions of the facility provided that if said balance exceeds 5 percent of the annual budget of the facility, that 15 percent of such excess shall be paid to the Treasury of the United States and the remaining 85 percent shall be used for the same purposes described above in this clause; and (ii) that, to the extent it provides the most effective technology transfer, the licensing of subject inventions shall be administered by contractor employees on location at the facility.
    • (8) The requirements of sections 203 and 204 of this chapter.
  • (d) If a contractor does not elect to retain title to a subject invention in cases subject to this section, the Federal agency may consider and after consultation with the contractor grant requests for retention of rights by the inventor subject to the provisions of this Act and regulations promulgated hereunder.
  • (e) In any case when a Federal employee is a coinventor of any invention made with a nonprofit organization, a small business firm, or a non-Federal inventor, the Federal agency employing such coinventor may, for the purpose of consolidating rights in the invention and if it finds that it would expedite the development of the invention—
    • (1) license or assign whatever rights it may acquire in the subject invention to the nonprofit organization, small business firm, or non-Federal inventor in accordance with the provisions of this chapter; or
    • (2) acquire any rights in the subject invention from the nonprofit organization, small business firm, or non-Federal inventor, but only to the extent the party from whom the rights are acquired voluntarily enters into the transaction and no other transaction under this chapter is conditioned on such acquisition.
  • (f)
    • (1) No funding agreement with a small business firm or nonprofit organization shall contain a provision allowing a Federal agency to require the licensing to third parties of inventions owned by the contractor that are not subject inventions unless such provision has been approved by the head of the agency and a written justification has been signed by the head of the agency. Any such provision shall clearly state whether the licensing may be required in connection with the practice of a subject invention, a specifically identified work object, or both. The head of the agency may not delegate the authority to approve provisions or sign justifications required by this paragraph.
    • (2) A Federal agency shall not require the licensing of third parties under any such provision unless the head of the agency determines that the use of the invention by others is necessary for the practice of a subject invention or for the use of a work object of the funding agreement and that such action is necessary to achieve the practical application of the subject invention or work object. Any such determination shall be on the record after an opportunity for an agency hearing. Any action commenced for judicial review of such determination shall be brought within sixty days after notification of such determination.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 6(a), 94 Stat. 3020; subsection (b)(4) added and subsections (a), (b)(1), (b)(2), (c)(4), (c)(5), and (c)(7) amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-620, sec. 501, 98 Stat. 3364; subsection (b)(3) amended Dec. 10, 1991, Public Law 102-204, sec. 10, 105 Stat. 1641; subsection (a) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-583 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(12)); subsection (e) amended Nov. 1, 2000, Public Law 106-404, sec. 6(1), 114 Stat. 1745; subsections (b)(4), (c)(4), and (c)(5) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1905; paragraph (d)(4) redesignated as (d)(3) and former paragraph (d)(3) struck Public Law 111-8, div. G, title I, sec. 1301(h), Mar. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 829; subsection (c)(7)(E)(i) amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 13, 125 Stat. 284; subsections (b)(3) and (c)(7)(D) amended by Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(i)(effective Sept. 16, 2012), and subsections (c)(2) and (c)(3) amended by Public Law 112-29, sec. 3(g) (effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 202 (pre-AIA)  Disposition of rights.

[Editor Note: Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 202(c)(2) and (c)(3) as set forth below are not applicable to patent applications subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 202(c)(2) and (c)(3) for the law otherwise applicable.]

*****

  • (c) Each funding agreement with a small business firm or nonprofit organization shall contain appropriate provisions to effectuate the following:
    • ***
    • (2) That the contractor make a written election within two years after disclosure to the Federal agency (or such additional time as may be approved by the Federal agency) whether the contractor will retain title to a subject invention: Provided , That in any case where publication, on sale, or public use, has initiated the one year statutory period in which valid patent protection can still be obtained in the United States, the period for election may be shortened by the Federal agency to a date that is not more than sixty days prior to the end of the statutory period: And provided further , That the Federal Government may receive title to any subject invention in which the contractor does not elect to retain rights or fails to elect rights within such times.
    • (3) That a contractor electing rights in a subject invention agrees to file a patent application prior to any statutory bar date that may occur under this title due to publication, on sale, or public use, and shall thereafter file corresponding patent applications in other countries in which it wishes to retain title within reasonable times, and that the Federal Government may receive title to any subject inventions in the United States or other countries in which the contractor has not filed patent applications on the subject invention within such times.
    • ***

*****

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 6(a), 94 Stat. 3020; subsection (b)(4) added and subsections (a), (b)(1), (b)(2), (c)(4), (c)(5), and (c)(7) amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-620, sec. 501, 98 Stat. 3364; subsection (b)(3) amended Dec. 10, 1991, Public Law 102-204, sec. 10, 105 Stat. 1641; subsection (a) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-583 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(12)); subsection (e) amended Nov. 1, 2000, Public Law 106-404, sec. 6(1), 114 Stat. 1745; subsections (b)(4), (c)(4), and (c)(5) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1905; paragraph (d)(4) redesignated as (d)(3) and former paragraph (d)(3) struck Public Law 111-8, div. G, title I, sec. 1301(h), Mar. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 829; subsection (c)(7)(E)(i) amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 13, 125 Stat. 284; subsections (b)(3) and (c)(7)(D) amended by Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(i) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 203   March-in rights.

  • (a) With respect to any subject invention in which a small business firm or nonprofit organization has acquired title under this chapter, the Federal agency under whose funding agreement the subject invention was made shall have the right, in accordance with such procedures as are provided in regulations promulgated hereunder, to require the contractor, an assignee, or exclusive licensee of a subject invention to grant a nonexclusive, partially exclusive, or exclusive license in any field of use to a responsible applicant or applicants, upon terms that are reasonable under the circumstances, and if the contractor, assignee, or exclusive licensee refuses such request, to grant such a license itself, if the Federal agency determines that such —
    • (1) action is necessary because the contractor or assignee has not taken, or is not expected to take within a reasonable time, effective steps to achieve practical application of the subject invention in such field of use;
    • (2) action is necessary to alleviate health or safety needs which are not reasonably satisfied by the contractor, assignee, or their licensees;
    • (3) action is necessary to meet requirements for public use specified by Federal regulations and such requirements are not reasonably satisfied by the contractor, assignee, or licensees; or
    • (4) action is necessary because the agreement required by section 204 has not been obtained or waived or because a licensee of the exclusive right to use or sell any subject invention in the United States is in breach of its agreement obtained pursuant to section 204 .
  • (b) A determination pursuant to this section or section 202(b)(4) shall not be subject to chapter 71 of title 41. An administrative appeals procedure shall be established by regulations promulgated in accordance with section 206 . Additionally, any contractor, inventor, assignee, or exclusive licensee adversely affected by a determination under this section may, at any time within sixty days after the determination is issued, file a petition in the United States Court of Federal Claims, which shall have jurisdiction to determine the appeal on the record and to affirm, reverse, remand or modify, as appropriate, the determination of the Federal agency. In cases described in paragraphs (1) and (3) of subsection (a), the agency’s determination shall be held in abeyance pending the exhaustion of appeals or petitions filed under the preceding sentence.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 6(a), 94 Stat. 3022; amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-620, sec. 501(9), 98 Stat. 3367; Oct. 29, 1992, Public Law 102-572, sec. 902(b)(1), 106 Stat. 4516; amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1905; subsection (b) amended Jan. 4, 2011, Public Law 111-350, sec. 5(i)(2), 124 Stat. 3850.)

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35 U.S.C. 204   Preference for United States industry.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, no small business firm or nonprofit organization which receives title to any subject invention and no assignee of any such small business firm or nonprofit organization shall grant to any person the exclusive right to use or sell any subject invention in the United States unless such person agrees that any products embodying the subject invention or produced through the use of the subject invention will be manufactured substantially in the United States. However, in individual cases, the requirement for such an agreement may be waived by the Federal agency under whose funding agreement the invention was made upon a showing by the small business firm, nonprofit organization, or assignee that reasonable but unsuccessful efforts have been made to grant licenses on similar terms to potential licensees that would be likely to manufacture substantially in the United States or that under the circumstances domestic manufacture is not commercially feasible.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 6(a), 94 Stat. 3023.)

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35 U.S.C. 205   Confidentiality.

Federal agencies are authorized to withhold from disclosure to the public information disclosing any invention in which the Federal Government owns or may own a right, title, or interest (including a nonexclusive license) for a reasonable time in order for a patent application to be filed. Furthermore, Federal agencies shall not be required to release copies of any document which is part of an application for patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office or with any foreign patent office.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 6(a), 94 Stat. 3023.)

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35 U.S.C. 206   Uniform clauses and regulations.

The Secretary of Commerce may issue regulations which may be made applicable to Federal agencies implementing the provisions of sections 202 through 204 of this chapter and shall establish standard funding agreement provisions required under this chapter. The regulations and the standard funding agreement shall be subject to public comment before their issuance.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 6(a), 94 Stat. 3023; amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-620, sec. 501(10), 98 Stat. 3367.)

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35 U.S.C. 207   Domestic and foreign protection of federally owned inventions.

  • (a) Each Federal agency is authorized to —
    • (1) apply for, obtain, and maintain patents or other forms of protection in the United States and in foreign countries on inventions in which the Federal Government owns a right, title, or interest;
    • (2) grant nonexclusive, exclusive, or partially exclusive licenses under federally owned inventions, royalty-free or for royalties or other consideration, and on such terms and conditions, including the grant to the licensee of the right of enforcement pursuant to the provisions of chapter 29 as determined appropriate in the public interest;
    • (3) undertake all other suitable and necessary steps to protect and administer rights to federally owned inventions on behalf of the Federal Government either directly or through contract, including acquiring rights for and administering royalties to the Federal Government in any invention, but only to the extent the party from whom the rights are acquired voluntarily enters into the transaction, to facilitate the licensing of a federally owned invention; and
    • (4) transfer custody and administration, in whole or in part, to another Federal agency, of the right, title, or interest in any federally owned invention.
  • (b) For the purpose of assuring the effective management of Government-owned inventions, the Secretary of Commerce authorized to -
    • (1) assist Federal agency efforts to promote the licensing and utilization of Government-owned inventions;
    • (2) assist Federal agencies in seeking protection and maintaining inventions in foreign countries, including the payment of fees and costs connected therewith; and
    • (3) consult with and advise Federal agencies as to areas of science and technology research and development with potential for commercial utilization.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 6(a), 94 Stat. 3023; amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-620, sec. 501(11), 98 Stat. 3367; subsections (a)(2) and (a)(3) amended Nov. 1, 2000, Public Law 106-404, sec. 6(2), 114 Stat. 1745; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j), 125 Stat. 284, effective Sept. 16, 2012.)

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35 U.S.C. 208   Regulations governing Federal licensing.

The Secretary of Commerce is authorized to promulgate regulations specifying the terms and conditions upon which any federally owned invention, other than inventions owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority, may be licensed on a nonexclusive, partially exclusive, or exclusive basis.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 6(a), 94 Stat. 3024; amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-620, sec. 501(12), 98 Stat. 3367.)

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35 U.S.C. 209   Licensing federally owned inventions.

  • (a) AUTHORITY.—A Federal agency may grant an exclusive or partially exclusive license on a federally owned invention under section 207(a)(2) only if—
    • (1) granting the license is a reasonable and necessary incentive to—
      • (A) call forth the investment capital and expenditures needed to bring the invention to practical application; or
      • (B) otherwise promote the invention’s utilization by the public;
    • (2) the Federal agency finds that the public will be served by the granting of the license, as indicated by the applicant’s intentions, plans, and ability to bring the invention to practical application or otherwise promote the invention’s utilization by the public, and that the proposed scope of exclusivity is not greater than reasonably necessary to provide the incentive for bringing the invention to practical application, as proposed by the applicant, or otherwise to promote the invention’s utilization by the public;
    • (3) the applicant makes a commitment to achieve practical application of the invention within a reasonable time, which time may be extended by the agency upon the applicant’s request and the applicant’s demonstration that the refusal of such extension would be unreasonable;
    • (4) granting the license will not tend to substantially lessen competition or create or maintain a violation of the Federal antitrust laws; and
    • (5) in the case of an invention covered by a foreign patent application or patent, the interests of the Federal Government or United States industry in foreign commerce will be enhanced.
  • (b) MANUFACTURE IN UNITED STATES.—A Federal agency shall normally grant a license under section 207(a)(2) to use or sell any federally owned invention in the United States only to a licensee who agrees that any products embodying the invention or produced through the use of the invention will be manufactured substantially in the United States.
  • (c) SMALL BUSINESS.—First preference for the granting of any exclusive or partially exclusive licenses under section 207(a)(2) shall be given to small business firms having equal or greater likelihood as other applicants to bring the invention to practical application within a reasonable time.
  • (d) TERMS AND CONDITIONS.—Any licenses granted under section 207(a)(2) shall contain such terms and conditions as the granting agency considers appropriate, and shall include provisions—
    • (1) retaining a nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license for any Federal agency to practice the invention or have the invention practiced throughout the world by or on behalf of the Government of the United States;
    • (2) requiring periodic reporting on utilization of the invention, and utilization efforts, by the licensee, but only to the extent necessary to enable the Federal agency to determine whether the terms of the license are being complied with, except that any such report shall be treated by the Federal agency as commercial and financial information obtained from a person and privileged and confidential and not subject to disclosure under section 552 of title 5; and
    • (3) empowering the Federal agency to terminate the license in whole or in part if the agency determines that—
      • (A) the licensee is not executing its commitment to achieve practical application of the invention, including commitments contained in any plan submitted in support of its request for a license, and the licensee cannot otherwise demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Federal agency that it has taken, or can be expected to take within a reasonable time, effective steps to achieve practical application of the invention;
      • (B) the licensee is in breach of an agreement described in subsection (b);
      • (C) termination is necessary to meet requirements for public use specified by Federal regulations issued after the date of the license, and such requirements are not reasonably satisfied by the licensee; or
      • (D) the licensee has been found by a court of competent jurisdiction to have violated the Federal antitrust laws in connection with its performance under the license agreement.
  • (e) PUBLIC NOTICE.—No exclusive or partially exclusive license may be granted under section 207(a)(2) unless public notice of the intention to grant an exclusive or partially exclusive license on a federally owned invention has been provided in an appropriate manner at least 15 days before the license is granted, and the Federal agency has considered all comments received before the end of the comment period in response to that public notice. This subsection shall not apply to the licensing of inventions made under a cooperative research and development agreement entered into under section 12 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3710a).
  • (f) PLAN.—No Federal agency shall grant any license under a patent or patent application on a federally owned invention unless the person requesting the license has supplied the agency with a plan for development or marketing of the invention, except that any such plan shall be treated by the Federal agency as commercial and financial information obtained from a person and privileged and confidential and not subject to disclosure under section 552 of title 5.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 6(a), 94 Stat. 3024; amended Nov. 1, 2000, Public Law 106-404, sec. 4, 114 Stat. 1743; subsections (d)(2) and (f) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1905; subsection (d)(1) amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(i) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 210   Precedence of chapter.

  • (a) This chapter shall take precedence over any other Act which would require a disposition of rights in subject inventions of small business firms or nonprofit organizations contractors in a manner that is inconsistent with this chapter, including but not necessarily limited to the following:
    • (1) section 10(a) of the Act of June 29, 1935, as added by title I of the Act of August 14, 1946 (7 U.S.C. 427i(a); 60 Stat. 1085);
    • (2) section 205(a) of the Act of August 14, 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1624(a); 60 Stat. 1090);
    • (3) section 501(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 951(c); 83 Stat. 742);
    • (4) section 30168(e) of title 49;
    • (5) section 12 of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1871(a); 82 Stat. 360);
    • (6) section 152 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2182; 68 Stat. 943);
    • (7) section 20135 of title 51;
    • (8) section 6 of the Coal Research and Development Act of 1960 (30 U.S.C. 666; 74 Stat. 337);
    • (9) section 4 of the Helium Act Amendments of 1960 (50 U.S.C. 167b; 74 Stat. 920);
    • (10) section 32 of the Arms Control and Disarmament Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2572; 75 Stat. 634);
    • (11) section 9 of the Federal Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5908; 88 Stat. 1878);
    • (12) section 5(d) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2054(d); 86 Stat. 1211);
    • (13) section 3 of the Act of April 5, 1944 (30 U.S.C. 323; 58 Stat. 191);
    • (14) section 8001(c)(3) of the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 6981(c); 90 Stat. 2829);
    • (15) section 219 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2179; 83 Stat. 806);
    • (16) section 427(b) of the Federal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 937(b); 86 Stat. 155);
    • (17) section 306(d) of the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 1226(d); 91 Stat. 455);
    • (18) section 21(d) of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2218(d); 88 Stat. 1548);
    • (19) section 6(b) of the Solar Photovoltaic Energy Research Development and Demonstration Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 5585(b); 92 Stat. 2516);
    • (20) section 12 of the Native Latex Commercialization and Economic Development Act of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 178j; 92 Stat. 2533); and
    • (21) section 408 of the Water Resources and Development Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 7879; 92 Stat. 1360).

    The Act creating this chapter shall be construed to take precedence over any future Act unless that Act specifically cites this Act and provides that it shall take precedence over this Act.

  • (b) Nothing in this chapter is intended to alter the effect of the laws cited in paragraph (a) of this section or any other laws with respect to the disposition of rights in inventions made in the performance of funding agreements with persons other than nonprofit organizations or small business firms.
  • (c) Nothing in this chapter is intended to limit the authority of agencies to agree to the disposition of rights in inventions made in the performance of work under funding agreements with persons other than nonprofit organizations or small business firms in accordance with the Statement of Government Patent Policy issued on February 18, 1983, agency regulations, or other applicable regulations or to otherwise limit the authority of agencies to allow such persons to retain ownership of inventions, except that all funding agreements, including those with other than small business firms and nonprofit organizations, shall include the requirements established in section 202(c)(4) and section 203 . Any disposition of rights in inventions made in accordance with the Statement or implementing regulations, including any disposition occurring before enactment of this section, are hereby authorized.
  • (d) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require the disclosure of intelligence sources or methods or to otherwise affect the authority granted to the Director of Central Intelligence by statute or Executive order for the protection of intelligence sources or methods.
  • (e) The provisions of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 shall take precedence over the provisions of this chapter to the extent that they permit or require a disposition of rights in subject inventions which is inconsistent with this chapter.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 6(a), 94 Stat. 3026; subsection (c) amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-620, sec. 501(13), 98 Stat. 3367; subsection (e) added Oct. 20, 1986, Public Law 99-502, sec. 9(c), 100 Stat. 1796; subsection (a)(4) amended July 5, 1994, Public Law 103-272, sec. 5(j), 108 Stat. 1375; subsection (e) amended Mar. 7, 1996, Public Law 104-113, sec. 7, 110 Stat. 779.; subsection (a) amended Nov. 13, 1998, Public Law 105-393, sec. 220(c)(2), 112 Stat. 3625; subsections (a)(11), (a)(20), and (c) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1905; subsection (a)(8) amended Aug. 8, 2005, Public Law 109-58, sec. 1009(a)(2), 119 Stat. 934; subsection (a)(7) amended Dec. 18, 2010, Public Law 111-314, sec. 4(c), 124 Stat. 3440; subsection (c) amended amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j), 125 Stat. 284, effective Sept. 16, 2012.)

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35 U.S.C. 211   Relationship to antitrust laws.

Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to convey to any person immunity from civil or criminal liability, or to create any defenses to actions, under any antitrust law.

(Added Dec.12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 6(a), 94 Stat. 3027.)

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35 U.S.C. 212   Disposition of rights in educational awards.

No scholarship, fellowship, training grant, or other funding agreement made by a Federal agency primarily to an awardee for educational purposes will contain any provision giving the Federal agency any rights to inventions made by the awardee.

(Added Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-620, sec. 501(14), 98 Stat. 3368.)

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PART III - PATENTS AND PROTECTION OF PATENT RIGHTS

III

CHAPTER 25 - AMENDMENT AND CORRECTION OF PATENTS

  • 251 Reissue of defective patents.
  • 251 (pre-AIA) Reissue of defective patents.
  • 252 Effect of reissue.
  • 253 Disclaimer.
  • 253 (pre-AIA) Disclaimer.
  • 254 Certificate of correction of Patent and Trademark Office mistake.
  • 255 Certificate of correction of applicant’s mistake.
  • 256 Correction of named inventor.
  • 256 (pre-AIA) Correction of named inventor.
  • 257 Supplemental examinations to consider, reconsider, or correct information.

35 U.S.C. 251   Reissue of defective patents.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application filed on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 251 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—Whenever any patent is, through error, deemed wholly or partly inoperative or invalid, by reason of a defective specification or drawing, or by reason of the patentee claiming more or less than he had a right to claim in the patent, the Director shall, on the surrender of such patent and the payment of the fee required by law, reissue the patent for the invention disclosed in the original patent, and in accordance with a new and amended application, for the unexpired part of the term of the original patent. No new matter shall be introduced into the application for reissue.
  • (b) MULTIPLE REISSUED PATENTS.— The Director may issue several reissued patents for distinct and separate parts of the thing patented, upon demand of the applicant, and upon payment of the required fee for a reissue for each of such reissued patents.
  • (c) APPLICABILITY OF THIS TITLE.— The provisions of this title relating to applications for patent shall be applicable to applications for reissue of a patent, except that application for reissue may be made and sworn to by the assignee of the entire interest if the application does not seek to enlarge the scope of the claims of the original patent or the application for the original patent was filed by the assignee of the entire interest.
  • (d) REISSUE PATENT ENLARGING SCOPE OF CLAIMS.—No reissued patent shall be granted enlarging the scope of the claims of the original patent unless applied for within two years from the grant of the original patent.

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 4(b) and 20(d) (effective Sept, 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 251 (pre-AIA)  Reissue of defective patents.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to any patent application filed on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 251 for the law otherwise applicable.]

Whenever any patent is, through error without any deceptive intention, deemed wholly or partly inoperative or invalid, by reason of a defective specification or drawing, or by reason of the patentee claiming more or less than he had a right to claim in the patent, the Director shall, on the surrender of such patent and the payment of the fee required by law, reissue the patent for the invention disclosed in the original patent, and in accordance with a new and amended application, for the unexpired part of the term of the original patent. No new matter shall be introduced into the application for reissue.

The Director may issue several reissued patents for distinct and separate parts of the thing patented, upon demand of the applicant, and upon payment of the required fee for a reissue for each of such reissued patents.

The provisions of this title relating to applications for patent shall be applicable to applications for reissue of a patent, except that application for reissue may be made and sworn to by the assignee of the entire interest if the application does not seek to enlarge the scope of the claims of the original patent.

No reissued patent shall be granted enlarging the scope of the claims of the original patent unless applied for within two years from the grant of the original patent.

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 252   Effect of reissue.

The surrender of the original patent shall take effect upon the issue of the reissued patent, and every reissued patent shall have the same effect and operation in law, on the trial of actions for causes thereafter arising, as if the same had been originally granted in such amended form, but in so far as the claims of the original and reissued patents are substantially identical, such surrender shall not affect any action then pending nor abate any cause of action then existing, and the reissued patent, to the extent that its claims are substantially identical with the original patent, shall constitute a continuation thereof and have effect continuously from the date of the original patent.

A reissued patent shall not abridge or affect the right of any person or that person’s successors in business who, prior to the grant of a reissue, made, purchased, offered to sell, or used within the United States, or imported into the United States, anything patented by the reissued patent, to continue the use of, to offer to sell, or to sell to others to be used, offered for sale, or sold, the specific thing so made, purchased, offered for sale, used, or imported unless the making, using, offering for sale, or selling of such thing infringes a valid claim of the reissued patent which was in the original patent. The court before which such matter is in question may provide for the continued manufacture, use, offer for sale, or sale of the thing made, purchased, offered for sale, used, or imported as specified, or for the manufacture, use, offer for sale, or sale in the United States of which substantial preparation was made before the grant of the reissue, and the court may also provide for the continued practice of any process patented by the reissue that is practiced, or for the practice of which substantial preparation was made, before the grant of the reissue, to the extent and under such terms as the court deems equitable for the protection of investments made or business commenced before the grant of the reissue.

(Amended Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 533(b)(2), 108 Stat. 4989; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-566 (S. 1948 sec. 4507(8)).)

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35 U.S.C. 253   Disclaimer.

[Editor Note: Applicable to all proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 253 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—Whenever a claim of a patent is invalid the remaining claims shall not thereby be rendered invalid. A patentee, whether of the whole or any sectional interest therein, may, on payment of the fee required by law, make disclaimer of any complete claim, stating therein the extent of his interest in such patent. Such disclaimer shall be in writing and recorded in the Patent and Trademark Office, and it shall thereafter be considered as part of the original patent to the extent of the interest possessed by the disclaimant and by those claiming under him.
  • (b) ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER OR DEDICATION.—In the manner set forth in subsection (a), any patentee or applicant may disclaim or dedicate to the public the entire term, or any terminal part of the term, of the patent granted or to be granted.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(e), 125 Stat. 284, effective Sept. 16, 2012.)

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35 U.S.C. 253 (pre-AIA)  Disclaimer.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 253 for the law otherwise applicable.]

Whenever, without any deceptive intention, a claim of a patent is invalid the remaining claims shall not thereby be rendered invalid. A patentee, whether of the whole or any sectional interest therein, may, on payment of the fee required by law, make disclaimer of any complete claim, stating therein the extent of his interest in such patent. Such disclaimer shall be in writing and recorded in the Patent and Trademark Office, and it shall thereafter be considered as part of the original patent to the extent of the interest possessed by the disclaimant and by those claiming under him.

In like manner any patentee or applicant may disclaim or dedicate to the public the entire term, or any terminal part of the term, of the patent granted or to be granted.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

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35 U.S.C. 254   Certificate of correction of Patent and Trademark Office mistake.

Whenever a mistake in a patent, incurred through the fault of the Patent and Trademark Office, is clearly disclosed by the records of the Office, the Director may issue a certificate of correction stating the fact and nature of such mistake, under seal, without charge, to be recorded in the records of patents. A printed copy thereof shall be attached to each printed copy of the patent, and such certificate shall be considered as part of the original patent. Every such patent, together with such certificate, shall have the same effect and operation in law on the trial of actions for causes thereafter arising as if the same had been originally issued in such corrected form. The Director may issue a corrected patent without charge in lieu of and with like effect as a certificate of correction.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 255   Certificate of correction of applicant’s mistake.

Whenever a mistake of a clerical or typographical nature, or of minor character, which was not the fault of the Patent and Trademark Office, appears in a patent and a showing has been made that such mistake occurred in good faith, the Director may, upon payment of the required fee, issue a certificate of correction, if the correction does not involve such changes in the patent as would constitute new matter or would require reexamination. Such patent, together with the certificate, shall have the same effect and operation in law on the trial of actions for causes thereafter arising as if the same had been originally issued in such corrected form.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 256   Correction of named inventor.

[Editor Note: Applicable to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 256 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) CORRECTION.—Whenever through error a person is named in an issued patent as the inventor, or through error an inventor is not named in an issued patent, the Director may, on application of all the parties and assignees, with proof of the facts and such other requirements as may be imposed, issue a certificate correcting such error.
  • (b) PATENT VALID IF ERROR CORRECTED.— The error of omitting inventors or naming persons who are not inventors shall not invalidate the patent in which such error occurred if it can be corrected as provided in this section. The court before which such matter is called in question may order correction of the patent on notice and hearing of all parties concerned and the Director shall issue a certificate accordingly.

(Amended Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 6(b), 96 Stat. 320; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(f) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 256 (pre-AIA)  Correction of named inventor.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 256 for the law otherwise applicable.]

Whenever through error a person is named in an issued patent as the inventor, or through error an inventor is not named in an issued patent and such error arose without any deceptive intention on his part, the Director may, on application of all the parties and assignees, with proof of the facts and such other requirements as may be imposed, issue a certificate correcting such error.

The error of omitting inventors or naming persons who are not inventors shall not invalidate the patent in which such error occurred if it can be corrected as provided in this section. The court before which such matter is called in question may order correction of the patent on notice and hearing of all parties concerned and the Director shall issue a certificate accordingly.

(Amended Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 6(b), 96 Stat. 320; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 257  Supplemental examinations to consider, reconsider, or correct information.

  • (a) REQUEST FOR SUPPLEMENTAL EXAMINATION.—A patent owner may request supplemental examination of a patent in the Office to consider, reconsider, or correct information believed to be relevant to the patent, in accordance with such requirements as the Director may establish. Within 3 months after the date a request for supplemental examination meeting the requirements of this section is received, the Director shall conduct the supplemental examination and shall conclude such examination by issuing a certificate indicating whether the information presented in the request raises a substantial new question of patentability.
  • (b) REEXAMINATION ORDERED.—If the certificate issued under subsection (a) indicates that a substantial new question of patentability is raised by 1 or more items of information in the request, the Director shall order reexamination of the patent. The reexamination shall be conducted according to procedures established by chapter 30 , except that the patent owner shall not have the right to file a statement pursuant to section 304. During the reexamination, the Director shall address each substantial new question of patentability identified during the supplemental examination, notwithstanding the limitations in chapter 30 relating to patents and printed publication or any other provision of such chapter.
  • (c) EFFECT.—
    • (1) IN GENERAL.—A patent shall not be held unenforceable on the basis of conduct relating to information that had not been considered, was inadequately considered, or was incorrect in a prior examination of the patent if the information was considered, reconsidered, or corrected during a supplemental examination of the patent. The making of a request under subsection (a), or the absence thereof, shall not be relevant to enforceability of the patent under section 282.
    • (2) EXCEPTIONS.—
      • (A) PRIOR ALLEGATIONS.—Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an allegation pled with particularity in a civil action, or set forth with particularity in a notice received by the patent owner under section 505(j) (2)(B)(iv)(II) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355(j) (2)(B)(iv)(II)), before the date of a supplemental examination request under subsection (a) to consider, reconsider, or correct information forming the basis for the allegation.
      • (B) PATENT ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS.—In an action brought under section 337(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1337(a)), or section 281, paragraph (1) shall not apply to any defense raised in the action that is based upon information that was considered, reconsidered, or corrected pursuant to a supplemental examination request under subsection (a), unless the supplemental examination, and any reexamination ordered pursuant to the request, are concluded before the date on which the action is brought.
  • (d) FEES AND REGULATIONS.—
    • (1) FEES.—The Director shall, by regulation, establish fees for the submission of a request for supplemental examination of a patent, and to consider each item of information submitted in the request. If reexamination is ordered under subsection (b), fees established and applicable to ex parte reexamination proceedings under chapter 30 shall be paid, in addition to fees applicable to supplemental examination.
    • (2) REGULATIONS.—The Director shall issue regulations governing the form, content, and other requirements of requests for supplemental examination, and establishing procedures for reviewing information submitted in such requests.
  • (e) FRAUD.—If the Director becomes aware, during the course of a supplemental examination or reexamination proceeding ordered under this section, that a material fraud on the Office may have been committed in connection with the patent that is the subject of the supplemental examination, then in addition to any other actions the Director is authorized to take, including the cancellation of any claims found to be invalid under section 307 as a result of a reexamination ordered under this section, the Director shall also refer the matter to the Attorney General for such further action as the Attorney General may deem appropriate. Any such referral shall be treated as confidential, shall not be included in the file of the patent, and shall not be disclosed to the public unless the United States charges a person with a criminal offense in connection with such referral.
  • (f) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section shall be construed—
    • (1) to preclude the imposition of sanctions based upon criminal or antitrust laws (including section 1001(a) of title 18, the first section of the Clayton Act, and section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act to the extent that section relates to unfair methods of competition);
    • (2) to limit the authority of the Director to investigate issues of possible misconduct and impose sanctions for misconduct in connection with matters or proceedings before the Office; or
    • (3) to limit the authority of the Director to issue regulations under chapter 3 relating to sanctions for misconduct by representatives practicing before the Office.

(Added Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 12, 125 Stat. 284; amended Sept. 16, 2011 Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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CHAPTER 26 - OWNERSHIP AND ASSIGNMENT

  • 261 Ownership; assignment.
  • 262 Joint owners.

35 U.S.C. 261   Ownership; assignment.

Subject to the provisions of this title, patents shall have the attributes of personal property.

Applications for patent, patents, or any interest therein, shall be assignable in law by an instrument in writing. The applicant, patentee, or his assigns or legal representatives may in like manner grant and convey an exclusive right under his application for patent, or patents, to the whole or any specified part of the United States.

A certificate of acknowledgment under the hand and official seal of a person authorized to administer oaths within the United States, or, in a foreign country, of a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States or an officer authorized to administer oaths whose authority is proved by a certificate of a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States, or apostille of an official designated by a foreign country which, by treaty or convention, accords like effect to apostilles of designated officials in the United States, shall be prima facie evidence of the execution of an assignment, grant, or conveyance of a patent or application for patent.

An assignment, grant, or conveyance shall be void as against any subsequent purchaser or mortgagee for a valuable consideration, without notice, unless it is recorded in the Patent and Trademark Office within three months from its date or prior to the date of such subsequent purchase or mortgage.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 14(b), 96 Stat. 321.)

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35 U.S.C. 262   Joint owners.

In the absence of any agreement to the contrary, each of the joint owners of a patent may make, use, offer to sell, or sell the patented invention within the United States, or import the patented invention into the United States, without the consent of and without accounting to the other owners.

(Amended Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 533(b)(3), 108 Stat. 4989.)

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CHAPTER 27 - GOVERNMENT INTERESTS IN PATENTS

  • 266 [Repealed.]
  • 267 Time for taking action in Government applications.

35 U.S.C. 266   [Repealed.]

(Repealed July 24, 1965, Public Law 89-83, sec. 8, 79 Stat. 261.)

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35 U.S.C. 267   Time for taking action in Government applications.

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 133 and 151 , the Director may extend the time for taking any action to three years, when an application has become the property of the United States and the head of the appropriate department or agency of the Government has certified to the Director that the invention disclosed therein is important to the armament or defense of the United States.

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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CHAPTER 28 - INFRINGEMENT OF PATENTS

  • 271 Infringement of patent.
  • 272 Temporary presence in the United States.
  • 273 Defense to infringement based on prior commercial use.

35 U.S.C. 271   Infringement of patent.

  • (a) Except as otherwise provided in this title, whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States, or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent.
  • (b) Whoever actively induces infringement of a patent shall be liable as an infringer.
  • (c) Whoever offers to sell or sells within the United States or imports into the United States a component of a patented machine, manufacture, combination, or composition, or a material or apparatus for use in practicing a patented process, constituting a material part of the invention, knowing the same to be especially made or especially adapted for use in an infringement of such patent, and not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use, shall be liable as a contributory infringer.
  • (d) No patent owner otherwise entitled to relief for infringement or contributory infringement of a patent shall be denied relief or deemed guilty of misuse or illegal extension of the patent right by reason of his having done one or more of the following: (1) derived revenue from acts which if performed by another without his consent would constitute contributory infringement of the patent; (2) licensed or authorized another to perform acts which if performed without his consent would constitute contributory infringement of the patent; (3) sought to enforce his patent rights against infringement or contributory infringement; (4) refused to license or use any rights to the patent; or (5) conditioned the license of any rights to the patent or the sale of the patented product on the acquisition of a license to rights in another patent or purchase of a separate product, unless, in view of the circumstances, the patent owner has market power in the relevant market for the patent or patented product on which the license or sale is conditioned.
  • (e)
    • (1) It shall not be an act of infringement to make, use, offer to sell, or sell within the United States or import into the United States a patented invention (other than a new animal drug or veterinary biological product (as those terms are used in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Act of March 4, 1913) which is primarily manufactured using recombinant DNA, recombinant RNA, hybridoma technology, or other processes involving site specific genetic manipulation techniques) solely for uses reasonably related to the development and submission of information under a Federal law which regulates the manufacture, use, or sale of drugs or veterinary biological products.
    • (2) It shall be an act of infringement to submit —
      • (A) an application under section 505(j) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or described in section 505(b)(2) of such Act for a drug claimed in a patent or the use of which is claimed in a patent,
      • (B) an application under section 512 of such Act or under the Act of March 4, 1913 (21 U.S.C. 151 - 158) for a drug or veterinary biological product which is not primarily manufactured using recombinant DNA, recombinant RNA, hybridoma technology, or other processes involving site specific genetic manipulation techniques and which is claimed in a patent or the use of which is claimed in a patent, or
      • (C)
        • (i) with respect to a patent that is identified in the list of patents described in section 351(l)(3) of the Public Health Service Act (including as provided under section 351(l)(7) of such Act), an application seeking approval of a biological product, or
        • (ii) if the applicant for the application fails to provide the application and information required under section 351(l)(2)(A) of such Act, an application seeking approval of a biological product for a patent that could be identified pursuant to section 351(l)(3)(A)(i) of such Act,
        if the purpose of such submission is to obtain approval under such Act to engage in the commercial manufacture, use, or sale of a drug, veterinary biological product, or biological product claimed in a patent or the use of which is claimed in a patent before the expiration of such patent.
    • (3) In any action for patent infringement brought under this section, no injunctive or other relief may be granted which would prohibit the making, using, offering to sell, or selling within the United States or importing into the United States of a patented invention under paragraph (1).
    • (4) For an act of infringement described in paragraph (2)—
      • (A) the court shall order the effective date of any approval of the drug or veterinary biological product involved in the infringement to be a date which is not earlier than the date of the expiration of the patent which has been infringed,
      • (B) injunctive relief may be granted against an infringer to prevent the commercial manufacture, use, offer to sell, or sale within the United States or importation into the United States of an approved drug, veterinary biological product, or biological product,
      • (C) damages or other monetary relief may be awarded against an infringer only if there has been commercial manufacture, use, offer to sell, or sale within the United States or importation into the United States of an approved drug, veterinary biological product, or biological product, and
      • (D) the court shall order a permanent injunction prohibiting any infringement of the patent by the biological product involved in the infringement until a date which is not earlier than the date of the expiration of the patent that has been infringed under paragraph (2)(C), provided the patent is the subject of a final court decision, as defined in section 351(k)(6) of the Public Health Service Act, in an action for infringement of the patent under section 351(l)(6) of such Act, and the biological product has not yet been approved because of section 351(k)(7) of such Act.

      The remedies prescribed by subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (D) are the only remedies which may be granted by a court for an act of infringement described in paragraph (2), except that a court may award attorney fees under section 285 .

    • (5) Where a person has filed an application described in paragraph (2) that includes a certification under subsection (b)(2)(A)(iv) or (j) (2)(A)(vii)(IV) of section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355), and neither the owner of the patent that is the subject of the certification nor the holder of the approved application under subsection (b) of such section for the drug that is claimed by the patent or a use of which is claimed by the patent brought an action for infringement of such patent before the expiration of 45 days after the date on which the notice given under subsection (b)(3) or (j) (2)(B) of such section was received, the courts of the United States shall, to the extent consistent with the Constitution, have subject matter jurisdiction in any action brought by such person under section 2201 of title 28 for a declaratory judgment that such patent is invalid or not infringed.
    • (6)
      • (A) Subparagraph (B) applies, in lieu of paragraph (4), in the case of a patent-
        • (i) that is identified, as applicable, in the list of patents described in section 351(l)(4) of the Public Health Service Act or the lists of patents described in section 351(l)(5)(B) of such Act with respect to a biological product; and
        • (ii) for which an action for infringement of the patent with respect to the biological product—
          • (I) was brought after the expiration of the 30-day period described in subparagraph (A) or (B), as applicable, of section 351(l)(6) of such Act; or
          • (II) was brought before the expiration of the 30-day period described in subclause (I), but which was dismissed without prejudice or was not prosecuted to judgment in good faith.
      • (B) In an action for infringement of a patent described in subparagraph (A), the sole and exclusive remedy that may be granted by a court, upon a finding that the making, using, offering to sell, selling, or importation into the United States of the biological product that is the subject of the action infringed the patent, shall be a reasonable royalty.
      • (C) The owner of a patent that should have been included in the list described in section 351(l)(3)(A) of the Public Health Service Act, including as provided under section 351(l)(7) of such Act for a biological product, but was not timely included in such list, may not bring an action under this section for infringement of the patent with respect to the biological product.
  • (f)
    • (1) Whoever without authority supplies or causes to be supplied in or from the United States all or a substantial portion of the components of a patented invention, where such components are uncombined in whole or in part, in such manner as to actively induce the combination of such components outside of the United States in a manner that would infringe the patent if such combination occurred within the United States, shall be liable as an infringer.
    • (2) Whoever without authority supplies or causes to be supplied in or from the United States any component of a patented invention that is especially made or especially adapted for use in the invention and not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use, where such component is uncombined in whole or in part, knowing that such component is so made or adapted and intending that such component will be combined outside of the United States in a manner that would infringe the patent if such combination occurred within the United States, shall be liable as an infringer.
  • (g) Whoever without authority imports into the United States or offers to sell, sells, or uses within the United States a product which is made by a process patented in the United States shall be liable as an infringer, if the importation, offer to sell, sale, or use of the product occurs during the term of such process patent. In an action for infringement of a process patent, no remedy may be granted for infringement on account of the noncommercial use or retail sale of a product unless there is no adequate remedy under this title for infringement on account of the importation or other use, offer to sell, or sale of that product. A product which is made by a patented process will, for purposes of this title, not be considered to be so made after —
    • (1) it is materially changed by subsequent processes; or
    • (2) it becomes a trivial and nonessential component of another product.
  • (h) As used in this section, the term “whoever” includes any State, any instrumentality of a State, any officer or employee of a State or instrumentality of a State acting in his official capacity. Any State, and any such instrumentality, officer, or employee, shall be subject to the provisions of this title in the same manner and to the same extent as any nongovernmental entity.
  • (i) As used in this section, an “offer for sale” or an “offer to sell” by a person other than the patentee or any assignee of the patentee, is that in which the sale will occur before the expiration of the term of the patent.

(Subsection (e) added Sept. 24, 1984, Public Law 98-417, sec. 202, 98 Stat. 1603; subsection (f) added Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 101(a), 98 Stat. 3383; subsection (g) added Aug. 23, 1988, Public Law 100-418, sec. 9003, 102 Stat. 1564; subsection (e) amended Nov. 16, 1988, Public Law 100-670, sec. 201(i), 102 Stat. 3988; subsection (d) amended Nov. 19, 1988, Public Law 100-703, sec. 201, 102 Stat. 4676; subsection (h) added Oct. 28, 1992, Public Law 102-560, sec. 2(a)(1), 106 Stat. 4230.; subsections (a), (c), (e), and (g) amended Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 533(a), 108 Stat. 4988; subsection (i) added Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 533(a), 108 Stat. 4988.; subsection (e)(5) added Dec. 8, 2003, Public Law 108-173, sec. 1101(d), 117 Stat. 2457; subsection (e) amended March 23, 2010, Public Law 111-148, title VII, sec. 7002(c)(1), 124 Stat. 815.)

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35 U.S.C. 272   Temporary presence in the United States.

The use of any invention in any vessel, aircraft or vehicle of any country which affords similar privileges to vessels, aircraft, or vehicles of the United States, entering the United States temporarily or accidentally, shall not constitute infringement of any patent, if the invention is used exclusively for the needs of the vessel, aircraft, or vehicle and is not offered for sale or sold in or used for the manufacture of anything to be sold in or exported from the United States.

(Amended Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 533(b)(4), 108 Stat. 4989.)

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35 U.S.C. 273   Defense to infringement based on prior commercial use.

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—A person shall be entitled to a defense under section 282(b) with respect to subject matter consisting of a process, or consisting of a machine, manufacture, or composition of matter used in a manufacturing or other commercial process, that would otherwise infringe a claimed invention being asserted against the person if—
    • (1) such person, acting in good faith, commercially used the subject matter in the United States, either in connection with an internal commercial use or an actual arm’s length sale or other arm’s length commercial transfer of a useful end result of such commercial use; and
    • (2) such commercial use occurred at least 1 year before the earlier of either—
      • (A) the effective filing date of the claimed invention; or
      • (B) the date on which the claimed invention was disclosed to the public in a manner that qualified for the exception from prior art under section 102(b) .
  • (b) BURDEN OF PROOF.—A person asserting a defense under this section shall have the burden of establishing the defense by clear and convincing evidence.
  • (c) ADDITIONAL COMMERCIAL USES.—
    • (1) PREMARKETING REGULATORY REVIEW.— Subject matter for which commercial marketing or use is subject to a premarketing regulatory review period during which the safety or efficacy of the subject matter is established, including any period specified in section 156(g) , shall be deemed to be commercially used for purposes of subsection (a)(1) during such regulatory review period.
    • (2) NONPROFIT LABORATORY USE.—A use of subject matter by a nonprofit research laboratory or other nonprofit entity, such as a university or hospital, for which the public is the intended beneficiary, shall be deemed to be a commercial use for purposes of subsection (a)(1), except that a defense under this section may be asserted pursuant to this paragraph only for continued and noncommercial use by and in the laboratory or other nonprofit entity.
  • (d) EXHAUSTION OF RIGHTS.—Notwithstanding subsection (e)(1), the sale or other disposition of a useful end result by a person entitled to assert a defense under this section in connection with a patent with respect to that useful end result shall exhaust the patent owner’s rights under the patent to the extent that such rights would have been exhausted had such sale or other disposition been made by the patent owner.
  • (e) LIMITATIONS AND EXCEPTIONS.—
    • (1) PERSONAL DEFENSE.—
      • (A) IN GENERAL.—A defense under this section may be asserted only by the person who performed or directed the performance of the commercial use described in subsection (a), or by an entity that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with such person.
      • (B) TRANSFER OF RIGHT.—Except for any transfer to the patent owner, the right to assert a defense under this section shall not be licensed or assigned or transferred to another person except as an ancillary and subordinate part of a good-faith assignment or transfer for other reasons of the entire enterprise or line of business to which the defense relates.
      • (C) RESTRICTION ON SITES.—A defense under this section, when acquired by a person as part of an assignment or transfer described in subparagraph (B), may only be asserted for uses at sites where the subject matter that would otherwise infringe a claimed invention is in use before the later of the effective filing date of the claimed invention or the date of the assignment or transfer of such enterprise or line of business.
    • (2) DERIVATION.—A person may not assert a defense under this section if the subject matter on which the defense is based was derived from the patentee or persons in privity with the patentee.
    • (3) NOT A GENERAL LICENSE.—The defense asserted by a person under this section is not a general license under all claims of the patent at issue, but extends only to the specific subject matter for which it has been established that a commercial use that qualifies under this section occurred, except that the defense shall also extend to variations in the quantity or volume of use of the claimed subject matter, and to improvements in the claimed subject matter that do not infringe additional specifically claimed subject matter of the patent.
    • (4) ABANDONMENT OF USE.—A person who has abandoned commercial use (that qualifies under this section) of subject matter may not rely on activities performed before the date of such abandonment in establishing a defense under this section with respect to actions taken on or after the date of such abandonment.
    • (5) UNIVERSITY EXCEPTION.—
      • (A) IN GENERAL.—A person commercially using subject matter to which subsection (a) applies may not assert a defense under this section if the claimed invention with respect to which the defense is asserted was, at the time the invention was made, owned or subject to an obligation of assignment to either an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)), or a technology transfer organization whose primary purpose is to facilitate the commercialization of technologies developed by one or more such institutions of higher education.
      • (B) EXCEPTION.—Subparagraph (A) shall not apply if any of the activities required to reduce to practice the subject matter of the claimed invention could not have been under taken using funds provided by the Federal Government.
  • (f) UNREASONABLE ASSERTION OF DEFENSE.—If the defense under this section is pleaded by a person who is found to infringe the patent and who subsequently fails to demonstrate a reasonable basis for asserting the defense, the court shall find the case exceptional for the purpose of awarding attorney fees under section 285.
  • (g) INVALIDITY.—A patent shall not be deemed to be invalid under section 102 or 103 solely because a defense is raised or established under this section.

(Added Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-555 (S. 1948 sec. 4302); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 5, 125 Stat. 284.)

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CHAPTER 29 - REMEDIES FOR INFRINGEMENT OF PATENT, AND OTHER ACTIONS

  • 281 Remedy for infringement of patent.
  • 282 Presumption of validity; defenses.
  • 283 Injunction.
  • 284 Damages.
  • 285 Attorney fees.
  • 286 Time limitation on damages.
  • 287 Limitation on damages and other remedies; marking and notice.
  • 288 Action for infringement of a patent containing an invalid claim.
  • 288 (pre-AIA) Action for infringement of a patent containing an invalid claim.
  • 289 Additional remedy for infringement of design patent.
  • 290 Notice of patent suits.
  • 291 Derived patents.
  • 291 (pre-AIA) Interfering patents.
  • 292 False marking.
  • 293 Nonresident patentee; service and notice.
  • 294 Voluntary arbitration.
  • 295 Presumptions: Product made by patented process.
  • 296 Liability of States, instrumentalities of States, and State officials for infringement of patents.
  • 297 Improper and deceptive invention promotion.
  • 298 Advice of counsel.
  • 299 Joinder of parties.

35 U.S.C. 281   Remedy for infringement of patent.

A patentee shall have remedy by civil action for infringement of his patent.

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35 U.S.C. 282   Presumption of validity; defenses.

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—A patent shall be presumed valid. Each claim of a patent (whether in independent, dependent, or multiple dependent form) shall be presumed valid independently of the validity of other claims; dependent or multiple dependent claims shall be presumed valid even though dependent upon an invalid claim. The burden of establishing invalidity of a patent or any claim thereof shall rest on the party asserting such invalidity.
  • (b) DEFENSES.—The following shall be defenses in any action involving the validity or infringement of a patent and shall be pleaded:
    • (1) Noninfringement, absence of liability for infringement, or unenforceability.
    • (2) Invalidity of the patent or any claim in suit on any ground specified in part II as a condition for patentability.
    • (3) Invalidity of the patent or any claim in suit for failure to comply with—
      • (A) any requirement of section 112 , except that the failure to disclose the best mode shall not be a basis on which any claim of a patent may be canceled or held invalid or otherwise unenforceable; or
      • (B) any requirement of section 251 .
    • (4) Any other fact or act made a defense by this title.
  • (c) NOTICE OF ACTIONS; ACTIONS DURING EXTENSION OF PATENT TERM.— In an action involving the validity or infringement of a patent the party asserting invalidity or noninfringement shall give notice in the pleadings or otherwise in writing to the adverse party at least thirty days before the trial, of the country, number, date, and name of the patentee of any patent, the title, date, and page numbers of any publication to be relied upon as anticipation of the patent in suit or, except in actions in the United States Court of Federal Claims, as showing the state of the art, and the name and address of any person who may be relied upon as the prior inventor or as having prior knowledge of or as having previously used or offered for sale the invention of the patent in suit. In the absence of such notice proof of the said matters may not be made at the trial except on such terms as the court requires.

    Invalidity of the extension of a patent term or any portion thereof under section 154(b) or 156 because of the material failure—

    • (1) by the applicant for the extension, or
    • (2) by the Director,

    to comply with the requirements of such section shall be a defense in any action involving the infringement of a patent during the period of the extension of its term and shall be pleaded. A due diligence determination under section 156(d)(2) is not subject to review in such an action.

(Amended July 24, 1965, Public Law 89-83, sec. 10, 79 Stat. 261; Nov. 14, 1975, Public Law 94-131, sec. 10, 89 Stat. 692; Apr. 2, 1982, Public Law 97-164, sec. 161(7), 96 Stat. 49; Sept. 24, 1984, Public Law 98-417, sec. 203, 98 Stat. 1603; Oct. 29, 1992, Public Law 102-572, sec. 902(b)(1), 106 Stat. 4516; Nov. 1, 1995, Public Law 104-41, sec. 2, 109 Stat. 352; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-560, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4402(b)(1) and 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 15(a) (effective Sept. 16, 2011) and secs. 20(g) and (j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 283   Injunction.

The several courts having jurisdiction of cases under this title may grant injunctions in accordance with the principles of equity to prevent the violation of any right secured by patent, on such terms as the court deems reasonable.

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35 U.S.C. 284   Damages.

Upon finding for the claimant the court shall award the claimant damages adequate to compensate for the infringement but in no event less than a reasonable royalty for the use made of the invention by the infringer, together with interest and costs as fixed by the court.

When the damages are not found by a jury, the court shall assess them. In either event the court may increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed. Increased damages under this paragraph shall not apply to provisional rights under section 154(d) .

The court may receive expert testimony as an aid to the determination of damages or of what royalty would be reasonable under the circumstances.

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-566 (S. 1948 sec. 4507(9)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 285   Attorney fees.

The court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party.

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35 U.S.C. 286   Time limitation on damages.

Except as otherwise provided by law, no recovery shall be had for any infringement committed more than six years prior to the filing of the complaint or counterclaim for infringement in the action.

In the case of claims against the United States Government for use of a patented invention, the period before bringing suit, up to six years, between the date of receipt of a written claim for compensation by the department or agency of the Government having authority to settle such claim, and the date of mailing by the Government of a notice to the claimant that his claim has been denied shall not be counted as a part of the period referred to in the preceding paragraph.

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35 U.S.C. 287   Limitation on damages and other remedies; marking and notice.

  • (a) Patentees, and persons making, offering for sale, or selling within the United States any patented article for or under them, or importing any patented article into the United States, may give notice to the public that the same is patented, either by fixing thereon the word “patent” or the abbreviation “pat.”, together with the number of the patent, or by fixing thereon the word “patent” or the abbreviation “pat.” together with an address of a posting on the Internet, accessible to the public without charge for accessing the address, that associates the patented article with the number of the patent, or when, from the character of the article, this cannot be done, by fixing to it, or to the package wherein one or more of them is contained, a label containing a like notice. In the event of failure so to mark, no damages shall be recovered by the patentee in any action for infringement, except on proof that the infringer was notified of the infringement and continued to infringe thereafter, in which event damages may be recovered only for infringement occurring after such notice. Filing of an action for infringement shall constitute such notice.
  • (b)
    • (1) An infringer under section 271(g) shall be subject to all the provisions of this title relating to damages and injunctions except to the extent those remedies are modified by this subsection or section 9006 of the Process Patent Amendments Act of 1988. The modifications of remedies provided in this subsection shall not be available to any person who —
      • (A) practiced the patented process;
      • (B) owns or controls, or is owned or controlled by, the person who practiced the patented process; or
      • (C) had knowledge before the infringement that a patented process was used to make the product the importation, use, offer for sale, or sale of which constitutes the infringement.
    • (2) No remedies for infringement under section 271(g) shall be available with respect to any product in the possession of, or in transit to, the person subject to liability under such section before that person had notice of infringement with respect to that product. The person subject to liability shall bear the burden of proving any such possession or transit.
    • (3)
      • (A) In making a determination with respect to the remedy in an action brought for infringement under section 271(g) , the court shall consider—
        • (i) the good faith demonstrated by the defendant with respect to a request for disclosure;
        • (ii) the good faith demonstrated by the plaintiff with respect to a request for disclosure, and
        • (iii) the need to restore the exclusive rights secured by the patent.
      • (B) For purposes of subparagraph (A), the following are evidence of good faith:
        • (i) a request for disclosure made by the defendant;
        • (ii) a response within a reasonable time by the person receiving the request for disclosure; and
        • (iii) the submission of the response by the defendant to the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer is not known, to the supplier, of the product to be purchased by the defendant, together with a request for a written statement that the process claimed in any patent disclosed in the response is not used to produce such product.

        The failure to perform any acts described in the preceding sentence is evidence of absence of good faith unless there are mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances include the case in which, due to the nature of the product, the number of sources for the product, or like commercial circumstances, a request for disclosure is not necessary or practicable to avoid infringement.

    • (4)
      • (A) For purposes of this subsection, a “request for disclosure” means a written request made to a person then engaged in the manufacture of a product to identify all process patents owned by or licensed to that person, as of the time of the request, that the person then reasonably believes could be asserted to be infringed under section 271(g) if that product were imported into, or sold, offered for sale, or used in, the United States by an unauthorized person. A request for disclosure is further limited to a request—
        • (i) which is made by a person regularly engaged in the United States in the sale of the type of products as those manufactured by the person to whom the request is directed, or which includes facts showing that the person making the request plans to engage in the sale of such products in the United States;
        • (ii) which is made by such person before the person’s first importation, use, offer for sale, or sale of units of the product produced by an infringing process and before the person had notice of infringement with respect to the product; and
        • (iii) which includes a representation by the person making the request that such person will promptly submit the patents identified pursuant to the request to the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer is not known, to the supplier, of the product to be purchased by the person making the request, and will request from that manufacturer or supplier a written statement that none of the processes claimed in those patents is used in the manufacture of the product.
      • (B) In the case of a request for disclosure received by a person to whom a patent is licensed, that person shall either identify the patent or promptly notify the licensor of the request for disclosure.
      • (C) A person who has marked, in the manner prescribed by subsection (a), the number of the process patent on all products made by the patented process which have been offered for sale or sold by that person in the United States, or imported by the person into the United States, before a request for disclosure is received is not required to respond to the request for disclosure. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the term “all products” does not include products made before the effective date of the Process Patent Amendments Act of 1988.
    • (5)
      • (A) For purposes of this subsection, notice of infringement means actual knowledge, or receipt by a person of a written notification, or a combination thereof, of information sufficient to persuade a reasonable person that it is likely that a product was made by a process patented in the United States.
      • (B) A written notification from the patent holder charging a person with infringement shall specify the patented process alleged to have been used and the reasons for a good faith belief that such process was used. The patent holder shall include in the notification such information as is reasonably necessary to explain fairly the patent holder’s belief, except that the patent holder is not required to disclose any trade secret information.
      • (C) A person who receives a written notification described in subparagraph (B) or a written response to a request for disclosure described in paragraph (4) shall be deemed to have notice of infringement with respect to any patent referred to in such written notification or response unless that person, absent mitigating circumstances—
        • (i) promptly transmits the written notification or response to the manufacturer or, if the manufacturer is not known, to the supplier, of the product purchased or to be purchased by that person; and
        • (ii) receives a written statement from the manufacturer or supplier which on its face sets forth a well grounded factual basis for a belief that the identified patents are not infringed.
      • (D) For purposes of this subsection, a person who obtains a product made by a process patented in the United States in a quantity which is abnormally large in relation to the volume of business of such person or an efficient inventory level shall be rebuttably presumed to have actual knowledge that the product was made by such patented process.
    • (6) A person who receives a response to a request for disclosure under this subsection shall pay to the person to whom the request was made a reasonable fee to cover actual costs incurred in complying with the request, which may not exceed the cost of a commercially available automated patent search of the matter involved, but in no case more than $500.
  • (c)
    • (1) With respect to a medical practitioner’s performance of a medical activity that constitutes an infringement under section 271(a) or (b) , the provisions of sections 281 , 283 , 284 , and 285 shall not apply against the medical practitioner or against a related health care entity with respect to such medical activity.
    • (2) For the purposes of this subsection:
      • (A) the term “medical activity” means the performance of a medical or surgical procedure on a body, but shall not include (i) the use of a patented machine, manufacture, or composition of matter in violation of such patent, (ii) the practice of a patented use of a composition of matter in violation of such patent, or (iii) the practice of a process in violation of a biotechnology patent.
      • (B) the term “medical practitioner” means any natural person who is licensed by a State to provide the medical activity described in subsection (c)(1) or who is acting under the direction of such person in the performance of the medical activity.
      • (C) the term “related health care entity” shall mean an entity with which a medical practitioner has a professional affiliation under which the medical practitioner performs the medical activity, including but not limited to a nursing home, hospital, university, medical school, health maintenance organization, group medical practice, or a medical clinic.
      • (D) the term “professional affiliation” shall mean staff privileges, medical staff membership, employment or contractual relationship, partnership or ownership interest, academic appointment, or other affiliation under which a medical practitioner provides the medical activity on behalf of, or in association with, the health care entity.
      • (E) the term “body” shall mean a human body, organ or cadaver, or a nonhuman animal used in medical research or instruction directly relating to the treatment of humans.
      • (F) the term “patented use of a composition of matter” does not include a claim for a method of performing a medical or surgical procedure on a body that recites the use of a composition of matter where the use of that composition of matter does not directly contribute to achievement of the objective of the claimed method.
      • (G) the term “State” shall mean any State or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
    • (3) This subsection does not apply to the activities of any person, or employee or agent of such person (regardless of whether such person is a tax exempt organization under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code), who is engaged in the commercial development, manufacture, sale, importation, or distribution of a machine, manufacture, or composition of matter or the provision of pharmacy or clinical laboratory services (other than clinical laboratory services provided in a physician’s office), where such activities are:
      • (A) directly related to the commercial development, manufacture, sale, importation, or distribution of a machine, manufacture, or composition of matter or the provision of pharmacy or clinical laboratory services (other than clinical laboratory services provided in a physician’s office), and
      • (B) regulated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Public Health Service Act, or the Clinical Laboratories Improvement Act.
    • (4) This subsection shall not apply to any patent issued based on an application which has an effective filing date before September 30, 1996.

(Amended Aug. 23, 1988, Public Law 100-418, sec. 9004(a), 102 Stat. 1564; Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 533(b)(5), 108 Stat. 4989; subsection (c) added Sept. 30, 1996, Public Law 104-208, sec. 616, 110 Stat. 3009-67; amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-589 (S. 1948 sec. 4803); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 16(a) (effective Sept. 16, 2011), secs. 20(i) and (j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), and sec. 3(g) (effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 288   Action for infringement of a patent containing an invalid claim.

[Editor Note: Applicable to all proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 288 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

Whenever a claim of a patent is invalid, an action may be maintained for the infringement of a claim of the patent which may be valid. The patentee shall recover no costs unless a disclaimer of the invalid claim has been entered at the Patent and Trademark Office before the commencement of the suit.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(h), 125 Stat. 284, effective Sept. 16, 2012.)

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35 U.S.C. 288 (pre-AIA)  Action for infringement of a patent containing an invalid claim.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to to proceedings commenced on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 288 for the law otherwise applicable.]

Whenever, without deceptive intention, a claim of a patent is invalid, an action may be maintained for the infringement of a claim of the patent which may be valid. The patentee shall recover no costs unless a disclaimer of the invalid claim has been entered at the Patent and Trademark Office before the commencement of the suit.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

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35 U.S.C. 289   Additional remedy for infringement of design patent.

Whoever during the term of a patent for a design, without license of the owner, (1) applies the patented design, or any colorable imitation thereof, to any article of manufacture for the purpose of sale, or (2) sells or exposes for sale any article of manufacture to which such design or colorable imitation has been applied shall be liable to the owner to the extent of his total profit, but not less than $250, recoverable in any United States district court having jurisdiction of the parties.

Nothing in this section shall prevent, lessen, or impeach any other remedy which an owner of an infringed patent has under the provisions of this title, but he shall not twice recover the profit made from the infringement.

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35 U.S.C. 290   Notice of patent suits.

The clerks of the courts of the United States, within one month after the filing of an action under this title, shall give notice thereof in writing to the Director, setting forth so far as known the names and addresses of the parties, name of the inventor, and the designating number of the patent upon which the action has been brought. If any other patent is subsequently included in the action he shall give like notice thereof. Within one month after the decision is rendered or a judgment issued the clerk of the court shall give notice thereof to the Director. The Director shall, on receipt of such notices, enter the same in the file of such patent.

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

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35 U.S.C. 291  Derived Patents.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) )*. See 35 U.S.C. 291 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—The owner of a patent may have relief by civil action against the owner of another patent that claims the same invention and has an earlier effective filing date, if the invention claimed in such other patent was derived from the inventor of the invention claimed in the patent owned by the person seeking relief under this section.
  • (b) FILING LIMITATION.—An action under this section may be filed only before the end of the 1-year period beginning on the date of the issuance of the first patent containing a claim to the allegedly derived invention and naming an individual alleged to have derived such invention as the inventor or joint inventor.

(Amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012)and 3(h) (effective March 16, 2013)*, 125 Stat. 284.)

*NOTE: The provisions of 35 U.S.C. 291 (pre-AIA) , as in effect on March 15, 2013, shall also apply to each claim of an application for patent, and any patent issued thereon, for which the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA apply (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ), if such application or patent contains or contained at any time—

  • (A) a claim to an invention having an effective filing date as defined in 35 U.S.C. 100(i) , that occurs before March 16, 2013; or
  • (B) a specific reference under 35 U.S.C. 120 , 121 , or 365(c) , to any patent or application that contains or contained at any time such a claim.

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35 U.S.C. 291 (pre-AIA)  Interfering patents.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ).* See 35 U.S.C. 291 for the law otherwise applicable.*]

The owner of an interfering patent may have relief against the owner of another by civil action, and the court may adjudge the question of validity of any of the interfering patents, in whole or in part. The provisions of the second paragraph of section 146 shall apply to actions brought under this section.

(Amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.

*NOTE: The provisions of 35 U.S.C. 291 (pre-AIA), as in effect on March 15, 2013, shall also apply to each claim of an application for patent, and any patent issued thereon, for which the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA apply (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ), if such application or patent contains or contained at any time—

  • (A) a claim to an invention having an effective filing date as defined in 35 U.S.C. 100(i) , that occurs before March 16, 2013; or
  • (B) a specific reference under 35 U.S.C. 120 , 121 , or 365(c) , to any patent or application that contains or contained at any time such a claim.

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35 U.S.C. 292   False marking.

  • (a)
    • Whoever, without the consent of the patentee, marks upon, or affixes to, or uses in advertising in connection with anything made, used, offered for sale, or sold by such person within the United States, or imported by the person into the United States, the name or any imitation of the name of the patentee, the patent number, or the words “patent,” “patentee,” or the like, with the intent of counterfeiting or imitating the mark of the patentee, or of deceiving the public and inducing them to believe that the thing was made, offered for sale, sold, or imported into the United States by or with the consent of the patentee; or
    • Whoever marks upon, or affixes to, or uses in advertising in connection with any unpatented article the word “patent” or any word or number importing the same is patented, for the purpose of deceiving the public; or
    • Whoever marks upon, or affixes to, or uses in advertising in connection with any article the words “patent applied for,” “patent pending,” or any word importing that an application for patent has been made, when no application for patent has been made, or if made, is not pending, for the purpose of deceiving the public—
    Shall be fined not more than $500 for every such offense. Only the United States may sue for the penalty authorized by this subsection.
  • (b) A person who has suffered a competitive injury as a result of a violation of this section may file a civil action in a district court of the United States for recovery of damages adequate to compensate for the injury.
  • (c) The marking of a product, in a manner described in subsection (a), with matter relating to a patent that covered that product but has expired is not a violation of this section.

(Subsection (a) amended Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 533(b)(6), 108 Stat. 4990; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 16(b), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 293   Nonresident patentee; service and notice.

Every patentee not residing in the United States may file in the Patent and Trademark Office a written designation stating the name and address of a person residing within the United States on whom may be served process or notice of proceedings affecting the patent or rights thereunder. If the person designated cannot be found at the address given in the last designation, or if no person has been designated, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia shall have jurisdiction and summons shall be served by publication or otherwise as the court directs. The court shall have the same jurisdiction to take any action respecting the patent or rights thereunder that it would have if the patentee were personally within the jurisdiction of the court.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 9, 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 294   Voluntary arbitration.

  • (a) A contract involving a patent or any right under a patent may contain a provision requiring arbitration of any dispute relating to patent validity or infringement arising under the contract. In the absence of such a provision, the parties to an existing patent validity or infringement dispute may agree in writing to settle such dispute by arbitration. Any such provision or agreement shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, except for any grounds that exist at law or in equity for revocation of a contract.
  • (b) Arbitration of such disputes, awards by arbitrators, and confirmation of awards shall be governed by title 9, to the extent such title is not inconsistent with this section. In any such arbitration proceeding, the defenses provided for under section 282 shall be considered by the arbitrator if raised by any party to the proceeding.
  • (c) An award by an arbitrator shall be final and binding between the parties to the arbitration but shall have no force or effect on any other person. The parties to an arbitration may agree that in the event a patent which is the subject matter of an award is subsequently determined to be invalid or unenforceable in a judgment rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction from which no appeal can or has been taken, such award may be modified by any court of competent jurisdiction upon application by any party to the arbitration. Any such modification shall govern the rights and obligations between such parties from the date of such modification.
  • (d) When an award is made by an arbitrator, the patentee, his assignee or licensee shall give notice thereof in writing to the Director. There shall be a separate notice prepared for each patent involved in such proceeding. Such notice shall set forth the names and addresses of the parties, the name of the inventor, and the name of the patent owner, shall designate the number of the patent, and shall contain a copy of the award. If an award is modified by a court, the party requesting such modification shall give notice of such modification to the Director. The Director shall, upon receipt of either notice, enter the same in the record of the prosecution of such patent. If the required notice is not filed with the Director, any party to the proceeding may provide such notice to the Director.
  • (e) The award shall be unenforceable until the notice required by subsection (d) is received by the Director.

(Added Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 17(b)(1), 96 Stat. 322; amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)); subsections (b) and (c) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13206, 116 Stat. 1905; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.

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35 U.S.C. 295   Presumption: Product made by patented process.

In actions alleging infringement of a process patent based on the importation, sale, offered for sale, or use of a product which is made from a process patented in the United States, if the court finds—

  • (1) that a substantial likelihood exists that the product was made by the patented process, and
  • (2) that the plaintiff has made a reasonable effort to determine the process actually used in the production of the product and was unable so to determine, the product shall be presumed to have been so made, and the burden of establishing that the product was not made by the process shall be on the party asserting that it was not so made.

(Added Aug. 23, 1988, Public Law 100-418, sec. 9005(a), 102 Stat. 1566; amended Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 533(b)(7), 108 Stat. 4990.)

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35 U.S.C. 296   Liability of States, instrumentalities of States, and State officials for infringement of patents.

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—Any State, any instrumentality of a State, and any officer or employee of a State or instrumentality of a State, acting in his official capacity, shall not be immune, under the eleventh amendment of the Constitution of the United States or under any other doctrine of sovereign immunity, from suit in Federal court by any person, including any governmental or nongovernmental entity, for infringement of a patent under section 271 , or for any other violation under this title.
  • (b) REMEDIES.—In a suit described in subsection (a) for a violation described in that subsection, remedies (including remedies both at law and in equity) are available for the violation to the same extent as such remedies are available for such a violation in a suit against any private entity. Such remedies include damages, interest, costs, and treble damages under section 284 , attorney fees under section 285, and the additional remedy for infringement of design patents under section 289 .

(Added Oct. 28, 1992, Public Law 102-560, sec. 2(a)(2), 106 Stat. 4230.)

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35 U.S.C. 297   Improper and deceptive invention promotion.

  • (a) IN GENERAL.— An invention promoter shall have a duty to disclose the following information to a customer in writing, prior to entering into a contract for invention promotion services:
    • (1) the total number of inventions evaluated by the invention promoter for commercial potential in the past 5 years, as well as the number of those inventions that received positive evaluations, and the number of those inventions that received negative evaluations;
    • (2) the total number of customers who have contracted with the invention promoter in the past 5 years, not including customers who have purchased trade show services, research, advertising, or other nonmarketing services from the invention promoter, or who have defaulted in their payment to the invention promoter;
    • (3) the total number of customers known by the invention promoter to have received a net financial profit as a direct result of the invention promotion services provided by such invention promoter;
    • (4) the total number of customers known by the invention promoter to have received license agreements for their inventions as a direct result of the invention promotion services provided by such invention promoter; and
    • (5) the names and addresses of all previous invention promotion companies with which the invention promoter or its officers have collectively or individually been affiliated in the previous 10 years.
  • (b) CIVIL ACTION.—
    • (1) Any customer who enters into a contract with an invention promoter and who is found by a court to have been injured by any material false or fraudulent statement or representation, or any omission of material fact, by that invention promoter (or any agent, employee, director, officer, partner, or independent contractor of such invention promoter), or by the failure of that invention promoter to disclose such information as required under subsection (a), may recover in a civil action against the invention promoter (or the officers, directors, or partners of such invention promoter), in addition to reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees—
      • (A) the amount of actual damages incurred by the customer; or
      • (B) at the election of the customer at any time before final judgment is rendered, statutory damages in a sum of not more than $5,000, as the court considers just.
    • (2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), in a case where the customer sustains the burden of proof, and the court finds, that the invention promoter intentionally misrepresented or omitted a material fact to such customer, or willfully failed to disclose such information as required under subsection (a), with the purpose of deceiving that customer, the court may increase damages to not more than three times the amount awarded, taking into account past complaints made against the invention promoter that resulted in regulatory sanctions or other corrective actions based on those records compiled by the Commissioner of Patents under subsection (d).
  • (c) DEFINITIONS.— For purposes of this section—
    • (1) a “contract for invention promotion services” means a contract by which an invention promoter undertakes invention promotion services for a customer;
    • (2) a “customer” is any individual who enters into a contract with an invention promoter for invention promotion services;
    • (3) the term “invention promoter” means any person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other entity who offers to perform or performs invention promotion services for, or on behalf of, a customer, and who holds itself out through advertising in any mass media as providing such services, but does not include—
      • (A) any department or agency of the Federal Government or of a State or local government;
      • (B) any nonprofit, charitable, scientific, or educational organization, qualified under applicable State law or described under section 170(b)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
      • (C) any person or entity involved in the evaluation to determine commercial potential of, or offering to license or sell, a utility patent or a previously filed nonprovisional utility patent application;
      • (D) any party participating in a transaction involving the sale of the stock or assets of a business; or
      • (E) any party who directly engages in the business of retail sales of products or the distribution of products; and
    • (4) the term “invention promotion services” means the procurement or attempted procurement for a customer of a firm, corporation, or other entity to develop and market products or services that include the invention of the customer.
  • (d) RECORDS OF COMPLAINTS.—
    • (1) RELEASE OF COMPLAINTS.— The Commissioner of Patents shall make all complaints received by the Patent and Trademark Office involving invention promoters publicly available, together with any response of the invention promoters. The Commissioner of Patents shall notify the invention promoter of a complaint and provide a reasonable opportunity to reply prior to making such complaint publicly available.
    • (2) REQUEST FOR COMPLAINTS.— The Commissioner of Patents may request complaints relating to invention promotion services from any Federal or State agency and include such complaints in the records maintained under paragraph (1), together with any response of the invention promoters.

(Added Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-552 (S. 1948 sec. 4102(a)).)

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35 U.S.C. 298  Advice of counsel.

The failure of an infringer to obtain the advice of counsel with respect to any allegedly infringed patent, or the failure of the infringer to present such advice to the court or jury, may not be used to prove that the accused infringer willfully infringed the patent or that the infringer intended to induce infringement of the patent.

(Added Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 17, 125 Stat. 284, effective as to patents issued on or after Sept. 16, 2012, effective date revised Public Law 112-274, sec. (1)(a), ___Stat. ___ as applicable to any civil action commenced on or after Jan. 14, 2013.)

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35 U.S.C. 299  Joinder of parties.

  • (a) JOINDER OF ACCUSED INFRINGERS.—With respect to any civil action arising under any Act of Congress relating to patents, other than an action or trial in which an act of infringement under section 271(e)(2) has been pled, parties that are accused infringers may be joined in one action as defendants or counterclaim defendants, or have their actions consolidated for trial, only if—
    • (1) any right to relief is asserted against the parties jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences relating to the making, using, importing into the United States, offering for sale, or selling of the same accused product or process; and
    • (2) questions of fact common to all defendants or counterclaim defendants will arise in the action.
  • (b) ALLEGATIONS INSUFFICIENT FOR JOINDER.— For purposes of this subsection, accused infringers may not be joined in one action as defendants or counterclaim defendants, or have their actions consolidated for trial,based solely on allegations that they each have infringed the patent or patents in suit.
  • (c) WAIVER.—A party that is an accused infringer may waive the limitations set forth in this section with respect to that party.

(Added Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 19(d), 125 Stat. 284, corrected Jan. 14, 2013, Public Law 112-274, sec. 1(c), ____ Stat. ____.)

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CHAPTER 30 - PRIOR ART CITATIONS TO OFFICE AND EX PARTE REEXAMINATION OF PATENTS

  • 301 Citation of prior art and written statements.
  • 302 Request for reexamination.
  • 303 Determination of issue by Director.
  • 304 Reexamination order by Director.
  • 305 Conduct of reexamination proceedings.
  • 305 (pre-AIA) Conduct of reexamination proceedings.
  • 306 Appeal.
  • 307 Certificate of patentability, unpatentability, and claim cancellation.

35 U.S.C. 301  Citation of prior art and written statements.

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—Any person at any time may cite to the Office in writing—
    • (1) prior art consisting of patents or printed publications which that person believes to have a bearing on the patentability of any claim of a particular patent; or
    • (2) statements of the patent owner filed in a proceeding before a Federal court or the Office in which the patent owner took a position on the scope of any claim of a particular patent.
  • (b) OFFICIAL FILE.—If the person citing prior art or written statements pursuant to subsection (a) explains in writing the pertinence and manner of applying the prior art or written statements to at least 1 claim of the patent, the citation of the prior art or written statements and the explanation thereof shall become a part of the official file of the patent.
  • (c) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.—A party that submits a written statement pursuant to subsection (a)(2) shall include any other documents, pleadings, or evidence from the proceeding in which the statement was filed that addresses the written statement.
  • (d) LIMITATIONS.—A written statement submitted pursuant to subsection (a)(2), and additional information submitted pursuant to subsection (c), shall not be considered by the Office for any purpose other than to determine the proper meaning of a patent claim in a proceeding that is ordered or instituted pursuant to section 304 , 314 , or 324 . If any such written statement or additional information is subject to an applicable protective order, such statement or information shall be redacted to exclude information that is subject to that order.
  • (e) CONFIDENTIALITY.—Upon the written request of the person citing prior art or written statements pursuant to subsection (a), that person’s identity shall be excluded from the patent file and kept confidential.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 1, 94 Stat. 3015; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 6(g) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 302   Request for reexamination.

Any person at any time may file a request for reexamination by the Office of any claim of a patent on the basis of any prior art cited under the provisions of section 301 . The request must be in writing and must be accompanied by payment of a reexamination fee established by the Director pursuant to the provisions of section 41 . The request must set forth the pertinency and manner of applying cited prior art to every claim for which reexamination is requested. Unless the requesting person is the owner of the patent, the Director promptly will send a copy of the request to the owner of record of the patent.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 1, 94  Stat. 3015; amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 secs. 4732(a)(8) and 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 303   Determination of issue by Director.

  • (a) Within three months following the filing of a request for reexamination under the provisions of section 302 , the Director will determine whether a substantial new question of patentability affecting any claim of the patent concerned is raised by the request, with or without consideration of other patents or printed publications. On his own initiative, and any time, the Director may determine whether a substantial new question of patentability is raised by patents and publications discovered by him or cited under the provisions of section 301 or 302 . The existence of a substantial new question of patentability is not precluded by the fact that a patent or printed publication was previously cited by or to the Office or considered by the Office.
  • (b) A record of the Director’s determination under subsection (a) of this section will be placed in the official file of the patent, and a copy promptly will be given or mailed to the owner of record of the patent and to the person requesting reexamination, if any.
  • (c) A determination by the Director pursuant to subsection (a) of this section that no substantial new question of patentability has been raised will be final and nonappealable. Upon such a determination, the Director may refund a portion of the reexamination fee required under section 302.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 1, 94 Stat. 3015; amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-581, 582 (S. 1948 secs. 4732(a)(9) and (4732(a)(10)(A)); subsection (a) amended Nov. 2, 2002, Public Law 107-273, sec. 13105, 116 Stat. 1900; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 6(h) and 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 304   Reexamination order by Director.

If, in a determination made under the provisions of sub section 303(a) , the Director finds that a substantial new question of patentability affecting any claim of a patent is raised, the determination will include an order for reexamination of the patent for resolution of the question. The patent owner will be given a reasonable period, not less than two months from the date a copy of the determination is given or mailed to him, within which he may file a statement on such question, including any amendment to his patent and new claim or claims he may wish to propose, for consideration in the reexamination. If the patent owner files such a statement, he promptly will serve a copy of it on the person who has requested reexamination under the provisions of section 302 . Within a period of two months from the date of service, that person may file and have considered in the reexamination a reply to any statement filed by the patent owner. That person promptly will serve on the patent owner a copy of any reply filed.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 1, 94 Stat. 3016; amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 305   Conduct of reexamination proceedings.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent issuing from an application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 305 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

After the times for filing the statement and reply provided for by section 304 have expired, reexamination will be conducted according to the procedures established for initial examination under the provisions of sections 132 and 133 . In any reexamination proceeding under this chapter, the patent owner will be permitted to propose any amendment to his patent and a new claim or claims thereto, in order to distinguish the invention as claimed from the prior art cited under the provisions of section 301 , or in response to a decision adverse to the patentability of a claim of a patent. No proposed amended or new claim enlarging the scope of a claim of the patent will be permitted in a reexamination proceeding under this chapter. All reexamination proceedings under this section, including any appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, will be conducted with special dispatch within the Office.

(Added Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 1, 94 Stat. 3016; amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 204(c), 98 Stat. 3388; amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012) and 3(j) (effective March 16, 2013), 125 Stat. 284.)

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35 U.S.C. 305 (pre-AIA)  Conduct of reexamination proceedings.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to any patent issuing from an application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 305 for the law otherwise applicable.]

After the times for filing the statement and reply provided for by section 304 have expired, reexamination will be conducted according to the procedures established for initial examination under the provisions of sections 132 and 133 . In any reexamination proceeding under this chapter, the patent owner will be permitted to propose any amendment to his patent and a new claim or claims thereto, in order to disting