1460 Effect of Reissue [R-08.2012]
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.
The effect of the reissue of a patent is stated in 35 U.S.C. 252. With respect to the Office treatment of the reissued patent, the reissued patent will be viewed as if the original patent had been originally granted in the amended form provided by the reissue. With respect to intervening rights resulting from the reissue of an original patent, the second paragraph of 35 U.S.C. 252 provides for two separate and distinct defenses to patent infringement under the doctrine of intervening rights: "Absolute" intervening rights are available for a party that "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," and "equitable" intervening rights may be provided where "substantial preparation was made before the grant of the reissue." See BIC Leisure Prods., Inc., v. Windsurfing Int’l, Inc., 1 F.3d 1214, 1220, 27 USPQ2d 1671, 1676 (Fed. Cir. 1993).