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1480    Certificates of Correction — Office Mistake [R-11.2013]

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.

37 C.F.R. 1.322   Certificate of correction of Office mistake.

  • (a)
    • (1) The Director may issue a certificate of correction pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 254 to correct a mistake in a patent, incurred through the fault of the Office, which mistake is clearly disclosed in the records of the Office:
      • (i) At the request of the patentee or the patentee’s assignee;
      • (ii) Acting sua sponte for mistakes that the Office discovers; or
      • (iii) Acting on information about a mistake supplied by a third party.
    • (2)
      • (i) There is no obligation on the Office to act on or respond to a submission of information or request to issue a certificate of correction by a third party under paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section.
      • (ii) Papers submitted by a third party under this section will not be made of record in the file that they relate to nor be retained by the Office.
    • (3) If the request relates to a patent involved in an interference, the request must comply with the requirements of this section and be accompanied by a motion under § 41.121(a)(2) or § 41.121(a)(3) of this title.
    • (4) The Office will not issue a certificate of correction under this section without first notifying the patentee (including any assignee of record) at the correspondence address of record as specified in § 1.33(a) and affording the patentee or an assignee an opportunity to be heard.
  • (b) If the nature of the mistake on the part of the Office is such that a certificate of correction is deemed inappropriate in form, the Director may issue a corrected patent in lieu thereof as a more appropriate form for certificate of correction, without expense to the patentee.

Mistakes incurred through the fault of the Office may be the subject of Certificates of Correction under 37 CFR 1.322. The Office, however, has discretion under 35 U.S.C. 254 to decline to issue a Certificate of Correction even though an Office mistake exists. If Office mistakes are of such a nature that the meaning intended is obvious from the context, the Office may decline to issue a certificate and merely place the correspondence in the patented file, where it serves to call attention to the matter in case any question as to it subsequently arises. Such is the case, even where a correction is requested by the patentee or patentee’s assignee.

In order to expedite all proper requests, a Certificate of Correction should be requested only for errors of consequence. Instead of a request for a Certificate of Correction, letters making errors of record should be utilized whenever possible. Thus, where errors are of a minor typographical nature, or are readily apparent to one skilled in the art, a letter making the error(s) of record can be submitted in lieu of a request for a Certificate of Correction. There is no fee for the submission of such a letter.

It is strongly advised that the text of the correction requested be submitted on a Certificate of Correction form, PTO/SB/44 (also referred to as PTO-1050). Submission of this form in duplicate is not necessary. The location of the error in the printed patent should be identified on form PTO/SB/44 by column and line number or claim and line number. See MPEP § 1485 for a discussion of the preparation and submission of a request for a Certificate of Correction.

A request for a Certificate of Correction should be addressed to:

Commissioner for Patents
Office of Data Mangagement Attention: Certificates of Correction Branch
P.O. Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450

I.    THIRD PARTY INFORMATION ON MISTAKES IN PATENT

Third parties do not have standing to demand that the Office issue, or refuse to issue, a Certificate of Correction. See Hallmark Cards, Inc. v. Lehman, 959 F. Supp. 539, 543-44, 42 USPQ2d 1134, 1138 (D.D.C. 1997). 37 CFR 1.322(a)(2) makes it clear that third parties do not have standing to demand that the Office act on, respond to, issue, or refuse to issue a Certificate of Correction. The Office is, however, cognizant of the need for the public to have correct information about published patents and may therefore accept information about mistakes in patents from third parties. 37 CFR 1.322(a)(1)(iii). Where appropriate, the Office may issue certificates of correction based on information supplied by third parties, whether or not such information is accompanied by a specific request for issuance of a Certificate of Correction. While third parties are permitted to submit information about mistakes in patents which information will be reviewed, the Office need not act on that information nor respond to accompanying request for issuance of a Certificate of Correction. Accordingly, a fee for submission of the information by a third party has not been imposed. The Office may, however, choose to issue a Certificate of Correction on its own initiative based on the information supplied by a third party, if it desires to do so. Regardless of whether the third party information is acted upon, the information will not be made of record in the file that it relates to, nor be retained by the Office. 37 CFR 1.322(a)(2)(ii).

When such third party information (about mistakes in patents) is received by the Office, the Office will not correspond with third parties about the information they submitted either (1) to inform the third parties of whether it intends to issue a Certificate of Correction, or (2) to issue a denial of any request for issuance of a Certificate of Correction that may accompany the information. The Office will confirm to the party submitting such information that the Office has in fact received the information if a stamped, self-addressed post card has been submitted. See MPEP § 503.

II.    PUBLICATION IN THE OFFICIAL GAZETTE

Each issue of the Official Gazette (patents section) numerically lists all United States patents having Certificates of Correction. The list appears under the heading “Certificates of Correction for the week of (date).”

1480.01   Expedited Issuance of Certificates of Correction - Error Attributable to Office [R-11.2013]

In an effort to reduce the overall time required in processing and granting Certificate of Correction requests, the Office will expedite processing and granting of patentee requests where such requests are accompanied by evidence to show that the error is attributable solely to the Office (i.e., requests filed pursuant to 37 CFR 1.322 only).

The following requirements must be met for consideration of expedited issuance of Certificates of Correction:

The text of the correction requested should be submitted on a Certificate of Correction form, PTO/SB/44 (also referred to as PTO-1050). Submission of this form in duplicate is not necessary. The location of the error in the printed patent should be identified on form PTO/SB/44 by column and line number or claim and line number. See also MPEP § 1485.

Where the correction requested was incurred through the fault of the Office, and the matter is clearly disclosed in the records of the Office, and is accompanied by documentation that unequivocally supports the patentee’s assertion(s), a Certificate of Correction will be expeditiously issued. Such supporting documentation can consist of relevant photocopied receipts, manuscript pages, correspondence dated and received by the Office, photocopies of Examiners’ responses regarding entry of amendments, or any other validation that supports the patentee’s request so that the request can be processed without the patent file.

Where only part of a request can be approved, the appropriate modifications will be made on the form PTO/SB/44 and the patentee then notified by mail. Further consideration will be given to initially rejected requests upon a request for reconsideration. In this instance, however, or in the case where it is determined that the Office was not responsible for the error(s) cited by the patentee, accelerated issuance of Certificates of Correction cannot be anticipated (although the Office will make every effort to process the request expeditiously).

As in the case of a request for a Certificate of Correction, a Request for Expedited Issuance of Certificate of Correction should be addressed to:

Commissioner for Patents
Office of Data Management Attention: Certificates of Correction Branch
P.O. Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450

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Last Modified: 03/27/2014 10:10:33