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2014    Duty of Disclosure in Reexamination Proceedings [R-08.2012]

As provided in 37 CFR 1.555, the duty of disclosure in both ex parte and inter partes reexamination proceedings applies to the patent owner. That duty is a continuing obligation on the part of the patent owner throughout the proceedings. However, issues of “fraud,” “ inequitable conduct,” or “violation of duty of disclosure” are not considered in reexamination. See MPEP § 2280 for ex parte reexamination proceedings and MPEP § 2684 for inter partes reexamination proceedings. If questions of “fraud” or “inequitable conduct” or “violation of the duty of disclosure” are discovered during reexamination proceedings, the existence of such questions will be noted by the examiner in an Office action without further comment. See MPEP § 2258 for ex parte reexamination proceedings and MPEP § 2658 for inter partes reexamination proceedings.

For the patent owner’s duty to disclose prior or concurrent proceedings in which the patent is or was involved, see MPEP § 2282 (for ex parte reexamination), § 2686 (for inter partes reexamination), and § 2001.06(c).

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