uspto.gov
Skip over navigation

2202    Citation of Prior Art and Written Statements [R-11.2013]

35 U.S.C. 301   Citation of prior art.

(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 patent ability 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.

37 C.F.R. 1.501   Citation of prior art and written statements in patent files.

  • (a) Information content of submission: At any time during the period of enforceability of a patent, any person may file a written submission with the Office under this section, which is directed to the following information:
    • (1) Prior art consisting of patents or printed publications which the person making the submission believes to have a bearing on the patentability of any claim of the patent; or
    • (2) Statements of the patent owner filed by the patent owner 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 the patent. Any statement submitted under this paragraph must be accompanied by any other documents, pleadings, or evidence from the proceeding in which the statement was filed that address the written statement, and such statement and accompanying information under this paragraph must be submitted in redacted form to exclude information subject to an applicable protective order.
    • (3) Submissions under paragraph (a)(2) of this section must identify:
      • (i) The forum and proceeding in which patent owner filed each statement;
      • (ii) The specific papers and portions of the papers submitted that contain the statements; and
      • (iii) How each statement submitted is a statement in which patent owner took a position on the scope of any claim in the patent.
  • (b) Explanation: A submission pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section:
    • (1) Must include an explanation in writing of the pertinence and manner of applying any prior art submitted under paragraph (a)(1) of this section and any written statement and accompanying information submitted under paragraph (a)(2) of this section to at least one claim of the patent, in order for the submission to become a part of the official file of the patent; and
    • (2) May, if the submission is made by the patent owner, include an explanation of how the claims differ from any prior art submitted under paragraph (a)(1) of this section or any written statements and accompanying information submitted under paragraph (a)(2) of this section.
  • (c) Reexamination pending: If a reexamination proceeding has been requested and is pending for the patent in which the submission is filed, entry of the submission into the official file of the patent is subject to the provisions of §§ 1.502 and 1.902.
  • (d) Identity: If the person making the submission wishes his or her identity to be excluded from the patent file and kept confidential, the submission papers must be submitted anonymously without any identification of the person making the submission.
  • (e) Certificate of Service: A submission under this section by a person other than the patent owner must include a certification that a copy of the submission was served in its entirety upon patent owner at the address as provided for in § 1.33(c). A submission by a person other than the patent owner that fails to include proper proof of service as required by § 1.248(b) will not be entered into the patent file.

37 C.F.R. 1.502   Processing of prior art citations during an ex parte reexamination proceeding.

Citations by the patent owner under § 1.555 and by an ex parte reexamination requester under either § 1.510 or § 1.535 will be entered in the reexamination file during a reexamination proceeding. The entry in the patent file of citations submitted after the date of an order to reexamine pursuant to § 1.525 by persons other than the patent owner, or an ex parte reexamination requester under either § 1.510 or § 1.535, will be delayed until the reexamination proceeding has been terminated. See § 1.902 for processing of prior art citations in patent and reexamination files during an inter partes reexamination proceeding filed under § 1.913.

37 C.F.R. 1.902   Processing of prior art citations during an inter partes reexamination proceeding.

Citations by the patent owner in accordance with § 1.933 and by an inter partes reexamination third party requester under § 1.915 or § 1.948 will be entered in the inter partes reexamination file. The entry in the patent file of other citations submitted after the date of an order for reexamination pursuant to § 1.931 by persons other than the patent owner, or the third party requester under either § 1.915 or § 1.948, will be delayed until the inter partes reexamination proceeding has been terminated. See § 1.502 for processing of prior art citations in patent and reexamination files during an ex parte reexamination proceeding filed under § 1.510.

Prior art in the form of patents or printed publications may be cited to the Office for placement into the patent files. Written statements made by the patent owner concerning the scope of the claims can also be cited to the Office for placement into the patent files. Submission may be made without payment of a fee. These citations may be made separate from and without a request for reexamination.

The basic purpose for citing prior art in patent files is to inform the patent owner and the public in general that such patents or printed publications are in existence and should be considered when evaluating the validity of the patent claims. The basic purpose for citing written claim scope statements is to ensure that the patent owner takes consistent positions regarding the scope of the claims of a particular patent in the courts and the before the Office. Placement in the patent file also ensures consideration thereof during any subsequent reissue application, reexamination proceeding, or other post-patent proceeding.

The citation of prior art and written statement provisions of 35 U.S.C. 301 and 37 CFR 1.501 do not apply to citations or protests filed in pending applications.

[top]

 

United States Patent and Trademark Office
This page is owned by Patents.
Last Modified: 03/27/2014 10:10:34