2684 Information Material to Patentability in Reexamination Proceeding [R-08.2012]
37 C.F.R. 1.933 Patent owner duty of disclosure in inter partes reexamination proceedings.
- (a) Each individual associated with the patent owner in an inter partes reexamination proceeding has a duty of candor and good faith in dealing with the Office, which includes a duty to disclose to the Office all information known to that individual to be material to patentability in a reexamination proceeding as set forth in § 1.555(a) and (b). The duty to disclose all information known to be material to patentability in an inter partes reexamination proceeding is deemed to be satisfied by filing a paper in compliance with the requirements set forth in § 1.555(a) and (b).
- (b) The responsibility for compliance with this section rests upon the individuals designated in paragraph (a) of this section, and no evaluation will be made by the Office in the reexamination proceeding as to compliance with this section. If questions of compliance with this section are raised by the patent owner or the third party requester during a reexamination proceeding, they will be noted as unresolved questions in accordance with § 1.906(c).
Duty of disclosure considerations as to inter partes reexamination proceedings parallel those of ex parte reexamination proceedings. In this regard, 37 CFR 1.933 incorporates the provisions of 37 CFR 1.555(a) and (b). See MPEP § 2280 for a discussion of the duty of disclosure in reexamination.
Any fraud practiced or attempted on the Office or any violation of the duty of disclosure through bad faith or intentional misconduct results in noncompliance with 37 CFR 1.555(a). This duty of disclosure is consistent with the duty placed on patent applicants by 37 CFR 1.56. Any such issues raised by the patent owner or the third party requester during an inter partes reexamination proceeding will merely be noted as unresolved questions under 37 CFR 1.906(c).