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2690    Format of Inter Partes Reexamination Certificate [R-11.2013]

An inter partes reexamination certificate is issued at the close of each inter partes reexamination proceeding in which reexamination has been ordered under 37 CFR 1.931, unless the inter partes reexamination proceeding is merged with a reissue application pursuant to 37 CFR 1.991. In that situation, the inter partes reexamination proceeding is concluded by the grant of a reissue patent, the reissue patent will constitute the reexamination certificate. It should be noted that where an ex parte reexamination is merged with an inter partes reexamination proceeding, an inter partes reexamination certificate will issue for the merged proceeding.

The inter partes reexamination certificate is formatted much the same as the title page of current U.S. patents.

The certificate is titled “INTER PARTES REEXAMINATION CERTIFICATE.” The title is followed by an “ordinal” number in parentheses, such as “(5th)”, which indicates that it is the fifth inter partes reexamination certificate that has issued. The inter partes reexamination certificates will be numbered in a separate and new ordinal sequence, beginning with “(1st)”. The ex parte reexamination certificates will continue the ordinal numbering sequence that has already been established for ex parte reexamination certificates.

The certificate number will always be the patent number of the original patent followed by a two-character “kind code” suffix. The “kind code” suffix is C1 for a first reexamination certificate, C2 for a second reexamination certificate for the same patent, etc.

For example, “1” is provided in the certificate for the first reexamination certificate and “2” for the second reexamination certificate. Thus, a second reexamination certificate for the same patent would be designated as “C2” preceded by the patent number. The next higher number will be given to the reexamination proceeding for which the reexamination certificate is issued, regardless of whether the proceeding is an ex parte reexamination or an inter partes reexamination proceeding.

Note that “B1” ex parte reexamination certificates that were issued prior to January 1, 2001, included the patent number of the original patent followed by the letter “B.” Where the first reexamination certificate was a “B1” certificate and an inter partes reexamination certificate then issues, the inter partes reexamination certificate will be designated “C2” and NOT “C1.” Thus, by looking at the number following the “C,” one will be able to ascertain the number of reexamination certificates that preceded the certificate being viewed, i.e., how many prior reexamination certificates have been issued for the patent. (If this were not the practice and C1 were used, one would not be able to ascertain from the number on the certificate how many B certificates came before.)

The certificate denotes the date the certificate was issued at INID code [45] (see MPEP § 901.04). The title, name of inventor, international and U.S. classification, the abstract, and the list of prior art documents appear at their respective INID code designations, much the same as is presently done in utility patents.

The primary differences, other than as indicated above, are:

  • (A) The filing date and number of the request is preceded by “Reexamination Request;”
  • (B) The patent for which the certificate is now issued is identified under the heading “Reexamination Certificate for”; and
  • (C) A notice will be present which will inform that the list of cited prior art documents will be available via PAIR by reexamination control number.

Finally, the certificate will identify the patent claims which were confirmed as patentable, canceled, disclaimed, and those claims not examined. Only the status of the confirmed, canceled, disclaimed, and not examined claims will be indicated in the certificate. The text of the new and amended claims will be printed in the certificate. Any new claims will be printed in the certificate completely in italics, and any amended claims will be printed in the certificate with italics and bracketing indicating the amendments thereto. Any prior court decisions will be identified, as well as the citation of the court decisions.

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Last Modified: 03/27/2014 10:10:35