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2733    Patent Term Adjustment Determination [R-11.2013]

37 C.F.R. 1.705   Patent term adjustment determination.

  • (a) The patent will include notification of any patent term adjustment under 35 U.S.C. 154(b).

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The AIA Technical Corrections Act was enacted on January 14, 2013. See Pub. L. No. 112-274, 126 Stat. 2456 (2013). Section 1(h) of the AIA Technical Corrections Act revises the patent term adjustment provisions of 35 U.S.C. 154(b) and is effective for any patent granted on or after January 14, 2013. Section 1(h)(2) of the AIA Technical Corrections Act amended 35 U.S.C. 154(b)(3)(B)(i) to change “shall transmit a notice of that [patent term adjustment] determination with the written notice of allowance of the application under section 151” to “shall transmit a notice of that [patent term adjustment] determination no later than the date of issuance of the patent.” See 126 Stat. at 2457. This change eliminates the need for the Office to provide an initial patent term adjustment determination with the notice of allowance and before the patent term adjustment under 35 U.S.C. 154(b)(1)(A)(iv) and 154(b)(1)(B) is known. See Changes to Implement Patent Term Adjustment Under Twenty-Year Patent Term, 65 Fed. Reg. 56365, 56374 (September 18, 2000) (explaining that a two-part process is required because the Office is obliged under 35 U.S.C. 154(b)(3) to provide a patent term adjustment determination before the issue date, and thus the patent term adjustment, is known). 37 CFR 1.705(a) has been amended to reflect that the Office will provide notification of the patent term adjustment on the patent. The Office will no longer provide a notification of the patent term adjustment with the mailing of the notice of allowance for any patent granted on or after January 14, 2013.

The Office has revised 37 CFR 1.705 to implement the statutory changes to 35 U.S.C. 154(b)(3)(B)(i). The amendment to the statute provides that the Office shall transmit a determination of the patent term adjustment no later than the date of issuance of the patent. Accordingly, the Office is no longer required to transmit a determination at the time of the mailing of the notice of allowance which occurs before all of the guarantees of the statute could be calculated. The Office, however, will continue to provide a preliminary patent term adjustment calculation with the issue notification that is mailed to applicant prior to issuance of the patent, but the patent term adjustment indicated on the patent is the “official” notification of the Office’s patent term adjustment determination under 35 U.S.C. 154(b). Accordingly, patentee should wait until the grant of the patent to determine whether or not a request for reconsideration of the patent term adjustment indicated on the patent is warranted. See MPEP § 2734 for a discussion of the requirements of any such request.

If a registered practitioner receives a patent term adjustment indicated on the front of the patent that is longer than expected, the practitioner may disclose the error to the Office in a letter in compliance with the practitioner’s duty of candor and good faith in practice before the Office. The Office will treat letters submitted by patentees stating that Office’s determination of patent term adjustment indicated on the patent is greater than what the applicant or patentee believes is appropriate by placing these letters in the file of the patent without comment. The Office will not review these letters or issue certificates of correction under either 35 U.S.C. 254 or 255 on the of these letters. In addition, the Office will not grant a request for a certificate of correction under either 35 U.S.C. 254 or 255 to revise the patent term adjustment indicated in a patent, unless the certificate of correction is issued to revised the patent for consistency with (1) the patent term adjustment determined via a decision on the request for reconsideration under 37 CFR 1.705; or (2) the total patent term adjustment indicated on the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) screen that displays the patent term adjustment calculation for the patent. If patentee submits a request for a certificate of correction under either 35 U.S.C. 254 or 255 to revise the patent term adjustment indicated in a patent that also includes changes in the patent for which a certificate of correction would be appropriate, the request for a certificate of correction will not be granted unless the patentee submits a new request for a certificate of correction that does not also attempt to revise the patent term adjustment indicated in the patent.

If patentee wants the Office to reconsider its patent term adjustment determination, the patentee must use the procedures set forth in 37 CFR 1.705 for requesting reconsideration of a patent term adjustment determination. Specifically, the procedures set forth in 37 CFR 1.705 must be used whether the USPTO’s patent term adjustment determination is greater than or less than the adjustment that the applicant or patentee believes to be appropriate.

A patentee may also file a terminal disclaimer at any time disclaiming any period considered in excess of the appropriate patent term adjustment. See 35 U.S.C. 253 and 37 CFR 1.321.

Note that the Office does not require patentee to file either a request for reconsideration under 37 CFR 1.705 or a terminal disclaimer when the patent term adjustment indicated on the patent is greater than what the patentee believes is appropriate. As discussed above, the patentee or the appointed registered practitioner may disclose the alleged error to the Office in a letter in compliance with the practitioner’s duty of candor and good faith.

Information as to how the patent term adjustment calculation has been made will be available through Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) at http://pair.uspto.gov. Applicants may routinely use PAIR to check the accuracy of the data entered in the PALM system for their applications (i.e., the type of the paper and date of receipt in the Office) throughout prosecution. If any errors are detected, they should be brought to the Office’s attention (e.g., by contacting the examiner or the Technology Center’s customer service representative) as soon as possible to ensure that they are corrected before allowance of the application and the determination of the patent term adjustment. In checking Office records, applicants should keep in mind that the date that should be recorded in the Office computer records is the date of receipt of the paper, not the date that it was mailed under 37 CFR 1.8. In addition, if an original paper is misplaced by the Office and a duplicate is filed with a post card receipt showing the date of receipt of the original paper, the date shown on the post-card receipt for the original paper is the date that should be shown in the Office computer records. If Express Mail service was used, then the date shown as the “date in” on the Express Mail label will be entered into the Office computer records. Otherwise, the date reflected in the Office computer records for a duplicate copy of correspondence will normally be the date that the duplicate was received in the Office.

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