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2766 Processing of Patent Term Extension Applications When Reissue Has Been Filed [R-10.2019]

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application filed on or after September 16, 2012. See pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 251 for the law otherwise applicable.]

35 U.S.C. 251  Reissue of defective patents.

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—Whenever any patent is, through error, deemed wholly or partly inoperative or invalid, by reason of a defective specification or drawing, or by reason of the patentee claiming more or less than he had a right to claim in the patent, the Director shall, on the surrender of such patent and the payment of the fee required by law, reissue the patent for the invention disclosed in the original patent, and in accordance with a new and amended application, for the unexpired part of the term of the original patent. No new matter shall be introduced into the application for reissue.
  • (b) MULTIPLE REISSUED PATENTS.— The Director may issue several reissued patents for distinct and separate parts of the thing patented, upon demand of the applicant, and upon payment of the required fee for a reissue for each of such reissued patents.
  • (c) APPLICABILITY OF THIS TITLE.— The provisions of this title relating to applications for patent shall be applicable to applications for reissue of a patent, except that application for reissue may be made and sworn to by the assignee of the entire interest if the application does not seek to enlarge the scope of the claims of the original patent or the application for the original patent was filed by the assignee of the entire interest.
  • (d) REISSUE PATENT ENLARGING SCOPE OF CLAIMS.—No reissued patent shall be granted enlarging the scope of the claims of the original patent unless applied for within two years from the grant of the original patent.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to any patent application filed on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 251 for the law otherwise applicable.]

Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 251  Reissue of defective patents.

Whenever any patent is, through error without any deceptive intention, deemed wholly or partly inoperative or invalid, by reason of a defective specification or drawing, or by reason of the patentee claiming more or less than he had a right to claim in the patent, the Director shall, on the surrender of such patent and the payment of the fee required by law, reissue the patent for the invention disclosed in the original patent, and in accordance with a new and amended application, for the unexpired part of the term of the original patent. No new matter shall be introduced into the application for reissue.

The Director may issue several reissued patents for distinct and separate parts of the thing patented, upon demand of the applicant, and upon payment of the required fee for a reissue for each of such reissued patents.

The provisions of this title relating to applications for patent shall be applicable to applications for reissue of a patent, except that application for reissue may be made and sworn to by the assignee of the entire interest if the application does not seek to enlarge the scope of the claims of the original patent.

No reissued patent shall be granted enlarging the scope of the claims of the original patent unless applied for within two years from the grant of the original patent.

35 U.S.C. 252  Effect of reissue

The surrender of the original patent shall take effect upon the issue of the reissued patent, and every reissued patent shall have the same effect and operation in law, on the trial of actions for causes thereafter arising, as if the same had been originally granted in such amended form, but in so far as the claims of the original and reissued patents are substantially identical, such surrender shall not affect any action then pending nor abate any cause of action then existing, and the reissued patent, to the extent that its claims are substantially identical with the original patent, shall constitute a continuation thereof and have effect continuously from the date of the original patent.

A reissued patent shall not abridge or affect the right of any person or that person’s successors in business who, prior to the grant of a reissue, made, purchased, offered to sell, or used within the United States, or imported into the United States, anything patented by the reissued patent, to continue the use of, to offer to sell, or to sell to others to be used, offered for sale, or sold, the specific thing so made, purchased, offered for sale, used, or imported unless the making, using, offering for sale, or selling of such thing infringes a valid claim of the reissued patent which was in the original patent. The court before which such matter is in question may provide for the continued manufacture, use, offer for sale, or sale of the thing made, purchased, offered for sale, used, or imported as specified, or for the manufacture, use, offer for sale, or sale in the United States of which substantial preparation was made before the grant of the reissue, and the court may also provide for the continued practice of any process patented by the reissue that is practiced, or for the practice of which substantial preparation was made, before the grant of the reissue, to the extent and under such terms as the court deems equitable for the protection of investments made or business commenced before the grant of the reissue.

In accordance with 35 U.S.C. 251, a patent owner, during the unexpired part of the term of the original patent, may file for reissue of the patent for the invention disclosed in the original patent. See MPEP § 1401.

When the filing of a reissue occurs during processing of a patent term extension application, the Office should receive notice of the filing of the reissue (see MPEP § 2762), and if necessary, applicant should request stay of action on the application for term extension. See MPEP § 2765 regarding petition to request stay of action in a pending patent term extension application.

Should the patent for which extension has been sought be reissued during the processing of the application for patent term extension, the original patent, by operation of law no longer exists.

When a patent is reissued, it is necessary to transfer the documents and correspondence regarding the application for patent term extension from the original patent into the reissue patent. A whole new application for patent term extension should not be filed since any such filing would be outside the 60-day time frame within which an application must be filed following product approval as delineated in 35 U.S.C. 156(d)(1). Instead, a petition under 37 CFR 1.182 should be filed in the original patent informing the Office of the reissue patent and requesting that the application for term extension and all related documents be transferred to the reissue patent file. The petition will be reviewed by the Office of Patent Legal Administration.

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Last Modified: 06/25/2020 17:07:00