35 U.S.C.
United States Code, 1994 Edition
Title 35 - PATENTS
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

TITLE 35—PATENTS

This title was enacted by act July 19, 1952, ch. 950, §1, 66 Stat. 792

Part
Sec.
I.
Patent and Trademark Office
1
II.
Patentability of Inventions and Grant of Patents
100
III.
Patents and Protection of Patent Rights
251
IV.
Patent Cooperation Treaty
351

        

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §403(b), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3392, added item IV.

Table Showing Disposition of All Sections of Former Title 35
Title 35      Former Sections     Title 35         New Sections        
1 1
2 3
3 2
4 4
5 5
6 6
7 7
10 8
11 31, 32
11a 33
12 22
13 11
14 10
14a (See former §78)
15 12
16 11(a) 1
17–19 Rep.
20 14
21 21
22 Rep.
23 Rep.
31 101, 102, 161
32 102(d), 119, 172
32a, 32b Rep.
33 111, 112, 162
34 113, 114
35 115
36 131
37 133, 267
38 Rep.
39 153
40 154
40a–40d Rep.
41 151
42–42f Rep.
43 Rep.
44 152
45 266
46 147
47 261
48 Rep.
49 287
50 292
51 132, 135
52 135
53 23
54–56 24
56a 164
57 134
58, 59 Rep.
59a 141; T. 28 §1542
60 142
61 143
62 144
63 145, 146
64 251, 252
65 253
66 291
67 281, 284
68 T. 28 §1498
69 102(g), 282
70 283–286, 290
71 288
72 102, 104
72a 146, 291
73 171
74, 75 289
76 114
77 173
78 12, 13, 41
79 42
80–87 Rep.
88 254
89–96 Elim.
101–108 Elim.
109 104
110–118a Elim.
119 T. 50 App. §2371
151 181
152 182
153 183
154 184
155 185
156 186
157 187
158 188
159 Rep.

Citation

Section 1 of act July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 792, provided in part that this title may be cited as “Title 35, United States Code, section —.”

Separability

Section 3 of act July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 815, provided that: “If any provision of Title 35, as enacted by section 1 hereof, is declared unconstitutional or is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this title shall not be affected.”

Effective Date; Savings Provision

Section 4 of act July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 815, provided that:

“(a) This Act [enacting this title] shall take effect on January 1, 1953 and shall apply to all applications for patent filed on or after such date and to all patents granted on such applications. It shall apply to further proceedings on applications pending on such date and to patents granted on such applications except as otherwise provided. It shall apply to unexpired patents granted prior to such date except as otherwise provided.

“(b) Section 102(d) of Title 35, as enacted by section 1 hereof, shall not apply to existing patents and pending applications, but the law previously in effect, namely the first paragraph of R. S. 4887 [first paragraph of section 32 of former Title 35], shall apply to such patents and applications.

“(c) Section 119, second paragraph, of Title 35 as enacted by section 1 hereof shall not apply to existing patents.

“(d) The period of one year specified in section 102(b) of Title 35 as enacted by section 1 hereof shall not apply in the case of applications filed before August 5, 1940, and patents granted on such applications, and with respect to such applications and patents, said period is two years instead of one year.

“(e) Nothing contained in Title 35, as enacted by section 1 hereof, shall operate to nullify any judicial finding prior to the effective date of this Act on the validity of any patent by a court of competent jurisdiction.

“(f) Nothing in Title 35, as enacted by section 1 hereof, shall affect any provision of the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 (Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 724, 60 Stat. 755) [§2011 et seq. of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare].

“(g) The period of one year specified in section 4 of Title 35 as enacted by section 1 hereof shall not apply in the case of applications filed before the effective date of this Act.

“(h) The repeal of sections 1–9, 11, 12 of the Act of Congress approved February 1, 1952 (ch. 4, 66 Stat. 3) [sections 151 to 159 of former Title 35], shall not affect any rights or liabilities existing on the date of approval of this Act [July 19, 1952]. An order of secrecy issued under or in effect under the repealed Act and in effect on the date of approval of this Act, shall be considered as issued under this Act, and any claims arising under the repealed Act or subject to presentation and determination pursuant thereto and unsettled as of the effective date of this Act, may be presented and determined pursuant to the provisions of this Act [this title].”

Repeals

Section 5 of act July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 815, repealed the sections or parts of sections of the Revised Statutes or Statutes at Large codified in this Act with the proviso that “Any rights or liabilities now existing under such sections or parts thereof shall not be affected by this repeal.”

Title Referred to in Other Sections

This title is referred to in title 11 section 101; title 15 sections 278n, 3703; title 17 section 912; title 42 section 12002.

PART I—PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE

Chap.
Sec.
1.
Establishment, Officers, Functions
1
2.
Proceedings in the Patent and Trademark Office
21
3.
Practice before 1 Patent and Trademark Office
31
4.
Patent Fees; Funding; Search Systems
41

        

Amendments

1991—Pub. L. 102–204, §5(d)(2)(D), Dec. 10, 1991, 105 Stat. 1640, substituted “before” for “Before the” in chapter 3 heading and inserted “; Funding; Search Systems” after “Fees” in chapter 4 heading.

1975—Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949, substituted “PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE” for “PATENT OFFICE” in part heading and in headings for chapters 2 and 3.

CHAPTER 1—ESTABLISHMENT, OFFICERS, FUNCTIONS

Sec.
1.
Establishment.
2.
Seal.
3.
Officers and employees.
4.
Restrictions on officers and employees as to interest in patents.
[5.
Repealed.]
6.
Duties of Commissioner.
7.
Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences.
8.
Library.
9.
Classification of patents.
10.
Certified copies of records.
11.
Publications.
12.
Exchange of copies of patents with foreign countries.
13.
Copies of patents for public libraries.
14.
Annual report to Congress.

        

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–622, title II, §201(b), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3386, substituted “Patent Appeals and Interferences” for “Appeals” in item 7.

1972—Pub. L. 92–310, title II, §208(b), June 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 203, struck out item 5 “Bond of Commissioner and other officers”.

Cross References

Access to facilities for study, research and illustration in the Patent and Trademark Office, see section 91 of Title 20, Education.

Audit of accounts, see section 3523 of Title 31, Money and Finance.

Constitutional provisions, see Const. Art. 1, §8, cl. 8.

Department of Commerce, jurisdiction and supervision of the Patent and Trademark Office, see section 1511 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Records, books, etc., of Patent and Trademark Office, admissibility of copies as evidence, see section 1744 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

1 So in original. Probably should be capitalized.

§1. Establishment

The Patent and Trademark Office shall continue as an office in the Department of Commerce, where records, books, drawings, specifications, and other papers and things pertaining to patents and to trademark registrations shall be kept and preserved, except as otherwise provided by law.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 792; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §1 (R.S. 475 and Executive Order 4175, Mar. 17, 1925).

The word “all” is omitted from the corresponding section of the existing statute and “except as otherwise provided by law” added, since some old records are kept in the National Archives, see 44 U.S.C., 1946 ed., ch. 8A.

The word “models” has been omitted to remove emphasis on models since they are no longer generally required. They are included by the word “things.”

The phrase “and to trade-mark registrations” is added. There is no enactment corresponding to this section in the trade-mark law. The original chapter of the Revised Statutes containing this section deals with the Patent Office as such in its administration of trade-marks as well as patents. This is explicitly brought out in some of the corresponding sections of the present chapter. Changes in language are made.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Change of Name

Section 3 of Pub. L. 93–596 provided that: “The terms ‘Patent Office’ and ‘Commissioner of Patents’ in all laws of the United States shall mean ‘Patent and Trademark Office’ and ‘Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks’, respectively.”

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Short Title of 1988 Amendment

Pub. L. 100–418, §9001, Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1563, provided that: “This subtitle [subtitle A (§§9001–9007) of title IX of Pub. L. 100–418, enacting section 295 of this title, amending sections 154, 271, and 287 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under section 271 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Process Patent Amendments Act of 1988’.”

Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9101(a), Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1567, provided that: “This section [amending sections 184 to 186 of this title and enacting provisions set out as notes under section 184 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Patent Law Foreign Filing Amendments Act of 1988’.”

Short Title of 1984 Amendment

Pub. L. 98–622, §1, Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3383, provided that: “This Act [enacting section 157 of this title, amending sections 3, 7, 41, 103, 104, 116, 120, 134, 135, 141, 145, 146, 271, 305, 351, 361, 362, 365 to 368, 371 to 373, and 376 of this title, section 1295 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, and sections 2182 and 2457 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 7, 41, 103, 157, and 351 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Patent Law Amendments Act of 1984’.”

Federal Agency Status for Patent and Trademark Office

Pub. L. 101–508, title X, §10102, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–392, provided that: “For the purposes of Federal law, the Patent and Trademark Office shall be considered a Federal agency. In particular, the Patent and Trademark Office shall be subject to all Federal laws pertaining to the procurement of goods and services that would apply to a Federal agency using appropriated funds, including the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 [see Short Title note set out under section 471 of Title 40, Public Buildings, Property, and Works] and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act [41 U.S.C. 401 et seq.].”

§2. Seal

The Patent and Trademark Office shall have a seal with which letters patent, certificates of trade-mark registrations, and papers issued from the Office shall be authenticated.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 792; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §3 (R.S. 478).

“Certificates of trade-mark registrations” is added, see note under section 1. Changes in language are made and the specific date eliminated.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Cross References

Patents issued under seal of Patent and Trademark Office, see section 153 of this title.

§3. Officers and employees

(a) There shall be in the Patent and Trademark Office a Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, a Deputy Commissioner, two Assistant Commissioners, and examiners-in-chief appointed under section 7 of this title. The Deputy Commissioner, or, in the event of a vacancy in that office, the Assistant Commissioner senior in date of appointment shall fill the office of Commissioner during a vacancy in that office until the Commissioner is appointed and takes office. The Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, the Deputy Commissioner, and the Assistant Commissioners shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Secretary of Commerce, upon the nomination of the Commissioner, in accordance with law shall appoint all other officers and employees.

(b) The Secretary of Commerce may vest in himself the functions of the Patent and Trademark Office and its officers and employees specified in this title and may from time to time authorize their performance by any other officer or employee.

(c) The Secretary of Commerce is authorized to fix the per annum rate of basic compensation of each examiner-in-chief in the Patent and Trademark Office at not in excess of the maximum scheduled rate provided for positions in grade 17 of the General Schedule of the Classification Act of 1949, as amended.1

(d) The Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks shall be an Assistant Secretary of Commerce and shall receive compensation at the rate prescribed by law for Assistant Secretaries of Commerce.

(e) The members of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the Patent and Trademark Office shall each be paid at a rate not to exceed the maximum rate of basic pay payable for GS–16 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 792; Sept. 6, 1958, Pub. L. 85–933, §1, 72 Stat. 1793; Sept. 23, 1959, Pub. L. 86–370, §1(a), 73 Stat. 650; Aug. 14, 1964, Pub. L. 88–426, title III, §305(26), 78 Stat. 425; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–601, §1, 88 Stat. 1956; Aug. 27, 1982, Pub. L. 97–247, §4, 96 Stat. 319; Oct. 25, 1982, Pub. L. 97–366, §4, 96 Stat. 1760; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §405, 98 Stat. 3392.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §2 (R.S. 476, amended (1) Feb. 15, 1916, ch. 22, §1, 39 Stat. 8, (2) Feb. 14, 1927, ch. 139, §1, 44 Stat. 1098, (3) Apr. 11, 1930, ch. 132, §1, 46 Stat. 155).

The temporary designation of the assistant commissioner as Commissioner in case of a vacancy in office is added. This will eliminate complications since present applicable general statutes (5 U.S.C., 1946 ed., §7) permit a vacancy to be temporarily filled only for not more than 30 days.

Changes in language are made. “Assistant commissioners” is used in the second sentence (and elsewhere in the bill) as referring to all three assistants.

This entire title is subject to Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1263) which vests all functions of the Patent Office in the Secretary of Commerce and authorizes delegation by him. It has been found impractical to so word the various sections of the title, and a general provision has been inserted as the second paragraph of this section of the bill, leaving the wording of various sections of the title in terms of officers previously specified and to whom the functions presently stand delegated.

References in Text

The Classification Act of 1949, as amended, referred to in subsec. (c), is act Oct. 28, 1949, ch. 782, 63 Stat. 954, as amended, which was repealed by Pub. L. 89–554, §8(a), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 632, and reenacted by the first section thereof as chapter 51 (§5101 et seq.) and subchapter III (§5331 et seq.) of chapter 53 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Amendments

1984—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 98–622 added subsec. (e).

1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–247 struck out “not more than fifteen” after “two Assistant Commissioners, and”, and inserted “appointed under section 7 of this title” after “examiners-in-chief”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–366 added subsec. (d).

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”, and “Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks” for “Commissioner of Patents”, wherever appearing.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 93–601 designated first par. as subsec. (a), redesignated first assistant commissioner as a Deputy Commissioner, granted authority for appointment of not more than fifteen examiners-in-chief to Secretary of Commerce instead of the President, and struck out provision relating to performance by assistant commissioners of duties assigned by Commissioner.

Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 93–601 designated second and third pars. as subsecs. (b) and (c), respectively.

1964—Pub. L. 88–426 repealed provisions which prescribed annual rate of compensation of Commissioner.

1959—Pub. L. 86–370 authorized Secretary of Commerce to fix compensation of examiners-in-chief.

1958—Pub. L. 85–933 increased number of examiners-in-chief from nine to not more than fifteen and specified annual compensation of Commissioner.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Section 406(b) of Pub. L. 98–622 provided that: “The amendments made by sections 401, 402, and 405 of this Act [amending this section and sections 361, 366, 371, 372, and 376 of this title] shall take effect six months after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 8, 1984].”

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–247 effective Aug. 27, 1982, see section 17(a) of Pub. L. 97–247, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendments

Section 4(b) of Pub. L. 93–601 provided that: “This Act [amending this section and sections 7 and 151 of this title and enacting provisions set out as a note under section 151 of this title] shall be effective upon enactment [Jan. 2, 1975]. Examiners-in-chief in office on the date of enactment shall continue in office under and in accordance with their then existing appointments.”

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Effective Date of 1964 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 88–426 effective on first day of first pay period which begins on or after July 1, 1964, except to the extent provided in section 501(c) of Pub. L. 88–426, see section 501 of Pub. L. 88–426.

Effective Date of 1959 Amendment

Section 7(b) of Pub. L. 86–370 provided that: “Sections 1 [amending this section, section 7 of this title, and provisions set out as a note below], 3 [amending sections 2205 and 2208 of former Title 5, Executive Departments and Government Officers and Employees], and 6 [amending section 1082 of former Title 5 and section 903 of Title 20, Education] of this Act shall become effective on the first day of the first pay period which begins after the date of enactment of this Act [Sept. 23, 1959].” Such section 7(b) was repealed by Pub. L. 89–554, §8(a), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 660.

References in Other Laws to GS–16, 17, or 18 Pay Rates

References in laws to the rates of pay for GS–16, 17, or 18, or to maximum rates of pay under the General Schedule, to be considered references to rates payable under specified sections of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, see section 529 [title I, §101(c)(1)] of Pub. L. 101–509, set out in a note under section 5376 of Title 5.

Existing Positions, Compensation, and Appointments Unaffected by Pub. L. 86–370 Until Action Taken Under Amendments

Section 1(c) of Pub. L. 86–370 provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending sections 1 and 7 of this title] shall not affect—

“(1) any position of examiner-in-chief or designated examiner-in-chief existing immediately prior to the effective date of this section [see Effective Date of 1959 Amendment note set out above], or

“(2) any incumbent of any such position, his appointment thereto, his rate of compensation, or his right to receive such compensation,

until appropriate action is taken under authority of such amendments.”

Cross References

Classification and compensation of civil service employees, see section 5101 et seq. of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Compensation of Commissioner, see section 5316 of Title 5.

Employment of clerks and employees in governmental departments, see section 3101 of Title 5.

1 See References in Text note below.

§4. Restrictions on officers and employees as to interest in patents

Officers and employees of the Patent and Trademark Office shall be incapable, during the period of their appointments and for one year thereafter, of applying for a patent and of acquiring, directly or indirectly, except by inheritance or bequest, any patent or any right or interest in any patent, issued or to be issued by the Office. In patents applied for thereafter they shall not be entitled to any priority date earlier than one year after the termination of their appointment.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 793; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §4 (R.S. 480).

The language is revised and inability to apply for a patent, included in the original language, is made explicit.

The period of disability is increased to include one year after leaving the Office.

The further restriction, that no priority date earlier than one year after leaving the Office can be claimed, is added.

The one year period is made inapplicable to applications which may be pending when the revised title goes into effect by section 4(g) of the bill.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

[§5. Repealed. Pub. L. 92–310, title II, §208(a), June 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 203]

Section, act July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 793, related to bond of Commissioner and other officers.

§6. Duties of Commissioner

(a) The Commissioner, under the direction of the Secretary of Commerce, shall superintend or perform all duties required by law respecting the granting and issuing of patents and the registration of trademarks; shall have the authority to carry on studies, programs, or exchanges of items or services regarding domestic and international patent and trademark law or the administration of the Patent and Trademark Office, including programs to recognize, identify, assess and forecast the technology of patented inventions and their utility to industry; and shall have charge of property belonging to the Patent and Trademark Office. He may, subject to the approval of the Secretary of Commerce, establish regulations, not inconsistent with law, for the conduct of proceedings in the Patent and Trademark Office.

(b) The Commissioner, under the direction of the Secretary of Commerce, may, in coordination with the Department of State, carry on programs and studies cooperatively with foreign patent offices and international intergovernmental organizations, or may authorize such programs and studies to be carried on, in connection with the performance of duties stated in subsection (a) of this section.

(c) The Commissioner, under the direction of the Secretary of Commerce, may, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, transfer funds appropriated to the Patent and Trademark Office, not to exceed $100,000 in any year, to the Department of State for the purpose of making special payments to international intergovernmental organizations for studies and programs for advancing international cooperation concerning patents, trademarks, and related matters. These special payments may be in addition to any other payments or contributions to the international organization and shall not be subject to any limitations imposed by law on the amounts of such other payments or contributions by the Government of the United States.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 793; Oct. 5, 1971, Pub. L. 92–132, 85 Stat. 364; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 14, 1975, Pub. L. 94–131, §2, 89 Stat. 690; Aug. 27, 1982, Pub. L. 97–247, §§7, 13, 96 Stat. 320, 321; Dec. 10, 1991, Pub. L. 102–204, §8, 105 Stat. 1641.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §6 (R.S. 481 and 483).

The two sections are combined into one with some changes in language.

“And the registration of trademarks” is added, see note under section 1.

Amendments

1991—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102–204 substituted “, including programs to recognize, identify, assess and forecast the technology of patented inventions and their utility to industry; and shall have” for “; and shall have”.

1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–247, §13, substituted “, programs, or exchanges of items or services” for “and programs” before “regarding domestic”, and inserted “or the administration of the Patent and Trademark Office” after “trademark law”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–247, §7, struck out subsec. (d) which provided that the Commissioner, under the direction of the Secretary of Commerce, could, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, allocate funds appropriated to the Patent Office, to the Department of State for the purpose of payment of the share on the part of the United States to the working capital fund established under the Patent Cooperation Treaty and that contributions to cover the share on the part of the United States of any operating deficits of the International Bureau under the Patent Cooperation Treaty would be included in the annual budget of the Patent Office and could be transferred by the Commissioner, under the direction of the Secretary of Commerce, to the Department of State for the purpose of making payments thereof to the International Bureau.

1975—Subsecs. (a), (c). Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office” wherever appearing.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 94–131 added subsec. (d).

1971—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 92–132 designated existing par. as subsec. (a) and authorized the Commissioner, under direction of Secretary of Commerce, to carry on studies and programs regarding domestic and international patent and trademark laws.

Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 92–132 added subsecs. (b) and (c).

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–247 effective Aug. 27, 1982, see section 17(a) of Pub. L. 97–247, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendments

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–131 effective Jan. 24, 1978, and applicable on and after that date to patent applications filed in the United States and to international applications, where applicable, see section 11 of Pub. L. 94–131, set out as an Effective Date note under section 351 of this title.

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Use of Exchange Agreements Relating to Automatic Data Processing Resources Prohibited

Pub. L. 102–204, §6, Dec. 10, 1991, 105 Stat. 1641, provided that: “The Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks may not, during fiscal year 1992, enter into any agreement for the exchange of items or services (as authorized under section 6(a) of title 35, United States Code) relating to automatic data processing resources (including hardware, software and related services, and machine readable data). The preceding sentence shall not apply to an agreement relating to data for automation programs which is entered into with a foreign government or with an international intergovernmental organization.”

Similar provisions were contained in the following prior authorization acts:

Pub. L. 100–703, title I, §106, Nov. 19, 1988, 102 Stat. 4675.

Pub. L. 99–607, §6, Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3472.

§7. Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences

(a) The examiners-in-chief shall be persons of competent legal knowledge and scientific ability, who shall be appointed to the competitive service. The Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioner, the Assistant Commissioners, and the examiners-in-chief shall constitute the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences.

(b) The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences shall, on written appeal of an applicant, review adverse decisions of examiners upon applications for patents and shall determine priority and patentability of invention in interferences declared under section 135(a) of this title. Each appeal and interference shall be heard by at least three members of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, who shall be designated by the Commissioner. Only the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences has the authority to grant rehearings.

(c) Whenever the Commissioner considers it necessary, in order to keep current the work of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, the Commissioner may designate any patent examiner of the primary examiner grade or higher, having the requisite ability, to serve as examiner-in-chief for periods not exceeding six months each. An examiner so designated shall be qualified to act as a member of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. Not more than one of the members of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences hearing an appeal or determining an interference may be an examiner so designated. The Secretary of Commerce is authorized to fix the pay of each designated examiner-in-chief in the Patent and Trademark Office at not to exceed the maximum rate of basic pay payable for grade GS–16 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5. The rate of basic pay of each individual designated examiner-in-chief shall be adjusted, at the close of the period for which that individual was designated to act as examiner-in-chief, to the rate of basic pay which that individual would have been receiving at the close of such period if such designation had not been made.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 793; Sept. 6, 1958, Pub. L. 85–933, §2, 72 Stat. 1793; Sept. 23, 1959, Pub. L. 86–370, §1(b), 73 Stat. 650; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–601, §2, 88 Stat. 1956; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–622, title II, §201(a), 98 Stat. 3386.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §7 (R.S. 482, amended (1) Mar. 2, 1927, ch. 273, §3, 44 Stat. 1335, (2) April 11, 1930, ch. 132, §2, 46 Stat. 155, (3) Mar. 4, 1950, ch. 50, 64 Stat. 11).

Some changes in language have been made and the reference to interferences, which are no longer considered by the Board of Appeals, has been deleted. Reference to reissues is omitted in view of the general provision in section 251.

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–622 substituted “Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences” for “Board of Patent Appeals” as section catchline.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–622 designated first two sentences of existing first paragraph as subsec. (a) and substituted “competitive service” for “classified civil service” at end of first sentence, capitalized “Deputy Commissioner” and “Assistant Commissioner” and further substituted “the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences” for “a Board of Appeals, which on written appeal of the applicant, shall review adverse decisions of examiners upon applications for patents”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98–622 designated final two sentences of existing first paragraph as subsec. (b) and inserted first sentence, substituted “Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences” for “Board of Patent Appeals” in two places and further substituted “authority” for “sole power” before “to grant rehearings” in third sentence.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–622 designated existing second paragraph as subsec. (c) and substituted “Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences” for “Board of Patent Appeals” wherever appearing, inserted “or determining an interference” before “may be an examiner so designated”, substituted “maximum rate of basic pay payable for grade GS–16 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5” for “maximum scheduled rate provided for positions in grade 16 of the General Schedule of the Classification Act of 1949, as amended”, and substituted “rate of basic pay” for “per annum rate of basic compensation” in two places.

1975—Pub. L. 93–601 inserted provisions relating to appointment of the examiners-in-chief under classified civil service, and addition of deputy commissioner to Board of Appeals.

Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

1959—Pub. L. 86–370 authorized Secretary of Commerce to fix compensation of designated examiners-in-chief at rates not higher than maximum rate for grade 16 of General Schedule.

1958—Pub. L. 85–933 permitted temporary designees to be paid salary received by permanent examiners-in-chief while so serving and provided for compensation adjustments in their regular classifications following such service.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Section 207 of title II of Pub. L. 98–622 provided that: “Section 206 of this Act [set out as a note below] and the amendments made by this title [amending this section, sections 41, 134, 135, 141, 145, 146, and 305 of this title, section 1295 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, and sections 2182 and 2457 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare] shall take effect three months after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 8, 1984].”

Effective Date of 1975 Amendments

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–601 effective Jan. 2, 1975, with examiners-in-chief in office on such date to continue with existing appointment, see section 4(b) of Pub. L. 93–601, set out as a note under section 3 of this title.

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Effective Date of 1959 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 86–370 effective on first day of first pay period which begins after Sept. 23, 1959, see section 7(b) of Pub. L. 86–370, set out as a note under section 3 of this title.

Savings Provision

Section 206 of title II of Pub. L. 98–622 provided that: “Any individual who, on the effective date of this title [see Effective Date of 1984 Amendment note above], is an examiner-in-chief of the Board of Patent Appeals of the Patent and Trademark Office or an examiner of interferences of the Board of Patent Interferences of such office shall be entitled to continue in office as a member of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences of the Patent and Trademark Office as of such effective date.”

References in Other Laws to GS–16, 17, or 18 Pay Rates

References in laws to the rates of pay for GS–16, 17, or 18, or to maximum rates of pay under the General Schedule, to be considered references to rates payable under specified sections of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, see section 529 [title I, §101(c)(1)] of Pub. L. 101–509, set out in a note under section 5376 of Title 5.

Existing Positions

Existing positions, compensation, and appointments unaffected by amendment by Pub. L. 86–370 until action is taken under such amendment, see note set out under section 3 of this title.

Cross References

Appeal to Board of Appeals, see section 134 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 3 of this title.

§8. Library

The Commissioner shall maintain a library of scientific and other works and periodicals, both foreign and domestic, in the Patent and Trademark Office to aid the officers in the discharge of their duties.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 793; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §10 (R.S. 486).

Some change in language has been made. “Purchased” is changed to “maintained” to include the existing library and keeping it up by additions. The phrase “and other” is added to include legal works. The last phrase of the corresponding section of the existing statute is omitted as unnecessary.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Fees for Use of Search Rooms and Libraries Prohibited

For provisions prohibiting Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks from imposing fee for use of public patent or trademark search rooms and libraries, and providing that costs of such rooms and libraries come from amounts appropriated by Congress, see section 4 of Pub. L. 99–607, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Cross References

Library of Patent and Trademark Office, binding of books, see section 501 of Title 44, Public Printing and Documents.

§9. Classification of patents

The Commissioner may revise and maintain the classification by subject matter of United States letters patent, and such other patents and printed publications as may be necessary or practicable, for the purpose of determining with readiness and accuracy the novelty of inventions for which applications for patent are filed.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 794.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §6 note (June 10, 1898, ch. 430, §1, 30 Stat. 440).

Changes in language are made.

§10. Certified copies of records

The Commissioner may furnish certified copies of specifications and drawings of patents issued by the Patent and Trademark Office, and of other records available either to the public or to the person applying therefor.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 794; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §14 (Mar. 3, 1891, ch. 541, §1 (part), 26 Stat. 908, 940).

Reference to other records is added. The fee for certification is omitted as it appears in the table of fees.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Cross References

Fees for certified copies, see section 41 of this title.

§11. Publications

(a) The Commissioner may print, or cause to be printed, the following:

1. Patents, including specifications and drawings, together with copies of the same. The Patent and Trademark Office may print the headings of the drawings for patents for the purpose of photolithography.

2. Certificates of trade-mark registrations, including statements and drawings, together with copies of the same.

3. The Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

4. Annual indexes of patents and patentees, and of trade-marks and registrants.

5. Annual volumes of decisions in patent and trade-mark cases.

6. Pamphlet copies of the patent laws and rules of practice, laws and rules relating to trade-marks, and circulars or other publications relating to the business of the Office.

(b) The Commissioner may exchange any of the publications specified in items 3, 4, 5, and 6 of subsection (a) of this section for publications desirable for the use of the Patent and Trademark Office.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 794; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §§13 and 16 (R.S. 489; July 9, 1947, ch. 211, §301 (part), 61 Stat. 299, repeated in prior and subsequent appropriation acts).

Section is amplified to list the publications of the Patent Office, based on 44 U.S.C., 1946 ed., §§283, 283a.

The second sentence of item 1 of the revised section is a provision appearing annually in appropriation acts to enable the Patent Office to maintain a small printing press to place headings on drawings before the drawings are reproduced.

Language is changed.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”, wherever appearing.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Cross References

Exchange of Official Gazette for scientific or useful publications, see section 481 of Title 40, Public Buildings, Property, and Works.

Printing and publications for Patent and Trademark Office, see sections 1337, 1338 of Title 44, Public Printing and Documents.

§12. Exchange of copies of patents with foreign countries

The Commissioner may exchange copies of specifications and drawings of United States patents for those of foreign countries.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 794.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §§15, and 78, part (Jan. 14, 1915, 38 Stat. 1221; Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §9, proviso in, 42 Stat. 393).

The first act mentioned applies to Canada only, the second to any country; these are consolidated in one section, specific reference to one country not being necessary.

Language is changed.

§13. Copies of patents for public libraries

The Commissioner may supply printed copies of specifications and drawings of patents to public libraries in the United States which shall maintain such copies for the use of the public, at the rate for each year's issue established for this purpose in section 41(d) of this title.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 794; Aug. 27, 1982, Pub. L. 97–247, §15, 96 Stat. 321.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §78, part (R.S. 4934, Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §9, 42 Stat. 389, 393, amended June 15, 1950, ch. 249, 64 Stat. 215).

The proviso in the schedule of fees of the existing statute is made a separate section and some changes in language are made.

Amendments

1982—Pub. L. 97–247 substituted “section 41(d)” for “section 41(a)9”.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–247 effective Aug. 27, 1982, see section 17(a) of Pub. L. 97–247, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 41 of this title.

§14. Annual report to Congress

The Commissioner shall report to Congress annually the moneys received and expended, statistics concerning the work of the Office, and other information relating to the Office as may be useful to the Congress or the public.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 794.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §20 (R.S. 494).

Language is changed. The lists referred to in the corresponding section of existing statute, and which are omitted from the revised section, are the indexes provided for in section 11(a)4. The month of reporting is omitted. The report contemplated by R.S. 494 has been discontinued since 1925 under authority of 44 U.S.C., 1946 ed., §212.

Report to Congress

Pub. L. 100–703, title I, §103(c), Nov. 19, 1988, 102 Stat. 4674, provided that: “The Secretary of Commerce shall, on the day on which the President submits the annual budget to the Congress, provide to the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and the House of Representatives—

“(1) a list of patent and trademark fee collections by the Patent and Trademark Office during the preceding fiscal year;

“(2) a list of activities of the Patent and Trademark Office during the preceding fiscal year which were supported by patent fee expenditures, trademark fee expenditures, and appropriations;

“(3) budget plans for significant programs, projects, and activities of the Office, including out-year funding estimates;

“(4) any proposed disposition of surplus fees by the Office; and

“(5) such other information as the committees consider necessary.”

Similar provisions were contained in the following prior authorization act:

Pub. L. 99–607, §3(c), Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3471.

Computerized Data and Retrieval System; Report to Congress

Pub. L. 96–517, §9, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3028, directed the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks to report to Congress, within two years after Dec. 12, 1980, a plan to identify, and if necessary develop or have developed, computerized data and retrieval systems equivalent to the latest state of the art which could be applied to all aspects of the operation of the Patent and Trademark Office, and particularly to the patent search file, the patent classification system, and the trademark search file. The report was to specify the cost of implementing the plan, and how rapidly the plan could be implemented by the Patent and Trademark Office, without regard to the availability of future funding.

Cross References

Printing and distribution of the report of the Commissioner, see section 1337 of Title 44, Public Printing and Documents.

Provisions applicable to all the Departments, relating to the time of making annual reports, see section 2952 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

CHAPTER 2—PROCEEDINGS IN THE PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE

Sec.
21.
Day for taking action falling on Saturday, Sunday, or holiday.1

        

22.
Printing of papers filed.
23.
Testimony in Patent and Trademark Office cases.
24.
Subpoenas, witnesses.
25.
Declaration in lieu of oath.
26.
Effect of defective execution.

        

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949, substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office” in chapter heading and in item 23.

1964—Pub. L. 88–292, §2, Mar. 26, 1964, 78 Stat. 171, added items 25 and 26.

1 Section catchline amended by Pub. L. 97–247 without corresponding amendment of chapter analysis.

§21. Filing date and day for taking action

(a) The Commissioner may by rule prescribe that any paper or fee required to be filed in the Patent and Trademark Office will be considered filed in the Office on the date on which it was deposited with the United States Postal Service or would have been deposited with the United States Postal Service but for postal service interruptions or emergencies designated by the Commissioner.

(b) When the day, or the last day, for taking any action or paying any fee in the United States Patent and Trademark Office falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a Federal holiday within the District of Columbia, the action may be taken, or the fee paid, on the next succeeding secular or business day.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 794; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949; Aug. 27, 1982, Pub. L. 97–247, §12, 96 Stat. 321.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §21 (Mar. 2, 1927, ch. 273, §14, 44 Stat. 1337).

“Fixed by statute” is omitted from the corresponding section of the existing statute as unnecessary. Saturday is added as a day on which action need not be taken.

Amendments

1982—Pub. L. 97–247 substituted “Filing date and day for taking action” for “Day for taking action falling on Saturday, Sunday, or holiday” as section catchline, added subsec. (a), redesignated existing provisions as subsec. (b) and inserted “Federal” after “Sunday, or a”.

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–247 effective six months after Aug. 27, 1982, see section 17(c) of Pub. L. 97–247, set out as an Effective Date note under section 294 of this title.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Emergency Relief From Postal Situation Affecting Patent Cases

Relief as to filing date of patent application or patent and excusal of delayed fees or actions affected by postal situation beginning on Mar. 18, 1970, and ending on or about Mar. 30, 1970, see note set out under section 111 of this title.

Cross References

Federal holidays, see section 6103 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

§22. Printing of papers filed

The Commissioner may require papers filed in the Patent and Trademark Office to be printed or typewritten.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 795; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §12 (R.S. 488).

Language is changed and “or typewritten” is added after “printed”.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

§23. Testimony in Patent and Trademark Office cases

The Commissioner may establish rules for taking affidavits and depositions required in cases in the Patent and Trademark Office. Any officer authorized by law to take depositions to be used in the courts of the United States, or of the State where he resides, may take such affidavits and depositions.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 795; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §53 (R.S. 4905).

This section is placed in part 1 since it relates to trade-mark cases in the Patent Office as well as to patent cases.

Language is changed.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office” in section catchline and text.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Persons before whom depositions may be taken, see rule 28, Title 28, Appendix, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Cross References

Regulations for the conduct of proceedings in Patent and Trademark Office, establishment of, see section 6 of this title.

§24. Subpoenas, witnesses

The clerk of any United States court for the district wherein testimony is to be taken for use in any contested case in the Patent and Trademark Office, shall, upon the application of any party thereto, issue a subpoena for any witness residing or being within such district, commanding him to appear and testify before an officer in such district authorized to take depositions and affidavits, at the time and place stated in the subpoena. The provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure relating to the attendance of witnesses and to the production of documents and things shall apply to contested cases in the Patent and Trademark Office.

Every witness subpoenaed and in attendance shall be allowed the fees and traveling expenses allowed to witnesses attending the United States district courts.

A judge of a court whose clerk issued a subpoena may enforce obedience to the process or punish disobedience as in other like cases, on proof that a witness, served with such subpoena, neglected or refused to appear or to testify. No witness shall be deemed guilty of contempt for disobeying such subpoena unless his fees and traveling expenses in going to, and returning from, and one day's attendance at the place of examination, are paid or tendered him at the time of the service of the subpoena; nor for refusing to disclose any secret matter except upon appropriate order of the court which issued the subpoena.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 795; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §§54, 55 and 56 (R.S. 4906, amended Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §7, 42 Stat. 389, 391–2; R.S. 4907; R.S. 4908).

Three sections of the existing statute are combined with some changes in language and placed in part 1 since they apply to trade-mark cases in the Patent Office as well as to patent cases. Reference to a repealed statute in the first paragraph is replaced by reference to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and certain rules are made applicable.

References in Text

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, referred to in text, are set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office” in two places.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Subpoena, see rule 45, Title 28, Appendix, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Cross References

Fees of witnesses, see sections 1821 and 1825 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in title 25 section 374.

§25. Declaration in lieu of oath

(a) The Commissioner may by rule prescribe that any document to be filed in the Patent and Trademark Office and which is required by any law, rule, or other regulation to be under oath may be subscribed to by a written declaration in such form as the Commissioner may prescribe, such declaration to be in lieu of the oath otherwise required.

(b) Whenever such written declaration is used, the document must warn the declarant that willful false statements and the like are punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both (18 U.S.C. 1001).

(Added Pub. L. 88–292, §1, Mar. 26, 1964, 78 Stat. 171; amended Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Amendments

1975—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

§26. Effect of defective execution

Any document to be filed in the Patent and Trademark Office and which is required by any law, rule, or other regulation to be executed in a specified manner may be provisionally accepted by the Commissioner despite a defective execution, provided a properly executed document is submitted within such time as may be prescribed.

(Added Pub. L. 88–292, §1, Mar. 26, 1964, 78 Stat. 171; amended Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

CHAPTER 3—PRACTICE BEFORE PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE

Sec.
31.
Regulations for agents and attorneys.
32.
Suspension or exclusion from practice.
33.
Unauthorized representation as practitioner.

        

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949, substituted “PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE” for “PATENT OFFICE” in chapter heading.

Chapter Referred to in Other Sections

This chapter is referred to in title 5 section 500.

§31. Regulations for agents and attorneys

The Commissioner, subject to the approval of the Secretary of Commerce, may prescribe regulations governing the recognition and conduct of agents, attorneys, or other persons representing applicants or other parties before the Patent and Trademark Office, and may require them, before being recognized as representatives of applicants or other persons, to show that they are of good moral character and reputation and are possessed of the necessary qualifications to render to applicants or other persons valuable service, advice, and assistance in the presentation or prosecution of their applications or other business before the Office.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 795; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §11 (R.S. 487, amended Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §3, 42 Stat. 390).

The present statute is divided into two sections, 31 and 32.

Changes in language are made.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 32 of this title; title 5 section 500.

§32. Suspension or exclusion from practice

The Commissioner may, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, suspend or exclude, either generally or in any particular case, from further practice before the Patent and Trademark Office, any person, agent, or attorney shown to be incompetent or disreputable, or guilty of gross misconduct, or who does not comply with the regulations established under section 31 of this title, or who shall, by word, circular, letter, or advertising, with intent to defraud in any manner, deceive, mislead, or threaten any applicant or prospective applicant, or other person having immediate or prospective business before the Office. The reasons for any such suspension or exclusion shall be duly recorded. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia, under such conditions and upon such proceedings as it by its rules determines, may review the action of the Commissioner upon the petition of the person so refused recognition or so suspended or excluded.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 795; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §11 (R.S. 487, amended Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §3, 42 Stat. 390).

See note under section 31.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in title 5 section 500.

§33. Unauthorized representation as practitioner

Whoever, not being recognized to practice before the Patent and Trademark Office, holds himself out or permits himself to be held out as so recognized, or as being qualified to prepare or prosecute applications for patent, shall be fined not more than $1,000 for each offense.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 796; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §11a (May 9, 1938, ch. 188, 52 Stat. 342).

This is a criminal statute. The language has been considerably simplified and the upper limit of the penalty is increased.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Cross References

Advertising practice before departments or offices of Government, see section 501 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in title 5 section 500.

CHAPTER 4—PATENT FEES; FUNDING; SEARCH SYSTEMS

Sec.
41.
Patent fees; patent and trademark search systems.
42.
Patent and Trademark Office funding.

        

Amendments

1991—Pub. L. 102–204, §5(d)(2)(B), (C), Dec. 10, 1991, 105 Stat. 1640, inserted “; FUNDING; SEARCH SYSTEMS” after “FEES” in chapter heading, inserted “; patent and trademark search systems” after “fees” in item 41, and substituted “Patent and Trademark Office funding” for “Payment of patent fees; return of excess amounts” in item 42.

§41. Patent fees; patent and trademark search systems

(a) The Commissioner shall charge the following fees:

(1)(A) On filing each application for an original patent, except in design or plant cases, $500.

(B) In addition, on filing or on presentation at any other time, $52 for each claim in independent form which is in excess of 3, $14 for each claim (whether independent or dependent) which is in excess of 20, and $160 for each application containing a multiple dependent claim.

(C) On filing each provisional application for an original patent, $150.

(2) For issuing each original or reissue patent, except in design or plant cases, $820.

(3) In design and plant cases—

(A) on filing each design application, $200;

(B) on filing each plant application, $330;

(C) on issuing each design patent, $290; and

(D) on issuing each plant patent, $410.


(4)(A) On filing each application for the reissue of a patent, $500.

(B) In addition, on filing or on presentation at any other time, $52 for each claim in independent form which is in excess of the number of independent claims of the original patent, and $14 for each claim (whether independent or dependent) which is in excess of 20 and also in excess of the number of claims of the original patent.

(5) On filing each disclaimer, $78.

(6)(A) On filing an appeal from the examiner to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, $190.

(B) In addition, on filing a brief in support of the appeal, $190, and on requesting an oral hearing in the appeal before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, $160.

(7) On filing each petition for the revival of an unintentionally abandoned application for a patent or for the unintentionally delayed payment of the fee for issuing each patent, $820, unless the petition is filed under section 133 or 151 of this title, in which case the fee shall be $78.

(8) For petitions for 1-month extensions of time to take actions required by the Commissioner in an application—

(A) On 1 filing a first petition, $78;

(B) on filing a second petition, $172; and

(C) on filing a third petition or subsequent petition, $340.


(9) Basic national fee for an international application where the Patent and Trademark Office was the International Preliminary Examining Authority and the International Searching Authority, $450.

(10) Basic national fee for an international application where the Patent and Trademark Office was the International Searching Authority but not the International Preliminary Examining Authority, $500.

(11) Basic national fee for an international application where the Patent and Trademark Office was neither the International Searching Authority nor the International Preliminary Examining Authority, $670.

(12) Basic national fee for an international application where the international preliminary examination has been paid to the Patent and Trademark Office, and the international preliminary examination report states that the provisions of Article 33(2), (3), and (4) of the Patent Cooperation Treaty have been satisfied for all claims in the application entering the national stage, $66.

(13) For filing or later presentation of each independent claim in the national stage of an international application in excess of 3, $52.

(14) For filing or later presentation of each claim (whether independent or dependent) in a national stage of an international application in excess of 20, $14.

(15) For each national stage of an international application containing a multiple dependent claim, $160.


For the purpose of computing fees, a multiple dependent claim as referred to in section 112 of this title or any claim depending therefrom shall be considered as separate dependent claims in accordance with the number of claims to which reference is made. Errors in payment of the additional fees may be rectified in accordance with regulations of the Commissioner.

(b) The Commissioner shall charge the following fees for maintaining in force all patents based on applications filed on or after December 12, 1980:

(1) 3 years and 6 months after grant, $650.

(2) 7 years and 6 months after grant, $1,310.

(3) 11 years and 6 months after grant, $1,980.


Unless payment of the applicable maintenance fee is received in the Patent and Trademark Office on or before the date the fee is due or within a grace period of six months thereafter, the patent will expire as of the end of such grace period. The Commissioner may require the payment of a surcharge as a condition of accepting within such six-month grace period the late payment of an applicable maintenance fee. No fee will be established for maintaining a design or plant patent in force.

(c)(1) The Commissioner may accept the payment of any maintenance fee required by subsection (b) of this section which is made within twenty-four months after the six-month grace period if the delay is shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioner to have been unintentional, or at any time after the six-month grace period if the delay is shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioner to have been unavoidable. The Commissioner may require the payment of a surcharge as a condition of accepting payment of any maintenance fee after the six-month grace period. If the Commissioner accepts payment of a maintenance fee after the six-month grace period, the patent shall be considered as not having expired at the end of the grace period.

(2) No patent, the term of which has been maintained as a result of the acceptance of a payment of a maintenance fee under this subsection, shall abridge or affect the right of any person or his successors in business who made, purchased or used after the six-month grace period but prior to the acceptance of a maintenance fee under this subsection anything protected by the patent, to continue the use of, or to sell to others to be used or sold, the specific thing so made, purchased, or used. The court before which such matter is in question may provide for the continued manufacture, use or sale of the thing made, purchased, or used as specified, or for the manufacture, use or sale of which substantial preparation was made after the six-month grace period but before the acceptance of a maintenance fee under this subsection, and it may also provide for the continued practice of any process, practiced, or for the practice of which substantial preparation was made, after the six-month grace period but prior to the acceptance of a maintenance fee under this subsection, to the extent and under such terms as the court deems equitable for the protection of investments made or business commenced after the six-month grace period but before the acceptance of a maintenance fee under the subsection.

(d) The Commissioner shall establish fees for all other processing, services, or materials relating to patents not specified in this section to recover the estimated average cost to the Office of such processing, services, or materials, except that the Commissioner shall charge the following fees for the following services:

(1) For recording a document affecting title, $40 per property.

(2) For each photocopy, $.25 per page.

(3) For each black and white copy of a patent, $3.


The yearly fee for providing a library specified in section 13 of this title with uncertified printed copies of the specifications and drawings for all patents in that year shall be $50.

(e) The Commissioner may waive the payment of any fee for any service or material related to patents in connection with an occasional or incidental request made by a department or agency of the Government, or any officer thereof. The Commissioner may provide any applicant issued a notice under section 132 of this title with a copy of the specifications and drawings for all patents referred to in that notice without charge.

(f) The fees established in subsections (a) and (b) of this section may be adjusted by the Commissioner on October 1, 1992, and every year thereafter, to reflect any fluctuations occurring during the previous 12 months in the Consumer Price Index, as determined by the Secretary of Labor. Changes of less than 1 per centum may be ignored.

(g) No fee established by the Commissioner under this section shall take effect until at least 30 days after notice of the fee has been published in the Federal Register and in the Official Gazette of the Patent and Trademark Office.

(h)(1) Fees charged under subsection (a) or (b) shall be reduced by 50 percent with respect to their application to any small business concern as defined under section 3 of the Small Business Act, and to any independent inventor or nonprofit organization as defined in regulations issued by the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks.

(2) With respect to its application to any entity described in paragraph (1), any surcharge or fee charged under subsection (c) or (d) shall not be higher than the surcharge or fee required of any other entity under the same or substantially similar circumstances.

(i)(1) The Commissioner shall maintain, for use by the public, paper or microform collections of United States patents, foreign patent documents, and United States trademark registrations arranged to permit search for and retrieval of information. The Commissioner may not impose fees directly for the use of such collections, or for the use of the public patent or trademark search rooms or libraries.

(2) The Commissioner shall provide for the full deployment of the automated search systems of the Patent and Trademark Office so that such systems are available for use by the public, and shall assure full access by the public to, and dissemination of, patent and trademark information, using a variety of automated methods, including electronic bulletin boards and remote access by users to mass storage and retrieval systems.

(3) The Commissioner may establish reasonable fees for access by the public to the automated search systems of the Patent and Trademark Office. If such fees are established, a limited amount of free access shall be made available to users of the systems for purposes of education and training. The Commissioner may waive the payment by an individual of fees authorized by this subsection upon a showing of need or hardship, and if such a waiver is in the public interest.

(4) The Commissioner shall submit to the Congress an annual report on the automated search systems of the Patent and Trademark Office and the access by the public to such systems. The Commissioner shall also publish such report in the Federal Register. The Commissioner shall provide an opportunity for the submission of comments by interested persons on each such report.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 796; July 24, 1965, Pub. L. 89–83, §§1, 2, 79 Stat. 259; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 14, 1975, Pub. L. 94–131, §3, 89 Stat. 690; Dec. 12, 1980, Pub. L. 96–517, §2, 94 Stat. 3017; Aug. 27, 1982, Pub. L. 97–247, §3(a)–(e), 96 Stat. 317–319; Sept. 8, 1982, Pub. L. 97–256, title I, §101(1)–(4), 96 Stat. 816; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–622, title II, §204(a), 98 Stat. 3388; Nov. 6, 1986, Pub. L. 99–607, §1(b)(2), 100 Stat. 3470; Dec. 10, 1991, Pub. L. 102–204, §5(a)–(c)(1), (d)(1), (2)(A), 105 Stat. 1637–1639; Oct. 23, 1992, Pub. L. 102–444, §1, 106 Stat. 2245; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §§532(b)(2), 533(b)(1), 108 Stat. 4986, 4988.)

Amendment of Subsection (c)(2)

Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §§533(b)(1), 534(a), (b)(3), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4988, 4990, provided that, effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, subsection (c)(2) of this section is amended to read as follows:


(2) A patent, the term of which has been maintained as a result of the acceptance of a payment of a maintenance fee under this subsection, shall not abridge or affect the right of any person or that person's successors in business who made, purchased, offered to sell, or used anything protected by the patent within the United States, or imported anything protected by the patent into the United States after the 6-month grace period but prior to the acceptance of a maintenance fee under this subsection, to continue the use of, to offer for sale, 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. 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, or used within the United States, or imported into the United States, as specified, or for the manufacture, use, offer for sale, or sale in the United States of which substantial preparation was made after the 6-month grace period but before the acceptance of a maintenance fee under this subsection, and the court may also provide for the continued practice of any process that is practiced, or for the practice of which substantial preparation was made, after the 6-month grace period but before the acceptance of a maintenance fee under this subsection, to the extent and under such terms as the court deems equitable for the protection of investments made or business commenced after the 6-month grace period but before the acceptance of a maintenance fee under this subsection.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §78 (R.S. 4934, amended (1) May 27, 1908, ch. 200, §1 (part), 35 Stat. 317, 343; (2) June 25, 1910, ch. 414, §2, 35 Stat. 843; (3) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §9, 42 Stat. 389, 393; (4) Feb. 14, 1927, ch. 139, §2, 44 Stat. 1098, 1099; (5) Mar. 2, 1927, ch. 273, §13, 44 Stat. 1335, 1337; (6) April 11, 1930, ch. 132, §3, 46 Stat. 155; (7) June 30, 1932, ch. 314, §§308, 309, 47 Stat. 382, 410; (8) Aug. 9, 1939, ch. 619, §3, 53 Stat. 1293; July 5, 1946, ch. 541, §301 (part), 60 Stat. 446, 471).

The items in the schedule of fees are rearranged in a few instances and are numbered for convenient reference.

The obsolete fee for appeal from the examiners of interferences to the Board of Appeals is omitted.

The fee for appeal to the Board of Appeals is changed from $15 to $25.

Two provisos in the corresponding section of the existing statute have been made separate sections, see sections 12 and 13.

The fee for a certificate is changed from 50 cents to $1 to correspond to the same fee in the trade-mark statute.

A new item (8) is added to go with section 205.

An omnibus item to take care of miscellaneous minor fees is added; in view of this, two items in the present schedule are omitted.

The fee for reissue applications is changed slightly.

References in Text

Section 3 of the Small Business Act, referred to in subsec. (h)(1), is classified to section 632 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (a)(1)(C). Pub. L. 103–465, §532(b)(2), added subpar. (C).

1992—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 102–444 inserted after “section” in first sentence “which is made within twenty-four months after the six-month grace period if the delay is shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioner to have been unintentional, or at any time”.

1991—Pub. L. 102–204, §5(d)(2)(A), inserted “; patent and trademark search systems” after “fees” in section catchline.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102–204, §5(a)(1), amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “The Commissioner shall charge the following fees:

“1. On filing each application for an original patent, except in design or plant cases, $300; in addition, on filing or on presentation at any other time, $30 for each claim in independent form which is in excess of three, $10 for each claim (whether independent or dependent) which is in excess of twenty, and $100 for each application containing a multiple dependent claim. For the purpose of computing fees, a multiple dependent claim as referred to in section 112 of this title or any claim depending therefrom shall be considered as separate dependent claims in accordance with the number of claims to which reference is made. Errors in payment of the additional fees may be rectified in accordance with regulations of the Commissioner.

“2. For issuing each original or reissue patent, except in design or plant cases, $500.

“3. In design and plant cases:

“a. On filing each design application, $125.

“b. On filing each plant application, $200.

“c. On issuing each design patent, $175.

“d. On issuing each plant patent, $250.

“4. On filing each application for the reissue of a patent, $300; in addition, on filing or on presentation at any other time, $30 for each claim in independent form which is in excess of the number of independent claims of the original patent, and $10 for each claim (whether independent or dependent) which is in excess of twenty and also in excess of the number of claims of the original patent. Errors in payment of the additional fees may be rectified in accordance with regulations of the Commissioner.

“5. On filing each disclaimer, $50.

“6. On filing an appeal from the examiner to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, $115; in addition, on filing a brief in support of the appeal, $115, and on requesting an oral hearing in the appeal before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, $100.

“7. On filing each petition for the revival of an unintentionally abandoned application for a patent or for the unintentionally delayed payment of the fee for issuing each patent, $500, unless the petition is filed under sections 133 or 151 of this title, in which case the fee shall be $50.

“8. For petitions for one-month extensions of time to take actions required by the Commissioner in an application:

“a. On filing a first petition, $50.

“b. On filing a second petition, $100.

“c. On filing a third or subsequent petition, $200.”

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 102–204, §5(a)(2), substituted “in force all patents based on applications filed on or after December 12, 1980:

“(1) 3 years and 6 months after grant, $650.

“(2) 7 years and 6 months after grant, $1,310.

“(3) 11 years and 6 months after grant, $1,980.”

for “a patent in force:

“1. Three years and six months after grant, $400.

“2. Seven years and six months after grant, $800.

“3. Eleven years and six months after grant, $1,200.”

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 102–204, §5(a)(3), amended subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (d) read as follows: “The Commissioner will establish fees for all other processing, services, or materials related to patents not specified above to recover the estimated average cost to the Office of such processing, services, or materials. The yearly fee for providing a library specified in section 13 of this title with uncertified printed copies of the specifications and drawings for all patents issued in that year will be $50.”

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 102–204, §5(b), substituted “on October 1, 1992, and every year thereafter, to reflect any fluctuations occurring during the previous 12 months” for “on October 1, 1985, and every third year thereafter, to reflect any fluctuations occurring during the previous three years”.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 102–204, §5(c)(1), amended subsec. (g) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (g) read as follows: “No fee established by the Commissioner under this section will take effect prior to sixty days following notice in the Federal Register.”

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 102–204, §5(d)(1), added subsec. (i).

1986—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 99–607 added subsec. (h).

1984—Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 98–622 substituted “Patent Appeals and Interferences” for “Appeals” in two places and inserted “in the appeal” after “oral hearing”.

1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–247, §3(a), substituted provisions setting a schedule of fees for provisions which had directed that the Commissioner establish fees for the processing of an application for a patent, from filing through disposition by issuance or abandonment, for maintaining a patent in force, and for providing all other services and materials related to patents and that fee would be established for maintaining a design patent in force.

Pub. L. 97–256, §101(1), struck out “of Patents” after “Commissioner”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–247, §3(b), substituted provisions setting a fee schedule for maintaining a patent in force for provisions which had directed that, fees for the actual processing of an application for a patent, other than for a design patent, from filing through disposition by issuance or abandonment, were to recover in aggregate 25 per centum of the estimated average cost to the Office of such processing and that fees for the processing of an application for a design patent, from filing through disposition by issuance or abandonment, were to recover in aggregate 50 per centum of the estimated average cost to the Office of such processing.

Pub. L. 97–256, §101(2), substituted “October 1, 1982” for “the first day of the first fiscal year beginning on or after one calendar year after enactment of this Act” and “the first day of the first fiscal year beginning on or after one calendar year after enactment”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 97–247, §3(c), substituted maintenance provisions for provisions which had directed that fees for maintaining patents in force were to recover 25 per centum of the estimated cost to the Office, for the year in which such maintenance fees were received, of the actual processing all applications for patents, other than for design patents, from filing through disposition by issuance or abandonment, that fees for maintaining a patent in force would be due three years and six months, seven years and six months, and eleven years and six months after the grant of the patent, that unless payment of the applicable maintenance fee was received in the Patent and Trademark Office on or before the date the fee was due or within a grace period of six months thereafter, the patent would expire as of the end of such grace period, and that the Commissioner could require the payment of a surcharge as a condition of accepting within such six-month grace period the late payment of an applicable maintenance fee.

Pub. L. 97–256, §101(3), substituted “October 1, 1996” for “the fifteenth fiscal year following the date of enactment of this Act”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–247, §3(d), substituted provisions relating to fees for all other processing services or materials relating to patents not previously specified for provisions directing that fees for all other services or materials related to patents were to recover the estimated average cost to the Office of performing the service or furnishing the material.

Pub. L. 97–256, §101(4), substituted “October 1, 1982” for “the first day of the first fiscal year beginning on or after one calendar year after enactment”.

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 97–247, §3(e), substituted provisions relating to the adjustment of fees to reflect CPI fluctuations for provisions directing that fees were to be adjusted by the Commissioner to achieve the levels of recovery specified in this section but that no patent application processing fee or fee for maintaining a patent in force was to be adjusted more than once every three years.

1980—Pub. L. 96–517 in revising fee provisions by substituting subsecs. (a) to (g) for prior subsecs. (a) to (c), required the Commissioner to establish fees based on recovery of estimated average cost of processing applications, performing miscellaneous services and providing material, required fees for maintenance of patents in force and provided for expiration of patents for nonpayments, prescribed $50 library fee for copies of specifications and drawings, authorized triennial adjustments, prescribed effective date for fees, and incorporated in subsec. (e) waiver provision of former subsec. (c).

1975—Subsec. (a)1. Pub. L. 94–131 inserted sentence respecting consideration of a multiple dependent claim as referred to in section 112 of this title or any claim depending therefrom as separate dependent claims in accordance with the number of claims to which reference is made for the purpose of computing fees.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

1965—Subsec. (a)1. Pub. L. 89–83, §1, increased the filing fee for original patents from $30 to $65, changed the additional fee from $1 for each claim in excess of twenty to $10 for each claim in independent form which is in excess of one and $2 for each claim (whether independent or dependent) which is in excess of ten, and permitted the rectification of errors in the payment of the additional fees in accordance with regulations of the Commissioner.

Subsec. (a)2. Pub. L. 89–83, §1, applied the issue fee to reissue patents as well as to original patents, increased such fee from $30 to $100, and changed the additional fee from $1 for each claim in excess of twenty to $10 for each page (or portion thereof) of specification as printed and $2 for each sheet of drawing.

Subsec. (a)3. Pub. L. 89–83, §1, changed the fee structure applicable to design patents from a filing fee of $10, $15, or $30 for terms of 31/2, 7, or 14 years, respectively, to a filing fee of $20 and an issue fee of $10, $20, or $30 for terms of 31/2, 7, or 14 years, respectively.

Subsec. (a)4. Pub. L. 89–83, §1, increased the filing fee for reissue patents from $30 to $65, changed the additional fee from $1 for each claim in excess of twenty over and above the number of claims in the original patent to $10 for each claim in independent form which is in excess of the number of independent claims of the original patent and $2 for each claim (whether independent or dependent) which is in excess of ten and also in excess of the number of claims in the original patent, and permitted the rectification of errors in the payment of the additional fees in accordance with regulations of the Commissioner.

Subsec. (a)5. Pub. L. 89–83, §1, increased the fee for filing disclaimers from $10 to $15.

Subsec. (a)6. Pub. L. 89–83, §1, increased the fee on appeal for the first time from the examiner to the Board of Appeals from $25 to $50, and added the additional $50 fee for filing a brief in support of the appeal.

Subsec. (a)7. Pub. L. 89–83, §1, increased the fee for filing a petition for the revival of an abandoned application or for the delayed payment of the issuance fee from $10 to $15.

Subsec. (a)8. Pub. L. 89–83, §1, inserted fee for the certificate under section 256 of this title, and increased the fee for a certificate under section 255 of this title from $10 to $15.

Subsec. (a)9. Pub. L. 89–83, §1, increased the fee for copies of specifications and drawings of patents (other than design patents) from 25 cents to 50 cents per copy and the fee for copies of specifications and drawings of design patents from 10 cents to 20 cents per copy, and permitted the Commissioner to establish a charge not to exceed $1 per copy for patents in excess of twenty-five pages of drawings and specifications and for plant patents printed in color and to provide applicants, without charge, with copies of specifications and drawings when referred to in a section 132 notice.

Subsec. (a)10. Pub. L. 89–83, §1, changed the recording fee from $3 for every document not exceeding six pages and $1 for each additional two pages or less to a flat $20 fee for every document, and substituted a $3 fee for each additional item where the document relates to more than one patent or application for a 50 cents additional fee for each additional patent or application included in one writing where more than one is so included.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 89–83, §2, added subsec. (c).

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by section 532(b)(2) of Pub. L. 103–465 effective 6 months after Dec. 8, 1994, and applicable to all patent applications filed in the United States on or after that effective date, with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(b)(1), (3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Amendment by section 533(b)(1) of Pub. L. 103–465 effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(a), (b)(3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Section 2 of Pub. L. 102–444 provided that: “The amendment made by section 1 [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 23, 1992].”

Effective Date of 1991 Amendment

Section 13 of Pub. L. 102–204 provided that: “This Act [amending this section, sections 6, 42, 202, 371, and 376 of this title, and section 1113 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade, enacting provisions set out as notes under this section, section 6 of this title, and section 1113 of Title 15, and amending and repealing provisions set out as notes under this section] takes effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 10, 1991], except that the fees established by the amendment made by section 5(a) [amending this section] shall take effect on or after 1 day after such fees are published in the Federal Register.”

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 effective three months after Nov. 8, 1984, see section 207 of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 7 of this title.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Section 17(a) of Pub. L. 97–247 provided that: “Sections 1, 2, 4, 7, and 13 through 15 of this Act [amending sections 3, 6, 13, 115, and 261 of this title and section 1061 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade] shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 27, 1982]. Sections 3 and 16 of this Act [amending this section, sections 42 and 173 of this title, and section 113 of Title 15] shall take effect on October 1, 1982. The maintenance fees provided for in section 3(b) of this Act [amending this section] shall not apply to patents applied for prior to the date of enactment of this Act. Each patent applied for on or after the date of enactment of this Act shall be subject to the maintenance fees established pursuant to section 3(b) of this Act or to maintenance fees hereafter established by law, as to the amounts paid and the number and timing of the payments.”

Effective Date of 1980 Amendment

Section 8 of Pub. L. 96–517 provided that:

“(a) Sections 2, 4, and 5 of this Act [amending this section, section 154 of this title, and section 1113 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade] will take effect upon enactment [Dec. 12, 1980].

“(b) Section 1 of this Act [enacting sections 301 to 307 of this title] will take effect on the first day of the seventh month beginning after its enactment [Dec. 12, 1980] and will apply to patents in force as of that date or issued thereafter.

“(c) Section 3 of this Act [amending section 42 of this title] will take effect on the first day of the first fiscal year beginning on or after one calendar year after enactment [Dec. 12, 1980]. However, until section 3 takes effect, the Commissioner may credit the Patent and Trademark Office appropriation account in the Treasury of the United States with the revenues from collected reexamination fees, which will be available to pay the costs to the Office of reexamination proceedings.

“(d) Any fee in effect as of the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 12, 1980] will remain in effect until a corresponding fee established under section 41 of title 35, United States Code, or section 1113 of title 15, United States Code, takes effect.

“(e) Fees for maintaining a patent in force will not be applicable to patents applied for prior to the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 12, 1980].

“(f) Sections 6 and 7 of this Act [enacting sections 200 to 211 of this title and amending sections 2186, 2457, and 5908 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare] will take effect on the first day of the seventh month beginning after its enactment [Dec. 12, 1980]. Implementing regulations may be issued earlier.

“(g) Sections 8 and 9 [enacting this note and provision set out as a note under section 14 of this title] will take effect on the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 12, 1980].”

Effective Date of 1975 Amendments

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–131 effective Jan. 24, 1978, and applicable on and after that date to patent applications filed in the United States and to international applications, where applicable, see section 11 of Pub. L. 94–131, set out as an Effective Date note under section 351 of this title.

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Effective Date of 1965 Amendment

Section 7 of Pub. L. 89–83 provided that:

“(a) This Act [amending this section, sections 112, 151, 154, and 282 of this title, and section 1113 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade, and repealing section 266 of this title] shall take effect three months after its enactment [July 24, 1965].

“(b) Items 1, 3, and 4 of section 41(a) of title 35, United States Code, as amended by section 1 of this Act, do not apply in further proceedings in applications filed prior to the effective date of this Act.

“(c) Item 2 of section 41(a), as amended by section 1 of this Act [item 2 of subsec. (a) of this section], and section 4 of this Act [amending section 151 of this title] do not apply in cases in which the notice of allowance of the application was sent, or in which a patent issued, prior to the effective date; and, in such cases, the fee due is the fee specified in this title prior to the effective date of this Act.

“(d) Item 3 of section 31 of the Trademark Act, as amended by section 3 of this Act [item 3 of section 1113(a) of Title 15], applies only in the case of registrations issued and registrations published under the provisions of section 12(c) of the Trademark Act [section 1062(c) of Title 15] on or after the effective date of this Act.”

Waiver of Certain Restrictions

Section 2(c) of Pub. L. 102–204 provided that: “Surcharges established for fiscal year 1992 under section 10101(c) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 [Pub. L. 101–508, set out below] may take effect on or after 1 day after such surcharges are published in the Federal Register. Section 553 of title 5, United States Code, shall not apply to the establishment of such surcharges for fiscal year 1992.”

Unspecified Patent Fees for Fiscal Year 1992; Effective Date Contingent Upon Publication in Federal Register

Section 5(c)(2) of Pub. L. 102–204 provided that: “Fees established by the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks under section 41(d) of title 35, United States Code, during fiscal year 1992 may take effect on or after 1 day after such fees are published in the Federal Register. Section 41(g) of title 35, United States Code, and section 553 of title 5, United States Code, shall not apply to the establishment of such fees during fiscal year 1992.”

Patent Information Dissemination

Section 11 of Pub. L. 102–204 provided that:

“(a) Definitions.—For purposes of this section—

“(1) the term ‘CD–ROMs’ means compact discs formatted with read-only memory, including such discs that make use of advanced optical storage technology;

“(2) the term ‘classified patent information’ means patent information organized by the subject matter of the claimed invention according to the United States Patent Classification System or the classification system used by the country or authority that issues a patent;

“(3) the term ‘Commissioner’ means the Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks; and

“(4) the term ‘patent information’ means a complete and exact facsimile of a patent or patent application, including the text and all images contained therein (such as drawings, diagrams, formulas, and tables).

“(b) Information Dissemination Program.—No later than January 1, 1992, the Commissioner shall establish a demonstration program which shall make patent information available in accordance with the provisions of this section, through October 1, 1992. The Commissioner shall produce master CD–ROMs containing classified patent information and provide copies of them to the public for purchase.

“(c) Information to be Disseminated.—The patent information that shall be disseminated pursuant to this section shall be patent information in the possession of the Commissioner in computer readable form, including information on selected subclasses of United States patents, as determined by the Commissioner.

“(d) Fees.—The Commissioner shall establish fees for the purchase of CD–ROMs, at a rate sufficient to recover the estimated average marginal cost of producing and processing purchase orders for copies of master CD–ROMs.

“(e) Report.—On the date that is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 10, 1991] the Commissioner shall submit to Congress a report on the implementation of this section.”

Surcharges on Patent Fees

Pub. L. 101–508, title X, §10101(a)–(c), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–391, as amended by Pub. L. 102–204, §2(b), Dec. 10, 1991, 105 Stat. 1636; Pub. L. 103–66, title VIII, §8001, Aug. 10, 1993, 107 Stat. 402, provided that:

“(a) Surcharges.—There shall be a surcharge, during fiscal years 1991 through 1998, on all fees authorized by subsections (a) and (b) of section 41 of title 35, United States Code, in order to ensure that the amounts specified in subsection (c) are collected.

“(b) Use of Surcharges.—Notwithstanding section 3302 of title 31, United States Code, beginning in fiscal year 1991, all surcharges collected by the Patent and Trademark Office—

“(1) in fiscal year 1991—

“(A) shall be credited to a separate account established in the Treasury and ascribed to the Patent and Trademark Office activities in the Department of Commerce as offsetting receipts, and

“(B) of these surcharges, $91,000,000 shall be available only to the Patent and Trademark Office, to the extent provided in appropriation Acts, and the additional surcharge receipts, totalling $18,807,000, shall be available only to the Patent and Trademark Office without appropriation, for all authorized activities and operations of the office, including all direct and indirect costs of services provided by the office,

“(2) in fiscal years 1992 through 1998—

“(A) shall be credited to a separate account established in the Treasury and ascribed to the Patent and Trademark Office activities in the Department of Commerce as offsetting receipts, and

“(B) shall be available only to the Patent and Trademark Office, to the extent provided in appropriation Acts, for all authorized activities and operations of the office, including all direct and indirect costs of services provided by the office, and

“(3) shall remain available until expended.

“(c) Establishment of Surcharges.—In fiscal years 1991 through 1998, the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks shall establish surcharges under subsection (a), subject to the provisions of section 553 of title 5, United States Code, in order to ensure that the following amounts, but not more than the following amounts, of patent and trademark user fees are collected:

“(1) $109,807,000 in fiscal year 1991.

“(2) $95,000,000 in fiscal year 1992.

“(3) $99,000,000 in fiscal year 1993.

“(4) $103,000,000 in fiscal year 1994.

“(5) $107,000,000 in fiscal year 1995.

“(6) $111,000,000 in fiscal year 1996.

“(7) $115,000,000 in fiscal year 1997.

“(8) $119,000,000 in fiscal year 1998.”

Effect on Other Laws

Pub. L. 101–508, title X, §10103, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–392, provided that: “Except for section 10101(d) [not classified to the Code], nothing in this subtitle [subtitle B (§§10101–10103) of title X of Pub. L. 101–508, enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and section 1 of this title] affects the provisions of Public Law 100–703 (102 Stat. 4674 and following) [see Tables for classification].”

Public Access to Patent and Trademark Office Information

Pub. L. 100–703, title I, §104(b), (c), Nov. 19, 1988, 102 Stat. 4675, provided that the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks maintain patent and trademark collections, search rooms, and libraries for use by the public without fees and authorized establishment of fees for access by the public to automated search systems of the Patent and Trademark Office, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 102–204, §9, Dec. 10, 1991, 105 Stat. 1641. See section 41(i) of this title.

Pub. L. 99–607, §4, Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3471, provided that the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks could not impose a fee for use of public patent or trademark search rooms and libraries and that costs of such rooms and libraries should come from amounts appropriated by Congress, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 100–703, title I, §104(a), Nov. 19, 1988, 102 Stat. 4675.

Patent Fees

Pub. L. 100–703, title I, §103(b), Nov. 19, 1988, 102 Stat. 4674, provided that: “The Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks may not, during fiscal years 1989, 1990, and 1991, increase fees established under section 41(d) of title 35, United States Code, except for purposes of making adjustments which in the aggregate do not exceed fluctuations during the previous three years in the Consumer Price Index, as determined by the Secretary of Labor. The Commissioner also may not establish additional fees under such section during such fiscal years.”

Similar provisions were contained in the following prior authorization act:

Pub. L. 99–607, §3(b), Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3471.

Section 404 of Pub. L. 98–622 provided that:

“(a) Notwithstanding section 41 of title 35, United States Code, as in effect before the enactment of Public Law 97–247 (96 Stat. 317) [Aug. 27, 1982], no fee shall be collected for maintaining a plant patent in force.

“(b) Notwithstanding section 41(c) of title 35, United States Code, as in effect before the enactment of Public Law 97–247 (96 Stat. 317) [Aug. 27, 1982], the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks may accept, after the six-month grace period referred to in such section 41(c), the payment of any maintenance fee due on any patent based on an application filed in the Patent and Trademark Office on or after December 12, 1980, and before August 27, 1982, to the same extent as in the case of patents based on applications filed in the Patent and Trademark Office on or after August 27, 1982.”

Cross References

Payment of final fee, see section 151 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 13, 119, 302, 371, 376 of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should not be capitalized.

§42. Patent and Trademark Office funding

(a) All fees for services performed by or materials furnished by the Patent and Trademark Office will be payable to the Commissioner.

(b) All fees paid to the Commissioner and all appropriations for defraying the costs of the activities of the Patent and Trademark Office will be credited to the Patent and Trademark Office Appropriation Account in the Treasury of the United States.

(c) Revenues from fees shall be available to the Commissioner to carry out, to the extent provided in appropriation Acts, the activities of the Patent and Trademark Office. Fees available to the Commissioner under section 31 of the Trademark Act of 1946 may be used only for the processing of trademark registrations and for other activities, services, and materials relating to trademarks and to cover a proportionate share of the administrative costs of the Patent and Trademark Office.

(d) The Commissioner may refund any fee paid by mistake or any amount paid in excess of that required.

(e) The Secretary of Commerce shall, on the day each year on which the President submits the annual budget to the Congress, provide to the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and the House of Representatives—

(1) a list of patent and trademark fee collections by the Patent and Trademark Office during the preceding fiscal year;

(2) a list of activities of the Patent and Trademark Office during the preceding fiscal year which were supported by patent fee expenditures, trademark fee expenditures, and appropriations;

(3) budget plans for significant programs, projects, and activities of the Office, including out-year funding estimates;

(4) any proposed disposition of surplus fees by the Office; and

(5) such other information as the committees consider necessary.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 796; Nov. 14, 1975, Pub. L. 94–131, §4, 89 Stat. 690; Dec. 12, 1980, Pub. L. 96–517, §3, 94 Stat. 3018; Aug. 27, 1982, Pub. L. 97–247, §3(g), 96 Stat. 319; Sept. 13, 1982, Pub. L. 97–258, §3(i), 96 Stat. 1065; Dec. 10, 1991, Pub. L. 102–204, §§4, 5(e), 105 Stat. 1637, 1640.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §79 (Mar. 6, 1920, ch. 94, §1 (part), 41 Stat. 503, 512).

Language has been changed.

References in Text

Section 31 of the Trademark Act of 1946, referred to in subsec. (c), is classified to section 1113 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Amendments

1991—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 102–204, §5(e), amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) read as follows: “Revenues from fees will be available to the Commissioner of Patents to carry out, to the extent provided for in appropriation Acts, the activities of the Patent and Trademark Office. Fees available to the Commissioner under section 31 of the Trademark Act of 1946, as amended (15 U.S.C. 1113), shall be used exclusively for the processing of trademark registrations and for other services and materials related to trademarks.”

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 102–204, §4, added subsec. (e).

1982—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–258 struck out “, the provisions of section 725e of title 31, United States Code, notwithstanding” after “United States”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 97–247 inserted provision that fees available to the Commissioner under section 31 of the Trademark Act of 1946, as amended (15 U.S.C. 1113), be used exclusively for the processing of trademark registrations and for other services and materials related to trademarks.

1980—Pub. L. 96–517 designated existing provision relating to payment of patent fees as subsec. (a) and struck out provision that, except as provided in sections 361(b) and 376(b) of this title, the Commissioner deposit fees paid in the Treasury of the United States in such manner as directed by the Secretary of the Treasury, designated existing provision relating to return of excess amounts paid as subsec. (d), and added subsecs. (b) and (c).

1975—Pub. L. 94–131 inserted “, except as provided in sections 361(b) and 376(b) of this title,”.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–247 effective Oct. 1, 1982, see section 17(a) of Pub. L. 97–247, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Effective Date of 1980 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 96–517 effective on first day of first fiscal year beginning on or after one calendar year after Dec. 12, 1980, subject to authorization of appropriation account credits from collected reexamination fees prior to the effective date, made available for payment of reexamination proceedings costs, see section 8(c) of Pub. L. 96–517, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–131 effective Jan. 24, 1978, and applicable on and after that date to patent applications filed in the United States and to international applications, where applicable, see section 11 of Pub. L. 94–131, set out as an Effective Date note under section 351 of this title.

Appropriations Authorized To Be Carried Over

Pub. L. 100–703, title I, §102, Nov. 19, 1988, 102 Stat. 4674, provided that: “Amounts appropriated under this Act and such fees as may be collected under title 35, United States Code, and the Trademark Act of 1946 (15 U.S.C. 1051 and following) may remain available until expended.”

Similar provisions were contained in the following prior authorization act:

Pub. L. 99–607, §2, Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3470.

PART II—PATENTABILITY OF INVENTIONS AND GRANT OF PATENTS

Chap.
Sec.
10.
Patentability of Inventions
100
11.
Application for Patent
111
12.
Examination of Applications 1
131

        

13.
Review of Patent and Trademark Office Decisions
141
14.
Issue of Patent
151
15.
Plant Patents
161
16.
Designs
171
17.
Secrecy of Certain Inventions and Filing Applications Abroad 1
181
18.
Patent Rights in Inventions Made with Federal Assistance
200

        

Amendments

1982—Pub. L. 97–256, title I, §101(6), Sept. 8, 1982, 96 Stat. 816, added item for chapter 18.

1975—Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949, substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office” in heading of chapter 13.

Part Referred to in Other Sections

This part is referred to in section 282 of this title.

CHAPTER 10—PATENTABILITY OF INVENTIONS

Sec.
100.
Definitions.
101.
Inventions patentable.
102.
Conditions for patentability; novelty and loss of right to patent.
103.
Conditions for patentability; non-obvious subject matter.
104.
Invention made abroad.
105.
Inventions in outer space.

        

Amendments

1990—Pub. L. 101–580, §1(b), Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2863, added item 105.

1 So in original. Does not conform to chapter heading.

§100. Definitions

When used in this title unless the context otherwise indicates—

(a) The term “invention” means invention or discovery.

(b) The term “process” means process, art or method, and includes a new use of a known process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or material.

(c) The terms “United States” and “this country” mean the United States of America, its territories and possessions.

(d) The word “patentee” includes not only the patentee to whom the patent was issued but also the successors in title to the patentee.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 797.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Paragraph (a) is added only to avoid repetition of the phrase “invention or discovery” and its derivatives throughout the revised title. The present statutes use the phrase “invention or discovery” and derivatives.

Paragraph (b) is noted under section 101.

Paragraphs (c) and (d) are added to avoid the use of long expressions in various parts of the revised title.

§101. Inventions patentable

Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 797.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §31 (R.S. 4886, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §1, 29 Stat. 692, (2) May 23, 1930, ch. 312, §1, 46 Stat. 376, (3) Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 450, §1, 53 Stat. 1212).

The corresponding section of existing statute is split into two sections, section 101 relating to the subject matter for which patents may be obtained, and section 102 defining statutory novelty and stating other conditions for patentability.

Section 101 follows the wording of the existing statute as to the subject matter for patents, except that reference to plant patents has been omitted for incorporation in section 301 and the word “art” has been replaced by “process”, which is defined in section 100. The word “art” in the corresponding section of the existing statute has a different meaning than the same word as used in other places in the statute; it has been interpreted by the courts as being practically synonymous with process or method. “Process” has been used as its meaning is more readily grasped than “art” as interpreted, and the definition in section 100(b) makes it clear that “process or method” is meant. The remainder of the definition clarifies the status of processes or methods which involve merely the new use of a known process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or material; they are processes or methods under the statute and may be patented provided the conditions for patentability are satisfied.

Cross References

Design patents, see section 171 et seq. of this title.

Issue of patent generally, see section 151 et seq. of this title.

Plant patents, see section 161 et seq. of this title.

§102. Conditions for patentability; novelty and loss of right to patent

A person shall be entitled to a patent unless—

(a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent, or

(b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country, more than one year prior to the date of the application for patent in the United States, or

(c) he has abandoned the invention, or

(d) the invention was first patented or caused to be patented, or was the subject of an inventor's certificate, by the applicant or his legal representatives or assigns in a foreign country prior to the date of the application for patent in this country on an application for patent or inventor's certificate filed more than twelve months before the filing of the application in the United States, or

(e) the invention was described in a patent granted on an application for patent by another filed in the United States before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent, or on an international application by another who has fulfilled the requirements of paragraphs (1), (2), and (4) of section 371(c) of this title before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent, or

(f) he did not himself invent the subject matter sought to be patented, or

(g) before the applicant's invention thereof the invention was made in this country by another who had not abandoned, suppressed, or concealed it. In determining priority of invention there shall be considered not only the respective dates of conception and reduction to practice of the invention, but also the reasonable diligence of one who was first to conceive and last to reduce to practice, from a time prior to conception by the other.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 797; July 28, 1972, Pub. L. 92–358, §2, 86 Stat. 502; Nov. 14, 1975, Pub. L. 94–131, §5, 89 Stat. 691.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) are based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §31 (R.S. 4886, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §1, 29 Stat. 692, (2) May 23, 1930, ch. 312, §1, 46 Stat. 376, (3) Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 450, §1, 53 Stat. 1212).

No change is made in these paragraphs other than that due to division into lettered paragraphs. The interpretation by the courts of paragraph (a) as being more restricted than the actual language would suggest (for example, “known” has been held to mean “publicly known”) is recognized but no change in the language is made at this time. Paragraph (a) together with section 104 contains the substance of Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §72 (R.S. 4923).

Paragraph (d) is based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §32, first paragraph (R.S. 4887 (first paragraph), amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §3, 29 Stat. 692, 693, (2) Mar. 3, 1903, ch. 1019, §1, 32 Stat. 1225, 1226, (3) June 19, 1936, ch. 594, 49 Stat. 1529).

The section has been changed so that the prior foreign patent is not a bar unless it was granted before the filing of the application in the United States.

Paragraph (e) is new and enacts the rule of Milburn v. Davis-Bournonville, 270 U.S. 390, by reason of which a United States patent disclosing an invention dates from the date of filing the application for the purpose of anticipating a subsequent inventor.

Paragraph (f) indicates the necessity for the inventor as the party applying for patent. Subsequent sections permit certain persons to apply in place of the inventor under special circumstances.

Paragraph (g) is derived from Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §69 (R.S. 4920, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §2, 29 Stat. 692, (2) Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 450, §1, 53 Stat. 1212), the second defense recited in this section. This paragraph retains the present rules of law governing the determination of priority of invention.

Language relating specifically to designs is omitted for inclusion in subsequent sections.

Amendments

1975—Par. (e). Pub. L. 94–131 inserted provision for nonentitlement to a patent where the invention was described in a patent granted on an international application by another who has fulfilled the requirements of pars. (1), (2), and (4) of section 371(c) of this title before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent.

1972—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 92–358 inserted reference to inventions that were the subject of an inventors’ certificate.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–131 effective Jan. 24, 1978, and applicable on and after that date to patent applications filed in the United States and to international applications, where applicable, see section 11 of Pub. L. 94–131, set out as an Effective Date note under section 351 of this title.

Effective Date of 1972 Amendment

Section 3(b) of Pub. L. 92–358 provided that: “Section 2 of this Act [amending this section] shall take effect six months from the date when Articles 1 to 12 of the Paris Convention of March 20, 1883, for the Protection of Industrial Property, as revised at Stockholm, July 14, 1967, come into force with respect to the United States [Aug. 25, 1973] and shall apply to applications thereafter filed in the United States.”

Savings Provision

Section 4 of act July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 815, provided that subsection (d) of this section should not apply to existing patents and pending applications, but that the law previously in effect, namely the first paragraph of R.S. 4887 [first paragraph of section 32 of former Title 35], should apply to such patents and applications. Said paragraph of section 32 provided that:

“No person otherwise entitled thereto shall be debarred from receiving a patent for his invention or discovery, nor shall any patent be declared invalid by reason of its having been first patented or caused to be patented by the inventor or his legal representatives or assigns in a foreign country, unless the application for said foreign patent was filed more than twelve months, in cases within the provisions of section 31 of this title, and six months in cases of designs, prior to the filing of the application in this country, in which case no patent shall be granted in this country.”

Emergency Relief From Postal Situation Affecting Patent Cases

Relief as to filing date of patent application or patent affected by postal situation beginning on Mar. 18, 1970, and ending on or about Mar. 30, 1970, but patents issued with earlier filing dates not effective as prior art under subsec. (e) of this section of such earlier filing dates, see note set out under section 111 of this title.

Cross References

Abandonment of invention for unauthorized disclosure, see section 182 of this title.

Benefit of earlier filing date in foreign country; right of priority, see section 119 of this title.

Filing application in foreign country, see section 184 of this title.

Interferences, see section 135 of this title.

Time of prior use or publication for design patents, see section 172 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 103, 172, 363, 375 of this title.

§103. Conditions for patentability; non-obvious subject matter

A patent may not be obtained though the invention is not identically disclosed or described as set forth in section 102 of this title, if the differences between the subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art are such that the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious at the time the invention was made to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which said subject matter pertains. Patentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made.

Subject matter developed by another person, which qualifies as prior art only under subsection (f) or (g) of section 102 of this title, shall not preclude patentability under this section where the subject matter and the claimed invention were, at the time the invention was made, owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 798; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–622, title I, §103, 98 Stat. 3384.)

Historical and Revision Notes

There is no provision corresponding to the first sentence explicitly stated in the present statutes, but the refusal of patents by the Patent Office, and the holding of patents invalid by the courts, on the ground of lack of invention or lack of patentable novelty has been followed since at least as early as 1850. This paragraph is added with the view that an explicit statement in the statute may have some stabilizing effect, and also to serve as a basis for the addition at a later time of some criteria which may be worked out.

The second sentence states that patentability as to this requirement is not to be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made, that is, it is immaterial whether it resulted from long toil and experimentation or from a flash of genius.

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–622 inserted “Subject matter developed by another person, which qualifies as prior art only under subsection (f) or (g) of section 102 of this title, shall not preclude patentability under this section where the subject matter and the claimed invention were, at the time the invention was made, owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.”

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Section 106 of Pub. L. 98–622 provided that:

“(a) Subject to subsections (b), (c), (d), and (e) of this section, the amendments made by this Act [probably should be “this title”, meaning title I of Pub. L. 98–622, enacting section 157 of this title, amending this section and sections 116, 120, 135, and 271 of this title, and enacting a provision set out as a note under section 157 of this title] shall apply to all United States patents granted before, on, or after the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 8, 1984], and to all applications for United States patents pending on or filed after the date of enactment.

“(b) The amendments made by this Act shall not affect any final decision made by the court or the Patent and Trademark Office before the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 8, 1984], with respect to a patent or application for patent, if no appeal from such decision is pending and the time for filing an appeal has expired.

“(c) Section 271(f) of title 35, United States Code, added by section 101 of this Act shall apply only to the supplying, or causing to be supplied, of any component or components of a patented invention after the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 8, 1984].

“(d) No United States patent granted before the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 8, 1984] shall abridge or affect the right of any person or his successors in business who made, purchased, or used prior to such effective date anything protected by the patent, to continue the use of, or to sell to others to be used or sold, the specific thing so made, purchased, or used, if the patent claims were invalid or otherwise unenforceable on a ground obviated by section 103 or 104 of this Act [amending this section and sections 116 and 120 of this title] and the person made, purchased, or used the specific thing in reasonable reliance on such invalidity or unenforceability. If a person reasonably relied on such invalidity or unenforceability, the court before which such matter is in question may provide for the continued manufacture, use, or sale of the thing made, purchased, or used as specified, or for the manufacture, use, or sale of which substantial preparation was made before the date of enactment of this Act, and it may also provide for the continued practice of any process practiced, or for the practice of which substantial preparation was made, prior to the date of enactment, to the extent and under such terms as the court deems equitable for the protection of investments made or business commenced before the date of enactment.

“(e) The amendments made by this Act shall not affect the right of any party in any case pending in court on the date of enactment [Nov. 8, 1984] to have their rights determined on the basis of the substantive law in effect prior to the date of enactment.”

Cross References

Description of invention, see section 112 of this title.

§104. Invention made abroad

(a) In General.—In proceedings in the Patent and Trademark Office, in the courts, and before any other competent authority, an applicant for a patent, or a patentee, may not establish a date of invention by reference to knowledge or use thereof, or other activity with respect thereto, in a foreign country other than a NAFTA country, except as provided in sections 119 and 365 of this title. Where an invention was made by a person, civil or military, while domiciled in the United States or a NAFTA country and serving in any other country in connection with operations by or on behalf of the United States or a NAFTA country, the person shall be entitled to the same rights of priority in the United States with respect to such invention as if such invention had been made in the United States or a NAFTA country. To the extent that any information in a NAFTA country concerning knowledge, use, or other activity relevant to proving or disproving a date of invention has not been made available for use in a proceeding in the Office, a court, or any other competent authority to the same extent as such information could be made available in the United States, the Commissioner, court, or such other authority shall draw appropriate inferences, or take other action permitted by statute, rule, or regulation, in favor of the party that requested the information in the proceeding.

(b) Definition.—As used in this section, the term “NAFTA country” has the meaning given that term in section 2(4) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 798; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 14, 1975, Pub. L. 94–131, §6, 89 Stat. 691; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §403(a), 98 Stat. 3392; Dec. 8, 1993, Pub. L. 103–182, title III, §331, 107 Stat. 2113; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §531(a), 108 Stat. 4982.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §531, Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4982, provided that, applicable to all patent applications that are filed on or after date that is 12 months after date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to establishment of date of invention, this section is amended to read as follows:

§104. Invention made abroad

(a) In General.—

(1) Proceedings.—In proceedings in the Patent and Trademark Office, in the courts, and before any other competent authority, an applicant for a patent, or a patentee, may not establish a date of invention by reference to knowledge or use thereof, or other activity with respect thereto, in a foreign country other than a NAFTA country or a WTO member country, except as provided in sections 119 and 365 of this title.

(2) Rights.—If an invention was made by a person, civil or military—

(A) while domiciled in the United States, and serving in any other country in connection with operations by or on behalf of the United States,

(B) while domiciled in a NAFTA country and serving in another country in connection with operations by or on behalf of that NAFTA country, or

(C) while domiciled in a WTO member country and serving in another country in connection with operations by or on behalf of that WTO member country,


that person shall be entitled to the same rights of priority in the United States with respect to such invention as if such invention had been made in the United States, that NAFTA country, or that WTO member country, as the case may be.

(3) Use of information.—To the extent that any information in a NAFTA country or a WTO member country concerning knowledge, use, or other activity relevant to proving or disproving a date of invention has not been made available for use in a proceeding in the Patent and Trademark Office, a court, or any other competent authority to the same extent as such information could be made available in the United States, the Commissioner, court, or such other authority shall draw appropriate inferences, or take other action permitted by statute, rule, or regulation, in favor of the party that requested the information in the proceeding.


(b) Definitions.—As used in this section—

(1) the term “NAFTA country” has the meaning given that term in section 2(4) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act; and

(2) the term “WTO member country” has the meaning given that term in section 2(10) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §109 (Aug. 8, 1946, ch. 910, 60 Stat. 943).

Language has been changed and the last sentence has been broadened to refer to persons serving in connection with operations by or on behalf of the United States, instead of solely in connection with the prosecution of the war.

References in Text

Section 2(4) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, referred to in subsec. (b), is classified to section 3301(4) of Title 19, Customs Duties.

Amendments

1993—Pub. L. 103–182 amended section catchline and text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “In proceedings in the Patent and Trademark Office and in the courts, an applicant for a patent, or a patentee, may not establish a date of invention by reference to knowledge or use thereof, or other activity with respect thereto, in a foreign country, except as provided in sections 119 and 365 of this title. Where an invention was made by a person, civil or military, while domiciled in the United States and serving in a foreign country in connection with operations by or on behalf of the United States, he shall be entitled to the same rights of priority with respect to such invention as if the same had been made in the United States.”

1984—Pub. L. 98–622 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

1975—Pub. L. 94–131 inserted in exception provision reference to section 365 of this title relating to priority of applications having benefit of filing date of prior applications.

Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Section 531(b) of Pub. L. 103–465 provided that:

“(1) In general.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the amendment made by this section [amending this section] shall apply to all patent applications that are filed on or after the date that is 12 months after the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995].

“(2) Establishment of date.—An applicant for a patent, or a patentee, may not establish a date of invention for purposes of title 35, United States Code, that is earlier than 12 months after the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement with respect to the United States by reference to knowledge or use, or other activity, in a WTO member country, except as provided in sections 119 and 365 of such title.”

Effective Date of 1993 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–182 applicable to all patent applications filed on or after Dec. 8, 1993, provided that applicant for a patent, or a patentee, may not establish a date of invention by reference to knowledge or use thereof, or other activity with respect thereto, in NAFTA country, except as provided in sections 119 and 365 of this title, that is earlier than Dec. 8, 1993, see section 335(b) of Pub. L. 103–182, set out as a note under section 1052 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 effective on Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(a) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendments

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–131 effective Jan. 24, 1978, and applicable on and after that date to patent applications filed in the United States and to international applications, where applicable, see section 11 of Pub. L. 94–131, set out as an Effective Date note under section 351 of this title.

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Cross References

Benefit of filing date in foreign country, see section 119 of this title.

Filing application in foreign country, see section 184 of this title.

§105. Inventions in outer space

(a) Any invention made, used or sold in outer space on a space object or component thereof under the jurisdiction or control of the United States shall be considered to be made, used or sold within the United States for the purposes of this title, except with respect to any space object or component thereof that is specifically identified and otherwise provided for by an international agreement to which the United States is a party, or with respect to any space object or component thereof that is carried on the registry of a foreign state in accordance with the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space.

(b) Any invention made, used or sold in outer space on a space object or component thereof that is carried on the registry of a foreign state in accordance with the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space, shall be considered to be made, used or sold within the United States for the purposes of this title if specifically so agreed in an international agreement between the United States and the state of registry.

(Added Pub. L. 101–580, §1(a), Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2863.)

Effective Date; Special Rules

Section 2 of Pub. L. 101–580 provided that:

“(a) Effective Date.—Subject to subsections (b), (c), and (d) of this section, the amendments made by the first section of this Act [enacting this section] shall apply to all United States patents granted before, on, or after the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 15, 1990], and to all applications for United States patents pending on or filed on or after such date of enactment.

“(b) Final Decisions.—The amendments made by the first section of this Act [enacting this section] shall not affect any final decision made by a court or the Patent and Trademark Office before the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 15, 1990] with respect to a patent or an application for a patent, if no appeal from such decision is pending and the time for filing an appeal has expired.

“(c) Pending Cases.—The amendments made by the first section of this Act [enacting this section] shall not affect the right of any party in any case pending in a court on the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 15, 1990] to have the party's rights determined on the basis of the substantive law in effect before such date of enactment.

“(d) Non-Applicability.—The amendments made by the first section of this Act [enacting this section] shall not apply to any process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, an embodiment of which was launched prior to the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 15, 1990].”

CHAPTER 11—APPLICATION FOR PATENT

Sec.
111.
Application.
112.
Specification.
113.
Drawings.
114.
Models, specimens.
115.
Oath of applicant.
116.
Joint inventors.1

        

117.
Death or incapacity of inventor.
118.
Filing by other than inventor.
119.
Benefit of earlier filing date; right of priority.
120.
Benefit of earlier filing date in the United States.
121.
Divisional applications.
122.
Confidential status of applications.

        

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §532(c)(6), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4987, substituted “Application” for “Application for patent” in item 111 and “Benefit of earlier filing date; right of priority” for “Benefit of earlier filing date in foreign country; right of priority” in item 119.

Chapter Referred to in Other Sections

This chapter is referred to in sections 371, 373, 375 of this title.

1 Section catchline amended by Pub. L. 97–247 without corresponding amendment of chapter analysis.

§111. Application

(a) In General.—

(1) Written application.—An application for patent shall be made, or authorized to be made, by the inventor, except as otherwise provided in this title, in writing to the Commissioner.

(2) Contents.—Such application shall include—

(A) a specification as prescribed by section 112 of this title;

(B) a drawing as prescribed by section 113 of this title; and

(C) an oath by the applicant as prescribed by section 115 of this title.


(3) Fee and oath.—The application must be accompanied by the fee required by law. The fee and oath may be submitted after the specification and any required drawing are submitted, within such period and under such conditions, including the payment of a surcharge, as may be prescribed by the Commissioner.

(4) Failure to submit.—Upon failure to submit the fee and oath within such prescribed period, the application shall be regarded as abandoned, unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that the delay in submitting the fee and oath was unavoidable or unintentional. The filing date of an application shall be the date on which the specification and any required drawing are received in the Patent and Trademark Office.


(b) Provisional Application.—

(1) Authorization.—A provisional application for patent shall be made or authorized to be made by the inventor, except as otherwise provided in this title, in writing to the Commissioner. Such application shall include—

(A) a specification as prescribed by the first paragraph of section 112 of this title; and

(B) a drawing as prescribed by section 113 of this title.


(2) Claim.—A claim, as required by the second through fifth paragraphs of section 112, shall not be required in a provisional application.

(3) Fee.—(A) The application must be accompanied by the fee required by law.

(B) The fee may be submitted after the specification and any required drawing are submitted, within such period and under such conditions, including the payment of a surcharge, as may be prescribed by the Commissioner.

(C) Upon failure to submit the fee within such prescribed period, the application shall be regarded as abandoned, unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that the delay in submitting the fee was unavoidable or unintentional.

(4) Filing date.—The filing date of a provisional application shall be the date on which the specification and any required drawing are received in the Patent and Trademark Office.

(5) Abandonment.—The provisional application shall be regarded as abandoned 12 months after the filing date of such application and shall not be subject to revival thereafter.

(6) Other basis for provisional application.—Subject to all the conditions in this subsection and section 119(e) of this title, and as prescribed by the Commissioner, an application for patent filed under subsection (a) may be treated as a provisional application for patent.

(7) No right of priority or benefit of earliest filing date.—A provisional application shall not be entitled to the right of priority of any other application under section 119 or 365(a) of this title or to the benefit of an earlier filing date in the United States under section 120, 121, or 365(c) of this title.

(8) Applicable provisions.—The provisions of this title relating to applications for patent shall apply to provisional applications for patent, except as otherwise provided, and except that provisional applications for patent shall not be subject to sections 115, 131, 135, and 157 of this title.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 798; Aug. 27, 1982, Pub. L. 97–247, §5, 96 Stat. 319; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §532(b)(3), 108 Stat. 4986.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §33 (R.S. 4888, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1915, ch. 94, §1, 38 Stat. 958; (2) May 23, 1930, ch. 312, §2, 46 Stat. 376).

The corresponding section of existing statute is divided into an introductory section relating to the application generally (this section) and a section on the specification (sec. 112).

The parts of the application are specified and the requirement for signature is placed in this general section so as to insure that only one signature will suffice.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–465 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section read as follows: “Application for patent shall be made, or authorized to be made, by the inventor, except as otherwise provided in this title, in writing to the Commissioner. Such application shall include (1) a specification as prescribed by section 112 of this title; (2) a drawing as prescribed by section 113 of this title; and (3) an oath by the applicant as prescribed by section 115 of this title. The application must be accompanied by the fee required by law. The fee and oath may be submitted after the specification and any required drawing are submitted, within such period and under such conditions, including the payment of a surcharge, as may be prescribed by the Commissioner. Upon failure to submit the fee and oath within such prescribed period, the application shall be regarded as abandoned, unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that the delay in submitting the fee and oath was unavoidable. The filing date of an application shall be the date on which the specification and any required drawing are received in the Patent and Trademark Office.”

1982—Pub. L. 97–247 inserted “, or authorized to be made,” after “shall be made”, struck out the colon after “shall include”, struck out “signed by the applicant and” after “The application”, and inserted provisions that the fee and oath may be submitted after the specification and any required drawing are submitted, within such period and under such conditions, including the payment of a surcharge, as may be prescribed by the Commissioner, that upon failure to submit the fee and oath within such prescribed period, the application shall be regarded as abandoned, unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that the delay in submitting the fee and oath was unavoidable, and that the filing date of an application shall be the date on which the specification and any required drawing are received in the Patent and Trademark Office.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective 6 months after Dec. 8, 1994, and applicable to all patent applications filed in the United States on or after that effective date, with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(b)(1), (3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–247 effective six months after Aug. 27, 1982, see section 17(c) of Pub. L. 97–247, set out as an Effective Date note under section 294 of this title.

Emergency Relief From Postal Situation Affecting Patent, Trademark, and Other Federal Cases

Pub. L. 92–34, June 30, 1971, 85 Stat. 87, as amended by Pub. L. 93–596, §3, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949, provided that:

Section 1 [Claim and verified statement for benefit of earlier filing date; prior art; evidence of entitled filing date in any proceedings]. (a) A patent or trademark application shall be considered as having been filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office on the date that it would have been received by the Patent and Trademark Office except for the delay caused by the emergency situation affecting the postal service which began on March 18, 1970, and ended on or about March 30, 1970, if a claim is made for the benefit of an earlier date in accordance with subsections (b) and (c) of this section. Patents issued with earlier filing dates afforded by this section shall not be effective as prior art under subsection 102(e) of title 35 of the United States Code as of such earlier filing dates.

“(b) No patent or trademark application, patent, or trademark registration shall be entitled to an earlier filing date under this section unless a verified statement by the applicant or owner of record claiming the filing date to which the application is believed to be entitled is filed in the Patent and Trademark Office within six months after enactment of this Act [June 30, 1971]. Such statement shall be maintained in the file of the application in the Patent and Trademark Office and shall be referred to in the patent or trademark registration when practicable.

“(c) When a statement filed under subsection (b) of this section appears unreasonable or defective on its face, or when the filing date of the patent or trademark application, patent, or trademark registration is called into question or is material in any inter partes proceeding in the Patent and Trademark Office or any proceeding in the courts, the applicant or owner of such application, patent, or trademark registration may be required to present evidence establishing the filing date to which the application is entitled. The filing date to which the application is entitled shall be determined on the basis of such evidence and any evidence introduced by an opposing party. The evidence shall be presented as directed by the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks in proceedings in the Patent and Trademark Office or as directed by the courts in proceedings in the courts.

Sec. 2 [Delayed fees or actions, excusal; relief request; date; applicability to Federal laws; determination of relief]. (a) Except for the filing of a patent or trademark application, if any action is taken or any fee is paid in the United States Patent and Trademark Office later than the end of a time period specified in the statutes set forth in subsection (b) of this section for taking such action or paying such fee, and no provision exists in law for excusing such delay, the delay may be excused if it is determined that it was caused by the emergency situation affecting postal service which began on March 18, 1970 and ended on or about March 30, 1970. Relief under this section must be requested by a verified statement filed in the Patent and Trademark Office by the patent or trademark applicant or owner within six months after enactment of this Act [June 30, 1971].

“(b) This section is applicable to title 35, United States Code, ‘Patents’; the Trademark Act of 1946, ch. 540, 60 Stat. 427, as amended [section 1051 et seq. of Title 15, Commerce and Trade]; the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, Pub. L. 83–703, 68 Stat. 919, as amended [section 2011 et seq. of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare]; and the National Aeronautics and Space Act, Pub. L. 85–568, 72 Stat. 426 (1958), as amended [section 2451 et seq. of Title 42]. In cases involving the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 [section 2011 et seq. of Title 42] or the National Aeronautics and Space Act [section 2451 et seq. of Title 42], determinations of relief shall be made by a Board of Patent Interferences. In other cases determinations shall be made by the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks.

Sec. 3 [Regulations]. The Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks may establish regulations for administering this Act.”

Cross References

Fees, see sections 41 and 42 of this title.

Provisions of this chapter applicable to applications for reissue of patents, see section 251 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 119 of this title.

§112. Specification

The specification shall contain a written description of the invention, and of the manner and process of making and using it, in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make and use the same, and shall set forth the best mode contemplated by the inventor of carrying out his invention.

The specification shall conclude with one or more claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which the applicant regards as his invention.

A claim may be written in independent or, if the nature of the case admits, in dependent or multiple dependent form.

Subject to the following paragraph, a claim in dependent form shall contain a reference to a claim previously set forth and then specify a further limitation of the subject matter claimed. A claim in dependent form shall be construed to incorporate by reference all the limitations of the claim to which it refers.

A claim in multiple dependent form shall contain a reference, in the alternative only, to more than one claim previously set forth and then specify a further limitation of the subject matter claimed. A multiple dependent claim shall not serve as a basis for any other multiple dependent claim. A multiple dependent claim shall be construed to incorporate by reference all the limitations of the particular claim in relation to which it is being considered.

An element in a claim for a combination may be expressed as a means or step for performing a specified function without the recital of structure, material, or acts in support thereof, and such claim shall be construed to cover the corresponding structure, material, or acts described in the specification and equivalents thereof.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 798; July 24, 1965, Pub. L. 89–83, §9, 79 Stat. 261; Nov. 14, 1975, Pub. L. 94–131, §7, 89 Stat. 691.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §33 (R.S. 4888, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1915, ch. 94, §1, 38 Stat. 958; (2) May 23, 1930, ch. 312, §2, 46 Stat. 376).

The sentence relating to signature of the specification is omitted in view of the general requirement for a signature in section 111.

The last sentence is omitted for inclusion in the chapter relating to plant patents.

The clause relating to machines is omitted as unnecessary and the requirement for disclosing the best mode of carrying out the invention is stated as generally applicable to all types of invention (derived from Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §69, first defense).

The clause relating to the claim is made a separate paragraph to emphasize the distinction between the description and the claim or definition, and the language is modified.

A new paragraph relating to functional claims is added.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 94–131 substituted provision authorizing the writing of claims, if the nature of the case admits, in dependent or multiple dependent form for prior provision for writing claims in dependent form, required claims in dependent form to contain a reference to a claim previously set forth and then specify a further limitation of the subject matter claimed, substituted text respecting construction of a claim in dependent form so as to incorporate by reference all the limitations of the claim to which it refers for prior text for construction of a dependent claim to include all the limitations of the claim incorporated by reference into the dependent claim, and inserted paragraph respecting certain requirements for claims in multiple dependent form.

1965—Pub. L. 89–83 permitted a claim to be written in independent or dependent form, and if in dependent form, required it to be construed to include all the limitations of the claim incorporated by reference into the dependent claim.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–131 effective Jan. 24, 1978, and applicable on and after that date to patent applications filed in the United States and to international applications, where applicable, see section 11 of Pub. L. 94–131, set out as an Effective Date note under section 351 of this title.

Effective Date of 1965 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 89–83 effective three months after July 24, 1965, see section 7(a) of Pub. L. 89–83, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Cross References

Amendment introducing new matter in disclosure, see section 132 of this title.

Amendments generally, see section 251 et seq. of this title.

Annexation of specification to issued patent, see section 154 of this title.

Description of plant patents, see section 162 of this title.

Disclaimer, see section 253 of this title.

Reissue of defective patents, see section 251 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 41, 111, 119, 120, 157, 162, 282 of this title.

§113. Drawings

The applicant shall furnish a drawing where necessary for the understanding of the subject matter sought to be patented. When the nature of such subject matter admits of illustration by a drawing and the applicant has not furnished such a drawing, the Commissioner may require its submission within a time period of not less than two months from the sending of a notice thereof. Drawings submitted after the filing date of the application may not be used (i) to overcome any insufficiency of the specification due to lack of an enabling disclosure or otherwise inadequate disclosure therein, or (ii) to supplement the original disclosure thereof for the purpose of interpretation of the scope of any claim.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 799; Nov. 14, 1975, Pub. L. 94–131, §8, 89 Stat. 691.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §34, part (R.S. 4889, amended Mar. 3, 1915, ch. 94, §2, 38 Stat. 958).

The requirement for signature in the corresponding section of existing statute is omitted; regulations of the Patent Office can take care of any substitute. A redundant clause is omitted.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 94–131 substituted provisions respecting drawings requiring necessary-for-understanding drawings and submission of drawings within prescribed time period and limiting use of drawings submitted after filing date of application for prior provision requiring the applicant to furnish a drawing when the nature of the case admitted it.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–131 effective Jan. 24, 1978, and applicable on and after that date to patent applications filed in the United States and to international applications, where applicable, see section 11 of Pub. L. 94–131, set out as an Effective Date note under section 351 of this title.

Cross References

Annexation of drawings to issued patent, see section 154 of this title.

Design patents, see section 171 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 111 of this title.

§114. Models, specimens

The Commissioner may require the applicant to furnish a model of convenient size to exhibit advantageously the several parts of his invention.

When the invention relates to a composition of matter, the Commissioner may require the applicant to furnish specimens or ingredients for the purpose of inspection or experiment.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 799.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §34, part (R.S. 4890 and 4891).

The change in language in the second paragraph broadens the requirement for specimens.

§115. Oath of applicant

The applicant shall make oath that he believes himself to be the original and first inventor of the process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or improvement thereof, for which he solicits a patent; and shall state of what country he is a citizen. Such oath may be made before any person within the United States authorized by law to administer oaths, or, when, made in a foreign country, before any diplomatic or consular officer of the United States authorized to administer oaths, or before any officer having an official seal and authorized to administer oaths in the foreign country in which the applicant may be, whose authority is proved by certificate of a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States, or apostille of an official designated by a foreign country which, by treaty or convention, accords like effect to apostilles of designated officials in the United States, and such oath shall be valid if it complies with the laws of the state or country where made. When the application is made as provided in this title by a person other than the inventor, the oath may be so varied in form that it can be made by him.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 799; Aug. 27, 1982, Pub. L. 97–247, §14(a), 96 Stat. 321.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §35 (R.S. 4892, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1903, ch. 1019, §2, 32 Stat. 1225, 1226, (2) May 23, 1930, ch. 312, §3, 46 Stat. 376).

The expression at the end of the second sentence is added to avoid application of the District of Columbia law to oaths taken outside the District.

Changes in language are made.

Amendments

1982—Pub. L. 97–247 substituted “is” for “shall be” after “whose authority”, and inserted “, or apostille of an official designated by a foreign country which, by treaty or convention, accords like effect to apostilles of designated officials in the United States”.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–247 effective Aug. 27, 1982, see section 17(a) of Pub. L. 97–247, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Cross References

Consular officers authorized to administer oaths, see sections 4215 and 4221 of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 111, 371 of this title.

§116. Inventors

When an invention is made by two or more persons jointly, they shall apply for patent jointly and each make the required oath, except as otherwise provided in this title. Inventors may apply for a patent jointly even though (1) they did not physically work together or at the same time, (2) each did not make the same type or amount of contribution, or (3) each did not make a contribution to the subject matter of every claim of the patent.

If a joint inventor refuses to join in an application for patent or cannot be found or reached after diligent effort, the application may be made by the other inventor on behalf of himself and the omitted inventor. The Commissioner, on proof of the pertinent facts and after such notice to the omitted inventor as he prescribes, may grant a patent to the inventor making the application, subject to the same rights which the omitted inventor would have had if he had been joined. The omitted inventor may subsequently join in the application.

Whenever through error a person is named in an application for patent as the inventor, or through error an inventor is not named in an application, and such error arose without any deceptive intention on his part, the Commissioner may permit the application to be amended accordingly, under such terms as he prescribes.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 799; Aug. 27, 1982, Pub. L. 97–247, §6(a), 96 Stat. 320; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–622, title I, §104(a), 98 Stat. 3384.)

Historical and Revision Notes

The first paragraph is implied in the present statutes, and the part of the last paragraph relating to omission of an erroneously joined inventor is in the Patent Office rules. The remainder is new and provides for the correction of a mistake in erroneously joining a person as inventor, and for filing an application when one of several joint inventors cannot be found. This section is ancillary to section 256.

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–622 amended first par. generally, striking out “and each sign the application” after “patent jointly” and inserting sentence beginning “Inventors may apply”.

1982—Pub. L. 97–247 substituted “Inventors” for “Joint inventors” as section catchline, and substituted “through error a person is named in an application for patent as the inventor, or through error an inventor is not named in an application” for “a person is joined in an application for patent as joint inventor through error, or a joint inventor is not included in an application through error”.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 applicable to all United States patents granted before, on, or after Nov. 8, 1984, and to all applications for United States patents pending on or filed after that date, except as otherwise provided, see section 106 of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 103 of this title.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–247 effective six months after Aug. 27, 1982, see section 17(c) of Pub. L. 97–247, set out as an Effective Date note under section 294 of this title.

Cross References

Joint owners, see section 262 of this title.

§117. Death or incapacity of inventor

Legal representatives of deceased inventors and of those under legal incapacity may make application for patent upon compliance with the requirements and on the same terms and conditions applicable to the inventor.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 799.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §46 (R.S. 4896, amended (1) Feb. 28, 1899, ch. 227, 30 Stat. 915, (2) Mar. 3, 1903, ch. 1019, §3, 32 Stat. 1225, 1226, (3) May 23, 1908, ch. 188, 35 Stat. 245).

The language has been considerably simplified.

Cross References

Fees for application for original or reissue of patent, see section 41 of this title.

§118. Filing by other than inventor

Whenever an inventor refuses to execute an application for patent, or cannot be found or reached after diligent effort, a person to whom the inventor has assigned or agreed in writing to assign the invention or who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter justifying such action, may make application for patent on behalf of and as agent for the inventor on proof of the pertinent facts and a showing that such action is necessary to preserve the rights of the parties or to prevent irreparable damage; and the Commissioner may grant a patent to such inventor upon such notice to him as the Commissioner deems sufficient, and on compliance with such regulations as he prescribes.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 799.)

Historical and Revision Notes

This section is new and provides for the filing of an application by another on behalf of the inventor in certain special hardship situations.

§119. Benefit of earlier filing date; right of priority

(a) An application for patent for an invention filed in this country by any person who has, or whose legal representatives or assigns have, previously regularly filed an application for a patent for the same invention in a foreign country which affords similar privileges in the case of applications filed in the United States or to citizens of the United States, shall have the same effect as the same application would have if filed in this country on the date on which the application for patent for the same invention was first filed in such foreign country, if the application in this country is filed within twelve months from the earliest date on which such foreign application was filed; but no patent shall be granted on any application for patent for an invention which had been patented or described in a printed publication in any country more than one year before the date of the actual filing of the application in this country, or which had been in public use or on sale in this country more than one year prior to such filing.

(b) No application for patent shall be entitled to this right of priority unless a claim therefor and a certified copy of the original foreign application, specification and drawings upon which it is based are filed in the Patent and Trademark Office before the patent is granted, or at such time during the pendency of the application as required by the Commissioner not earlier than six months after the filing of the application in this country. Such certification shall be made by the patent office of the foreign country in which filed and show the date of the application and of the filing of the specification and other papers. The Commissioner may require a translation of the papers filed if not in the English language and such other information as he deems necessary.

(c) In like manner and subject to the same conditions and requirements, the right provided in this section may be based upon a subsequent regularly filed application in the same foreign country instead of the first filed foreign application, provided that any foreign application filed prior to such subsequent application has been withdrawn, abandoned, or otherwise disposed of, without having been laid open to public inspection and without leaving any rights outstanding, and has not served, nor thereafter shall serve, as a basis for claiming a right of priority.

(d) Applications for inventors’ certificates filed in a foreign country in which applicants have a right to apply, at their discretion, either for a patent or for an inventor's certificate shall be treated in this country in the same manner and have the same effect for purpose of the right of priority under this section as applications for patents, subject to the same conditions and requirements of this section as apply to applications for patents, provided such applicants are entitled to the benefits of the Stockholm Revision of the Paris Convention at the time of such filing.

(e)(1) An application for patent filed under section 111(a) or section 363 of this title for an invention disclosed in the manner provided by the first paragraph of section 112 of this title in a provisional application filed under section 111(b) of this title, by an inventor or inventors named in the provisional application, shall have the same effect, as to such invention, as though filed on the date of the provisional application filed under section 111(b) of this title, if the application for patent filed under section 111(a) or section 363 of this title is filed not later than 12 months after the date on which the provisional application was filed and if it contains or is amended to contain a specific reference to the provisional application.

(2) A provisional application filed under section 111(b) of this title may not be relied upon in any proceeding in the Patent and Trademark Office unless the fee set forth in subparagraph (A) or (C) of section 41(a)(1) of this title has been paid and the provisional application was pending on the filing date of the application for patent under section 111(a) or section 363 of this title.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 800; Oct. 3, 1961, Pub. L. 87–333, §1, 75 Stat. 748; July 28, 1972, Pub. L. 92–358, §1, 86 Stat. 501; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §532(b)(1), 108 Stat. 4985.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §32, second paragraph (R.S. 4887, second paragraph, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1903, ch. 1019, §1, 32 Stat. 1225, 1226, (2) June 19, 1936, ch. 594, 49 Stat. 1529, (3) Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 450, §1, 53 Stat. 1212).

The first paragraph is the same as the present law with changes in language. The references to designs have been removed for inclusion in another section and the opening clause has been modified to accord with actual practice and the requirements of the International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

The second paragraph is new, making an additional procedural requirement for obtaining the right of priority. Copies of the foreign papers on which the right of priority is based are required so that the record of the United States patent will be complete in this country.

References in Text

The Stockholm Revision of the Paris Convention, referred to in subsec. (d), means the Convention revising the Convention of the Union of Paris of Mar. 20, 1883, as revised, for the protection of industrial property, done at Stockholm July 14, 1967, entered into force for the United States Sept. 5, 1970, with the exception of Articles 1 through 12 which entered into force for the United States Aug. 25, 1973. See 21 UST 1583; 24 UST 2140; TIAS 6293, 7727.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–465, in section catchline, struck out “in foreign country” after “date”, designated four undesignated paragraphs as subsecs. (a) to (d), and added subsec. (e).

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

1972—Pub. L. 92–358 inserted last paragraph providing that under certain circumstances, applications for inventors’ certificate filed in a foreign country would be given the same priority as applications for patents, if the applicants are entitled to the benefits of the Stockholm Revision of the Paris Convention at the time of filing.

1961—Pub. L. 87–333 authorized the right provided by this section to be based upon a subsequent application in the same foreign country, instead of the first application, provided that any foreign application filed prior to such subsequent one was withdrawn, or otherwise disposed of, without having been open to public inspection and without leaving any rights outstanding, nor any basis for claiming priority.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective 6 months after Dec. 8, 1994, and applicable to all patent applications filed in the United States on or after that effective date, with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(b)(1), (3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Effective Date of 1972 Amendment

Section 3(a) of Pub. L. 92–358 provided that: “Section 1 of this Act [amending this section] shall take effect on the date when Articles 1–12 of the Paris Convention of March 20, 1883, for the Protection of Industrial Property, as revised at Stockholm, July 14, 1967, come into force with respect to the United States [Aug. 25, 1973] and shall apply only to applications thereafter filed in the United States.”

Effective Date of 1961 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 87–333 effective on the date when the Convention of Paris for the Protection of Industrial Property of March 20, 1883, as revised at Lisbon, Oct. 31, 1958, comes into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 4, 1962] and shall apply only to applications thereafter filed in the United States by persons entitled to the benefit of said convention, as revised at the time of such filing, see section 3 of Pub. L. 87–333, set out as a note under section 1126 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Japanese and Certain German Nationals; Temporary Extension of Priority Rights

Act Aug. 23, 1954, ch. 823, 68 Stat. 764, provided that the priority rights specified in section 101 of former Title 35, Patents, which arose before Apr. 1, 1950, were extended, with respect to inventions made subsequent to Jan. 1, 1946, in favor of certain Japanese and German nationals, to a date nine months after Aug. 23, 1954, subject to conditions and limitations specified in sections 104, 110, 112, and 114 of former title 35.

Cross References

Application for foreign patent, see section 102 of this title.

Determination of priority of invention, see section 102 of this title.

Interferences, see section 135 of this title.

Right of priority in design patents, see section 172 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 104, 111, 154, 172, 373 of this title.

§120. Benefit of earlier filing date in the United States

An application for patent for an invention disclosed in the manner provided by the first paragraph of section 112 of this title in an application previously filed in the United States, or as provided by section 363 of this title, which is filed by an inventor or inventors named in the previously filed application shall have the same effect, as to such invention, as though filed on the date of the prior application, if filed before the patenting or abandonment of or termination of proceedings on the first application or on an application similarly entitled to the benefit of the filing date of the first application and if it contains or is amended to contain a specific reference to the earlier filed application.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 800; Nov. 14, 1975, Pub. L. 94–131, §9, 89 Stat. 691; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–622, title I, §104(b), 98 Stat. 3385.)

Historical and Revision Notes

This section represents present law not expressed in the statute, except for the added requirement that the first application must be specifically mentioned in the second.

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–622 substituted “which is filed by an inventor or inventors named in the previously filed application” for “by the same inventor”.

1975—Pub. L. 94–131 inserted “, or as provided by section 363 of this title,” after “filed in the United States”.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 applicable to all United States patents granted before, on, or after Nov. 8, 1984, and to all applications for United States patents pending on or filed after that date, except as otherwise provided, see section 106 of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 103 of this title.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–131 effective Jan. 24, 1978, and applicable on and after that date to patent applications filed in the United States and to international applications, where applicable, see section 11 of Pub. L. 94–131, set out as an Effective Date note under section 351 of this title.

Cross References

Specification, see section 112 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 111, 121, 154, 365, 373 of this title.

§121. Divisional applications

If two or more independent and distinct inventions are claimed in one application, the Commissioner may require the application to be restricted to one of the inventions. If the other invention is made the subject of a divisional application which complies with the requirements of section 120 of this title it shall be entitled to the benefit of the filing date of the original application. A patent issuing on an application with respect to which a requirement for restriction under this section has been made, or on an application filed as a result of such a requirement, shall not be used as a reference either in the Patent and Trademark Office or in the courts against a divisional application or against the original application or any patent issued on either of them, if the divisional application is filed before the issuance of the patent on the other application. If a divisional application is directed solely to subject matter described and claimed in the original application as filed, the Commissioner may dispense with signing and execution by the inventor. The validity of a patent shall not be questioned for failure of the Commissioner to require the application to be restricted to one invention.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 800; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

This section enacts as law existing practice with respect to division, at the same time introducing a number of changes. Division is made discretionary with the Commissioner. The requirements of section 120 are made applicable and neither of the resulting patents can be held invalid over the other merely because of their being divided in several patents. In some cases a divisional application may be filed by the assignee.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Cross References

Specification, see section 112 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 111, 154, 372 of this title.

§122. Confidential status of applications

Applications for patents shall be kept in confidence by the Patent and Trademark Office and no information concerning the same given without authority of the applicant or owner unless necessary to carry out the provisions of any Act of Congress or in such special circumstances as may be determined by the Commissioner.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 801; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

This section enacts the Patent Office rule of secrecy of applications.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

CHAPTER 12—EXAMINATION OF APPLICATION

Sec.
131.
Examination of application.
132.
Notice of rejection; reexamination.
133.
Time for prosecuting application.
134.
Appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences.
135.
Interferences.

        

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–622, title II, §204(b)(2), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3388, substituted “Patent Appeals and Interferences” for “Appeals” in item 134.

§131. Examination of application

The Commissioner shall cause an examination to be made of the application and the alleged new invention; and if on such examination it appears that the applicant is entitled to a patent under the law, the Commissioner shall issue a patent therefor.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 801.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §36 (R.S. 4893).

The first part is revised in language and amplified. The phrase “and that the invention is sufficiently useful and important” is omitted as unnecessary, the requirements for patentability being stated in sections 101, 102 and 103.

Cross References

Issue of patent, generally, see section 151 et seq. of this title.

Patentability of invention generally, see section 100 et seq. of this title.

Proceedings in the Patent and Trademark Office, see section 21 et seq. of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 111 of this title.

§132. Notice of rejection; reexamination

Whenever, on examination, any claim for a patent is rejected, or any objection or requirement made, the Commissioner shall notify the applicant thereof, stating the reasons for such rejection, or objection or requirement, together with such information and references as may be useful in judging of the propriety of continuing the prosecution of his application; and if after receiving such notice, the applicant persists in his claim for a patent, with or without amendment, the application shall be reexamined. No amendment shall introduce new matter into the disclosure of the invention.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 801.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §51 (R.S. 4903, amended Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 452, §1, 53 Stat. 1213).

The first paragraph of the corresponding section of existing statute is revised in language and amplified to incorporate present practice; the second paragraph of the existing statute is placed in section 135.

The last sentence relating to new matter is added but represents no departure from present practice.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 41, 305 of this title.

§133. Time for prosecuting application

Upon failure of the applicant to prosecute the application within six months after any action therein, of which notice has been given or mailed to the applicant, or within such shorter time, not less than thirty days, as fixed by the Commissioner in such action, the application shall be regarded as abandoned by the parties thereto, unless it be shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that such delay was unavoidable.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 801.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §37 (R.S. 4894, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §4, 29 Stat. 692, 693, (2) July 6, 1916, ch. 225, §1, 39 Stat. 345, 347–8, (3) Mar. 2, 1927, ch. 273, §1, 44 Stat. 1335, (4) Aug. 7, 1939, ch. 568, 53 Stat. 1264).

The opening clause of the corresponding section of existing statute is omitted as having no present day meaning or value and the last two sentences are omitted for inclusion in section 267. The notice is stated as given or mailed. Language is revised.

Cross References

Abandonment of invention as denying patentability, see section 102 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 41, 267, 305 of this title.

§134. Appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences

An applicant for a patent, any of whose claims has been twice rejected, may appeal from the decision of the primary examiner to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, having once paid the fee for such appeal.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 801; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–622, title II, §204(b)(1), 98 Stat. 3388.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §57 (R.S. 4909 amended (1) Mar. 2, 1927, ch. 273, §5, 44 Stat. 1335, 1336, (2) Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 451, §2, 53 Stat. 1212).

Reference to reissues is omitted in view of the general provision in section 251. Minor changes in language are made.

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–622 substituted “Patent Appeals and Interferences” for “Appeals” in section catchline and text.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 effective three months after Nov. 8, 1984, see section 207 of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 7 of this title.

Cross References

Appeals to Commissioner from decisions of examiners on applications for registration of trade-marks, see section 1070 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Board of Appeals, composition and duties, see section 7 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 141, 145, 154, 306 of this title.

§135. Interferences

(a) Whenever an application is made for a patent which, in the opinion of the Commissioner, would interfere with any pending application, or with any unexpired patent, an interference may be declared and the Commissioner shall give notice of such declaration to the applicants, or applicant and patentee, as the case may be. The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences shall determine questions of priority of the inventions and may determine questions of patentability. Any final decision, if adverse to the claim of an applicant, shall constitute the final refusal by the Patent and Trademark Office of the claims involved, and the Commissioner may issue a patent to the applicant who is adjudged the prior inventor. A final judgment adverse to a patentee from which no appeal or other review has been or can be taken or had shall constitute cancellation of the claims involved in the patent, and notice of such cancellation shall be endorsed on copies of the patent distributed after such cancellation by the Patent and Trademark Office.

(b) A claim which is the same as, or for the same or substantially the same subject matter as, a claim of an issued patent may not be made in any application unless such a claim is made prior to one year from the date on which the patent was granted.

(c) Any agreement or understanding between parties to an interference, including any collateral agreements referred to therein, made in connection with or in contemplation of the termination of the interference, shall be in writing and a true copy thereof filed in the Patent and Trademark Office before the termination of the interference as between the said parties to the agreement or understanding. If any party filing the same so requests, the copy shall be kept separate from the file of the interference, and made available only to Government agencies on written request, or to any person on a showing of good cause. Failure to file the copy of such agreement or understanding shall render permanently unenforceable such agreement or understanding and any patent of such parties involved in the interference or any patent subsequently issued on any application of such parties so involved. The Commissioner may, however, on a showing of good cause for failure to file within the time prescribed, permit the filing of the agreement or understanding during the six-month period subsequent to the termination of the interference as between the parties to the agreement or understanding.

The Commissioner shall give notice to the parties or their attorneys of record, a reasonable time prior to said termination, of the filing requirement of this section. If the Commissioner gives such notice at a later time, irrespective of the right to file such agreement or understanding within the six-month period on a showing of good cause, the parties may file such agreement or understanding within sixty days of the receipt of such notice.

Any discretionary action of the Commissioner under this subsection shall be reviewable under section 10 of the Administrative Procedure Act.

(d) Parties to a patent interference, within such time as may be specified by the Commissioner by regulation, may determine such contest or any aspect thereof by arbitration. Such arbitration shall be governed by the provisions of title 9 to the extent such title is not inconsistent with this section. The parties shall give notice of any arbitration award to the Commissioner, and such award shall, as between the parties to the arbitration, be dispositive of the issues to which it relates. The arbitration award shall be unenforceable until such notice is given. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude the Commissioner from determining patentability of the invention involved in the interference.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 801; Oct. 15, 1962, Pub. L. 87–831, 76 Stat. 958; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–622, title I, §105, title II, §202, 98 Stat. 3385, 3386.)

Historical and Revision Notes

The first paragraph is based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §52 (R.S. 4904 amended (1) Mar. 2, 1927, ch. 273, §4, 44 Stat. 1335, 1336, (2) Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 451, §1, 53 Stat. 1212).

The first paragraph states the existing corresponding statute with a few changes in language. An explicit statement that the Office decision on priority constitutes a final refusal by the Office of the claims involved, is added. The last sentence is new and provides that judgment adverse to a patentee constitutes cancellation of the claims of the patent involved after the judgment has become final, the patentee has a right of appeal (sec. 141) and is given a right of review by civil action (sec. 146).

The second paragraph is based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §51, (R.S. 4903, amended Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 452, §1, 53 Stat. 1213). Changes in language are made.

References in Text

Section 10 of the Administrative Procedure Act, referred to in subsec. (c), is section 10 of act June 11, 1946, ch. 324, 60 Stat. 243, which was repealed by Pub. L. 89–554, §8(a), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 632, and reenacted by the first section thereof as chapter 7 (§701 et seq.) of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Amendments

1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–622, §202, amended subsec. (a) generally, substituting “, an interference may be declared and the Commissioner shall give notice of such declaration to the applicants, or applicant and patentee, as the case may be” for “he shall give notice thereof to the applicants, or applicant and patentee, as the case may be” and substituting provisions vesting jurisdiction for determining questions of interference in the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences for provisions vesting such jurisdiction in a board of patent interferences.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 98–622, §105, added subsec. (d).

1975—Subsecs. (a), (c). Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office” wherever appearing.

1962—Pub. L. 87–831 designated first and second pars. as subsecs. (a) and (b) and added subsec. (c).

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by section 105 of Pub. L. 98–622 applicable to all United States patents granted before, on, or after Nov. 8, 1984, and to all applications for United States patents pending on or filed after that date, except as otherwise provided, see section 106 of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 103 of this title.

Amendment by section 202 of Pub. L. 98–622 effective three months after Nov. 8, 1984, see section 207 of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 7 of this title.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Cross References

Decision of board of patent interferences—

Appeal to the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, see section 141 of this title.

Civil action, see section 146 of this title.

Equitable relief against interfering patents, see section 291 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 7, 111, 154 of this title.

CHAPTER 13—REVIEW OF PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE DECISIONS

Sec.
141.
Appeal to Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
142.
Notice of appeal.
143.
Proceedings on appeal.
144.
Decision on appeal.
145.
Civil action to obtain patent.
146.
Civil action in case of interference.

        

Amendments

1982—Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §163(b)(1), Apr. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 49, substituted “Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit” for “Court of Customs and Patent Appeals” in item 141.

1975—Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949, substituted “PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE” for “PATENT OFFICE” in chapter heading.

§141. Appeal to Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

An applicant dissatisfied with the decision in an appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences under section 134 of this title may appeal the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. By filing such an appeal the applicant waives his or her right to proceed under section 145 of this title. A party to an interference dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences on the interference may appeal the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, but such appeal shall be dismissed if any adverse party to such interference, within twenty days after the appellant has filed notice of appeal in accordance with section 142 of this title, files notice with the Commissioner that the party elects to have all further proceedings conducted as provided in section 146 of this title. If the appellant does not, within thirty days after the filing of such notice by the adverse party, file a civil action under section 146, the decision appealed from shall govern the further proceedings in the case.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 802; Apr. 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §163(a)(7), (b)(2), 96 Stat. 49, 50; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–622, title II, §203(a), 98 Stat. 3387.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §59a (R.S. 4911, amended (1) Mar. 2, 1927, ch. 273, §8, 44 Stat. 1336, (2) Mar. 2, 1929, ch. 488, §2a, 45 Stat. 1476, (3) Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 451, §3, 53 Stat. 1212).

Changes in language are made.

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–622, §203(a)(1)(A), substituted “in an appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences under section 134 of this title may appeal the decision” for “of the Board of Patent Appeals may appeal” in first sentence.

Pub. L. 98–622, §203(a)(1)(B), substituted “. By filing such an appeal the applicant waives his or her right” for “, thereby waiving his right” in first sentence.

Pub. L. 98–622, §203(a)(2)(A), substituted “Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences on the interference may appeal the decision” for “board of patent interferences on the question of priority of appeal” in second sentence.

Pub. L. 98–622, §203(a)(2)(B), substituted “In accordance with” for “according to” in second sentence.

Pub. L. 98–622, §203(a)(2)(C), substituted “the party” for “he” in second sentence.

Pub. L. 98–622, §203(a)(3), reenacted last sentence with minor changes in wording.

1982—Pub. L. 97–164, §163(b)(2), substituted “Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit” for “Court of Customs and Patent Appeals” in section catchline.

Pub. L. 97–164, §163(a)(7), substituted “Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit” for “Court of Customs and Patent Appeals” in two places.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 effective three months after Nov. 8, 1984, see section 207 of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 7 of this title.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–164 effective Oct. 1, 1982, see section 402 of Pub. L. 97–164, set out as a note under section 171 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Cross References

Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, jurisdiction of Patent and Trademark Office decisions, see section 1295 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Reasons of appeal—

Commissioner to furnish grounds of his decision touching points raised by, see section 143 of this title.

Decision on appeal as confined to points set forth in, see section 144 of this title.

Time for filing with Patent and Trademark Office, see section 142 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 146, 154, 306 of this title.

§142. Notice of appeal

When an appeal is taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the appellant shall file in the Patent and Trademark Office a written notice of appeal directed to the Commissioner, within such time after the date of the decision from which the appeal is taken as the Commissioner prescribes, but in no case less than 60 days after that date.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 802; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949; Apr. 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §163(a)(7), 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–620, title IV, §414(a), 98 Stat. 3362.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §60 (R.S. 4912, amended (1) Mar. 2, 1927, ch. 273, §9, 44 Stat. 1336, (2) Mar. 2, 1929, ch. 488, §2(b), 45 Stat. 1476).

Changes in language are made.

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–620 amended section generally, substituting “the appellant shall file in the Patent and Trademark Office a written notice of appeal directed to the Commissioner, within such time after the date of the decision from which the appeal is taken as the Commissioner prescribes, but in no case less than 60 days after that date” for “the appellant shall give notice thereof to the Commissioner, and shall file in the Patent and Trademark Office his reasons of appeal, specifically set forth in writing, within such time after the date of the decision appealed from, not less than sixty days, as the Commissioner appoints”.

1982—Pub. L. 97–164 substituted “Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit” for “Court of Customs and Patent Appeals”.

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Section 414(c) of Pub. L. 98–620 provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending this section, sections 143 and 144 of this title, and section 1071 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade] shall apply to proceedings pending in the Patent and Trademark Office on the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 8, 1984] and to appeals pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on such date.”

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–164 effective Oct. 1, 1982, see section 402 of Pub. L. 97–164, set out as a note under section 171 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 141, 143, 306 of this title.

§143. Proceedings on appeal

With respect to an appeal described in section 142 of this title, the Commissioner shall transmit to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit a certified list of the documents comprising the record in the Patent and Trademark Office. The court may request that the Commissioner forward the original or certified copies of such documents during pendency of the appeal. In an ex parte case, the Commissioner shall submit to the court in writing the grounds for the decision of the Patent and Trademark Office, addressing all the issues involved in the appeal. The court shall, before hearing an appeal, give notice of the time and place of the hearing to the Commissioner and the parties in the appeal.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 802; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949; Apr. 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §163(a)(7), 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–620, title IV, §414(a), 98 Stat. 3363.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §61 (R.S. 4913, amended Mar. 2, 1927, ch. 273, §10, 44 Stat. 1336).

Language is changed. The requirement that the Commissioner notify the parties is omitted and a requirement that the court notify the parties is added. The statement relating to filing the papers and testimony is made more explicit.

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–620 substituted provisions requiring the Commissioner to transmit to the court a certified list of the documents comprising the record in the Patent and Trademark Office, with respect to an appeal described in section 142 of this title, for provision which required the Commissioner to transmit to the court certified copies of all the necessary original papers and evidence in the case specified by the appellant and the appellee, and inserted provision that the court may request that the Commissioner forward the original or certified copies of such documents during the pendency of the appeal.

1982—Pub. L. 97–164 substituted “Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit” for “Court of Customs and Patent Appeals”.

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–620 applicable to proceedings pending in the Patent and Trademark Office on Nov. 8, 1984, and to appeals pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on such date, see section 414(c) of Pub. L. 98–620, set out as a note under section 142 of this title.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–164 effective Oct. 1, 1982, see section 402 of Pub. L. 97–164, set out as a note under section 171 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 306 of this title.

§144. Decision on appeal

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit shall review the decision from which an appeal is taken on the record before the Patent and Trademark Office. Upon its determination the court shall issue to the Commissioner its mandate and opinion, which shall be entered of record in the Patent and Trademark Office and shall govern the further proceedings in the case.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 802; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949; Apr. 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §163(a)(7), 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–620, title IV, §414(a), 98 Stat. 3363.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §62 (R.S. 4914).

Language is changed and the last sentence of the corresponding section of existing statute omitted as superfluous; such a sentence does not appear in the present civil action section, 35 U.S.C. 63 and in either case the validity of the patent may be questioned.

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–620 substituted provisions requiring the court to review the decision on the record before the Patent and Trademark Office and upon reaching a determination to issue its mandate and opinion to the Commissioner for provisions which required the court, on petition, to hear and determine the appeal on the evidence produced before the Patent and Trademark Office (with the decision to be confined to the points set forth in the reasons of appeal) and, upon its determination, to return to the Commissioner a certificate of its proceedings and decision.

1982—Pub. L. 97–164 substituted “Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit” for “Court of Customs and Patent Appeals”.

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office” in two places.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–620 applicable to proceedings pending in the Patent and Trademark Office on Nov. 8, 1984, and to appeals pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on such date, see section 414(c) of Pub. L. 98–620, set out as a note under section 142 of this title.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–164 effective Oct. 1, 1982, see section 402 of Pub. L. 97–164, set out as a note under section 171 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 306 of this title.

§145. Civil action to obtain patent

An applicant dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences in an appeal under section 134 of this title may, unless appeal has been taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, have remedy by civil action against the Commissioner in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia if commenced within such time after such decision, not less than sixty days, as the Commissioner appoints. The court may adjudge that such applicant is entitled to receive a patent for his invention, as specified in any of his claims involved in the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, as the facts in the case may appear and such adjudication shall authorize the Commissioner to issue such patent on compliance with the requirements of law. All the expenses of the proceedings shall be paid by the applicant.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 803; Apr. 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §163(a)(7), 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–622, title II, §203(b), 98 Stat. 3387.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §63 (R.S. 4915, amended (1) Mar. 2, 1927, ch. 273, §11, 44 Stat. 1336, (2) Mar. 2, 1929, ch. 488, §2(b), 45 Stat. 1476, (3) Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 451, §4, 53 Stat. 1212).

Bill in equity is changed to civil action and the section is restricted to exclude interferences which are covered by the next section. The time for filing the action is changed to the same as the time for appeal. The requirement for the applicant to file a copy of the decision in the Patent Office is omitted.

Language is changed.

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–622 substituted “Patent Appeals and Interferences in an appeal under section 134 of this title may,” for “Appeals may” in first sentence and “Patent Appeals and Interferences” for “Appeals” in second sentence.

1982—Pub. L. 97–164 substituted “Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit” for “Court of Customs and Patent Appeals”.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 effective three months after Nov. 8, 1984, see section 207 of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 7 of this title.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–164 effective Oct. 1, 1982, see section 402 of Pub. L. 97–164, set out as a note under section 171 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 141, 154, 306 of this title; title 28 section 1295.

§146. Civil action in case of interference

Any party to an interference dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences on the interference, may have remedy by civil action, if commenced within such time after such decision, not less than sixty days, as the Commissioner appoints or as provided in section 141 of this title, unless he has appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and such appeal is pending or has been decided. In such suits the record in the Patent and Trademark Office shall be admitted on motion of either party upon the terms and conditions as to costs, expenses, and the further cross-examination of the witnesses as the court imposes, without prejudice to the right of the parties to take further testimony. The testimony and exhibits of the record in the Patent and Trademark Office when admitted shall have the same effect as if originally taken and produced in the suit.

Such suit may be instituted against the party in interest as shown by the records of the Patent and Trademark Office at the time of the decision complained of, but any party in interest may become a party to the action. If there be adverse parties residing in a plurality of districts not embraced within the same state, or an adverse party residing in a foreign country, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia shall have jurisdiction and may issue summons against the adverse parties directed to the marshal of any district in which any adverse party resides. Summons against adverse parties residing in foreign countries may be served by publication or otherwise as the court directs. The Commissioner shall not be a necessary party but he shall be notified of the filing of the suit by the clerk of the court in which it is filed and shall have the right to intervene. Judgment of the court in favor of the right of an applicant to a patent shall authorize the Commissioner to issue such patent on the filing in the Patent and Trademark Office of a certified copy of the judgment and on compliance with the requirements of law.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 803; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949; Apr. 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §163(a)(7), 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–622, title II, §203(c), 98 Stat. 3387.)

Historical and Revision Notes

The first paragraph and parts of the second paragraph are based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §63 (R.S. 4915, amended (1) Mar. 2, 1927, ch. 273, §11, 44 Stat. 1336, (2) Mar. 2, 1929, ch. 488, §2(b), 45 Stat. 1476, (3) Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 451, §4, 53 Stat. 1212), limited to interferences and making some changes. The action is not restricted to applicants, but a patentee may also bring the action. The time for bringing the action is made the same as for appeals.

In the second paragraph the first sentence is new and eliminates difficulties arising from unrecorded interests.

The second sentence is based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §72a (Mar. 3, 1927, ch. 364, 44 Stat. 1394, reenacted Oct. 31, 1951, ch. 655, §53a, 65 Stat. 728) with changes in language.

The fourth sentence is new and prevents such suits from being filed against the Commissioner as a defendant; however, the Commissioner has the right to intervene.

Language is changed.

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–622 substituted “Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences on the interference” for “board of patent interference on the question of priority”.

1982—Pub. L. 97–164 substituted “Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit” for “Court of Customs and Patent Appeals”.

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office” wherever appearing.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 effective three months after Nov. 8, 1984, see section 207 of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 7 of this title.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–164 effective Oct. 1, 1982, see section 402 of Pub. L. 97–164, set out as a note under section 171 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Cross References

Section applicable to action for adjudication of validity of interfering patents, see section 291 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 141, 291 of this title; title 28 section 1295.

CHAPTER 14—ISSUE OF PATENT

Sec.
151.
Issue of patent.
152.
Issue of patent to assignee.
153.
How issued.
154.
Contents and term of patent.
155.
Patent term extension.
155A.
Patent term restoration.
156.
Extension of patent term.
157.
Statutory invention registration.

        

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–622, title I, §102(b), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3384, added item 157.

Pub. L. 98–417, title II, §201(b), Sept. 24, 1984, 98 Stat. 1602, added item 156.

1983—Pub. L. 98–127, §4(b), Oct. 13, 1983, 97 Stat. 833, added item 155A.

Pub. L. 97–414, §11(b), Jan. 4, 1983, 96 Stat. 2066, added item 155.

1965—Pub. L. 89–83, §6, July 24, 1965, 79 Stat. 261, substituted “Issue of patent” for “Time of issue of patent” in item 151.

§151. Issue of patent

If it appears that applicant is entitled to a patent under the law, a written notice of allowance of the application shall be given or mailed to the applicant. The notice shall specify a sum, constituting the issue fee or a portion thereof, which shall be paid within three months thereafter.

Upon payment of this sum the patent shall issue, but if payment is not timely made, the application shall be regarded as abandoned.

Any remaining balance of the issue fee shall be paid within three months from the sending of a notice thereof and, if not paid, the patent shall lapse at the termination of this three-month period. In calculating the amount of a remaining balance, charges for a page or less may be disregarded.

If any payment required by this section is not timely made, but is submitted with the fee for delayed payment and the delay in payment is shown to have been unavoidable, it may be accepted by the Commissioner as though no abandonment or lapse had ever occurred.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 803; July 24, 1965, Pub. L. 89–83, §4, 79 Stat. 260; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–601, §3, 88 Stat. 1956.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §41 (R.S. 4885, amended (1) May 23, 1908, ch. 189, 35 Stat. 246, (2) Aug. 9, 1939, §2, ch. 619, 53 Stat. 1293).

Language is changed.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–601 substituted “and the delay in payment is shown to have been unavoidable,” for “within three months after the due date and sufficient cause is shown for the late payment,” in last par.

1965—Pub. L. 89–83 substituted provisions requiring a notice of allowance to be sent to the applicant, the notice of allowance to specify a sum, constituting the issue fee or a portion thereof, which shall be paid within 3 months thereafter, the patent to issue upon payment of this sum, the application to be deemed abandoned if the sum is not paid, and any remaining balance of the fee to be paid within 3 months after issuance of the patent shall lapse, and permitting the Commissioner within 3 months after the due date of an unpaid fee on a showing of sufficient cause to accept late payment as though no abandonment or lapse had occurred, for provisions which required a notice of allowance to be sent to the applicant, the final fee to be paid within 6 months after the notice, the patent to be issued within 3 months from the date of the payment, and which permitted delayed payment of the issue fee up to 1 year.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–601 effective Jan. 2, 1975, with examiners-in-chief in office on such date to continue with existing appointment, see section 4(b) of Pub. L. 93–601, set out as a note under section 3 of this title.

Effective Date of 1965 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 89–83 effective three months after July 24, 1965, see section 7(a) of Pub. L. 89–83, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Acceptance of Late Payment of Issue Fees by Commissioner

Section 4(a) of Pub. L. 93–601 provided that: “The Commissioner of Patents [now Patents and Trademarks] may, in accordance with Section 3 of this Act [amending this section], accept late payment of issue fees, the payment of which was governed by the provisions of Public Law 89–93 [probably should refer to Public Law 89–83, which amended sections 41, 112, and 151 of this title and section 1113 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade]; Provided: the term of the patent for which late payment of such an issue fee is accepted shall expire earlier than the time specified in Section 154 of Title 35, United States Code by a period equal to the delay between the time the application became abandoned or the patent lapsed for failure to pay the issue fee and the time the late payment is accepted after enactment of this Act [Jan. 2, 1975]; Further Provided: no patent with respect to which the issue fee was governed by the provisions of PL 89–83 and for which a late payment of the issue fee is accepted under the authority created by Section 3 of this Act, shall abridge or affect the right of any person or his successors in business who made, purchased or used anything covered by the patent, after the date of the application became abandoned or patent lapsed for failure to pay the issue fee but prior to the grant or restoration of the patent, to continue the use of or to sell to others to be used or sold, the specific thing so made, purchased, or used. A court before which such matter is in question may provide for the continued manufacture, use or sale of the thing made, purchased or used as specified, or for the manufacture, use or sale of which substantial preparation was made after the date the application became abandoned or patent lapsed for failure to pay the fee but prior to the grant or restoration of the patent, and it may also provide for the continued practice of any process covered by the patent, practiced, or for the practice of which substantial preparation was made, after the date the application became abandoned or patent lapsed for failure to pay the issue fee but prior to the grant or restoration of the patent, to the extent and under such terms as the court deems equitable for the protection of investments made or business commenced before the grant or restoration of the patent.”

Cross References

Patent fees, see section 41 of this title.

Payment of fees, see section 42 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 41, 267 of this title.

§152. Issue of patent to assignee

Patents may be granted to the assignee of the inventor of record in the Patent and Trademark Office, upon the application made and the specification sworn to by the inventor, except as otherwise provided in this title.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 804; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §44 (R.S. 4895).

Language is changed and the reference to reissue is omitted in view of the general provision in section 251.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Cross References

Application for patent by assignee, see section 118 of this title.

Ownership of patent, assignment of, see section 261 of this title.

Reissue of patent by assignee, see section 261 of this title.

§153. How issued

Patents shall be issued in the name of the United States of America, under the seal of the Patent and Trademark Office, and shall be signed by the Commissioner or have his signature placed thereon and attested by an officer of the Patent and Trademark Office designated by the Commissioner, and shall be recorded in the Patent and Trademark Office.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 804; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §39 (R.S. 4883, amended (1) Feb. 18, 1888, ch. 15, 25 Stat. 40, (2) April 11, 1903, ch. 417, 32 Stat. 95, (3) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §5, 42 Stat. 391).

The phrases referring to the attesting officers and to the recording of the patents are broadened.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office” wherever appearing.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Cross References

Seal, see section 2 of this title.

§154. Contents and term of patent

(a) In General.—

(1) Contents.—Every patent shall contain a short title of the invention and a grant to the patentee, his heirs or assigns, of the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States, and, if the invention is a process, of the right to exclude others from using, offering for sale or selling throughout the United States, or importing into the United States, products made by that process, referring to the specification for the particulars thereof.

(2) Term.—Subject to the payment of fees under this title, such grant shall be for a term beginning on the date on which the patent issues and ending 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States or, if the application contains a specific reference to an earlier filed application or applications under section 120, 121, or 365(c) of this title, from the date on which the earliest such application was filed.

(3) Priority.—Priority under section 119, 365(a), or 365(b) of this title shall not be taken into account in determining the term of a patent.

(4) Specification and drawing.—A copy of the specification and drawing shall be annexed to the patent and be a part of such patent.


(b) Term Extension.—

(1) Interference delay or secrecy orders.—If the issue of an original patent is delayed due to a proceeding under section 135(a) of this title, or because the application for patent is placed under an order pursuant to section 181 of this title, the term of the patent shall be extended for the period of delay, but in no case more than 5 years.

(2) Extension for appellate review.—If the issue of a patent is delayed due to appellate review by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences or by a Federal court and the patent is issued pursuant to a decision in the review reversing an adverse determination of patentability, the term of the patent shall be extended for a period of time but in no case more than 5 years. A patent shall not be eligible for extension under this paragraph if it is subject to a terminal disclaimer due to the issue of another patent claiming subject matter that is not patentably distinct from that under appellate review.

(3) Limitations.—The period of extension referred to in paragraph (2)—

(A) shall include any period beginning on the date on which an appeal is filed under section 134 or 141 of this title, or on which an action is commenced under section 145 of this title, and ending on the date of a final decision in favor of the applicant;

(B) shall be reduced by any time attributable to appellate review before the expiration of 3 years from the filing date of the application for patent; and

(C) shall be reduced for the period of time during which the applicant for patent did not act with due diligence, as determined by the Commissioner.


(4) Length of extension.—The total duration of all extensions of a patent under this subsection shall not exceed 5 years.


(c) Continuation.—

(1) Determination.—The term of a patent that is in force on or that results from an application filed before the date that is 6 months after the date of the enactment of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act shall be the greater of the 20-year term as provided in subsection (a), or 17 years from grant, subject to any terminal disclaimers.

(2) Remedies.—The remedies of sections 283, 284, and 285 of this title shall not apply to Acts 1 which—

(A) were commenced or for which substantial investment was made before the date that is 6 months after the date of the enactment of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act; and

(B) became infringing by reason of paragraph (1).


(3) Remuneration.—The acts referred to in paragraph (2) may be continued only upon the payment of an equitable remuneration to the patentee that is determined in an action brought under chapter 28 and chapter 29 (other than those provisions excluded by paragraph (2)) of this title.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 804; July 24, 1965, Pub. L. 89–83, §5, 79 Stat. 261; Dec. 12, 1980, Pub. L. 96–517, §4, 94 Stat. 3018; Aug. 23, 1988, Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9002, 102 Stat. 1563; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §532(a)(1), 108 Stat. 4983.)

Prospective Effective Date

Subsection (a)(1) of this section effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see Effective Date of 1994 Amendment note below.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §40 (R.S. 4884, amended May 23, 1930, ch. 312, §1, 46 Stat. 376).

The reference to plants is omitted for inclusion in another section and the reference to the title is shortened since the title is of no legal significance.

The wording of the granting clause is changed to “the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling”, following language used by the Supreme Court, to render the meaning clearer.

“United States” is defined in section 100.

References in Text

The date of the enactment of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(1), (2)(A), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 103–465, which was approved Dec. 8, 1994.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–465 amended section catchline and text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “Every patent shall contain a short title of the invention and a grant to the patentee, his heirs or assigns, for the term of seventeen years, subject to the payment of fees as provided for in this title, of the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention throughout the United States and, if the invention is a process, of the right to exclude others from using or selling throughout the United States, or importing into the United States, products made by that process,, referring to the specification for the particulars thereof. A copy of the specification and drawings shall be annexed to the patent and be a part thereof.”

1988—Pub. L. 100–418 inserted “and, if the invention is a process, of the right to exclude others from using or selling throughout the United States, or importing into the United States, products made by that process,” after “United States”.

1980—Pub. L. 96–517 substituted “payment of fees” for “payment of issue fees”.

1965—Pub. L. 89–83 added “subject to the payment of issue fees as provided for in this title”.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Section 534 of title V of Pub. L. 103–465 provided that:

“(a) In General.—Subject to subsection (b), the amendments made by this subtitle [subtitle C (§§531–534) of title V of Pub. L. 103–465, amending this section and sections 41, 104, 111, 119, 156, 172, 173, 252, 262, 271, 272, 287, 292, 295, 307, 365, and 373 of this title] take effect on the date that is one year after the date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995].

“(b) Patent Applications.—

“(1) In general.—Subject to paragraph (2), the amendments made by section 532 [amending this section and sections 41, 111, 119, 156, 172, 173, 365, and 373 of this title] take effect on the date that is 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 8, 1994] and shall apply to all patent applications filed in the United States on or after the effective date.

“(2) Section 154(a)(1).—Section 154(a)(1) of title 35, United States Code, as amended by section 532(a)(1) of this Act, shall take effect on the effective date described in subsection (a).

“(3) Earliest filing.—The term of a patent granted on an application that is filed on or after the effective date described in subsection (a) and that contains a specific reference to an earlier application filed under the provisions of section 120, 121, or 365(c) of title 35, United States Code, shall be measured from the filing date of the earliest filed application.”

Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–418 effective 6 months after Aug. 23, 1988, and, subject to enumerated exceptions, applicable only with respect to products made or imported after such effective date, see section 9006 of Pub. L. 100–418, set out as a note under section 271 of this title.

Effective Date of 1980 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 96–517 effective Dec. 12, 1980, see section 8(a) of Pub. L. 96–517, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Effective Date of 1965 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 89–83 effective three months after July 24, 1965, see section 7(a) of Pub. L. 89–83, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Regulations

Section 532(a)(2) of Pub. L. 103–465 provided that:

“(A) The Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks shall prescribe regulations to provide for further limited reexamination of applications that have been pending for 2 years or longer as of the effective date of section 154(a)(2) of title 35, United States Code [see Effective Date of 1994 Amendment note above], as added by paragraph (1) of this subsection, taking into account any reference made in such application to any earlier filed application under section 120, 121, or 365(c) of such title. The Commissioner may establish appropriate fees for such further limited reexamination.

“(B) The Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks shall prescribe regulations to provide for the examination of more than 1 independent and distinct invention in an application that has been pending for 3 years or longer as of the effective date of section 154(a)(2) of title 35, United States Code, as added by paragraph (1) of this subsection, taking into account any reference made in such application to any earlier filed application under section 120, 121, or 365(c) of such title. The Commissioner may establish appropriate fees for such examination.”

Cross References

Design patent, term of, see section 173 of this title.

Plant patents, grant of, see section 163 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 155, 155A of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should not be capitalized.

§155. Patent term extension

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 154, the term of a patent which encompasses within its scope a composition of matter or a process for using such composition shall be extended if such composition or process has been subjected to a regulatory review by the Federal Food and Drug Administration pursuant to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act leading to the publication of regulation permitting the interstate distribution and sale of such composition or process and for which there has thereafter been a stay of regulation of approval imposed pursuant to section 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act which stay was in effect on January 1, 1981, by a length of time to be measured from the date such stay of regulation of approval was imposed until such proceedings are finally resolved and commercial marketing permitted. The patentee, his heirs, successors or assigns shall notify the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks within ninety days of the date of enactment of this section or the date the stay of regulation of approval has been removed, whichever is later, of the number of the patent to be extended and the date the stay was imposed and the date commercial marketing was permitted. On receipt of such notice, the Commissioner shall promptly issue to the owner of record of the patent a certificate of extension, under seal, stating the fact and length of the extension and identifying the composition of matter or process for using such composition to which such extension is applicable. Such certificate shall be recorded in the official file of each patent extended and such certificate shall be considered as part of the original patent, and an appropriate notice shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Patent and Trademark Office.

(Added Pub. L. 97–414, §11(a), Jan. 4, 1983, 96 Stat. 2065.)

References in Text

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, referred to in text, is act June 25, 1938, ch. 675, 52 Stat. 1040, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 9 (§301 et seq.) of Title 21, Food and Drugs. Section 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is classified to section 348 of Title 21. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 301 of Title 21 and Tables.

Date of enactment of this section, referred to in text, means date of enactment of Pub. L. 97–414, which was approved Jan. 4, 1983.

§155A. Patent term restoration

(a) Notwithstanding section 154 of this title, the term of each of the following patents shall be extended in accordance with this section:

(1) Any patent which encompasses within its scope a composition of matter which is a new drug product, if during the regulatory review of the product by the Federal Food and Drug Administration—

(A) the Federal Food and Drug Administration notified the patentee, by letter dated February 20, 1976, that such product's new drug application was not approvable under section 505(b)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act;

(B) in 1977 the patentee submitted to the Federal Food and Drug Administration the results of a health effects test to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of such product;

(C) the Federal Food and Drug Administration approved, by letter dated December 18, 1979, the new drug application for such product; and

(D) the Federal Food and Drug Administration approved, by letter dated May 26, 1981, a supplementary application covering the facility for the production of such product.


(2) Any patent which encompasses within its scope a process for using the composition of matter described in paragraph (1).


(b) The term of any patent described in subsection (a) shall be extended for a period equal to the period beginning February 20, 1976, and ending May 26, 1981, and such patent shall have the effect as if originally issued with such extended term.

(c) The patentee of any patent described in subsection (a) of this section shall, within ninety days after the date of enactment of this section, notify the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks of the number of any patent so extended. On receipt of such notice, the Commissioner shall confirm such extension by placing a notice thereof in the official file of such patent and publishing an appropriate notice of such extension in the Official Gazette of the Patent and Trademark Office.

(Added Pub. L. 98–127, §4(a), Oct. 13, 1983, 97 Stat. 832.)

References in Text

Section 505(b)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(1)(A), is classified to section 355(b)(1) of Title 21, Food and Drugs.

The date of enactment of this section, referred to in subsec. (c), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 98–127, which was approved Oct. 13, 1983.

§156. Extension of patent term

(a) The term of a patent which claims a product, a method of using a product, or a method of manufacturing a product shall be extended in accordance with this section from the original expiration date of the patent if—

(1) the term of the patent has not expired before an application is submitted under subsection (d)(1) for its extension;

(2) the term of the patent has never been extended under subsection (e)(1) of this section;

(3) an application for extension is submitted by the owner of record of the patent or its agent and in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (d);

(4) the product has been subject to a regulatory review period before its commercial marketing or use;

(5)(A) except as provided in subparagraph (B) or (C), the permission for the commercial marketing or use of the product after such regulatory review period is the first permitted commercial marketing or use of the product under the provision of law under which such regulatory review period occurred;

(B) in the case of a patent which claims a method of manufacturing the product which primarily uses recombinant DNA technology in the manufacture of the product, the permission for the commercial marketing or use of the product after such regulatory review period is the first permitted commercial marketing or use of a product manufactured under the process claimed in the patent; or

(C) for purposes of subparagraph (A), in the case of a patent which—

(i) claims a new animal drug or a veterinary biological product which (I) is not covered by the claims in any other patent which has been extended, and (II) has received permission for the commercial marketing or use in non-food-producing animals and in food-producing animals, and

(ii) was not extended on the basis of the regulatory review period for use in non-food-producing animals,


the permission for the commercial marketing or use of the drug or product after the regulatory review period for use in food-producing animals is the first permitted commercial marketing or use of the drug or product for administration to a food-producing animal.


The product referred to in paragraphs (4) and (5) is hereinafter in this section referred to as the “approved product”.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (d)(5)(F), the rights derived from any patent the term of which is extended under this section shall during the period during which the term of the patent is extended—

(1) in the case of a patent which claims a product, be limited to any use approved for the product—

(A) before the expiration of the term of the patent—

(i) under the provision of law under which the applicable regulatory review occurred, or

(ii) under the provision of law under which any regulatory review described in paragraph (1), (4), or (5) of subsection (g) occurred, and


(B) on or after the expiration of the regulatory review period upon which the extension of the patent was based;


(2) in the case of a patent which claims a method of using a product, be limited to any use claimed by the patent and approved for the product—

(A) before the expiration of the term of the patent—

(i) under any provision of law under which an applicable regulatory review occurred, and

(ii) under the provision of law under which any regulatory review described in paragraph (1), (4), or (5) of subsection (g) occurred, and


(B) on or after the expiration of the regulatory review period upon which the extension of the patent was based; and


(3) in the case of a patent which claims a method of manufacturing a product, be limited to the method of manufacturing as used to make—

(A) the approved product, or

(B) the product if it has been subject to a regulatory review period described in paragraphs 1 (1), (4), or (5) of subsection (g).


As used in this subsection, the term “product” includes an approved product.

(c) The term of a patent eligible for extension under subsection (a) shall be extended by the time equal to the regulatory review period for the approved product which period occurs after the date the patent is issued, except that—

(1) each period of the regulatory review period shall be reduced by any period determined under subsection (d)(2)(B) during which the applicant for the patent extension did not act with due diligence during such period of the regulatory review period;

(2) after any reduction required by paragraph (1), the period of extension shall include only one-half of the time remaining in the periods described in paragraphs (1)(B)(i), (2)(B)(i), (3)(B)(i), (4)(B)(i), and (5)(B)(i) of subsection (g);

(3) if the period remaining in the term of a patent after the date of the approval of the approved product under the provision of law under which such regulatory review occurred when added to the regulatory review period as revised under paragraphs (1) and (2) exceeds fourteen years, the period of extension shall be reduced so that the total of both such periods does not exceed fourteen years; and

(4) in no event shall more than one patent be extended under subsection (e)(1) for the same regulatory review period for any product.


(d)(1) To obtain an extension of the term of a patent under this section, the owner of record of the patent or its agent shall submit an application to the Commissioner. Except as provided in paragraph (5), such an application may only be submitted within the sixty-day period beginning on the date the product received permission under the provision of law under which the applicable regulatory review period occurred for commercial marketing or use. The application shall contain—

(A) the identity of the approved product and the Federal statute under which regulatory review occurred;

(B) the identity of the patent for which an extension is being sought and the identity of each claim of such patent which claims the approved product or a method of using or manufacturing the approved product;

(C) information to enable the Commissioner to determine under subsections (a) and (b) the eligibility of a patent for extension and the rights that will be derived from the extension and information to enable the Commissioner and the Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Secretary of Agriculture to determine the period of the extension under subsection (g);

(D) a brief description of the activities undertaken by the applicant during the applicable regulatory review period with respect to the approved product and the significant dates applicable to such activities; and

(E) such patent or other information as the Commissioner may require.


(2)(A) Within 60 days of the submittal of an application for extension of the term of a patent under paragraph (1), the Commissioner shall notify—

(i) the Secretary of Agriculture if the patent claims a drug product or a method of using or manufacturing a drug product and the drug product is subject to the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, and

(ii) the Secretary of Health and Human Services if the patent claims any other drug product, a medical device, or a food additive or color additive or a method of using or manufacturing such a product, device, or additive and if the product, device, and additive are subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act,


of the extension application and shall submit to the Secretary who is so notified a copy of the application. Not later than 30 days after the receipt of an application from the Commissioner, the Secretary receiving the application shall review the dates contained in the application pursuant to paragraph (1)(C) and determine the applicable regulatory review period, shall notify the Commissioner of the determination, and shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of such determination.

(B)(i) If a petition is submitted to the Secretary making the determination under subparagraph (A), not later than 180 days after the publication of the determination under subparagraph (A), upon which it may reasonably be determined that the applicant did not act with due diligence during the applicable regulatory review period, the Secretary making the determination shall, in accordance with regulations promulgated by such Secretary, determine if the applicant acted with due diligence during the applicable regulatory review period. The Secretary making the determination shall make such determination not later than 90 days after the receipt of such a petition. For a drug product, device, or additive subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or the Public Health Service Act, the Secretary may not delegate the authority to make the determination prescribed by this clause to an office below the Office of the Commissioner of Food and Drugs. For a product subject to the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, the Secretary of Agriculture may not delegate the authority to make the determination prescribed by this clause to an office below the office 2 of the Assistant Secretary for Marketing and Inspection Services.

(ii) The Secretary making a determination under clause (i) shall notify the Commissioner of the determination and shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of such determination together with the factual and legal basis for such determination. Any interested person may request, within the 60-day period beginning on the publication of a determination, the Secretary making the determination to hold an informal hearing on the determination. If such a request is made within such period, such Secretary shall hold such hearing not later than 30 days after the date of the request, or at the request of the person making the request, not later than 60 days after such date. The Secretary who is holding the hearing shall provide notice of the hearing to the owner of the patent involved and to any interested person and provide the owner and any interested person an opportunity to participate in the hearing. Within 30 days after the completion of the hearing, such Secretary shall affirm or revise the determination which was the subject of the hearing and shall notify the Commissioner of any revision of the determination and shall publish any such revision in the Federal Register.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (2)(B), the term “due diligence” means that degree of attention, continuous directed effort, and timeliness as may reasonably be expected from, and are ordinarily exercised by, a person during a regulatory review period.

(4) An application for the extension of the term of a patent is subject to the disclosure requirements prescribed by the Commissioner.

(5)(A) If the owner of record of the patent or its agent reasonably expects that the applicable regulatory review period described in paragraph (1)(B)(ii), (2)(B)(ii), (3)(B)(ii), (4)(B)(ii), or (5)(B)(ii) of subsection (g) that began for a product that is the subject of such patent may extend beyond the expiration of the patent term in effect, the owner or its agent may submit an application to the Commissioner for an interim extension during the period beginning 6 months, and ending 15 days, before such term is due to expire. The application shall contain—

(i) the identity of the product subject to regulatory review and the Federal statute under which such review is occurring;

(ii) the identity of the patent for which interim extension is being sought and the identity of each claim of such patent which claims the product under regulatory review or a method of using or manufacturing the product;

(iii) information to enable the Commissioner to determine under subsection (a)(1), (2), and (3) the eligibility of a patent for extension;

(iv) a brief description of the activities undertaken by the applicant during the applicable regulatory review period to date with respect to the product under review and the significant dates applicable to such activities; and

(v) such patent or other information as the Commissioner may require.


(B) If the Commissioner determines that, except for permission to market or use the product commercially, the patent would be eligible for an extension of the patent term under this section, the Commissioner shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of such determination, including the identity of the product under regulatory review, and shall issue to the applicant a certificate of interim extension for a period of not more than 1 year.

(C) The owner of record of a patent, or its agent, for which an interim extension has been granted under subparagraph (B), may apply for not more than 4 subsequent interim extensions under this paragraph, except that, in the case of a patent subject to subsection (g)(6)(C), the owner of record of the patent, or its agent, may apply for only 1 subsequent interim extension under this paragraph. Each such subsequent application shall be made during the period beginning 60 days before, and ending 30 days before, the expiration of the preceding interim extension.

(D) Each certificate of interim extension under this paragraph shall be recorded in the official file of the patent and shall be considered part of the original patent.

(E) Any interim extension granted under this paragraph shall terminate at the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date on which the product involved receives permission for commercial marketing or use, except that, if within that 60-day period the applicant notifies the Commissioner of such permission and submits any additional information under paragraph (1) of this subsection not previously contained in the application for interim extension, the patent shall be further extended, in accordance with the provisions of this section—

(i) for not to exceed 5 years from the date of expiration of the original patent term; or

(ii) if the patent is subject to subsection (g)(6)(C), from the date on which the product involved receives approval for commercial marketing or use.


(F) The rights derived from any patent the term of which is extended under this paragraph shall, during the period of interim extension—

(i) in the case of a patent which claims a product, be limited to any use then under regulatory review;

(ii) in the case of a patent which claims a method of using a product, be limited to any use claimed by the patent then under regulatory review; and

(iii) in the case of a patent which claims a method of manufacturing a product, be limited to the method of manufacturing as used to make the product then under regulatory review.


(e)(1) A determination that a patent is eligible for extension may be made by the Commissioner solely on the basis of the representations contained in the application for the extension. If the Commissioner determines that a patent is eligible for extension under subsection (a) and that the requirements of paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (d) have been complied with, the Commissioner shall issue to the applicant for the extension of the term of the patent a certificate of extension, under seal, for the period prescribed by subsection (c). Such certificate shall be recorded in the official file of the patent and shall be considered as part of the original patent.

(2) If the term of a patent for which an application has been submitted under subsection (d)(1) would expire before a certificate of extension is issued or denied under paragraph (1) respecting the application, the Commissioner shall extend, until such determination is made, the term of the patent for periods of up to one year if he determines that the patent is eligible for extension.

(f) For purposes of this section:

(1) The term “product” means:

(A) A drug product.

(B) Any medical device, food additive, or color additive subject to regulation under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.


(2) The term “drug product” means the active ingredient of—

(A) a new drug, antibiotic drug, or human biological product (as those terms are used in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Public Health Service Act), or

(B) a new animal drug or veterinary biological product (as those terms are used in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act) which is not primarily manufactured using recombinant DNA, recombinant RNA, hybridoma technology, or other processes involving site specific genetic manipulation techniques,


including any salt or ester of the active ingredient, as a single entity or in combination with another active ingredient.

(3) The term “major health or environmental effects test” means a test which is reasonably related to the evaluation of the health or environmental effects of a product, which requires at least six months to conduct, and the data from which is submitted to receive permission for commercial marketing or use. Periods of analysis or evaluation of test results are not to be included in determining if the conduct of a test required at least six months.

(4)(A) Any reference to section 351 is a reference to section 351 of the Public Health Service Act.

(B) Any reference to section 503, 505, 507, 512, or 515 is a reference to section 503, 505, 507, 512, or 515 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

(C) Any reference to the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act is a reference to the Act of March 4, 1913 (21 U.S.C. 151–158).

(5) The term “informal hearing” has the meaning prescribed for such term by section 201(y) 3 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

(6) The term “patent” means a patent issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

(7) The term “date of enactment” as used in this section means September 24, 1984, for a human drug product, a medical device, food additive, or color additive.

(8) The term “date of enactment” as used in this section means the date of enactment of the Generic Animal Drug and Patent Term Restoration Act for an animal drug or a veterinary biological product.


(g) For purposes of this section, the term “regulatory review period” has the following meanings:

(1)(A) In the case of a product which is a new drug, antibiotic drug, or human biological product, the term means the period described in subparagraph (B) to which the limitation described in paragraph (6) applies.

(B) The regulatory review period for a new drug, antibiotic drug, or human biological product is the sum of—

(i) the period beginning on the date an exemption under subsection (i) of section 505 or subsection (d) of section 507 became effective for the approved product and ending on the date an application was initially submitted for such drug product under section 351, 505, or 507, and

(ii) the period beginning on the date the application was initially submitted for the approved product under section 351, subsection (b) of section 505, or section 507 and ending on the date such application was approved under such section.


(2)(A) In the case of a product which is a food additive or color additive, the term means the period described in subparagraph (B) to which the limitation described in paragraph (6) applies.

(B) The regulatory review period for a food or color additive is the sum of—

(i) the period beginning on the date a major health or environmental effects test on the additive was initiated and ending on the date a petition was initially submitted with respect to the product under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requesting the issuance of a regulation for use of the product, and

(ii) the period beginning on the date a petition was initially submitted with respect to the product under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requesting the issuance of a regulation for use of the product, and ending on the date such regulation became effective or, if objections were filed to such regulation, ending on the date such objections were resolved and commercial marketing was permitted or, if commercial marketing was permitted and later revoked pending further proceedings as a result of such objections, ending on the date such proceedings were finally resolved and commercial marketing was permitted.


(3)(A) In the case of a product which is a medical device, the term means the period described in subparagraph (B) to which the limitation described in paragraph (6) applies.

(B) The regulatory review period for a medical device is the sum of—

(i) the period beginning on the date a clinical investigation on humans involving the device was begun and ending on the date an application was initially submitted with respect to the device under section 515, and

(ii) the period beginning on the date an application was initially submitted with respect to the device under section 515 and ending on the date such application was approved under such Act or the period beginning on the date a notice of completion of a product development protocol was initially submitted under section 515(f)(5) and ending on the date the protocol was declared completed under section 515(f)(6).


(4)(A) In the case of a product which is a new animal drug, the term means the period described in subparagraph (B) to which the limitation described in paragraph (6) applies.

(B) The regulatory review period for a new animal drug product is the sum of—

(i) the period beginning on the earlier of the date a major health or environmental effects test on the drug was initiated or the date an exemption under subsection (j) of section 512 became effective for the approved new animal drug product and ending on the date an application was initially submitted for such animal drug product under section 512, and

(ii) the period beginning on the date the application was initially submitted for the approved animal drug product under subsection (b) of section 512 and ending on the date such application was approved under such section.


(5)(A) In the case of a product which is a veterinary biological product, the term means the period described in subparagraph (B) to which the limitation described in paragraph (6) applies.

(B) The regulatory period for a veterinary biological product is the sum of—

(i) the period beginning on the date the authority to prepare an experimental biological product under the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act became effective and ending on the date an application for a license was submitted under the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, and

(ii) the period beginning on the date an application for a license was initially submitted for approval under the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act and ending on the date such license was issued.


(6) A period determined under any of the preceding paragraphs is subject to the following limitations:

(A) If the patent involved was issued after the date of the enactment of this section, the period of extension determined on the basis of the regulatory review period determined under any such paragraph may not exceed five years.

(B) If the patent involved was issued before the date of the enactment of this section and—

(i) no request for an exemption described in paragraph (1)(B) or (4)(B) was submitted and no request for the authority described in paragraph (5)(B) was submitted,

(ii) no major health or environmental effects test described in paragraph (2)(B) or (4)(B) was initiated and no petition for a regulation or application for registration described in such paragraph was submitted, or

(iii) no clinical investigation described in paragraph (3) was begun or product development protocol described in such paragraph was submittted,4


before such date for the approved product the period of extension determined on the basis of the regulatory review period determined under any such paragraph may not exceed five years.

(C) If the patent involved was issued before the date of the enactment of this section and if an action described in subparagraph (B) was taken before the date of the enactment of this section with respect to the approved product and the commercial marketing or use of the product has not been approved before such date, the period of extension determined on the basis of the regulatory review period determined under such paragraph may not exceed two years or in the case of an approved product which is a new animal drug or veterinary biological product (as those terms are used in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act), three years.


(h) The Commissioner may establish such fees as the Commissioner determines appropriate to cover the costs to the Office of receiving and acting upon applications under this section.

(Added Pub. L. 98–417, title II, §201(a), Sept. 24, 1984, 98 Stat. 1598; amended Pub. L. 100–670, title II, §201(a)–(h), Nov. 16, 1988, 102 Stat. 3984–3987; Pub. L. 103–179, §§5, 6, Dec. 3, 1993, 107 Stat. 2040, 2042; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §532(c)(1), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4987.)

References in Text

The Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, referred to in subsecs. (d)(2)(A)(i), (B)(i), (f)(2)(B), (4)(C), and (g)(5)(B), (6)(C), is act Mar. 4, 1913, ch. 145, 37 Stat. 828, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 5 (§151 et seq.) of Title 21, Food and Drugs. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 151 of Title 21 and Tables.

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, referred to in subsecs. (d)(2)(A)(ii), (B)(ii), (f), and (g)(2)(B), (3)(B)(ii), (6)(C), is act June 25, 1938, ch. 675, 52 Stat. 1040, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 9 (§301 et seq.) of Title 21. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 301 of Title 21 and Tables.

The Public Health Service Act, referred to in subsecs. (d)(2)(B)(i) and (f)(2)(A), is act July 1, 1944, ch. 373, 58 Stat. 682, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 6A (§201 et seq.) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 201 of this title and Tables.

Sections 503, 505, 507, 512, and 515 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, referred to in subsecs. (f)(4)(B) and (g)(1)(B)(i), (ii), (3)(B)(i), (ii), are classified, respectively, to sections 353, 355, 357, 360b, and 360e of Title 21, Food and Drugs.

Section 201 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, referred to in subsec. (f)(5), which is classified to section 321 of Title 21, was subsequently amended, and section 201(y) no longer defines the term “informal hearing”. However, such term is defined elsewhere in that section.

Section 351 of the Public Health Service Act, referred to in subsecs. (f)(4)(A) and (g)(1)(B)(i), (ii), is classified to section 262 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.

The date of enactment of the Generic Animal Drug and Patent Term Restoration Act, referred to in subsec. (f)(8), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 100–670, which was approved Nov. 16, 1988.

The date of the enactment of this section, referred to in subsec. (g)(6), is the date of the enactment of Pub. L. 98–417, which was approved Sept. 24, 1984.

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 103–465 inserted “under subsection (e)(1) of this section” after “extended”.

1993—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 103–179, §6(1)(A), substituted “subsection (d)(1)” for “subsection (d)”.

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 103–179, §6(1)(B), substituted “paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (d)” for “subsection (d)”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–179, §6(2), substituted “Except as provided in subsection (d)(5)(F), the rights” for “The rights” in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 103–179, §5(1), substituted “extended under subsection (e)(1)” for “extended”.

Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 103–179, §5(2), substituted “Except as provided in paragraph (5), such” for “Such” in second sentence.

Subsec. (d)(5). Pub. L. 103–179, §5(3), added par. (5).

Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 103–179, §6(3)(A), substituted “paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (d)” for “subsection (d)”.

Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 103–179, §6(3)(B), substituted “subsection (d)(1)” for “subsection (d)”.

1988—Subsec. (a)(5)(A). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(a)(1), inserted “or (C)” after “in subparagraph (B)”.

Subsec. (a)(5)(C). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(a)(2), (3), added subpar. (C).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(b), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: “The rights derived from any patent the term of which is extended under this section shall during the period during which the patent is extended—

“(1) in the case of a patent which claims a product, be limited to any use approved for the approved product before the expiration of the term of the patent under the provision of law under which the applicable regulatory review occurred;

“(2) in the case of a patent which claims a method of using a product, be limited to any use claimed by the patent and approved for the approved product before the expiration of the term of the patent under the provision of law under which the applicable regulatory review occurred; and

“(3) in the case of a patent which claims a method of manufacturing a product, be limited to the method of manufacturing as used to make the approved product.”

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(c), substituted “(3)(B)(i), (4)(B)(i), and (5)(B)(i)” for “and (3)(B)(i)”.

Subsec. (d)(1)(C). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(d), inserted “or the Secretary of Agriculture” after “and Human Services”.

Subsec. (d)(2)(A). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(e), amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) read as follows: “Within sixty days of the submittal of an application for extension of the term of a patent under paragraph (1), the Commissioner shall notify the Secretary of Health and Human Services if the patent claims any human drug product, a medical device, or a food additive or color additive or a method of using or manufacturing such a product, device, or additive and if the product, device, and additive are subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, of the extension application and shall submit to the Secretary a copy of the application. Not later than thirty days after the receipt of an application from the Commissioner, the Secretary shall review the dates contained in the application pursuant to paragraph (1)(C) and determine the applicable regulatory review period, shall notify the Commissioner of the determination, and shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of such determination.”

Subsec. (d)(2)(B). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(f), amended subpar. (B) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (B) read as follows:

“(i) If a petition is submitted to the Secretary under subparagraph (A), not later than one hundred and eighty days after the publication of the determination under subparagraph (A), upon which it may reasonably be determined that the applicant did not act with due diligence during the applicable regulatory review period, the Secretary shall, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary determine if the applicant acted with due diligence during the applicable regulatory review period. The Secretary shall make such determination not later than ninety days after the receipt of such a petition. The Secretary may not delegate the authority to make the determination prescribed by this subparagraph to an office below the Office of the Commissioner of Food and Drugs.

“(ii) The Secretary shall notify the Commissioner of the determination and shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of such determination together with the factual and legal basis for such determination. Any interested person may request, within the sixty-day period beginning on the publication of a determination, the Secretary to hold an informal hearing on the determination. If such a request is made within such period, the Secretary shall hold such hearing not later than thirty days after the date of the request, or at the request of the person making the request, not later than sixty days after such date. The Secretary shall provide notice of the hearing to the owner of the patent involved and to any interested person and provide the owner and any interested person an opportunity to participate in the hearing. Within thirty days after the completion of the hearing, the Secretary shall affirm or revise the determination which was the subject of the hearing and notify the Commissioner of any revision of the determination and shall publish any such revision in the Federal Register.”

Subsec. (f)(1)(A). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(g)(1), struck out “human” before “drug product”.

Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(g)(1), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: “The term ‘human drug product’ means the active ingredient of a new drug, antibiotic drug, or human biological product (as those terms are used in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Public Health Service Act) including any salt or ester of the active ingredient, as a single entity or in combination with another active ingredient.”

Subsec. (f)(4)(B), (C). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(g)(2), which directed general amendment of subpars. (B) and (C) of par. (4), was executed by amending subpar. (B) generally, and adding subpar. (C) as probable intent of Congress in light of absence of subpar. (C) in par. (4). Prior to amendment, subpar. (B) read as follows: “Any reference to section 503, 505, 507, or 515 is a reference to section 503, 505, 507, or 515 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.”

Subsec. (f)(7), (8). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(g)(3), added pars. (7) and (8).

Subsec. (g)(1)(A). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(h)(1)(A), (2), substituted “new drug, antibiotic drug, or human biological product” for “human drug product” and “paragraph (6)” for “paragraph (4)”.

Subsec. (g)(1)(B). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(h)(1)(B), substituted “new drug, antibiotic drug, or human biological product” for “human drug product” in introductory provisions and “product” for “human drug product” in cls. (i) and (ii).

Subsec. (g)(2)(A), (3)(A). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(h)(3), substituted “paragraph (6)” for “paragraph (4)”.

Subsec. (g)(4), (5). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(h)(4), added pars. (4) and (5). Former par. (4) redesignated (6).

Subsec. (g)(6). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(h)(4), redesignated former par. (4) as (6).

Subsec. (g)(6)(B)(i). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(h)(5)(A), substituted “paragraph (1)(B) or (4)(B) was submitted and no request for the authority described in paragraph (5)(B) was submitted” for “paragraph (1)(B) was submitted”.

Subsec. (g)(6)(B)(ii). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(h)(5)(B), substituted “paragraph (2)(B) or (4)(B)” for “paragraph (2)”.

Subsec. (g)(6)(C). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(h)(5)(C), inserted “or in the case of an approved product which is a new animal drug or veterinary biological product (as those terms are used in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act), three years” after “exceed two years”.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective 6 months after Dec. 8, 1994, and applicable to all patent applications filed in the United States on or after that effective date, with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(b)(1), (3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 282 of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should be “paragraph”.

2 So in original. Probably should be capitalized.

3 See References in Text note below.

4 So in original. Probably should be “submitted,”.

§157. Statutory invention registration

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the Commissioner is authorized to publish a statutory invention registration containing the specification and drawings of a regularly filed application for a patent without examination if the applicant—

(1) meets the requirements of section 112 of this title;

(2) has complied with the requirements for printing, as set forth in regulations of the Commissioner;

(3) waives the right to receive a patent on the invention within such period as may be prescribed by the Commissioner; and

(4) pays application, publication, and other processing fees established by the Commissioner.


If an interference is declared with respect to such an application, a statutory invention registration may not be published unless the issue of priority of invention is finally determined in favor of the applicant.

(b) The waiver under subsection (a)(3) of this section by an applicant shall take effect upon publication of the statutory invention registration.

(c) A statutory invention registration published pursuant to this section shall have all of the attributes specified for patents in this title except those specified in section 183 and sections 271 through 289 of this title. A statutory invention registration shall not have any of the attributes specified for patents in any other provision of law other than this title. A statutory invention registration published pursuant to this section shall give appropriate notice to the public, pursuant to regulations which the Commissioner shall issue, of the preceding provisions of this subsection. The invention with respect to which a statutory invention certificate is published is not a patented invention for purposes of section 292 of this title.

(d) The Secretary of Commerce shall report to the Congress annually on the use of statutory invention registrations. Such report shall include an assessment of the degree to which agencies of the Federal Government are making use of the statutory invention registration system, the degree to which it aids the management of federally developed technology, and an assessment of the cost savings to the Federal Government of the use of such procedures.

(Added Pub. L. 98–622, title I, §102(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3383.)

Effective Date

Section 102(c) of Pub. L. 98–622 provided that: “The amendments made by this section [enacting this section and item 157 in the table of sections of this chapter] shall take effect six months after the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 8, 1984].”

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 111 of this title.

CHAPTER 15—PLANT PATENTS

Sec.
161.
Patents for plants.
162.
Description, claim.
163.
Grant.
164.
Assistance of Department of Agriculture.

        

§161. Patents for plants

Whoever invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.

The provisions of this title relating to patents for inventions shall apply to patents for plants, except as otherwise provided.

(June 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 804; Sept. 3, 1954, ch. 1259, 68 Stat. 1190.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §31, part (R.S. 4886, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §1, 29 Stat. 692, (2) May 23, 1930, ch. 312, §1, 46 Stat. 376, (3) Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 450, §1, 53 Stat. 1212).

The provision relating to plants in the corresponding section of existing statute is made a separate section.

Amendments

1954—Act Sept. 3, 1954, provided that plant seedlings, discovered, propagated asexually, and proved to have new characteristics distinct from other known plants are patentable.

Cross References

Patentability of inventions generally, see section 100 et seq. of this title.

Plant Variety Protection, see section 2321 et seq. of Title 7, Agriculture.

§162. Description, claim

No plant patent shall be declared invalid for noncompliance with section 112 of this title if the description is as complete as is reasonably possible.

The claim in the specification shall be in formal terms to the plant shown and described.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 804.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §33, part (R.S. 4888, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1915, ch. 94, §1, 38 Stat. 958, (2) May 23, 1930, ch. 312, §2, 46 Stat. 376).

The first paragraph is the provision in R.S. 4888 (see section 112). The second paragraph is not in the statute but represents the actual practice.

§163. Grant

In the case of a plant patent the grant shall be of the right to exclude others from asexually reproducing the plant or selling or using the plant so reproduced.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 804.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §40, part (R.S. 4884, amended May 23, 1930, ch. 312, §1, 46 Stat. 376).

This provision is from R.S. 4884 (see section 154) amended in language.

Cross References

Patent as grant of right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States, see section 154 of this title.

§164. Assistance of Department of Agriculture

The President may by Executive order direct the Secretary of Agriculture, in accordance with the requests of the Commissioner, for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this title with respect to plants (1) to furnish available information of the Department of Agriculture, (2) to conduct through the appropriate bureau or division of the Department research upon special problems, or (3) to detail to the Commissioner officers and employees of the Department.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 804.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §56a (May 23, 1930, ch. 312, §4, 46 Stat. 376).

Language is changed.

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions of other officers, employees, and agencies of Department of Agriculture, with certain exceptions, to Secretary of Agriculture, with power to delegate, see Reorg. Plan No. 2 of 1953, §1, eff. June 4, 1953, 18 F.R. 3219, 67 Stat. 633, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Cross References

Agricultural research on plants, see section 427 of Title 7, Agriculture.

Plant Variety Protection, see chapter 57 of Title 7.

CHAPTER 16—DESIGNS

Sec.
171.
Patents for designs.
172.
Right of priority.
173.
Term of design patent.

        

§171. Patents for designs

Whoever invents any new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.

The provisions of this title relating to patents for inventions shall apply to patents for designs, except as otherwise provided.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 805.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §73 (R.S. 4929, amended (1) May 9, 1902, ch. 783, 32 Stat. 193, (2) Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 450, §1, 53 Stat. 1212; R.S. 4933).

The list of conditions specified in the corresponding section of existing statute is omitted as unnecessary in view of the general inclusion of all conditions applying to other patents. Language is changed.

Cross References

Additional remedy for infringement of design patent, see section 289 of this title.

Patentability of inventions generally, see section 100 et seq. of this title.

Unauthorized use of patented designs, see section 289 of this title.

§172. Right of priority

The right of priority provided for by subsections (a) through (d) of section 119 of this title and the time specified in section 102(d) shall be six months in the case of designs. The right of priority provided for by section 119(e) of this title shall not apply to designs.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 805; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §532(c)(2), 108 Stat. 4987.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §32, part (R.S. 4887, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1903, ch. 1019, §1, 32 Stat. 1225, 1226, (2) June 19, 1936, ch. 594, 49 Stat. 1529, (3) Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 450, §1, 53 Stat. 1212).

This provision is taken from R.S. 4887 (see section 119) and made a separate section.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–465 substituted “subsections (a) through (d) of section 119” for “section 119” and inserted at end “The right of priority provided for by section 119(e) of this title shall not apply to designs.”

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective 6 months after Dec. 8, 1994, and applicable to all patent applications filed in the United States on or after that effective date, with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(b)(1), (3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

§173. Term of design patent

Patents for designs shall be granted for the term of fourteen years from the date of grant.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 805; Aug. 27, 1982, Pub. L. 97–247, §16, 96 Stat. 321; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §532(c)(3), 108 Stat. 4987.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §77 (R.S. 4931). Language is changed slightly.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–465 inserted “from the date of grant” after “years”.

1982—Pub. L. 97–247 substituted “Patents for designs shall be granted for the term of fourteen years” for “Patents for designs may be granted for the term of three years and six months, or for seven years, or for fourteen years, as the applicant, in his application, elects”.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective 6 months after Dec. 8, 1994, and applicable to all patent applications filed in the United States on or after that effective date, with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(b)(1), (3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–247 effective Oct. 1, 1982, see section 17(a) of Pub. L. 97–247, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Cross References

Term of patent, see section 154 of this title.

CHAPTER 17—SECRECY OF CERTAIN INVENTIONS AND FILING APPLICATIONS IN FOREIGN COUNTRY

Sec.
181.
Secrecy of certain inventions and withholding of patent.
182.
Abandonment of invention for unauthorized disclosure.
183.
Right of compensation.1

        

184.
Filing of application in foreign country.
185.
Patent barred for filing without license.
186.
Penalty.
187.
Nonapplicability to certain persons.
188.
Rules and regulations, delegation of power.

        

Chapter Referred to in Other Sections

This chapter is referred to in section 368 of this title; title 42 sections 2457, 5908.

1 So in original. Does not conform to section catchline.

§181. Secrecy of certain inventions and withholding of patent

Whenever publication or disclosure by the grant of a patent on an invention in which the Government has a property interest might, in the opinion of the head of the interested Government agency, be detrimental to the national security, the Commissioner upon being so notified shall order that the invention be kept secret and shall withhold the grant of a patent therefor under the conditions set forth hereinafter.

Whenever the publication or disclosure of an invention by the granting of a patent, in which the Government does not have a property interest, might, in the opinion of the Commissioner, be detrimental to the national security, he shall make the application for patent in which such invention is disclosed available for inspection to the Atomic Energy Commission, the Secretary of Defense, and the chief officer of any other department or agency of the Government designated by the President as a defense agency of the United States.

Each individual to whom the application is disclosed shall sign a dated acknowledgment thereof, which acknowledgment shall be entered in the file of the application. If, in the opinion of the Atomic Energy Commission, the Secretary of a Defense Department, or the chief officer of another department or agency so designated, the publication or disclosure of the invention by the granting of a patent therefor would be detrimental to the national security, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Secretary of a Defense Department, or such other chief officer shall notify the Commissioner and the Commissioner shall order that the invention be kept secret and shall withhold the grant of a patent for such period as the national interest requires, and notify the applicant thereof. Upon proper showing by the head of the department or agency who caused the secrecy order to be issued that the examination of the application might jeopardize the national interest, the Commissioner shall thereupon maintain the application in a sealed condition and notify the applicant thereof. The owner of an application which has been placed under a secrecy order shall have a right to appeal from the order to the Secretary of Commerce under rules prescribed by him.

An invention shall not be ordered kept secret and the grant of a patent withheld for a period of more than one year. The Commissioner shall renew the order at the end thereof, or at the end of any renewal period, for additional periods of one year upon notification by the head of the department or the chief officer of the agency who caused the order to be issued that an affirmative determination has been made that the national interest continues so to require. An order in effect, or issued, during a time when the United States is at war, shall remain in effect for the duration of hostilities and one year following cessation of hostilities. An order in effect, or issued, during a national emergency declared by the President shall remain in effect for the duration of the national emergency and six months thereafter. The Commissioner may rescind any order upon notification by the heads of the departments and the chief officers of the agencies who caused the order to be issued that the publication or disclosure of the invention is no longer deemed detrimental to the national security.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 805.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §151 (Feb. 1, 1952, ch. 4, §1, 66 Stat. 3, 4).

Language is changed.

Transfer of Functions

Atomic Energy Commission abolished and functions transferred by sections 5814 and 5841 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. See, also, Transfer of Functions notes set out under those sections.

Defense Agencies

Department of Justice designated as a defense agency of United States for purposes of this chapter by Executive Order No. 10457, May 27, 1953, 18 F.R. 3083.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 154, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186 of this title.

§182. Abandonment of invention for unauthorized disclosure

The invention disclosed in an application for patent subject to an order made pursuant to section 181 of this title may be held abandoned upon its being established by the Commissioner that in violation of said order the invention has been published or disclosed or that an application for a patent therefor has been filed in a foreign country by the inventor, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, or anyone in privity with him or them, without the consent of the Commissioner. The abandonment shall be held to have occurred as of the time of violation. The consent of the Commissioner shall not be given without the concurrence of the heads of the departments and the chief officers of the agencies who caused the order to be issued. A holding of abandonment shall constitute forfeiture by the applicant, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, or anyone in privity with him or them, of all claims against the United States based upon such invention.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 806.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §152 (Feb. 1, 1952, ch. 4, §2, 66 Stat. 4).

Language is changed.

§183. Right to compensation

An applicant, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, whose patent is withheld as herein provided, shall have the right, beginning at the date the applicant is notified that, except for such order, his application is otherwise in condition for allowance, or February 1, 1952, whichever is later, and ending six years after a patent is issued thereon, to apply to the head of any department or agency who caused the order to be issued for compensation for the damage caused by the order of secrecy and/or for the use of the invention by the Government, resulting from his disclosure. The right to compensation for use shall begin on the date of the first use of the invention by the Government. The head of the department or agency is authorized, upon the presentation of a claim, to enter into an agreement with the applicant, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, in full settlement for the damage and/or use. This settlement agreement shall be conclusive for all purposes notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary. If full settlement of the claim cannot be effected, the head of the department or agency may award and pay to such applicant, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, a sum not exceeding 75 per centum of the sum which the head of the department or agency considers just compensation for the damage and/or use. A claimant may bring suit against the United States in the United States Court of Federal Claims or in the District Court of the United States for the district in which such claimant is a resident for an amount which when added to the award shall constitute just compensation for the damage and/or use of the invention by the Government. The owner of any patent issued upon an application that was subject to a secrecy order issued pursuant to section 181 of this title, who did not apply for compensation as above provided, shall have the right, after the date of issuance of such patent, to bring suit in the United States Court of Federal Claims for just compensation for the damage caused by reason of the order of secrecy and/or use by the Government of the invention resulting from his disclosure. The right to compensation for use shall begin on the date of the first use of the invention by the Government. In a suit under the provisions of this section the United States may avail itself of all defenses it may plead in an action under section 1498 of title 28. This section shall not confer a right of action on anyone or his successors, assigns, or legal representatives who, while in the full-time employment or service of the United States, discovered, invented, or developed the invention on which the claim is based.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 806; Apr. 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §160(a)(12), 96 Stat. 48; Oct. 29, 1992, Pub. L. 102–572, title IX, §902(b)(1), 106 Stat. 4516.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §153 (Feb. 1, 1952, ch. 4, §3, 66 Stat. 4, 5).

Language is changed.

Amendments

1992—Pub. L. 102–572 substituted “United States Court of Federal Claims” for “United States Claims Court” in two places.

1982—Pub. L. 97–164 substituted “United States Claims Court” for “Court of Claims” in two places.

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 102–572 effective Oct. 29, 1992, see section 911 of Pub. L. 102–572, set out as a note under section 171 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–164 effective Oct. 1, 1982, see section 402 of Pub. L. 97–164, set out as a note under section 171 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 157 of this title.

§184. Filing of application in foreign country

Except when authorized by a license obtained from the Commissioner a person shall not file or cause or authorize to be filed in any foreign country prior to six months after filing in the United States an application for patent or for the registration of a utility model, industrial design, or model in respect of an invention made in this country. A license shall not be granted with respect to an invention subject to an order issued by the Commissioner pursuant to section 181 of this title without the concurrence of the head of the departments and the chief officers of the agencies who caused the order to be issued. The license may be granted retroactively where an application has been filed abroad through error and without deceptive intent and the application does not disclose an invention within the scope of section 181 of this title.

The term “application” when used in this chapter includes applications and any modifications, amendments, or supplements thereto, or divisions thereof.

The scope of a license shall permit subsequent modifications, amendments, and supplements containing additional subject matter if the application upon which the request for the license is based is not, or was not, required to be made available for inspection under section 181 of this title and if such modifications, amendments, and supplements do not change the general nature of the invention in a manner which would require such application to be made available for inspection under such section 181. In any case in which a license is not, or was not, required in order to file an application in any foreign country, such subsequent modifications, amendments, and supplements may be made, without a license, to the application filed in the foreign country if the United States application was not required to be made available for inspection under section 181 and if such modifications, amendments, and supplements do not, or did not, change the general nature of the invention in a manner which would require the United States application to have been made available for inspection under such section 181.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 807; Aug. 23, 1988, Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9101(b)(1), 102 Stat. 1567.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §154 (Feb. 1, 1952, ch. 4, §4, 66 Stat. 5).

Language is changed.

Amendments

1988—Pub. L. 100–418, §9101(b)(1)(A), substituted “filed abroad through error and without deceptive intent” for “inadvertently filed abroad” in first par.

Pub. L. 100–418, §9101(b)(1)(B), added third par. relating to scope of a license.

Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Section 9101(d) of Pub. L. 100–418 provided that:

“(1) Subject to paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection, the amendments made by this section [amending sections 184 to 186 of this title] shall apply to all United States patents granted before, on, or after the date of enactment of this section [Aug. 23, 1988], to all applications for United States patents pending on or filed after such date of enactment, and to all licenses under section 184 granted before, on, or after the date of enactment of this section.

“(2) The amendments made by this section shall not affect any final decision made by a court or the Patent and Trademark Office before the date of enactment of this section [Aug. 23, 1988] with respect to a patent or application for patent, if no appeal from such decision is pending and the time for filing an appeal has expired.

“(3) No United States patent granted before the date of enactment of this section [Aug. 23, 1988] shall abridge or affect the right of any person or his successors in business who made, purchased, or used, prior to such date of enactment, anything protected by the patent, to continue the use of, or to sell to others to be used or sold, the specific thing so made, purchased, or used, if the patent claims were invalid or otherwise unenforceable on a ground obviated by this section and the person made, purchased, or used the specific thing in reasonable reliance on such invalidity or unenforceability. If a person reasonably relied on such invalidity or unenforceability, the court before which such matter is in question may provide for the continued manufacture, use, or sale of the thing made, purchased, or used as specified, or for the manufacture, use, or sale of which substantial preparation was made before the date of enactment of this section, and it may also provide for the continued practice of any process practiced, or for the practice of which substantial preparation was made, prior to the date of enactment of this section, to the extent and under such terms as the court deems equitable for the protection of investments made or business commenced before such date of enactment.

“(4) The amendments made by this section shall not affect the right of any party in any case pending in court on the date of enactment of this section [Aug. 23, 1988] to have its rights or liabilities—

“(A) under any patent before the court, or

“(B) under any patent granted after such date of enactment which is related to the patent before the court by deriving priority rights under section 120 or 121 of title 35, United States Code, from a patent or an application for patent common to both patents,

determined on the basis of the substantive law in effect before the date of enactment of this section.”

Promulgation of Regulations

Section 9101(c) of Pub. L. 100–418 provided that: “The Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to implement the amendments made by this section [amending sections 184 to 186 of this title].”

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 185, 186 of this title.

§185. Patent barred for filing without license

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law any person, and his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, shall not receive a United States patent for an invention if that person, or his successors, assigns, or legal representatives shall, without procuring the license prescribed in section 184 of this title, have made, or consented to or assisted another's making, application in a foreign country for a patent or for the registration of a utility model, industrial design, or model in respect of the invention. A United States patent issued to such person, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives shall be invalid, unless the failure to procure such license was through error and without deceptive intent, and the patent does not disclose subject matter within the scope of section 181 of this title..1

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 807; Aug. 23, 1988, Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9101(b)(2), 102 Stat. 1568.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §155 (Feb. 1, 1952, ch. 4, §5, 66 Stat. 5).

Language is changed.

Amendments

1988—Pub. L. 100–418 inserted before period at end “, unless the failure to procure such license was through error and without deceptive intent, and the patent does not disclose subject matter within the scope of section 181 of this title.”

Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–418 applicable, subject to certain qualifications and exceptions, to all United States patents, and to all licenses under section 184 of this title, regardless of the date such patents or licenses are granted, and to all applications for such patents pending on or filed after Aug. 23, 1988, see section 9101(d) of Pub. L. 100–418, set out as a note under section 184 of this title.

1 So in original.

§186. Penalty

Whoever, during the period or periods of time an invention has been ordered to be kept secret and the grant of a patent thereon withheld pursuant to section 181 of this title, shall, with knowledge of such order and without due authorization, willfully publish or disclose or authorize or cause to be published or disclosed the invention, or material information with respect thereto, or whoever willfully, in violation of the provisions of section 184 of this title, shall file or cause or authorize to be filed in any foreign country an application for patent or for the registration of a utility model, industrial design, or model in respect of any invention made in the United States, shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 807; Aug. 23, 1988, Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9101(b)(3), 102 Stat. 1568.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §156 (Feb. 1, 1952, ch. 4, §6, 66 Stat. 5, 6).

Language is changed.

Amendments

1988—Pub. L. 100–418, which directed the insertion of “willfully” after second reference to “whoever”, was executed by making the insertion after “or whoever”, as the probable intent of Congress.

Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–418 applicable, subject to certain qualifications and exceptions, to all United States patents, and to all licenses under section 184 of this title, regardless of the date such patents or licenses are granted, and to all applications for such patents pending on or filed after Aug. 23, 1988, see section 9101(d) of Pub. L. 100–418, set out as a note under section 184 of this title.

§187. Nonapplicability to certain persons

The prohibitions and penalties of this chapter shall not apply to any officer or agent of the United States acting within the scope of his authority, nor to any person acting upon his written instructions or permission.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 808.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §157 (Feb. 1, 1952, ch. 4, §7, 66 Stat. 6).

Language is changed.

§188. Rules and regulations, delegation of power

The Atomic Energy Commission, the Secretary of a defense department, the chief officer of any other department or agency of the Government designated by the President as a defense agency of the United States, and the Secretary of Commerce, may separately issue rules and regulations to enable the respective department or agency to carry out the provisions of this chapter, and may delegate any power conferred by this chapter.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 808.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §158 (Feb. 1, 1952, ch. 4, §8, 66 Stat. 6).

Language is changed.

Transfer of Functions

Atomic Energy Commission abolished and functions transferred by sections 5814 and 5841 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. See, also, Transfer of Functions notes set out under those sections.

Defense Agencies

Department of Justice designated as a defense agency of United States for purposes of this chapter by Executive Order No. 10457, May 27, 1953, 18 F.R. 3083.

CHAPTER 18—PATENT RIGHTS IN INVENTIONS MADE WITH FEDERAL ASSISTANCE

Sec.
200.
Policy and objective.
201.
Definitions.
202.
Disposition of rights.
203.
March-in rights.
204.
Preference for United States industry.
205.
Confidentiality.
206.
Uniform clauses and regulations.
207.
Domestic and foreign protection of federally owned inventions.
208.
Regulations governing Federal licensing.
209.
Restrictions on licensing of federally owned inventions.
210.
Precedence of chapter.
211.
Relationship to antitrust laws.
212.
Disposition of rights in educational awards.

        

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–620, title V, §501(15), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3368, added item 212.

1982—Pub. L. 97–256, title I, §101(5), Sept. 8, 1982, 96 Stat. 816, redesignated chapter 38, as added by Pub. L. 96–517, §6(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3018, comprising sections 200 to 211, as chapter 18, and transferred chapter 18, as so redesignated, to end of this part from end of part IV.

Chapter Referred to in Other Sections

This chapter is referred to in title 15 sections 278k, 3705, 5308; title 30 section 1226; title 49 section 309.

§200. Policy and objective

It is the policy and objective of the Congress to use the patent system to promote the utilization of inventions arising from federally supported research or development; to encourage maximum participation of small business firms in federally supported research and development efforts; to promote collaboration between commercial concerns and nonprofit organizations, including universities; to ensure that inventions made by nonprofit organizations and small business firms are used in a manner to promote free competition and enterprise; to promote the commercialization and public availability of inventions made in the United States by United States industry and labor; to ensure that the Government obtains sufficient rights in federally supported inventions to meet the needs of the Government and protect the public against nonuse or unreasonable use of inventions; and to minimize the costs of administering policies in this area.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §6(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3018.)

Effective Date

Chapter effective July 1, 1981, but implementing regulations authorized to be issued earlier, see section 8(f) of Pub. L. 96–517, set out as an Effective Date of 1980 Amendment note under section 41 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in title 10 section 2320; title 41 section 418a.

§201. Definitions

As used in this chapter—

(a) The term “Federal agency” means any executive agency as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code, and the military departments as defined by section 102 of title 5, United States Code.

(b) The term “funding agreement” means any contract, grant, or cooperative agreement entered into between any Federal agency, other than the Tennessee Valley Authority, and any contractor for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work funded in whole or in part by the Federal Government. Such term includes any assignment, substitution of parties, or subcontract of any type entered into for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work under a funding agreement as herein defined.

(c) The term “contractor” means any person, small business firm, or nonprofit organization that is a party to a funding agreement.

(d) The term “invention” means any invention or discovery which is or may be patentable or otherwise protectable under this title or any novel variety of plant which is or may be protectable under the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2321 et seq.).

(e) The term “subject invention” means any invention of the contractor conceived or first actually reduced to practice in the performance of work under a funding agreement: Provided, That in the case of a variety of plant, the date of determination (as defined in section 41(d) 1 of the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2401(d))) must also occur during the period of contract performance.

(f) The term “practical application” means to manufacture in the case of a composition or product, to practice in the case of a process or method, or to operate in the case of a machine or system; and, in each case, under such conditions as to establish that the invention is being utilized and that its benefits are to the extent permitted by law or Government regulations available to the public on reasonable terms.

(g) The term “made” when used in relation to any invention means the conception or first actual reduction to practice of such invention.

(h) The term “small business firm” means a small business concern as defined at section 2 of Public Law 85–536 (15 U.S.C. 632) and implementing regulations of the Administrator of the Small Business Administration.

(i) The term “nonprofit organization” means universities and other institutions of higher education or an organization of the type described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 501(c)) and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501(a)) or any nonprofit scientific or educational organization qualified under a State nonprofit organization statute.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §6(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3019; amended Pub. L. 98–620, title V, §501(1), (2), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3364; Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095.)

References in Text

The Plant Variety Protection Act, referred to in subsec. (d), is Pub. L. 91–577, Dec. 24, 1970, 84 Stat. 1542, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 57 (§2321 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2321 of Title 7 and Tables.

Section 41 of the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2401(d)), referred to in subsec. (e), was subsequently amended, and no longer defines the term “date of determination”.

Amendments

1986—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 99–514 substituted “Internal Revenue Code of 1986” for “Internal Revenue Code of 1954”.

1984—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(1), inserted “or any novel variety of plant which is or may be protectable under the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2321 et seq.)” after “title”.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(2), inserted “: Provided, That in the case of a variety of plant, the date of determination (as defined in section 41(d) of the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2401(d))) must also occur during the period of contract performance” after “agreement”.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in title 49 section 309.

1 See References in Text note below.

§202. Disposition of rights

(a) Each nonprofit organization or small business firm may, within a reasonable time after disclosure as required by paragraph (c)(1) of this section, elect to retain title to any subject invention: Provided, however, That a funding agreement may provide otherwise (i) when the contractor is not located in the United States or does not have a place of business located in the United States or is subject to the control of a foreign government, (ii) in exceptional circumstances when it is determined by the agency that restriction or elimination of the right to retain title to any subject invention will better promote the policy and objectives of this chapter (iii) when it is determined by a Government authority which is authorized by statute or Executive order to conduct foreign intelligence or counter-intelligence activities that the restriction or elimination of the right to retain title to any subject invention is necessary to protect the security of such activities or, iv) 1 when the funding agreement includes the operation of a Government-owned, contractor-operated facility of the Department of Energy primarily dedicated to that Department's naval nuclear propulsion or weapons related programs and all funding agreement limitations under this subparagraph on the contractor's right to elect title to a subject invention are limited to inventions occurring under the above two programs of the Department of Energy..2 The rights of the nonprofit organization or small business firm shall be subject to the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section and the other provisions of this chapter.

(b)(1) The rights of the Government under subsection (a) shall not be exercised by a Federal agency unless it first determines that at least one of the conditions identified in clauses (i) through (iv) of subsection (a) exists. Except in the case of subsection (a)(iii), the agency shall file with the Secretary of Commerce, within thirty days after the award of the applicable funding agreement, a copy of such determination. In the case of a determination under subsection (a)(ii), the statement shall include an analysis justifying the determination. In the case of determinations applicable to funding agreements with small business firms, copies shall also be sent to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. If the Secretary of Commerce believes that any individual determination or pattern of determinations is contrary to the policies and objectives of this chapter or otherwise not in conformance with this chapter, the Secretary shall so advise the head of the agency concerned and the Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, and recommend corrective actions.

(2) Whenever the Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy has determined that one or more Federal agencies are utilizing the authority of clause (i) or (ii) of subsection (a) of this section in a manner that is contrary to the policies and objectives of this chapter, the Administrator is authorized to issue regulations describing classes of situations in which agencies may not exercise the authorities of those clauses.

(3) At least once every 5 years, the Comptroller General shall transmit a report to the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and House of Representatives on the manner in which this chapter is being implemented by the agencies and on such other aspects of Government patent policies and practices with respect to federally funded inventions as the Comptroller General believes appropriate.

(4) If the contractor believes that a determination is contrary to the policies and objectives of this chapter or constitutes an abuse of discretion by the agency, the determination shall be subject to the last paragraph of section 203(2).

(c) Each funding agreement with a small business firm or nonprofit organization shall contain appropriate provisions to effectuate the following:

(1) That the contractor disclose each subject invention to the Federal agency within a reasonable time after it becomes known to contractor personnel responsible for the administration of patent matters, and that the Federal Government may receive title to any subject invention not disclosed to it within such time.

(2) That the contractor make a written election within two years after disclosure to the Federal agency (or such additional time as may be approved by the Federal agency) whether the contractor will retain title to a subject invention: Provided, That in any case where publication, on sale, or public use, has initiated the one year statutory period in which valid patent protection can still be obtained in the United States, the period for election may be shortened by the Federal agency to a date that is not more than sixty days prior to the end of the statutory period: And provided further, That the Federal Government may receive title to any subject invention in which the contractor does not elect to retain rights or fails to elect rights within such times.

(3) That a contractor electing rights in a subject invention agrees to file a patent application prior to any statutory bar date that may occur under this title due to publication, on sale, or public use, and shall thereafter file corresponding patent applications in other countries in which it wishes to retain title within reasonable times, and that the Federal Government may receive title to any subject inventions in the United States or other countries in which the contractor has not filed patent applications on the subject invention within such times.

(4) With respect to any invention in which the contractor elects rights, the Federal agency shall have a nonexclusive, nontransferrable, irrevocable, paid-up license to practice or have practiced for or on behalf of the United States any subject invention throughout the world: Provided, That the funding agreement may provide for such additional rights; 3 including the right to assign or have assigned foreign patent rights in the subject invention, as are determined by the agency as necessary for meeting the obligations of the United States under any treaty, international agreement, arrangement of cooperation, memorandum of understanding, or similar arrangement, including military agreement relating to weapons development and production.

(5) The right of the Federal agency to require periodic reporting on the utilization or efforts at obtaining utilization that are being made by the contractor or his licensees or assignees: Provided, That any such information as well as any information on utilization or efforts at obtaining utilization obtained as part of a proceeding under section 203 of this chapter shall be treated by the Federal agency as commercial and financial information obtained from a person and privileged and confidential and not subject to disclosure under section 552 of title 5 of the United States Code.

(6) An obligation on the part of the contractor, in the event a United States patent application is filed by or on its behalf or by any assignee of the contractor, to include within the specification of such application and any patent issuing thereon, a statement specifying that the invention was made with Government support and that the Government has certain rights in the invention.

(7) In the case of a nonprofit organization, (A) a prohibition upon the assignment of rights to a subject invention in the United States without the approval of the Federal agency, except where such assignment is made to an organization which has as one of its primary functions the management of inventions (provided that such assignee shall be subject to the same provisions as the contractor); (B) a requirement that the contractor share royalties with the inventor; (C) except with respect to a funding agreement for the operation of a Government-owned-contractor-operated facility, a requirement that the balance of any royalties or income earned by the contractor with respect to subject inventions, after payment of expenses (including payments to inventors) incidental to the administration of subject inventions, be utilized for the support of scientific research or education; (D) a requirement that, except where it proves infeasible after a reasonable inquiry, in the licensing of subject inventions shall be given to small business firms; and (E) with respect to a funding agreement for the operation of a Government-owned-contractor-operated facility, requirements (i) that after payment of patenting costs, licensing costs, payments to inventors, and other expenses incidental to the administration of subject inventions, 100 percent of the balance of any royalties or income earned and retained by the contractor during any fiscal year up to an amount equal to 5 percent of the annual budget of the facility, shall be used by the contractor for scientific research, development, and education consistent with the research and development mission and objectives of the facility, including activities that increase the licensing potential of other inventions of the facility; provided that if said balance exceeds 5 percent of the annual budget of the facility, that 75 percent of such excess shall be paid to the Treasury of the United States and the remaining 25 percent shall be used for the same purposes as described above in this clause (D); and (ii) that, to the extent it provides the most effective technology transfer, the licensing of subject inventions shall be administered by contractor employees on location at the facility.

(8) The requirements of sections 203 and 204 of this chapter.


(d) If a contractor does not elect to retain title to a subject invention in cases subject to this section, the Federal agency may consider and after consultation with the contractor grant requests for retention of rights by the inventor subject to the provisions of this Act and regulations promulgated hereunder.

(e) In any case when a Federal employee is a coinventor of any invention made under a funding agreement with a nonprofit organization or small business firm, the Federal agency employing such coinventor is authorized to transfer or assign whatever rights it may acquire in the subject invention from its employee to the contractor subject to the conditions set forth in this chapter.

(f)(1) No funding agreement with a small business firm or nonprofit organization shall contain a provision allowing a Federal agency to require the licensing to third parties of inventions owned by the contractor that are not subject inventions unless such provision has been approved by the head of the agency and a written justification has been signed by the head of the agency. Any such provision shall clearly state whether the licensing may be required in connection with the practice of a subject invention, a specifically identified work object, or both. The head of the agency may not delegate the authority to approve provisions or sign justifications required by this paragraph.

(2) A Federal agency shall not require the licensing of third parties under any such provision unless the head of the agency determines that the use of the invention by others is necessary for the practice of a subject invention or for the use of a work object of the funding agreement and that such action is necessary to achieve the practical application of the subject invention or work object. Any such determination shall be on the record after an opportunity for an agency hearing. Any action commenced for judicial review of such determination shall be brought within sixty days after notification of such determination.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §6(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3020; amended Pub. L. 98–620, title V, §501(3)–(8), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3364–3366; Pub. L. 102–204, §10, Dec. 10, 1991, 105 Stat. 1641.)

References in Text

This Act, referred to in subsec. (d), probably means Pub. L. 96–517, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3015, which enacted sections 200 to 211 and 301 to 307 of this title, amended sections 41, 42, and 154 of this title, section 1113 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade, sections 101 and 117 of Title 17, Copyrights, and sections 2186, 2457, and 5908 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, and enacted provisions set out as notes under sections 14 and 41 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1980 Amendment note set out under section 41 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1991—Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 102–204 substituted “every 5 years” for “each year”.

1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(3), substituted “when the contractor is not located in the United States or does not have a place of business located in the United States or is subject to the control of a foreign government” for “when the funding agreement is for the operation of a Government-owned research or production facility”, struck out “or” before “(ii)”, which was executed by striking out “or” before “(iii)” as the probable intent of Congress, and added cl. (iv).

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(4), gave to the Department of Commerce oversight of agency use of the exceptions to small business or nonprofit organization invention ownership.

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(4), substituted provisions authorizing the Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy to issue regulations describing situations in which agencies may not exercise the authorities of clauses (i) or (ii) of subsec. (a), whenever the Administrator has determined that one or more agencies are utilizing such authority in violation of this chapter for provisions which gave to the Comptroller General oversight of agency actions under this chapter.

Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(4A), added par. (4).

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(5), substituted provisions requiring disclosure of each invention within a reasonable time after it becomes known to contractor personnel responsible for the administration of patent matters for provision requiring disclosure of each invention within a reasonable time after it is made.

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(5), substituted provisions requiring the contractor to make a written election within two years after disclosure to the Federal agency (or such additional time as may be approved by the Federal agency) whether the contractor will retain title to a subject invention for provision requiring election to retain title within a reasonable time after disclosure, and inserted provision authorizing the Federal agency to shorten the period for election under certain circumstances.

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(5), substituted provisions requiring a contractor electing rights in a subject invention to file a patent application prior to any statutory bar date that may occur under this title due to publication, on sale, or public use, and thereafter to file corresponding patent applications in other countries in which it wishes to retain title within reasonable times for provisions requiring the contractor to file patent applications within a reasonable time.

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(5), substituted provision that the funding agreement may provide for such additional rights, including the right to assign or have assigned foreign patent rights in the subject invention, as are determined by the agency as necessary for meeting the obligations of the United States under any treaty, international agreement, arrangement of cooperation, memorandum of understanding, or similar arrangement, including any military agreement relating to weapons development and production for provision that the agency could, if provided in the funding agreement, have additional rights to sublicense any foreign government or international organization pursuant to any existing or future treaty or agreement.

Subsec. (c)(5). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(6), substituted “as well as any information on utilization or efforts at obtaining utilization obtained as part of a proceeding under section 203 of this chapter shall be treated” for “may be treated”.

Subsec. (c)(7)(A). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(7), struck out provision which made an exception for organizations which were not themselves engaged in or did not hold a substantial interest in other organizations engaged in the manufacture or sales of products or the use of processes that might utilize the invention or be in competition with embodiments of the invention.

Subsec. (c)(7)(B). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(8), redesignated cl. (C) as (B). Former cl. (B), relating to a prohibition against the granting of exclusive licenses under United States Patents or Patent Applications in a subject invention by the contractor to persons other than small business firms for periods in excess of certain specified periods and relating to commercial sales, was struck out.

Subsec. (c)(7)(C). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(8), added cl. (C). Former cl. (C) redesignated (B).

Subsec. (c)(7)(D). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(8), added cl. (D). Former cl. (D) redesignated (E).

Subsec. (c)(7)(E). Pub. L. 98–620, §501(8), redesignated former cl. (D) as (E) and inserted provisions placing a limit on the amount of royalties that the contract operators of Government-owned laboratories are entitled to retain after paying patent administrative expenses and a share of the royalties to inventors, requiring payment of amounts in excess of such limits to the United States Treasury, and requiring that, to the extent it provides the most effective technology transfer, the licensing of subject inventions shall be administered by contractor employees on location at the facility.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 203, 206, 210 of this title; title 42 section 7261a.

1 So in original. Probably should be “(iv)”.

2 So in original.

3 So in original. The semicolon probably should be a comma.

§203. March-in rights

(1.1 With respect to any subject invention in which a small business firm or nonprofit organization has acquired title under this chapter, the Federal agency under whose funding agreement the subject invention was made shall have the right, in accordance with such procedures as are provided in regulations promulgated hereunder to require the contractor, an assignee or exclusive licensee of a subject invention to grant a nonexclusive, partially exclusive, or exclusive license in any field of use to a responsible applicant or applicants, upon terms that are reasonable under the circumstances, and if the contractor, assignee, or exclusive licensee refuses such request, to grant such a license itself, if the Federal agency determines that such—

(a) action is necessary because the contractor or assignee has not taken, or is not expected to take within a reasonable time, effective steps to achieve practical application of the subject invention in such field of use;

(b) action is necessary to alleviate health or safety needs which are not reasonably satisfied by the contractor, assignee, or their licensees;

(c) action is necessary to meet requirements for public use specified by Federal regulations and such requirements are not reasonably satisfied by the contractor, assignee, or licensees; or

(d) action is necessary because the agreement required by section 204 has not been obtained or waived or because a licensee of the exclusive right to use or sell any subject invention in the United States is in breach of its agreement obtained pursuant to section 204.


(2) A determination pursuant to this section or section 202(b)(4) shall not be subject to the Contract Disputes Act (41 U.S.C. §601 et seq.). An administrative appeals procedure shall be established by regulations promulgated in accordance with section 206. Additionally, any contractor, inventor, assignee, or exclusive licensee adversely affected by a determination under this section may, at any time within sixty days after the determination is issued, file a petition in the United States Court of Federal Claims, which shall have jurisdiction to determine the appeal on the record and to affirm, reverse, remand or modify, “,2 as appropriate, the determination of the Federal agency. In cases described in paragraphs (a) and (c), the agency's determination shall be held in abeyance pending the exhaustion of appeals or petitions filed under the preceding sentence.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §6(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3022; amended Pub. L. 98–620, title V, §501(9), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3367; Pub. L. 102–572, title IX, §902(b)(1), Oct. 29, 1992, 106 Stat. 4516.)

References in Text

The Contract Disputes Act of 1978, referred to in par. (2), is Pub. L. 95–563, Nov. 1, 1978, 92 Stat. 2383, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 9 (§601 et seq.) of Title 41, Public Contracts. For complete classification of this Act to the Code see Short Title note set out under section 601 of Title 41 and Tables.

Amendments

1992—Par. (2). Pub. L. 102–572 substituted “United States Court of Federal Claims” for “United States Claims Court”.

1984—Pub. L. 98–620 designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 102–572 effective Oct. 29, 1992, see section 911 of Pub. L. 102–572, set out as a note under section 171 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 202, 206, 210 of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should be “(1)”.

2 So in original. Quotation marks and comma probably should not appear.

§204. Preference for United States industry

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, no small business firm or nonprofit organization which receives title to any subject invention and no assignee of any such small business firm or nonprofit organization shall grant to any person the exclusive right to use or sell any subject invention in the United States unless such person agrees that any products embodying the subject invention or produced through the use of the subject invention will be manufactured substantially in the United States. However, in individual cases, the requirement for such an agreement may be waived by the Federal agency under whose funding agreement the invention was made upon a showing by the small business firm, nonprofit organization, or assignee that reasonable but unsuccessful efforts have been made to grant licenses on similar terms to potential licensees that would be likely to manufacture substantially in the United States or that under the circumstances domestic manufacture is not commercially feasible.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §6(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3023.)

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 202, 203, 206 of this title.

§205. Confidentiality

Federal agencies are authorized to withhold from disclosure to the public information disclosing any invention in which the Federal Government owns or may own a right, title, or interest (including a nonexclusive license) for a reasonable time in order for a patent application to be filed. Furthermore, Federal agencies shall not be required to release copies of any document which is part of an application for patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office or with any foreign patent office.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §6(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3023.)

§206. Uniform clauses and regulations

The Secretary of Commerce may issue regulations which may be made applicable to Federal agencies implementing the provisions of sections 202 through 204 of this chapter and shall establish standard funding agreement provisions required under this chapter. The regulations and the standard funding agreement shall be subject to public comment before their issuance.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §6(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3023; amended Pub. L. 98–620, title V, §501(10), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3367.)

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–620 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section read as follows: “The Office of Federal Procurement Policy, after receiving recommendations of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, may issue regulations which may be made applicable to Federal agencies implementing the provisions of sections 202 through 204 of this chapter and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy shall establish standard funding agreement provisions required under this chapter.”

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 203 of this title.

§207. Domestic and foreign protection of federally owned inventions

(a) Each Federal agency is authorized to—

(1) apply for, obtain, and maintain patents or other forms of protection in the United States and in foreign countries on inventions in which the Federal Government owns a right, title, or interest;

(2) grant nonexclusive, exclusive, or partially exclusive licenses under federally owned patent applications, patents, or other forms of protection obtained, royalty-free or for royalties or other consideration, and on such terms and conditions, including the grant to the licensee of the right of enforcement pursuant to the provisions of chapter 29 of this title as determined appropriate in the public interest;

(3) undertake all other suitable and necessary steps to protect and administer rights to federally owned inventions on behalf of the Federal Government either directly or through contract; and

(4) transfer custody and administration, in whole or in part, to another Federal agency, of the right, title, or interest in any federally owned invention.


(b) For the purpose of assuring the effective management of Government-owned inventions, the Secretary of Commerce is authorized to—

(1) assist Federal agency efforts to promote the licensing and utilization of Government-owned inventions;

(2) assist Federal agencies in seeking protection and maintaining inventions in foreign countries, including the payment of fees and costs connected therewith; and

(3) consult with and advise Federal agencies as to areas of science and technology research and development with potential for commercial utilization.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §6(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3023; amended Pub. L. 98–620, title V, §501(11), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3367.)

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–620 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in title 15 sections 3710a, 3710c.

§208. Regulations governing Federal licensing

The Secretary of Commerce is authorized to promulgate regulations specifying the terms and conditions upon which any federally owned invention, other than inventions owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority, may be licensed on a nonexclusive, partially exclusive, or exclusive basis.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §6(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3024; amended Pub. L. 98–620, title V, §501(12), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3367.)

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–620 substituted “Secretary of Commerce” for “Administrator of General Services”.

§209. Restrictions on licensing of federally owned inventions

(a) No Federal agency shall grant any license under a patent or patent application on a federally owned invention unless the person requesting the license has supplied the agency with a plan for development and/or marketing of the invention, except that any such plan may be treated by the Federal agency as commercial and financial information obtained from a person and privileged and confidential and not subject to disclosure under section 552 of title 5 of the United States Code.

(b) A Federal agency shall normally grant the right to use or sell any federally owned invention in the United States only to a licensee that agrees that any products embodying the invention or produced through the use of the invention will be manufactured substantially in the United States.

(c)(1) Each Federal agency may grant exclusive or partially exclusive licenses in any invention covered by a federally owned domestic patent or patent application only if, after public notice and opportunity for filing written objections, it is determined that—

(A) the interests of the Federal Government and the public will best be served by the proposed license, in view of the applicant's intentions, plans, and ability to bring the invention to practical application or otherwise promote the invention's utilization by the public;

(B) the desired practical application has not been achieved, or is not likely expeditiously to be achieved, under any nonexclusive license which has been granted, or which may be granted, on the invention;

(C) exclusive or partially exclusive licensing is a reasonable and necessary incentive to call forth the investment of risk capital and expenditures to bring the invention to practical application or otherwise promote the invention's utilization by the public; and

(D) the proposed terms and scope of exclusivity are not greater than reasonably necessary to provide the incentive for bringing the invention to practical application or otherwise promote the invention's utilization by the public.


(2) A Federal agency shall not grant such exclusive or partially exclusive license under paragraph (1) of this subsection if it determines that the grant of such license will tend substantially to lessen competition or result in undue concentration in any section of the country in any line of commerce to which the technology to be licensed relates, or to create or maintain other situations inconsistent with the antitrust laws.

(3) First preference in the exclusive or partially exclusive licensing of federally owned inventions shall go to small business firms submitting plans that are determined by the agency to be within the capabilities of the firms and equally likely, if executed, to bring the invention to practical application as any plans submitted by applicants that are not small business firms.

(d) After consideration of whether the interests of the Federal Government or United States industry in foreign commerce will be enhanced, any Federal agency may grant exclusive or partially exclusive licenses in any invention covered by a foreign patent application or patent, after public notice and opportunity for filing written objections, except that a Federal agency shall not grant such exclusive or partially exclusive license if it determines that the grant of such license will tend substantially to lessen competition or result in undue concentration in any section of the United States in any line of commerce to which the technology to be licensed relates, or to create or maintain other situations inconsistent with antitrust laws.

(e) The Federal agency shall maintain a record of determinations to grant exclusive or partially exclusive licenses.

(f) Any grant of a license shall contain such terms and conditions as the Federal agency determines appropriate for the protection of the interests of the Federal Government and the public, including provisions for the following:

(1) periodic reporting on the utilization or efforts at obtaining utilization that are being made by the licensee with particular reference to the plan submitted: Provided, That any such information may be treated by the Federal agency as commercial and financial information obtained from a person and privileged and confidential and not subject to disclosure under section 552 of title 5 of the United States Code;

(2) the right of the Federal agency to terminate such license in whole or in part if it determines that the licensee is not executing the plan submitted with its request for a license and the licensee cannot otherwise demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Federal agency that it has taken or can be expected to take within a reasonable time, effective steps to achieve practical application of the invention;

(3) the right of the Federal agency to terminate such license in whole or in part if the licensee is in breach of an agreement obtained pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section; and

(4) the right of the Federal agency to terminate the license in whole or in part if the agency determines that such action is necessary to meet requirements for public use specified by Federal regulations issued after the date of the license and such requirements are not reasonably satisfied by the licensee.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §6(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3024.)

References in Text

Antitrust laws, referred to in subsecs. (c)(2) and (d), are classified generally to chapter 1 (§1 et seq.) of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

§210. Precedence of chapter

(a) This chapter shall take precedence over any other Act which would require a disposition of rights in subject inventions of small business firms or nonprofit organizations contractors in a manner that is inconsistent with this chapter, including but not necessarily limited to the following:

(1) section 10(a) of the Act of June 29, 1935, as added by title I of the Act of August 14, 1946 (7 U.S.C. 427i(a); 60 Stat. 1085);

(2) section 205(a) of the Act of August 14, 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1624(a); 60 Stat. 1090);

(3) section 501(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 951(c); 83 Stat. 742);

(4) section 30168(e) of title 49;

(5) section 12 of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1871(a); 1 82 Stat. 360);

(6) section 152 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2182; 68 Stat. 943);

(7) section 305 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2457);

(8) section 6 of the Coal Research Development Act of 1960 (30 U.S.C. 666; 74 Stat. 337);

(9) section 4 of the Helium Act Amendments of 1960 (50 U.S.C. 167b; 74 Stat. 920);

(10) section 32 of the Arms Control and Disarmament Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2572; 75 Stat. 634);

(11) subsection (e) of section 302 of the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 (40 U.S.C. App. 302(e); 79 Stat. 5);

(12) section 9 of the Federal Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5901; 2 88 Stat. 1878);

(13) section 5(d) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2054(d); 86 Stat. 1211);

(14) section 3 of the Act of April 5, 1944 (30 U.S.C. 323; 58 Stat. 191); 1

(15) section 8001(c)(3) of the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 6981(c); 90 Stat. 2829);

(16) section 219 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2179; 83 Stat. 806);

(17) section 427(b) of the Federal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 937(b); 86 Stat. 155);

(18) section 306(d) of the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 1226(d); 91 Stat. 455); 1

(19) section 21(d) of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2218(d); 88 Stat. 1548);

(20) section 6(b) of the Solar Photovoltaic Energy Research Development and Demonstration Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 5585(b); 92 Stat. 2516);

(21) section 12 of the Native Latex Commercialization and Economic Development Act of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 178(j); 3 92 Stat. 2533); and

(22) section 408 of the Water Resources and Development Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 7879; 92 Stat. 1360).


The Act creating this chapter shall be construed to take precedence over any future Act unless that Act specifically cites this Act and provides that it shall take precedence over this Act.

(b) Nothing in this chapter is intended to alter the effect of the laws cited in paragraph (a) of this section or any other laws with respect to the disposition of rights in inventions made in the performance of funding agreements with persons other than nonprofit organizations or small business firms.

(c) Nothing in this chapter is intended to limit the authority of agencies to agree to the disposition of rights in inventions made in the performance of work under funding agreements with persons other than nonprofit organizations or small business firms in accordance with the Statement of Government Patent Policy issued on February 18, 1983, agency regulations, or other applicable regulations or to otherwise limit the authority of agencies to allow such persons to retain ownership of inventions except that all funding agreements, including those with other than small business firms and nonprofit organizations, shall include the requirements established in paragraph 4 202(c)(4) and section 203 of this title..5 Any disposition of rights in inventions made in accordance with the Statement or implementing regulations, including any disposition occurring before enactment of this section, are hereby authorized.

(d) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require the disclosure of intelligence sources or methods or to otherwise affect the authority granted to the Director of Central Intelligence by statute or Executive order for the protection of intelligence sources or methods.

(e) The provisions of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, as amended by the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986, shall take precedence over the provisions of this chapter to the extent that they permit or require a disposition of rights in subject inventions which is inconsistent with this chapter.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §6(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3026; amended Pub. L. 98–620, title V, §501(13), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3367; Pub. L. 99–502, §9(c), Oct. 20, 1986, 100 Stat. 1796; Pub. L. 103–272, §5(j), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1375.)

References in Text

The Act and this Act, referred to in subsec. (a), is Pub. L. 96–517, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3015, which enacted sections 200 to 211 and 301 to 307 of this title, amended sections 41, 42, and 154 of this title, section 1113 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade, sections 101 and 117 of Title 17, Copyrights, and sections 2186, 2457, and 5908 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, and enacted provisions set out as notes under sections 14 and 41 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1980 Amendment note set out under section 41 of this title and Tables.

Section 12 of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1871(a); 82 Stat. 360), referred to in subsec. (a)(5), was amended by Pub. L. 99–159, title I, §109(c), Nov. 22, 1985, 99 Stat. 889, by striking out subsec. (b) and designating subsec. (a) as the entire section.

Section 3 of the Act of April 5, 1944 (30 U.S.C. 323; 58 Stat. 191), referred to in subsec. (a)(14), was omitted from the Code.

Section 306(d) of the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(18), was classified to section 1226(d) of Title 30, Mineral Lands and Mining, prior to enactment of Pub. L. 98–409, which enacted a new section 1226 of Title 30. See section 1226(c) of Title 30.

The Native Latex Commercialization and Economic Development Act of 1978, referred to in subsec. (a)(21), is Pub. L. 95–592, Nov. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 2529, as amended, which, as amended by Pub. L. 98–284, May 16, 1984, 98 Stat. 181, is known as the Critical Agricultural Materials Act and is classified principally to subchapter II (§178 et seq.) of chapter 8A of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 178 of this title and Tables.

Section 408 of the Water Resources and Development Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 7879; 92 Stat. 1360), referred to in subsec. (a)(22), was repealed by Pub. L. 98–242, title I, §110(a), Mar. 22, 1984, 98 Stat. 101. See section 10308 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.

The Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, referred to in subsec. (e), is Pub. L. 96–480, Oct. 21, 1980, 94 Stat. 2311, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 63 (§3701 et seq.) of Title 15, Commerce and Trade. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 3701 of Title 15 and Tables.

The Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986, referred to in subsec. (e), is Pub. L. 99–502, Oct. 20, 1986, 100 Stat. 1785. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1986 Amendment note set out under section 3701 of Title 15 and Tables.

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 103–272 substituted “section 30168(e) of title 49” for “section 106(c) of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. 1395(c); 80 Stat. 721)”.

1986—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–502 added subsec. (e).

1984—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–620 substituted “February 18, 1983” for “August 23, 1971 (36 Fed. Reg. 16887)” and inserted provision that all funding agreements, including those with other than small business firms and nonprofit organizations, shall include the requirements established in paragraph 202(c)(4) and section 203 of this title.

1 See References in Text note below.

2 So in original. Should be “5908;”.

3 So in original. Should be “178j;”.

4 So in original. Probably should be “section”.

5 So in original.

§211. Relationship to antitrust laws

Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to convey to any person immunity from civil or criminal liability, or to create any defenses to actions, under any antitrust law.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §6(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3027.)

References in Text

The antitrust laws, referred to in text, are classified generally to chapter 1 (§1 et seq.) of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

§212. Disposition of rights in educational awards

No scholarship, fellowship, training grant, or other funding agreement made by a Federal agency primarily to an awardee for educational purposes will contain any provision giving the Federal agency any rights to inventions made by the awardee.

(Added Pub. L. 98–620, title V, §501(14), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3368.)

PART III—PATENTS AND PROTECTION OF PATENT RIGHTS

Chap.
Sec.
25.
Amendment and Correction of Patents
251
26.
Ownership and Assignment
261
27.
Government Interests in Patents
266
28.
Infringement of Patents
271
29.
Remedies for Infringement of Patent and Other Actions 1
281

        

30.
Prior Art Citations to Office and Reexamination of Patents
301

        

Amendments

1982—Pub. L. 97–256, title I, §101(7), Sept. 8, 1982, 96 Stat. 816, added item for chapter 30.

CHAPTER 25—AMENDMENT AND CORRECTION OF PATENTS

Sec.
251.
Reissue of defective patents.
252.
Effect of reissue.
253.
Disclaimer.
254.
Certificate of correction of Patent and Trademark Office mistake.
255.
Certificate of correction of applicant's mistake.
256.
Misjoinder of inventor.1

        

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949, substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office” in item 254.

1 So in original. Does not conform to chapter heading.

1 Section catchline amended by Pub. L. 97–247 without corresponding amendment of chapter analysis.

§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 Commissioner 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 Commissioner 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.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 808.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §64 (R.S. 4916, amended May 24, 1928, ch. 730, 45 Stat. 732.)

The sentences of the corresponding section of existing statute are rearranged and divided into two sections with some changes in language. The clause at the end of the present statute is omitted as obsolete.

The third paragraph incorporates by reference the requirements of other applications, and adds a new provision relating to application for reissue being made in certain cases by the assignee.

A two year period of limitation on applying for broadened reissues is added, codifying the present rule of decision with a fixed period.

Cross References

Application for patent, see section 111 of this title.

Fee for application for reissue of patent, see section 41 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 282 of this title.

§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 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 identical with the original patent, shall constitute a continuation thereof and have effect continuously from the date of the original patent.

No reissued patent shall abridge or affect the right of any person or his successors in business who made, purchased or used prior to the grant of a reissue anything patented by the reissued patent, to continue the use of, or to sell to others to be used or sold, the specific thing so made, purchased or used, unless the making, using 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 or sale of the thing made, purchased or used as specified, or for the manufacture, use or sale of which substantial preparation was made before the grant of the reissue, and it may also provide for the continued practice of any process patented by the reissue, practice, or for the practice of which substantial preparation was made, prior to 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.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 808; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(2), 108 Stat. 4989.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §§533(b)(2), 534(a), (b)(3), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4989, 4990, provided that, effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, the second undesignated paragraph of this section is amended to read as follows:


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.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §64 (R.S. 4916, amended May 24, 1928, ch. 730, 45 Stat. 732.)

The first paragraph follows the present section with some rearrangement in language. The second paragraph adds new provisions for the protection of intervening rights, the court is given discretion to protect legitimate activities which would be adversely affected by the grant of a reissue and things made before the grant of the reissue are not subject to the reissue unless a claim of the original patent which is repeated in the reissue is infringed.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(a), (b)(3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 307 of this title.

§253. Disclaimer

Whenever, without any deceptive intention, a claim of a patent is invalid the remaining claims shall not thereby be rendered invalid. A patentee, whether of the whole or any sectional interest therein, may, on payment of the fee required by law, make disclaimer of any complete claim, stating therein the extent of his interest in such patent. Such disclaimer shall be in writing, and recorded in the Patent and Trademark Office; and it shall thereafter be considered as part of the original patent to the extent of the interest possessed by the disclaimant and by those claiming under him.

In like manner any patentee or applicant may disclaim or dedicate to the public the entire term, or any terminal part of the term, of the patent granted or to be granted.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 809; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §65 (R.S. 4917).

Language is changed and substantive changes are introduced; (1) only a claim as a whole may be disclaimed, and (2) the provision regarding delay is omitted. See preliminary general description of bill.

See section 288.

The second paragraph is new and provides for the disclaiming or dedication of an entire patent, or any terminal part of the term, for example, a patentee may disclaim the last three years of the term of his patent.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Cross References

Costs when disclaimer not entered before suit, see section 288 of this title.

Fee for filing disclaimer, see section 41 of this title.

§254. Certificate of correction of Patent and Trademark Office mistake

Whenever a mistake in a patent, incurred through the fault of the Patent and Trademark Office, is clearly disclosed by the records of the Office, the Commissioner may issue a certificate of correction stating the fact and nature of such mistake, under seal, without charge, to be recorded in the records of patents. A printed copy thereof shall be attached to each printed copy of the patent, and such certificate shall be considered as part of the original patent. Every such patent, together with such certificate, 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 issued in such corrected form. The Commissioner may issue a corrected patent without charge in lieu of and with like effect as a certificate of correction.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 809; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §88 (Mar. 4, 1925, ch. 535, §1, 43 Stat. 1268).

The last sentence of the present section is omitted as obsolete. A sentence is added similar to a provision in the corresponding section in the trade-mark law, 15 U.S.C., 1946 ed., §1057(f), and provides that the Commissioner may issue a corrected patent instead of a certificate of correction.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office” in section catchline and text.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

§255. Certificate of correction of applicant's mistake

Whenever a mistake of a clerical or typographical nature, or of minor character, which was not the fault of the Patent and Trademark Office, appears in a patent and a showing has been made that such mistake occurred in good faith, the Commissioner may, upon payment of the required fee, issue a certificate of correction, if the correction does not involve such changes in the patent as would constitute new matter or would require re-examination. Such patent, together with the certificate, 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 issued in such corrected form.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 809; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

This section providing for the correction of minor clerical errors made by the applicant, is new and follows a similar provision in the trade-mark law, 15 U.S.C., 1946 ed., §1057(g).

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 41 of this title.

§256. Correction of named inventor

Whenever through error a person is named in an issued patent as the inventor, or through error an inventor is not named in an issued patent and such error arose without any deceptive intention on his part, the Commissioner may, on application of all the parties and assignees, with proof of the facts and such other requirements as may be imposed, issued a certificate correcting such error.

The error of omitting inventors or naming persons who are not inventors shall not invalidate the patent in which such error occurred if it can be corrected as provided in this section. The court before which such matter is called in question may order correction of the patent on notice and hearing of all parties concerned and the Commissioner shall issue a certificate accordingly.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 810; Aug. 27, 1982, Pub. L. 97–247, §6(b), 96 Stat. 320.)

Historical and Revision Notes

This section is new and is companion to section 116.

The first two paragraphs provide for the correction of the inadvertent joining or nonjoining of a person as a joint inventor. The third paragraph provides that a patent shall not be invalid for such cause, and also provides that a court may order correction of a patent; the two sentences of this paragraph are independent.

Amendments

1982—Pub. L. 97–247 substituted “Correction of named inventor” for “Misjoinder of inventor” as section catchline and, in text, substituted “Whenever through error a person is named in an issued patent as the inventor, or through error an inventor is not named in an issued patent and such error arose without any deceptive intention on his part, the Commissioner may, on application of all the parties and assignees, with proof of the facts and such other requirements as may be imposed, issue a certificate correcting such error” for “Whenever a patent is issued on the application of persons as joint inventors and it appears that one of such persons was not in fact a joint inventor, and that he was included as a joint inventor by error and without any deceptive intention, the Commissioner may, on application of all the parties and assignees, with proof of the facts and such other requirements as may be imposed, issue a certificate deleting the name of the erroneously joined person from the patent”, substituted “The error of omitting inventors or naming persons who are not inventors shall not invalidate the patent in which such error occurred if it can be corrected as provided in this section” for “Whenever a patent is issued and it appears that a person was a joint inventor, but was omitted by error and without deceptive intention on his part, the Commissioner may, on application of all the parties and assignees, with proof of the facts and such other requirements as may be imposed, issue a certificate adding his name to the patent as a joint inventor”, and struck out provision that the misjoinder or nonjoinder of joint inventors not invalidate a patent, if such error could be corrected as provided in this section.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–247 effective six months after Aug. 27, 1982, see section 17(c) of Pub. L. 97–247, set out as an Effective Date note under section 294 of this title.

CHAPTER 26—OWNERSHIP AND ASSIGNMENT

Sec.
261.
Ownership; assignment.
262.
Joint owners.

        

§261. Ownership; assignment

Subject to the provisions of this title, patents shall have the attributes of personal property.

Applications for patent, patents, or any interest therein, shall be assignable in law by an instrument in writing. The applicant, patentee, or his assigns or legal representatives may in like manner grant and convey an exclusive right under his application for patent, or patents, to the whole or any specified part of the United States.

A certificate of acknowledgment under the hand and official seal of a person authorized to administer oaths within the United States, or, in a foreign country, of a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States or an officer authorized to administer oaths whose authority is proved by a certificate of a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States, or apostille of an official designated by a foreign country which, by treaty or convention, accords like effect to apostilles of designated officials in the United States, shall be prima facie evidence of the execution of an assignment, grant or conveyance of a patent or application for patent.

An assignment, grant or conveyance shall be void as against any subsequent purchaser or mortgagee for a valuable consideration, without notice, unless it is recorded in the Patent and Trademark Office within three months from its date or prior to the date of such subsequent purchase or mortgage.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 810; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949; Aug. 27, 1982, Pub. L. 97–247, §14(b), 96 Stat. 321.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §47 (R.S. 4898, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §5, 29 Stat. 93, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §6, 42 Stat. 391, (3) Aug. 18, 1941, ch. 370, 55 Stat. 634).

The first paragraph is new but is declaratory only. The second paragraph is the same as in the corresponding section of existing statute. The third paragraph is from the existing statute, a specific reference to another statute is omitted. The fourth paragraph is the same as the existing statute but language has been changed.

Amendments

1982—Pub. L. 97–247 inserted “, or apostille of an official designated by a foreign country which, by treaty or convention, accords like effect to apostilles of designated officials in the United States”.

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–247 effective Aug. 27, 1982, see section 17(a) of Pub. L. 97–247, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Cross References

Issue of patent to assignee, see section 152 of this title.

Oaths, acknowledgments, affidavits and depositions before United States magistrate judges, see section 636 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

§262. Joint owners

In the absence of any agreement to the contrary, each of the joint owners of a patent may make, use or sell the patented invention without the consent of and without accounting to the other owners.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 810; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(3), 108 Stat. 4989.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §§533(b)(3), 534(a), (b)(3), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4989, 4990, provided that, effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, this section is amended—

(A) by striking “use or sell” and inserting “use, offer to sell, or sell”; and

(B) by inserting “within the United States, or import the patented invention into the United States,” after “invention”.

Historical and Revision Notes

This section states a condition in existing law not expressed in the existing statutes.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(a), (b)(3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

CHAPTER 26—OWNERSHIP AND ASSIGNMENT

Sec.
261.
Ownership; assignment.
262.
Joint owners.

        

§261. Ownership; assignment

Subject to the provisions of this title, patents shall have the attributes of personal property.

Applications for patent, patents, or any interest therein, shall be assignable in law by an instrument in writing. The applicant, patentee, or his assigns or legal representatives may in like manner grant and convey an exclusive right under his application for patent, or patents, to the whole or any specified part of the United States.

A certificate of acknowledgment under the hand and official seal of a person authorized to administer oaths within the United States, or, in a foreign country, of a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States or an officer authorized to administer oaths whose authority is proved by a certificate of a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States, or apostille of an official designated by a foreign country which, by treaty or convention, accords like effect to apostilles of designated officials in the United States, shall be prima facie evidence of the execution of an assignment, grant or conveyance of a patent or application for patent.

An assignment, grant or conveyance shall be void as against any subsequent purchaser or mortgagee for a valuable consideration, without notice, unless it is recorded in the Patent and Trademark Office within three months from its date or prior to the date of such subsequent purchase or mortgage.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 810; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949; Aug. 27, 1982, Pub. L. 97–247, §14(b), 96 Stat. 321.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §47 (R.S. 4898, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §5, 29 Stat. 93, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §6, 42 Stat. 391, (3) Aug. 18, 1941, ch. 370, 55 Stat. 634).

The first paragraph is new but is declaratory only. The second paragraph is the same as in the corresponding section of existing statute. The third paragraph is from the existing statute, a specific reference to another statute is omitted. The fourth paragraph is the same as the existing statute but language has been changed.

Amendments

1982—Pub. L. 97–247 inserted “, or apostille of an official designated by a foreign country which, by treaty or convention, accords like effect to apostilles of designated officials in the United States”.

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–247 effective Aug. 27, 1982, see section 17(a) of Pub. L. 97–247, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Cross References

Issue of patent to assignee, see section 152 of this title.

Oaths, acknowledgments, affidavits and depositions before United States magistrate judges, see section 636 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

§262. Joint owners

In the absence of any agreement to the contrary, each of the joint owners of a patent may make, use or sell the patented invention without the consent of and without accounting to the other owners.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 810; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(3), 108 Stat. 4989.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §§533(b)(3), 534(a), (b)(3), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4989, 4990, provided that, effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, this section is amended—

(A) by striking “use or sell” and inserting “use, offer to sell, or sell”; and

(B) by inserting “within the United States, or import the patented invention into the United States,” after “invention”.

Historical and Revision Notes

This section states a condition in existing law not expressed in the existing statutes.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(a), (b)(3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

CHAPTER 27—GOVERNMENT INTERESTS IN PATENTS

Sec.
[266.
Repealed.]
267.
Time for taking action in Government applications.

        

Amendments

1965—Pub. L. 89–83, §8, July 24, 1965, 79 Stat. 261, struck out item 266 “Issue of patents without fees to Government employees”.

[§266. Repealed. Pub. L. 89–83, §8, July 24, 1965, 79 Stat. 261]

Section, act July 19, 1952, ch. 950, §1, 66 Stat. 811, provided for issuance of patents to government employees without fees.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective three months after July 24, 1965, see section 7(a) of Pub. L. 89–83, set out as an Effective Date of 1965 Amendment note under section 41 of this title.

Ex. Ord. No. 9424. Establishment of a Register of Government Interests in Patents

Ex. Ord. No. 9424, Feb. 18, 1944, 9 F.R. 1959, provided:

1. The Secretary of Commerce shall cause to be established in the United States Patent Office [now Patent and Trademark Office] a separate register for the recording of all rights and interests of the Government in or under patents and applications for patents.

2. The several departments and other executive agencies of the Government, including Government-owned or Government-controlled corporations, shall forward promptly to the Commissioner of Patents [now Patents and Trademarks] for recording in the separate register provided for in paragraph 1 hereof all licenses, assignments, or other interests of the Government in or under patents or applications for patents, in accordance with such rules and regulations as may be prescribed pursuant to paragraph 4 hereof; but the lack of recordation in such register of any right or interest of the Government in or under any patent or application therefor shall not prejudice in any way the assertion of such right or interest by the Government.

3. The register shall be open to inspection except as to such entries or documents which, in the opinion of the department or agency submitting them for recording, should be maintained in secrecy: Provided, however, That the right of inspection may be restricted to authorized representatives of the Government pending the final report to the President by the National Patent Planning Commission under Executive Order No. 8977 of December 12, 1941, and action thereon by the President.

4. The Commissioner of Patents [now Patents and Trademarks], with the approval of the Secretary of Commerce, shall prescribe such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary to effectuate the purposes of this order.

Ex. Ord. No. 9865. Patent Protection Abroad of Inventions Resulting From Research Financed by the Government

Ex. Ord. No. 9865, June 14, 1947, 12 F.R. 3907, as amended by Ex. Ord. No. 10096, Jan. 23, 1950, 15 F.R. 389, provided:

1. All Government departments and agencies shall, whenever practicable, acquire the right to file foreign patent applications on inventions resulting from research conducted or financed by the Government.

2. All Government departments and agencies which have or may hereafter acquire title to inventions or the right to file patent applications abroad thereon, shall fully and continuously inform the Chairman of Government Patents Board [now Secretary of Commerce. See Ex. Ord. No. 10930 set out as a note below] concerning such inventions, except as provided in section 6 hereof, and shall make recommendations to the Chairman of Government Patents Board [now Secretary of Commerce] as to which of such inventions should receive patent protection by the United States abroad and the foreign jurisdictions in which such patent protection should be sought. The recommendations of such departments and agencies shall indicate the immediate or future industrial, commercial or other value of the invention concerned, including its value to public health.

3. The Chairman of Government Patents Board [now Secretary of Commerce] shall determine whether, and in what foreign jurisdictions, the United States should seek patents for such inventions, and, to the extent of appropriations available therefor, shall procure patent protection for such inventions, taking all action, consistent with existing law, necessary to acquire and maintain patent rights abroad. Such determinations of the said Department shall be made after full consultation with United States industry and commerce, with the Department of State, and with other Government agencies familiar with the technical, scientific, industrial, commercial or other economic or social factors affecting the invention involved, and after consideration of the availability of valid patent protection in the countries determined to be immediate or potential markets for, or producers of, products, processes, or services covered by or relating to the invention.

4. The Chairman of Government Patents Board [now Secretary of Commerce] shall administer foreign patents acquired by the United States under the terms of this order and shall issue licenses thereunder in accordance with law under such rules and regulations as he shall prescribe. Nationals of the United States shall be granted licenses on a nonexclusive royalty free basis except in such cases as he shall determine and proclaim it to be inconsistent with the public interest to issue such licenses on a nonexclusive royalty free basis.

5. The Department of State, in consultation with the Chairman of Government Patents Board [now Secretary of Commerce], shall negotiate arrangements among governments under which each government and its nationals shall have access to the foreign patents of the other participating governments. Patents relating to matters of public health may be licensed by the Chairman of Government Patents Board [now Secretary of Commerce], with the approval of the Secretary of State, to any country or its nationals upon such terms and conditions as are in accordance with law and as the Chairman of Government Patents Board [now Secretary of Commerce] determines to be appropriate, regardless of whether such country is a party to the arrangements provided for in this section.

6. There shall be exempted from the provisions of this order (a) all inventions within the jurisdiction of the Atomic Energy Commission except in such cases as the said Commission specifically authorizes the inclusion of an invention under the terms of this order; and (b) all other inventions officially classified as secret or confidential for reasons of the national security. Nothing in this order shall supersede the declassification policies and procedures established by Executive Orders Nos. 9568 of June 8, 1945, 9604 of August 25, 1945, and 9809 of December 12, 1946.

Transfer of Functions

Atomic Energy Commission abolished and all functions transferred to Administrator of Energy Research and Development Administration (unless otherwise specifically provided) by section 5814 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. Energy Research and Development Administration terminated and functions vested by law in Administrator thereof transferred to Secretary of Energy (unless otherwise specifically provided) by sections 7151(a) and 7293 of Title 42.

Ex. Ord. No. 10096. Uniform Government Patent Policy for Inventions by Government Employees

Ex. Ord. No. 10096, Jan. 23, 1950, 15 F.R. 389, as amended by Ex. Ord. No. 10695, Jan. 16, 1957, 22 F.R. 365; Ex. Ord. No. 10930, Mar. 24, 1961, 26 F.R. 2583, provided:

NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes, and as President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the United States, in the interest of the establishment and operation of a uniform patent policy for the Government with respect to inventions made by Government employees, it is hereby ordered as follows:

1. The following basic policy is established for all Government agencies with respect to inventions hereafter made by any Government employee:

(a) The Government shall obtain the entire right, title, and interest in and to all inventions made by any Government employee (1) during working hours, or (2) with a contribution by the Government of facilities, equipment, materials, funds, or information, or of time or services of other Government employees on official duty, or (3) which bear a direct relation to or are made in consequence of the official duties of the inventor.

(b) In any case where the contribution of the Government, as measured by any one or more of the criteria set forth in paragraph (a) last above, to the invention, is insufficient equitably to justify a requirement of assignment to the Government of the entire right, title and interest to such invention, or in any case where the Government has insufficient interest in an invention to obtain entire right, title and interest therein (although the Government could obtain some under paragraph (a), above), the Government agency concerned, subject to the approval of the Chairman of the Government Patents Board [now Secretary of Commerce. See Ex. Ord. No. 10930 set out as a note below] (provided for in paragraph 3 of this order and hereinafter referred to as the Chairman), shall leave title to such invention in the employee, subject, however, to the reservation to the Government of a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license in the invention with power to grant licenses for all governmental purposes, such reservation, in the terms thereof, to appear, where practicable, in any patent, domestic or foreign, which may issue on such invention.

(c) In applying the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b), above, to the facts and circumstances relating to the making of any particular invention, it shall be presumed that an invention made by an employee who is employed or assigned (i) to invent or improve or perfect any art, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, (ii) to conduct or perform research, development work, or both, (iii) to supervise, direct, coordinate, or review Government financed or conducted research, development work, or both, or (iv) to act in a liaison capacity among governmental or nongovernmental agencies or individuals engaged in such work, or made by an employee included within any other category of employees specified by regulations issued pursuant to section 4(b) hereof, falls within the provisions of paragraph (a), above, and it shall be presumed that any invention made by any other employee falls within the provisions of paragraph (b), above. Either presumption may be rebutted by the facts or circumstances attendant upon the conditions under which any particular invention is made and, notwithstanding the foregoing, shall not preclude a determination that the invention falls within the provisions of paragraph (d) next below.

(d) In any case wherein the Government neither (1) pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (a) above, obtains entire right, title and interest in and to an invention nor (2) pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (b) above, reserves a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license in the invention with power to grant licenses for all governmental purposes, the Government shall leave the entire right, title and interest in and to the invention in the Government employee, subject to law.

(e) Actions taken, and rights acquired, under the foregoing provisions of this section, shall be reported to the Chairman [now Secretary of Commerce] in accordance with procedures established by him.

2. Subject to considerations of national security, or public health, safety, or welfare, the following basic policy is established for the collection, and dissemination to the public, of information concerning inventions resulting from Government research and development activities:

(a) When an invention is made under circumstances defined in paragraph 1(a) of this order giving the United States the right to title thereto, the Government agency concerned shall either prepare and file an application for patent therefor in the United States Patent Office [now Patent and Trademark Office] or make a full disclosure of the invention promptly to the Chairman [now Secretary of Commerce], who may, if he determines the Government interest so requires, cause application for patent to be filed or cause the invention to be fully disclosed by publication thereof: Provided, however, That, consistent with present practice of the Department of Agriculture, no application for patent shall, without the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture, be filed in respect of any variety of plant invented by any employee of that Department.

(b) [Revoked. Ex. Ord. No. 10695, Jan. 16, 1957, 22 F.R. 365]

3. (a) [Revoked. Ex. Ord. No. 10930, Mar. 24, 1961, 26 F.R. 2583]

(b) The Government Patents Board shall advise and confer with the Chairman concerning the operation of those aspects of the Government's patent policy which are affected by the provisions of this order or of Executive Order No. 9865, and suggest modifications or improvements where necessary.

(c) [Revoked. Ex. Ord. No. 10930, Mar. 24, 1961, 26 F.R. 2583]

(d) The Chairman shall establish such committees and other working groups as may be required to advise or assist him in the performance of any of his functions.

(e) The Chairman of the Government Patents Board [now Secretary of Commerce] and the Chairman of the Interdepartmental Committee on Scientific Research and Development (provided for by Executive Order No. 9912 of December 24, 1947), shall establish and maintain such mutual consultation as will effect the proper coordination of affairs of common concern.

4. With a view to obtaining uniform application of the policies set out in this order and uniform operations thereunder, the Chairman [now Secretary of Commerce] is authorized and directed:

(a) To consult and advise with Government agencies concerning the application and operation of the policies outlined herein;

(b) After consultation with the Government Patents Board, to formulate and submit to the President for approval such proposed rules and regulations as may be necessary or desirable to implement and effectuate the aforesaid policies, together with the recommendations of the Government Patents Board thereon;

(c) To submit annually a report to the President concerning the operation of such policies, and from time to time such recommendations for modification thereof as may be deemed desirable;

(d) To determine with finality any controversies or disputes between any Government agency and its employees, to the extent submitted by any party to the dispute, concerning the ownership of inventions made by such employees or rights therein; and

(e) To perform such other or further functions or duties as may from time to time be prescribed by the President or by statute.

5. The functions and duties of the Secretary of Commerce and the Department of Commerce under the provisions of Executive Order No. 9865 of June 14, 1947 are hereby transferred to the Chairman and the whole or any part of such functions and duties may be delegated by him to any Government agency or officer: Provided, That said Executive Order No. 9865 shall not be deemed to be amended or affected by any provision of this Executive order other than this paragraph 5.

6. Each Government agency shall take all steps appropriate to effectuate this order, including the promulgation of necessary regulations which shall not be inconsistent with this order or with regulations issued pursuant to paragraph 4(b) hereof.

7. As used in this Executive order, the next stated terms, in singular and plural, are defined as follows for the purposes hereof:

(a) “Government agency” includes any executive department and any independent commission, board, office, agency, authority, or other establishment of the Executive Branch of the Government of the United States (including any such independent regulatory commission or board, any such wholly-owned corporation, and the Smithsonian Institution), but excludes the Atomic Energy Commission.

(b) “Government employee” includes any officer or employee, civilian or military, of any Government agency, except such part-time consultants or employees as may be excluded by regulations promulgated pursuant to paragraph 4(b) hereof.

(c) “Invention” includes any art, machine, manufacture, design, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, or any variety of plant, which is or may be patentable under the patent laws of the United States.

Ex. Ord. No. 10695. Transfer of Records to Department of Commerce

Section 2 of Ex. Ord. 10695, Jan. 16, 1957, 22 F.R. 365, provided that: “The Chairman of the Government Patents Board is hereby authorized to transfer to the Department of Commerce any or all of the records heretofore prepared by the Board pursuant to paragraph 2(b) of Executive Order No. 10096.”

Ex. Ord. No. 10930. Abolition of Government Patents Board

Ex. Ord. No. 10930, Mar. 24, 1961, 26 F.R. 2583, provided:

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, it is ordered as follows:

Section 1. The Government Patents Board, established by section 3(a) of Executive Order No. 10096 of January 23, 1950 [set out above], and all positions established thereunder or pursuant thereto are hereby abolished.

Sec. 2. All functions of the Government Patents Board and of the Chairman thereof under the said Executive Order No. 10096, except the functions of conference and consultation between the Board and the Chairman, are hereby transferred to the Secretary of Commerce, who may provide for the performance of such transferred functions by such officer, employee, or agency of the Department of Commerce as he may designate.

Sec. 3. The Secretary of Commerce shall make such provision as may be necessary and consonant with law for the disposition or transfer of property, personnel, records, and funds of the Government Patents Board.

Sec. 4. Except to the extent that they may be inconsistent with this order, all determinations, regulations, rules, rulings, orders, and other actions made or issued by the Government Patents Board, or by any Government agency with respect to any function transferred by this order, shall continue in full force and effect until amended, modified, or revoked by appropriate authority.

Sec. 5. Subsections (a) and (c) of section 3 of Executive Order No. 10096 are hereby revoked, and all other provisions of that order are hereby amended to the extent that they are inconsistent with the provisions of this order.

John F. Kennedy.      

§267. Time for taking action in Government applications

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 133 and 151 of this title, the Commissioner may extend the time for taking any action to three years, when an application has become the property of the United States and the head of the appropriate department or agency of the Government has certified to the Commissioner that the invention disclosed therein is important to the armament or defense of the United States.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 811.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §37 (R.S. 4894, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §4, 29 Stat. 692, 693, (2) July 6, 1916, ch. 225, §1, 39 Stat. 345, 347–8, (3) Mar. 2, 1927, ch. 273, §1, 44 Stat. 1335, (4) Aug. 7, 1939, ch. 568, 53 Stat. 1264).

This provision, which appears as the last two sentences of the corresponding section of the present statute (see note to section 133) is made a separate section and rewritten in simpler form.

CHAPTER 28—INFRINGEMENT OF PATENTS

Sec.
271.
Infringement of patent.
272.
Temporary presence in the United States.

        

Chapter Referred to in Other Sections

This chapter is referred to in section 154 of this title.

§271. Infringement of patent

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this title, whoever without authority makes, uses or sells any patented invention, within the United States during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent.

(b) Whoever actively induces infringement of a patent shall be liable as an infringer.

(c) Whoever sells a component of a patented machine, manufacture, combination or composition, or a material or apparatus for use in practicing a patented process, constituting a material part of the invention, knowing the same to be especially made or especially adapted for use in an infringement of such patent, and not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use, shall be liable as a contributory infringer.

(d) No patent owner otherwise entitled to relief for infringement or contributory infringement of a patent shall be denied relief or deemed guilty of misuse or illegal extension of the patent right by reason of his having done one or more of the following: (1) derived revenue from acts which if performed by another without his consent would constitute contributory infringement of the patent; (2) licensed or authorized another to perform acts which if performed without his consent would constitute contributory infringement of the patent; (3) sought to enforce his patent rights against infringement or contributory infringement; (4) refused to license or use any rights to the patent; or (5) conditioned the license of any rights to the patent or the sale of the patented product on the acquisition of a license to rights in another patent or purchase of a separate product, unless, in view of the circumstances, the patent owner has market power in the relevant market for the patent or patented product on which the license or sale is conditioned.

(e)(1) It shall not be an act of infringement to make, use, or sell a patented invention (other than a new animal drug or veterinary biological product (as those terms are used in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Act of March 4, 1913) which is primarily manufactured using recombinant DNA, recombinant RNA, hybridoma technology, or other processes involving site specific genetic manipulation techniques) solely for uses reasonably related to the development and submission of information under a Federal law which regulates the manufacture, use, or sale of drugs or veterinary biological products.

(2) It shall be an act of infringement to submit—

(A) an application under section 505(j) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or described in section 505(b)(2) of such Act for a drug claimed in a patent or the use of which is claimed in a patent, or

(B) an application under section 512 of such Act or under the Act of March 4, 1913 (21 U.S.C. 151–158) for a drug or veterinary biological product which is not primarily manufactured using recombinant DNA, recombinant RNA, hybridoma technology, or other processes involving site specific genetic manipulation techniques and which is claimed in a patent or the use of which is claimed in a patent,


if the purpose of such submission is to obtain approval under such Act to engage in the commercial manufacture, use, or sale of a drug or veterinary biological product claimed in a patent or the use of which is claimed in a patent before the expiration of such patent.

(3) In any action for patent infringement brought under this section, no injunctive or other relief may be granted which would prohibit the making, using, or selling of a patented invention under paragraph (1).

(4) For an act of infringement described in paragraph (2)—

(A) the court shall order the effective date of any approval of the drug or veterinary biological product involved in the infringement to be a date which is not earlier than the date of the expiration of the patent which has been infringed,

(B) injunctive relief may be granted against an infringer to prevent the commercial manufacture, use, or sale of an approved drug or veterinary biological product, and

(C) damages or other monetary relief may be awarded against an infringer only if there has been commercial manufacture, use, or sale of an approved drug or veterinary biological product.


The remedies prescribed by subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) are the only remedies which may be granted by a court for an act of infringement described in paragraph (2), except that a court may award attorney fees under section 285.

(f)(1) Whoever without authority supplies or causes to be supplied in or from the United States all or a substantial portion of the components of a patented invention, where such components are uncombined in whole or in part, in such manner as to actively induce the combination of such components outside of the United States in a manner that would infringe the patent if such combination occurred within the United States, shall be liable as an infringer.

(2) Whoever without authority supplies or causes to be supplied in or from the United States any component of a patented invention that is especially made or especially adapted for use in the invention and not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use, where such component is uncombined in whole or in part, knowing that such component is so made or adapted and intending that such component will be combined outside of the United States in a manner that would infringe the patent if such combination occurred within the United States, shall be liable as an infringer.

(g) Whoever without authority imports into the United States or sells or uses within the United States a product which is made by a process patented in the United States shall be liable as an infringer, if the importation, sale, or use of the product occurs during the term of such process patent. In an action for infringement of a process patent, no remedy may be granted for infringement on account of the noncommercial use or retail sale of a product unless there is no adequate remedy under this title for infringement on account of the importation or other use or sale of that product. A product which is made by a patented process will, for purposes of this title, not be considered to be so made after—

(1) it is materially changed by subsequent processes; or

(2) it becomes a trivial and nonessential component of another product.


(h) As used in this section, the term “whoever” includes any State, any instrumentality of a State, and any officer or employee of a State or instrumentality of a State acting in his official capacity. Any State, and any such instrumentality, officer, or employee, shall be subject to the provisions of this title in the same manner and to the same extent as any nongovernmental entity.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 811; Sept. 24, 1984, Pub. L. 98–417, title II, §202, 98 Stat. 1603; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98–622, title I, §101(a), 98 Stat. 3383; Aug. 23, 1988, Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9003, 102 Stat. 1563; Nov. 16, 1988, Pub. L. 100–670, title II, §201(i), 102 Stat. 3988; Nov. 19, 1988, Pub. L. 100–703, title II, §201, 102 Stat. 4676; Oct. 28, 1992, Pub. L. 102–560, §2(a)(1), 106 Stat. 4230; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(a), 108 Stat. 4988.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §§533(a), 534(a), (b)(3), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4988, 4990, provided that, effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, this section is amended:


(1) in subsection (a)—

(A) by inserting “, offers to sell,” after “uses”; and

(B) by inserting “or imports into the United States any patented invention” after “the United States”;


(2) in subsection (c), by striking “sells” and inserting “offers to sell or sells within the United States or imports into the United States”;


(3) in subsection (e)—

(A) in paragraph (1), by striking “or sell” and inserting “offer to sell, or sell within the United States or import into the United States”;

(B) in paragraph (3), by striking “or selling” and inserting “offering to sell, or selling within the United States or importing into the United States”;

(C) in paragraph (4)(B), by striking “or sale” and inserting “offer to sell, or sale within the United States or importation into the United States”; and

(D) in paragraph (4)(C), by striking “or sale” and inserting “offer to sell, or sale within the United States or importation into the United States”;


(4) in subsection (g)—

(A) by striking “sells” and inserting “offers to sell, sells,”;

(B) by striking “importation, sale,” and inserting “importation, offer to sell, sale,”; and

(C) by striking “other use or” and inserting “other use, offer to sell, or”; and


(5) by adding at the end the following:


(i) As used in this section, an “offer for sale” or an “offer to sell” by a person other than the patentee, or any designee of the patentee, is that in which the sale will occur before the expiration of the term of the patent.

Historical and Revision Notes

The first paragraph of this section is declaratory only, defining infringement.

Paragraphs (b) and (c) define and limit contributory infringement of a patent and paragraph (d) is ancillary to these paragraphs, see preliminary general description of bill. One who actively induces infringement as by aiding and abetting the same is liable as an infringer, and so is one who sells a component part of a patented invention or material or apparatus for use therein knowing the same to be especially made or especially adapted for use in the infringement of the patent except in the case of a staple article or commodity of commerce having other uses. A patentee is not deemed to have misused his patent solely by reason of doing anything authorized by the section.

References in Text

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, referred to in subsec. (e)(1), (2), is act June 25, 1938, ch. 675, 52 Stat. 1040, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 9 (§301 et seq.) of Title 21, Food and Drugs. Sections 505(b)(2), 505(j), and 512 of that Act are classified, respectively, to sections 355(b)(2), 355(j), and 360b of Title 21. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 301 of Title 21 and Tables.

Act of March 4, 1913, referred to in subsec. (e)(1), (2), is act Mar. 4, 1913, ch. 145, 37 Stat. 828, as amended. The provisions of such act relating to viruses, etc., applicable to domestic animals, popularly known as the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, are classified generally to chapter 5 (§151 et seq.) of Title 21. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 151 of Title 21 and Tables.

Amendments

1992—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 102–560 added subsec. (h).

1988—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 100–703 added cls. (4) and (5).

Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(i)(1), inserted “which is primarily manufactured using recombinant DNA, recombinant RNA, hybridoma technology, or other processes involving site specific genetic manipulation techniques” after “March 4, 1913)” and “or veterinary biological products” after “sale of drugs”.

Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(i)(2), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: “It shall be an act of infringement to submit an application under section 505(j) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or described in section 505(b)(2) of such Act for a drug claimed in a patent or the use of which is claimed in a patent, if the purpose of such submission is to obtain approval under such Act to engage in the commercial manufacture, use, or sale of a drug claimed in a patent or the use of which is claimed in a patent before the expiration of such patent.”

Subsec. (e)(4). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(i)(3), inserted “or veterinary biological product” after “drug” in subpars. (A) to (C).

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 100–418 added subsec. (g).

1984—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 98–417 added subsec. (e).

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 98–622 added subsec. (f).

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(a), (b)(3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 102–560 effective with respect to violations that occur on or after Oct. 28, 1992, see section 4 of Pub. L. 102–560, set out as a note under section 2541 of Title 7, Agriculture.

Effective Date of 1988 Amendments

Section 202 of title II of Pub. L. 100–703 provided that: “The amendment made by this title [amending this section] shall apply only to cases filed on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 19, 1988].”

Section 9006 of Pub. L. 100–418 provided that:

“(a) In General.—The amendments made by this subtitle [subtitle A (§§9001–9007) of title IX of Pub. L. 100–418, enacting section 295 of this title and amending this section and sections 154 and 287 of this title] take effect 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 23, 1988] and, subject to subsections (b) and (c), shall apply only with respect to products made or imported after the effective date of the amendments made by this subtitle.

“(b) Exceptions.—The amendments made by this subtitle shall not abridge or affect the right of any person or any successor in business of such person to continue to use, sell, or import any specific product already in substantial and continuous sale or use by such person in the United States on January 1, 1988, or for which substantial preparation by such person for such sale or use was made before such date, to the extent equitable for the protection of commercial investments made or business commenced in the United States before such date. This subsection shall not apply to any person or any successor in business of such person using, selling, or importing a product produced by a patented process that is the subject of a process patent enforcement action commenced before January 1, 1987, before the International Trade Commission, that is pending or in which an order has been entered.

“(c) Retention of Other Remedies.—The amendments made by this subtitle shall not deprive a patent owner of any remedies available under subsections (a) through (f) of section 271 of title 35, United States Code, under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 [19 U.S.C. 1337], or under any other provision of law.”

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 applicable only to the supplying, or causing to be supplied, of any component or components of a patented invention after Nov. 8, 1984, see section 106(c) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 103 of this title.

Reports to Congress; Effect on Domestic Industries of Process Patent Amendments Act of 1988

Section 9007 of Pub. L. 100–418 provided that:

“(a) Contents.—The Secretary of Commerce shall, not later than the end of each 1-year period described in subsection (b), report to the Congress on the effect of the amendments made by this subtitle [subtitle A (§§9001–9007) of title IX of Pub. L. 100–418, enacting section 295 of this title and amending sections 154, 271, and 287 of this title] on those domestic industries that submit complaints to the Department of Commerce, during that 1-year period, alleging that their legitimate sources of supply have been adversely affected by the amendments made by this subtitle.

“(b) When Submitted.—A report described in subsection (a) shall be submitted with respect to each of the five 1-year periods which occur successively beginning on the effective date of the amendments made by this subtitle and ending five years after that effective date.”

Cross References

Action for infringement of patent, see section 281 of this title.

Action for infringement of patent containing invalid claim, see section 288 of this title.

Additional remedy for infringement of design patent, see section 289 of this title.

Damages for infringement of patent, see section 284 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 157, 287, 296 of this title; title 21 sections 355, 360b.

§272. Temporary presence in the United States

The use of any invention in any vessel, aircraft or vehicle of any country which affords similar privileges to vessels, aircraft or vehicles of the United States, entering the United States temporarily or accidentally, shall not constitute infringement of any patent, if the invention is used exclusively for the needs of the vessel, aircraft or vehicle and is not sold in or used for the manufacture of anything to be sold in or exported from the United States.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 812; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(4), 108 Stat. 4989.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §§533(b)(4), 534(a), (b)(3), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4989, 4990, provided that, effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, this section is amended by striking “not sold” and inserting “not offered for sale or sold”.

Historical and Revision Notes

This section follows the requirement of the International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, to which the United States is a party, and also codifies the holding of the Supreme Court that use of a patented invention on board a foreign ship does not infringe a patent.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(a), (b)(3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 157 of this title; title 42 section 2457.

CHAPTER 29—REMEDIES FOR INFRINGEMENT OF PATENT, AND OTHER ACTIONS

Sec.
281.
Remedy for infringement of patent.
282.
Presumption of validity; defenses.
283.
Injunction.
284.
Damages.
285.
Attorney fees.
286.
Time limitation on damages.
287.
Limitation on damages and other remedies; marking and notice.
288.
Action for infringement of a patent containing an invalid claim.
289.
Additional remedy for infringement of design patent.
290.
Notice of patent suits.
291.
Interfering patents.
292.
False marking.
293.
Nonresident patentee, service and notice.1

        

294.
Voluntary arbitration.
295.
Presumption: Product made by patented process.
296.
Liability of States, instrumentalities of States, and State officials for infringement of patents.

        

Amendments

1992—Pub. L. 102–560, §2(b), Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4230, added item 296.

1988—Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §§9004(b), 9005(b), Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1566, inserted “and other remedies” in item 287 and added item 295.

1982—Pub. L. 97–247, §17(b)(2), Aug. 27, 1982, 96 Stat. 323, added item 294.

Chapter Referred to in Other Sections

This chapter is referred to in sections 154, 207 of this title.

1 So in original. Does not conform to section catchline.

§281. Remedy for infringement of patent

A patentee shall have remedy by civil action for infringement of his patent.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 812.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §§67 and 70, part (R.S. 4919; R.S. 4921, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §6, 29 Stat. 694, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §8, 42 Stat. 392, (3) Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 726, §1, 60 Stat. 778).

The corresponding two sections of existing law are divided among sections 281, 283, 284, 285, 286 and 289 with some changes in language. Section 281 serves as an introduction or preamble to the following sections, the modern term civil action is used, there would be, of course, a right to a jury trial when no injunction is sought.

Cross References

Action against United States in United States Court of Federal Claims for use and manufacture of invention, see section 1498 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Jurisdiction, district courts as having original and exclusive jurisdiction of civil actions arising under any Act of Congress relating to patents, see section 1338 of Title 28.

Power of court to grant injunctions, see section 283 of this title.

Service of process in infringement action, see section 1694 of Title 28.

Venue of actions for infringement, see section 1400 of Title 28.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 157 of this title.

§282. Presumption of validity; defenses

A patent shall be presumed valid. Each claim of a patent (whether in independent, dependent, or multiple dependent form) shall be presumed valid independently of the validity of other claims; dependent or multiple dependent claims shall be presumed valid even though dependent upon an invalid claim. The burden of establishing invalidity of a patent or any claim thereof shall rest on the party asserting such invalidity.

The following shall be defenses in any action involving the validity or infringement of a patent and shall be pleaded:

(1) Noninfringement, absence of liability for infringement or unenforceability,

(2) Invalidity of the patent or any claim in suit on any ground specified in part II of this title as a condition for patentability,

(3) Invalidity of the patent or any claim in suit for failure to comply with any requirement of sections 112 or 251 of this title,

(4) Any other fact or act made a defense by this title.


In actions involving the validity or infringement of a patent the party asserting invalidity or noninfringement shall give notice in the pleadings or otherwise in writing to the adverse party at least thirty days before the trial, of the country, number, date, and name of the patentee of any patent, the title, date, and page numbers of any publication to be relied upon as anticipation of the patent in suit or, except in actions in the United States Court of Federal Claims, as showing the state of the art, and the name and address of any person who may be relied upon as the prior inventor or as having prior knowledge of or as having previously used or offered for sale the invention of the patent in suit. In the absence of such notice proof of the said matters may not be made at the trial except on such terms as the court requires. Invalidity of the extension of a patent term or any portion thereof under section 156 of this title because of the material failure—

(1) by the applicant for the extension, or

(2) by the Commissioner,


to comply with the requirements of such section shall be a defense in any action involving the infringement of a patent during the period of the extension of its term and shall be pleaded. A due diligence determination under section 156(d)(2) is not subject to review in such an action.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 812; July 24, 1965, Pub. L. 89–83, §10, 79 Stat. 261; Nov. 14, 1975, Pub. L. 94–131, §10, 89 Stat. 692; Apr. 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §161(7), 96 Stat. 49; Sept. 24, 1984, Pub. L. 98–417, title II, §203, 98 Stat. 1603; Oct. 29, 1992, Pub. L. 102–572, title IX, §902(b)(1), 106 Stat. 4516.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Derived from Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §69 (R.S. 4920, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §2, 29 Stat. 692, (2) Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 450, §1, 53 Stat. 1212).

The first paragraph declares the existing presumption of validity of patents.

The five defenses named in R.S. 4920 are omitted and replaced by a broader paragraph specifying defenses in general terms.

The third paragraph, relating to notice of prior patents, publications and uses, is based on part of the last paragraph of R.S. 4920 which was superseded by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure but which is reinstated with modifications.

Amendments

1992—Third par. Pub. L. 102–572 substituted “United States Court of Federal Claims” for “United States Claims Court”.

1984—Pub. L. 98–417 inserted provision at end that the invalidity of the extension of a patent term or any portion thereof under section 156 of this title because of the material failure by the applicant for the extension, or by the Commissioner, to comply with the requirements of such section shall be a defense in any action involving the infringement of a patent during the period of the extension of its term and shall be pleaded, and that a due diligence determination under section 156(d)(2) is not subject to review in such an action.

1982—Third par. Pub. L. 97–164 substituted “Claims Court” for “Court of Claims”.

1975—First par. Pub. L. 94–131 made presumption of validity applicable to claim of a patent in multiple dependent form and multiple dependent claims and substituted “asserting such invalidity” for “asserting it”.

1965—Pub. L. 89–83 required each claim of a patent (whether in independent or dependent form) to be presumed valid independently of the validity of other claims and required dependent claims to be presumed valid even though dependent upon an invalid claim.

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 102–572 effective Oct. 29, 1992, see section 911 of Pub. L. 102–572, set out as a note under section 171 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–164 effective Oct. 1, 1982, see section 402 of Pub. L. 97–164, set out as a note under section 171 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–131 effective Jan. 24, 1978, and applicable on and after that date to patent applications filed in the United States and to international applications, where applicable, see section 11 of Pub. L. 94–131, set out as an Effective Date note under section 351 of this title.

Effective Date of 1965 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 89–83 effective 3 months after July 24, 1965, see section 7(a) of Pub. L. 89–83, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Cross References

Patentability, prior knowledge or use, public use or sale, and abandonment, see section 102 of this title.

Time limitation on damages, see section 286 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 157, 294 of this title.

§283. Injunction

The several courts having jurisdiction of cases under this title may grant injunctions in accordance with the principles of equity to prevent the violation of any right secured by patent, on such terms as the court deems reasonable.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 812.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §70, part (R.S. 4921, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §6, 29 Stat. 694, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §8, 42 Stat. 392, (3) Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 726, §1, 60 Stat. 778).

This section is the same as the provision which opens R.S. 4921 with minor changes in language.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Injunctions, see rule 65, Title 28, Appendix, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Cross References

District courts of the United States as having original and exclusive jurisdiction of civil actions arising under any Act of Congress relating to patents, see section 1338 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 154, 157 of this title.

§284. Damages

Upon finding for the claimant the court shall award the claimant damages adequate to compensate for the infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty for the use made of the invention by the infringer, together with interest and costs as fixed by the court.

When the damages are not found by a jury, the court shall assess them. In either event the court may increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed.

The court may receive expert testimony as an aid to the determination of damages or of what royalty would be reasonable under the circumstances.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 813.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §§67 and 70, part (R.S. 4919; R.S. 4921, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §6, 29 Stat. 694, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §8, 42 Stat. 392, (3) Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 726, §1, 60 Stat. 778).

This section consolidates the provisions relating to damages in R.S. 4919 and 4921, with some changes in language.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 154, 157, 296 of this title.

§285. Attorney fees

The court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 813.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §70, part (R.S. 4921, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §6, 29 Stat. 694, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §8, 42 Stat. 392, (3) Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 726, §1, 60 Stat. 778).

This section is substantially the same as the corresponding provision in R.S. 4921; “in exceptional cases” has been added as expressing the intention of the present statute as shown by its legislative history and as interpreted by the courts.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 154, 157, 271, 296 of this title.

§286. Time limitation on damages

Except as otherwise provided by law, no recovery shall be had for any infringement committed more than six years prior to the filing of the complaint or counterclaim for infringement in the action.

In the case of claims against the United States Government for use of a patented invention, the period before bringing suit, up to six years, between the date of receipt of a written claim for compensation by the department or agency of the Government having authority to settle such claim, and the date of mailing by the Government of a notice to the claimant that his claim has been denied shall not be counted as part of the period referred to in the preceding paragraph.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 813.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §70, part (R.S. 4921, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §6, 29 Stat. 694, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §8, 42 Stat. 392, (3) Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 726, §1, 60 Stat. 778).

The first paragraph is the same as the provision in R.S. 4921 with minor changes in language, with the added provision relating to the date for counterclaims for infringement.

The second paragraph is new and relates to extending the period of limitations with respect to suits in the Court of Claims in certain instances when administrative consideration is pending.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 157 of this title.

§287. Limitation on damages and other remedies; marking and notice

(a) Patentees, and persons making or selling any patented article for or under them, may give notice to the public that the same is patented, either by fixing thereon the word “patent” or the abbreviation “pat.”, together with the number of the patent, or when, from the character of the article, this can not be done, by fixing to it, or to the package wherein one or more of them is contained, a label containing a like notice. In the event of failure so to mark, no damages shall be recovered by the patentee in any action for infringement, except on proof that the infringer was notified of the infringement and continued to infringe thereafter, in which event damages may be recovered only for infringement occurring after such notice. Filing of an action for infringement shall constitute such notice.

(b)(1) An infringer under section 271(g) shall be subject to all the provisions of this title relating to damages and injunctions except to the extent those remedies are modified by this subsection or section 9006 of the Process Patent Amendments Act of 1988. The modifications of remedies provided in this subsection shall not be available to any person who—

(A) practiced the patented process;

(B) owns or controls, or is owned or controlled by, the person who practiced the patented process; or

(C) had knowledge before the infringement that a patented process was used to make the product the importation, use, or sale of which constitutes the infringement.


(2) No remedies for infringement under section 271(g) of this title shall be available with respect to any product in the possession of, or in transit to, the person subject to liability under such section before that person had notice of infringement with respect to that product. The person subject to liability shall bear the burden of proving any such possession or transit.

(3)(A) In making a determination with respect to the remedy in an action brought for infringement under section 271(g), the court shall consider—

(i) the good faith demonstrated by the defendant with respect to a request for disclosure,

(ii) the good faith demonstrated by the plaintiff with respect to a request for disclosure, and

(iii) the need to restore the exclusive rights secured by the patent.


(B) For purposes of subparagraph (A), the following are evidence of good faith:

(i) a request for disclosure made by the defendant;

(ii) a response within a reasonable time by the person receiving the request for disclosure; and

(iii) the submission of the response by the defendant to the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer is not known, to the supplier, of the product to be purchased by the defendant, together with a request for a written statement that the process claimed in any patent disclosed in the response is not used to produce such product.


The failure to perform any acts described in the preceding sentence is evidence of absence of good faith unless there are mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances include the case in which, due to the nature of the product, the number of sources for the product, or like commercial circumstances, a request for disclosure is not necessary or practicable to avoid infringement.

(4)(A) For purposes of this subsection, a “request for disclosure” means a written request made to a person then engaged in the manufacture of a product to identify all process patents owned by or licensed to that person, as of the time of the request, that the person then reasonably believes could be asserted to be infringed under section 271(g) if that product were imported into, or sold or used in, the United States by an unauthorized person. A request for disclosure is further limited to a request—

(i) which is made by a person regularly engaged in the United States in the sale of the same type of products as those manufactured by the person to whom the request is directed, or which includes facts showing that the person making the request plans to engage in the sale of such products in the United States;

(ii) which is made by such person before the person's first importation, use, or sale of units of the product produced by an infringing process and before the person had notice of infringement with respect to the product; and

(iii) which includes a representation by the person making the request that such person will promptly submit the patents identified pursuant to the request to the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer is not known, to the supplier, of the product to be purchased by the person making the request, and will request from that manufacturer or supplier a written statement that none of the processes claimed in those patents is used in the manufacture of the product.


(B) In the case of a request for disclosure received by a person to whom a patent is licensed, that person shall either identify the patent or promptly notify the licensor of the request for disclosure.

(C) A person who has marked, in the manner prescribed by subsection (a), the number of the process patent on all products made by the patented process which have been sold by that person in the United States before a request for disclosure is received is not required to respond to the request for disclosure. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the term “all products” does not include products made before the effective date of the Process Patent Amendments Act of 1988.

(5)(A) For purposes of this subsection, notice of infringement means actual knowledge, or receipt by a person of a written notification, or a combination thereof, of information sufficient to persuade a reasonable person that it is likely that a product was made by a process patented in the United States.

(B) A written notification from the patent holder charging a person with infringement shall specify the patented process alleged to have been used and the reasons for a good faith belief that such process was used. The patent holder shall include in the notification such information as is reasonably necessary to explain fairly the patent holder's belief, except that the patent holder is not required to disclose any trade secret information.

(C) A person who receives a written notification described in subparagraph (B) or a written response to a request for disclosure described in paragraph (4) shall be deemed to have notice of infringement with respect to any patent referred to in such written notification or response unless that person, absent mitigating circumstances—

(i) promptly transmits the written notification or response to the manufacturer or, if the manufacturer is not known, to the supplier, of the product purchased or to be purchased by that person; and

(ii) receives a written statement from the manufacturer or supplier which on its face sets forth a well grounded factual basis for a belief that the identified patents are not infringed.


(D) For purposes of this subsection, a person who obtains a product made by a process patented in the United States in a quantity which is abnormally large in relation to the volume of business of such person or an efficient inventory level shall be rebuttably presumed to have actual knowledge that the product was made by such patented process.

(6) A person who receives a response to a request for disclosure under this subsection shall pay to the person to whom the request was made a reasonable fee to cover actual costs incurred in complying with the request, which may not exceed the cost of a commercially available automated patent search of the matter involved, but in no case more than $500.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 813; Aug. 23, 1988, Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9004(a), 102 Stat. 1564; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(5), 108 Stat. 4989.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §§533(b)(5), 534(a), (b)(3), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4989, 4990, provided that, effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, this section is amended:


(A) in subsection (a)—

(i) by striking “making or selling” and inserting “making, offering for sale, or selling within the United States”; and

(ii) by inserting “or importing any patented article into the United States,” after “under them,”; and


(B) in subsection (b)—

(i) in paragraph (1)(C), by striking “use, or sale” and inserting “use, offer for sale, or sale”;

(ii) in paragraph (4)(A), by striking “sold or” and inserting “sold, offered for sale, or” in the matter preceding clause (i);

(iii) in paragraph (4)(A)(ii), by striking “use, or sale” and inserting “use, offer for sale, or sale”;

(iv) in paragraph (4)(C), by striking “have been sold” and inserting “have been offered for sale or sold”; and

(v) in paragraph (4)(C), by striking “United States before” and inserting “United States, or imported by the person into the United States, before”.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §49 (R.S. 4900, amended Feb. 7, 1927, ch. 67, 44 Stat. 1058).

Language is changed. The proviso in the corresponding section of existing statute is omitted as being temporary in character and now obsolete.

References in Text

Section 9006 of the Process Patent Amendments Act of 1988, referred to in subsec. (b)(1), is section 9006 of title IX of Pub. L. 100–418, which is set out as a note under section 271 of this title.

The effective date of the Process Patent Amendments Act of 1988, referred to in subsec. (b)(4)(C), is the effective date of title IX of Pub. L. 100–418. See section 9006 of Pub. L. 100–418, set out as a note under section 271 of this title.

Amendments

1988—Pub. L. 100–418 inserted “and other remedies” in section catchline, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), and added subsec. (b).

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(a), (b)(3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–418 effective 6 months after Aug. 23, 1988, and, subject to enumerated exceptions, applicable only with respect to products made or imported after such effective date, see section 9006 of Pub. L. 100–418, set out as a note under section 271 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 157 of this title.

§288. Action for infringement of a patent containing an invalid claim

Whenever, without deceptive intention, a claim of a patent is invalid, an action may be maintained for the infringement of a claim of the patent which may be valid. The patentee shall recover no costs unless a disclaimer of the invalid claim has been entered at the Patent and Trademark Office before the commencement of the suit.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 813; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §71 (R.S. 4922).

The necessity for a disclaimer to recover on valid claims is eliminated. See section 253.

Language is changed.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Cross References

Right to disclaim and requisites and effect of disclaimer, see section 253 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 157 of this title.

§289. Additional remedy for infringement of design patent

Whoever during the term of a patent for a design, without license of the owner, (1) applies the patented design, or any colorable imitation thereof, to any article of manufacture for the purpose of sale, or (2) sells or exposes for sale any article of manufacture to which such design or colorable imitation has been applied shall be liable to the owner to the extent of his total profit, but not less than $250, recoverable in any United States district court having jurisdiction of the parties.

Nothing in this section shall prevent, lessen, or impeach any other remedy which an owner of an infringed patent has under the provisions of this title, but he shall not twice recover the profit made from the infringement.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 813.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §§74, 75 (Feb. 4, 1887, ch. 105, §§1, 2, 24 Stat. 387, 388).

Language is changed.

Cross References

Damages recoverable in action for copyright infringement, see section 501 of Title 17, Copyrights.

Patented articles marked as such and notice of infringement, see section 287 of this title.

Patents for design generally, see section 171 et seq. of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 157, 296 of this title.

§290. Notice of patent suits

The clerks of the courts of the United States, within one month after the filing of an action under this title shall give notice thereof in writing to the Commissioner, setting forth so far as known the names and addresses of the parties, name of the inventor, and the designating number of the patent upon which the action has been brought. If any other patent is subsequently included in the action he shall give like notice thereof. Within one month after the decision is rendered or a judgment issued the clerk of the court shall give notice thereof to the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall, on receipt of such notices, enter the same in the file of such patent.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 814.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §70, part (R.S. 4921, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §6, 29 Stat. 694, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §8, 42 Stat. 392, (3) Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 726, §1, 60 Stat. 778).

This is the last sentence of R.S. 4921, third paragraph, with minor changes in language.

§291. Interfering patents

The owner of an interfering patent may have relief against the owner of another by civil action, and the court may adjudge the question of the validity of any of the interfering patents, in whole or in part. The provisions of the second paragraph of section 146 of this title shall apply to actions brought under this section.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 814.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §66 (R.S. 4918, amended Mar. 2, 1927, ch. 273, §12, 44 Stat. 1337).

Language is changed.

Cross References

Appeals in interference cases, see section 141 of this title.

Civil action in case of interference, see section 146 of this title.

Proceedings in Patent and Trademark Office on interfering patents, see section 135 of this title.

§292. False marking

(a) Whoever, without the consent of the patentee, marks upon, or affixes to, or uses in advertising in connection with anything made, used, or sold by him, the name or any imitation of the name of the patentee, the patent number, or the words “patent,” “patentee,” or the like, with the intent of counterfeiting or imitating the mark of the patentee, or of deceiving the public and inducing them to believe that the thing was made or sold by or with the consent of the patentee; or

Whoever marks upon, or affixes to, or uses in advertising in connection with any unpatented article, the word “patent” or any word or number importing that the same is patented for the purpose of deceiving the public; or

Whoever marks upon, or affixes to, or uses in advertising in connection with any article, the words “patent applied for,” “patent pending,” or any word importing that an application for patent has been made, when no application for patent has been made, or if made, is not pending, for the purpose of deceiving the public—

Shall be fined not more than $500 for every such offense.

(b) Any person may sue for the penalty, in which event one-half shall go to the person suing and the other to the use of the United States.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 814; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(6), 108 Stat. 4990.)

Amendment of Subsection (a)

Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §§533(b)(6), 534(a), (b)(3), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4990, provided that, effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, subsection (a) of this section is amended:


(A) by striking “used, or sold by him” and inserting “used, offered for sale, or sold by such person within the United States, or imported by the person into the United States”; and

(B) by striking “made or sold” and inserting “made, offered for sale, sold, or imported into the United States”.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §50 (R.S. 4901).

This is a criminal provision. The first two paragraphs of the corresponding section of existing statute are consolidated, a new paragraph relating to false marking of “patent applied for” is added, and false advertising is included in all the offenses. The minimum fine which has been interpreted by the courts as a maximum, is replaced by a higher maximum. The informer action is included as additional to an ordinary criminal action.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(a), (b)(3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Cross References

Jurisdiction of district court of the United States of action for fine, penalty or forfeiture, see section 1355 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Venue of action for fine, penalty or forfeiture, see section 1395 of Title 28.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 157 of this title.

§293. Nonresident patentee; service and notice

Every patentee not residing in the United States may file in the Patent and Trademark Office a written designation stating the name and address of a person residing within the United States on whom may be served process or notice of proceedings affecting the patent or rights thereunder. If the person designated cannot be found at the address given in the last designation, or if no person has been designated, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia shall have jurisdiction and summons shall be served by publication or otherwise as the court directs. The court shall have the same jurisdiction to take any action respecting the patent or rights thereunder that it would have if the patentee were personally within the jurisdiction of the court.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 814; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93–596, §1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Historical and Revision Notes

This section provides for service on non-resident patentees.

Amendments

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

§294. Voluntary arbitration

(a) A contract involving a patent or any right under a patent may contain a provision requiring arbitration of any dispute relating to patent validity or infringement arising under the contract. In the absence of such a provision, the parties to an existing patent validity or infringement dispute may agree in writing to settle such dispute by arbitration. Any such provision or agreement shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, except for any grounds that exist at law or in equity for revocation of a contract.

(b) Arbitration of such disputes, awards by arbitrators and confirmation of awards shall be governed by title 9, United States Code, to the extent such title is not inconsistent with this section. In any such arbitration proceeding, the defenses provided for under section 282 of this title shall be considered by the arbitrator if raised by any party to the proceeding.

(c) An award by an arbitrator shall be final and binding between the parties to the arbitration but shall have no force or effect on any other person. The parties to an arbitration may agree that in the event a patent which is the subject matter of an award is subsequently determined to be invalid or unenforceable in a judgment rendered by a court to 1 competent jurisdiction from which no appeal can or has been taken, such award may be modified by any court of competent jurisdiction upon application by any party to the arbitration. Any such modification shall govern the rights and obligations between such parties from the date of such modification.

(d) When an award is made by an arbitrator, the patentee, his assignee or licensee shall give notice thereof in writing to the Commissioner. There shall be a separate notice prepared for each patent involved in such proceeding. Such notice shall set forth the names and addresses of the parties, the name of the inventor, and the name of the patent owner, shall designate the number of the patent, and shall contain a copy of the award. If an award is modified by a court, the party requesting such modification shall give notice of such modification to the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall, upon receipt of either notice, enter the same in the record of the prosecution of such patent. If the required notice is not filed with the Commissioner, any party to the proceeding may provide such notice to the Commissioner.

(e) The award shall be unenforceable until the notice required by subsection (d) is received by the Commissioner.

(Added Pub. L. 97–247, §17(b)(1), Aug. 27, 1982, 96 Stat. 322.)

Effective Date

Section 17(c) of Pub. L. 97–247 provided that: “Sections 5, 6, 8 through 12, and 17(b) of this Act [enacting this section and amending sections 21, 111, 116, and 256 of this title and sections 1058, 1063, 1064, 1065, and 1066 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade] shall take effect six months after enactment [Aug. 27, 1982].”

1 So in original. Probably should be “of”.

§295. Presumption: Product made by patented process

In actions alleging infringement of a process patent based on the importation, sale, or use of a product which is made from a process patented in the United States, if the court finds—

(1) that a substantial likelihood exists that the product was made by the patented process, and

(2) that the plaintiff has made a reasonable effort to determine the process actually used in the production of the product and was unable to so determine,


the product shall be presumed to have been so made, and the burden of establishing that the product was not made by the process shall be on the party asserting that it was not so made.

(Added Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9005(a), Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1566; amended Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(7), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4990.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §§533(b)(7), 534(a), (b)(3), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4989, 4990, provided that, effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, this section is amended by striking “sale, or use” and inserting “sale, offer for sale, or use”.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(a), (b)(3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective 6 months after Aug. 23, 1988, and, subject to enumerated exceptions, applicable only with respect to products made or imported after such effective date, see section 9006 of Pub. L. 100–418, set out as an Effective Date of 1988 Amendment note under section 271 of this title.

§296. Liability of States, instrumentalities of States, and State officials for infringement of patents

(a) In General.—Any State, any instrumentality of a State, and any officer or employee of a State or instrumentality of a State acting in his official capacity, shall not be immune, under the eleventh amendment of the Constitution of the United States or under any other doctrine of sovereign immunity, from suit in Federal court by any person, including any governmental or nongovernmental entity, for infringement of a patent under section 271, or for any other violation under this title.

(b) Remedies.—In a suit described in subsection (a) for a violation described in that subsection, remedies (including remedies both at law and in equity) are available for the violation to the same extent as such remedies are available for such a violation in a suit against any private entity. Such remedies include damages, interest, costs, and treble damages under section 284, attorney fees under section 285, and the additional remedy for infringement of design patents under section 289.

(Added Pub. L. 102–560, §2(a)(2), Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4230.)

Effective Date

Section effective with respect to violations that occur on or after Oct. 28, 1992, see section 4 of Pub. L. 102–560, set out as an Effective Date of 1992 Amendment note under section 2541 of Title 7, Agriculture.

CHAPTER 30—PRIOR ART CITATIONS TO OFFICE AND REEXAMINATION OF PATENTS

Sec.
301.
Citation of prior art.
302.
Request for reexamination.
303.
Determination of issue by Commissioner.
304.
Reexamination order by Commissioner.
305.
Conduct of reexamination proceedings.
306.
Appeal.
307.
Certificate of patentability, unpatentability, and claim cancellation.

        

§301. Citation of prior art

Any person at any time may cite to the Office in writing prior art consisting of patents or printed publications which that person believes to have a bearing on the patentability of any claim of a particular patent. If the person explains in writing the pertinency and manner of applying such prior art to at least one claim of the patent, the citation of such prior art and the explanation thereof will become a part of the official file of the patent. At the written request of the person citing the prior art, his or her identity will be excluded from the patent file and kept confidential.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §1, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3015.)

Effective Date

Chapter effective July 1, 1981, and applicable to patents in force as of July 1, 1981, or issued thereafter, see section 8(b) of Pub. L. 96–517, set out as an Effective Date of 1980 Amendment note under section 41 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 302, 303, 305 of this title.

§302. Request for reexamination

Any person at any time may file a request for reexamination by the Office of any claim of a patent on the basis of any prior art cited under the provisions of section 301 of this title. The request must be in writing and must be accompanied by payment of a reexamination fee established by the Commissioner of Patents pursuant to the provisions of section 41 of this title. The request must set forth the pertinency and manner of applying cited prior art to every claim for which reexamination is requested. Unless the requesting person is the owner of the patent, the Commissioner promptly will send a copy of the request to the owner of record of the patent.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §1, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3015.)

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 303, 304 of this title.

§303. Determination of issue by Commissioner

(a) Within three months following the filing of a request for reexamination under the provisions of section 302 of this title, the Commissioner will determine whether a substantial new question of patentability affecting any claim of the patent concerned is raised by the request, with or without consideration of other patents or printed publications. On his own initiative, and any time, the Commissioner may determine whether a substantial new question of patentability is raised by patents and publications discovered by him or cited under the provisions of section 301 of this title.

(b) A record of the Commissioner's determination under subsection (a) of this section will be placed in the official file of the patent, and a copy promptly will be given or mailed to the owner of record of the patent and to the person requesting reexamination, if any.

(c) A determination by the Commissioner pursuant to subsection (a) of this section that no substantial new question of patentability has been raised will be final and nonappealable. Upon such a determination, the Commissioner may refund a portion of the reexamination fee required under section 302 of this title.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §1, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3015.)

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 304 of this title.

§304. Reexamination order by Commissioner

If, in a determination made under the provisions of subsection 303(a) of this title, the Commissioner finds that a substantial new question of patentability affecting any claim of a patent is raised, the determination will include an order for reexamination of the patent for resolution of the question. The patent owner will be given a reasonable period, not less than two months from the date a copy of the determination is given or mailed to him, within which he may file a statement on such question, including any amendment to his patent and new claim or claims he may wish to propose, for consideration in the reexamination. If the patent owner files such a statement, he promptly will serve a copy of it on the person who has requested reexamination under the provisions of section 302 of this title. Within a period of two months from the date of service, that person may file and have considered in the reexamination a reply to any statement filed by the patent owner. That person promptly will serve on the patent owner a copy of any reply filed.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §1, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3016.)

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 305 of this title.

§305. Conduct of reexamination proceedings

After the times for filing the statement and reply provided for by section 304 of this title have expired, reexamination will be conducted according to the procedures established for initial examination under the provisions of sections 132 and 133 of this title. In any reexamination proceeding under this chapter, the patent owner will be permitted to propose any amendment to his patent and a new claim or claims thereto, in order to distinguish the invention as claimed from the prior art cited under the provisions of section 301 of this title, or in response to a decision adverse to the patentability of a claim of a patent. No proposed amended or new claim enlarging the scope of a claim of the patent will be permitted in a reexamination proceeding under this chapter. All reexamination proceedings under this section, including any appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, will be conducted with special dispatch within the Office.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §1, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3016; amended Pub. L. 98–622, title II, §204(c), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3388.)

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–622, §204(c), substituted “Patent Appeals and Interferences” for “Appeals”.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 effective three months after Nov. 8, 1984, see section 207 of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 7 of this title.

§306. Appeal

The patent owner involved in a reexamination proceeding under this chapter may appeal under the provisions of section 134 of this title, and may seek court review under the provisions of sections 141 to 145 of this title, with respect to any decision adverse to the patentability of any original or proposed amended or new claim of the patent.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §1, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3016.)

§307. Certificate of patentability, unpatentability, and claim cancellation

(a) In a reexamination proceeding under this chapter, when the time for appeal has expired or any appeal proceeding has terminated, the Commissioner will issue and publish a certificate canceling any claim of the patent finally determined to be unpatentable, confirming any claim of the patent determined to be patentable, and incorporating in the patent any proposed amended or new claim determined to be patentable.

(b) Any proposed amended or new claim determined to be patentable and incorporated into a patent following a reexamination proceeding will have the same effect as that specified in section 252 of this title for reissued patents on the right of any person who made, purchased, or used anything patented by such proposed amended or new claim, or who made substantial preparation for the same, prior to issuance of a certificate under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §1, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3016; amended Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(8), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4990.)

Amendment of Subsection (b)

Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §§533(b)(8), 534(a), (b)(3), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4990, provided that, effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, subsection (b) of this section is amended by striking “used anything” and inserting “used within the United States, or imported into the United States, anything”.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(a), (b)(3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

PART IV—PATENT COOPERATION TREATY

Chap.
Sec.
35.
Definitions
351
36.
International Stage
361
37.
National Stage
371

        

Codification

Analysis of chapters editorially supplied. Part IV added by Pub. L. 94–131 without adding analysis for chapters 35, 36, and 37.

Pub. L. 96–517 purported to amend the table of chapters of title 35 by adding after the item for chapter 37 the following: “38. Patent Rights in Inventions Made with Federal Assistance”. Title 35 did not contain a table of chapters, and section 6(b) of Pub. L. 96–517 and the purported amendment made by it were repealed by Pub. L. 97–256. See chapter 18 (§200 et seq.) of this title.

CHAPTER 35—DEFINITIONS

Sec.
351.
Definitions.

        

§351. Definitions

When used in this part unless the context otherwise indicates—

(a) The term “treaty” means the Patent Co- operation Treaty done at Washington, on June 19, 1970.

(b) The term “Regulations”, when capitalized, means the Regulations under the treaty, done at Washington on the same date as the treaty. The term “regulations”, when not capitalized, means the regulations established by the Commissioner under this title.

(c) The term “international application” means an application filed under the treaty.

(d) The term “international application originating in the United States” means an international application filed in the Patent and Trademark Office when it is acting as a Receiving Office under the treaty, irrespective of whether or not the United States has been designated in that international application.

(e) The term “international application designating the United States” means an international application specifying the United States as a country in which a patent is sought, regardless where such international application is filed.

(f) The term “Receiving Office” means a national patent office or intergovernmental organization which receives and processes international applications as prescribed by the treaty and the Regulations.

(g) The terms “International Searching Authority” and “International Preliminary Examining Authority” mean a national patent office or intergovernmental organization as appointed under the treaty which processes international applications as prescribed by the treaty and the Regulations.

(h) The term “International Bureau” means the international intergovernmental organization which is recognized as the coordinating body under the treaty and the Regulations.

(i) Terms and expressions not defined in this part are to be taken in the sense indicated by the treaty and the Regulations.

(Added Pub. L. 94–131, §1, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 685, and amended Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §403(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3392; Pub. L. 99–616, §2(a)–(c), Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3485.)

Amendments

1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–616, §2(a), struck out “, excluding chapter II thereof” after “June 19, 1970”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–616, §2(b), struck out “excluding part C thereof” after “under the treaty”.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 99–616, §2(c), substituted “The terms ‘International Searching Authority’ and ‘International Preliminary Examining Authority’ mean” for “The term ‘International Searching Authority’ means”.

1984—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 98–622 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Section 9 of Pub. L. 99–616 provided that: “Sections 2 through 8 of this Act [amending this section and sections 361, 362, 364, 368, 371, and 376 of this title] shall come into force on the same day as the effective date of entry into force of chapter II of the Patent Cooperation Treaty with respect to the United States, by virtue of the withdrawal of the declaration under article 64(1)(a) of the Patent Cooperation Treaty. It shall apply to all international applications pending before or after its effective date.”

[The Patent Cooperation Treaty became effective for the United States on Jan. 24, 1978. The United States, however, was one of six countries (out of the 40 countries who have ratified or acceded to the Treaty) which had reservations not to be bound by Chapter II. The document removing the reservation as to Chapter II was deposited with the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization on Apr. 1, 1987. Accordingly, Chapter II of the Treaty for the United States of America and Pub. L. 99–616 became effective 3 months later on July 1, 1987. See 52 F.R. 20038, 20041, May 28, 1987.]

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Section 406(a) of Pub. L. 98–622 provided that: “Section 404 of this Act [set out as a note under section 41 of this title] and the amendments made by section 403 of this Act [amending this section and sections 104, 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 367, 368, 371, 372, 373, and 376 of this title] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 8, 1984].”

Effective Date

Section 11 of Pub. L. 94–131 provided that:

“(a) Section 1 of this Act [enacting this part] shall come into force on the same day as the entry into force of the Patent Cooperation Treaty with respect to the United States. It shall apply to international and national applications filed on and after this effective date, even though entitled to the benefit of an earlier filing date, and to patents issued on such applications.

“(b) Sections 2 to 10 of this Act [amending sections 6, 41, 42, 102, 104, 112, 113, 120, and 282 of this title] shall take effect on the same day as section 1 of this Act [enacting this part] and shall apply to all applications for patent actually filed in the United States on and after this effective date, as well as to international applications where applicable.

“(c) Applications for patent on file in the Patent Office [now the Patent and Trademark Office] on the effective date of this Act, and patents issued on such applications, shall be governed by the provisions of title 35, United States Code, in effect immediately prior to the effective date of this Act.”

[The Patent Cooperation Treaty entered into force with respect to the United States on Jan. 24, 1978, with the exception of Chapter II.]

Short Title of 1986 Amendment

Section 1 of Pub. L. 99–616 provided: “That this Act [amending this section and sections 361, 362, 364, 368, 371, and 376 of this title and enacting provisions set out as a note above] may be cited as the ‘Act to authorize the United States to participate in chapter II of the Patent Cooperation Treaty’.”

CHAPTER 36—INTERNATIONAL STAGE

Sec.
361.
Receiving Office.
362.
International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority.
363.
International application designating the United States: Effect.
364.
International stage: Procedure.
365.
Right of priority; benefit of the filing date of a prior application.
366.
Withdrawn international application.
367.
Actions of other authorities: Review.
368.
Secrecy of certain inventions; filing international applications in foreign countries.

        

Amendments

1986—Pub. L. 99–616, §3, Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3485, amended item 362 generally.

§361. Receiving Office

(a) The Patent and Trademark Office shall act as a Receiving Office for international applications filed by nationals or residents of the United States. In accordance with any agreement made between the United States and another country, the Patent and Trademark Office may also act as a Receiving Office for international applications filed by residents or nationals of such country who are entitled to file international applications.

(b) The Patent and Trademark Office shall perform all acts connected with the discharge of duties required of a Receiving Office, including the collection of international fees and their transmittal to the International Bureau.

(c) International applications filed in the Patent and Trademark Office shall be in the English language.

(d) The international fee, and the transmittal and search fees prescribed under section 376(a) of this part, shall either be paid on filing of an international application or within such later time as may be fixed by the Commissioner.

(Added Pub. L. 94–131, §1, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 686; amended Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §§401(a), 403(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3391, 3392; Pub. L. 99–616, §2(d), Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3485.)

Amendments

1986—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 99–616 amended subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (d) read as follows: “The basic fee portion of the international fee, and the transmittal and search fees prescribed under section 376(a) of this part, shall be paid on filing of an international application or within one month after the date of such filing. Payment of designation fees may be made on filing and shall be made not later than one year from the priority date of the international application.”

1984—Subsecs. (a) to (c). Pub. L. 98–622, §403(a), substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 98–622, §401(a), inserted “or within one month after the date of such filing” after “application”.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–616 effective July 1, 1987, and applicable to all international applications pending before or after that date, see section 9 of Pub. L. 99–616, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by section 401(a) of Pub. L. 98–622 effective six months after Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(b) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 3 of this title.

Amendment by section 403(a) of Pub. L. 98–622 effective Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(a) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Effective Date

Chapter effective Jan. 24, 1978, and applicable to international and national applications filed on and after that date, see section 11 of Pub. L. 94–131, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 376 of this title.

§362. International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority

(a) The Patent and Trademark Office may act as an International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority with respect to international applications in accordance with the terms and conditions of an agreement which may be concluded with the International Bureau, and may discharge all duties required of such Authorities, including the collection of handling fees and their transmittal to the International Bureau.

(b) The handling fee, preliminary examination fee, and any additional fees due for international preliminary examination shall be paid within such time as may be fixed by the Commissioner.

(Added Pub. L. 94–131, §1, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 686; amended Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §403(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3392; Pub. L. 99–616, §4, Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3485.)

Amendments

1986—Pub. L. 99–616 inserted “and International Preliminary Examining Authority” in section catchline and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “The Patent and Trademark Office may act as an International Searching Authority with respect to international applications in accordance with the terms and conditions of an agreement which may be concluded with the International Bureau.”

1984—Pub. L. 98–622 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–616 effective July 1, 1987, and applicable to all international applications pending before or after that date, see section 9 of Pub. L. 99–616, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 effective Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(a) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 376 of this title.

§363. International application designating the United States: Effect

An international application designating the United States shall have the effect, from its international filing date under article 11 of the treaty, of a national application for patent regularly filed in the Patent and Trademark Office except as otherwise provided in section 102(e) of this title.

(Added Pub. L. 94–131, §1, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 686; amended Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §403(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3392.)

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–622 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 effective Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(a) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 119, 120 of this title.

§364. International stage: Procedure

(a) International applications shall be processed by the Patent and Trademark Office when acting as a Receiving Office, International Searching Authority, or International Preliminary Examining Authority, in accordance with the applicable provisions of the treaty, the Regulations, and this title.

(b) An applicant's failure to act within prescribed time limits in connection with requirements pertaining to a pending international application may be excused upon a showing satisfactory to the Commissioner of unavoidable delay, to the extent not precluded by the treaty and the Regulations, and provided the conditions imposed by the treaty and the Regulations regarding the excuse of such failure to act are complied with.

(Added Pub. L. 94–131, §1, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 686; amended Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §403(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3392; Pub. L. 99–616, §5, Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3485.)

Amendments

1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–616 substituted a comma for “or” before “International Searching Authority” and “International Preliminary Examining Authority” for “both”.

1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–622 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–616 effective July 1, 1987, and applicable to all international applications pending before or after that date, see section 9 of Pub. L. 99–616, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 effective Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(a) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§365. Right of priority; benefit of the filing date of a prior application

(a) In accordance with the conditions and requirements of subsections (a) through (d) of section 119 of this title, a national application shall be entitled to the right of priority based on a prior filed international application which designated at least one country other than the United States.

(b) In accordance with the conditions and requirement of section 119(a) of this title and the treaty and the Regulations, an international application designating the United States shall be entitled to the right of priority based on a prior foreign application, or a prior international application designating at least one country other than the United States.

(c) In accordance with the conditions and requirements of section 120 of this title, an international application designating the United States shall be entitled to the benefit of the filing date of a prior national application or a prior international application designating the United States, and a national application shall be entitled to the benefit of the filing date of a prior international application designating the United States. If any claim for the benefit of an earlier filing date is based on a prior international application which designated but did not originate in the United States, the Commissioner may require the filing in the Patent and Trademark Office of a certified copy of such application together with a translation thereof into the English language, if it was filed in another language.

(Added Pub. L. 94–131, §1, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 686; amended Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §403(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3392; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §532(c)(4), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4987.)

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–465, §532(c)(4)(A), substituted “subsections (a) through (d) of section 119” for “section 119”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–465, §532(c)(4)(B), substituted “section 119(a)” for “the first paragraph of section 119”.

1984—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–622 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective 6 months after Dec. 8, 1994, and applicable to all patent applications filed in the United States on or after that effective date, with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(b)(1), (3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 effective Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(a) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 104, 111, 154, 366 of this title.

§366. Withdrawn international application

Subject to section 367 of this part, if an international application designating the United States is withdrawn or considered withdrawn, either generally or as to the United States, under the conditions of the treaty and the Regulations, before the applicant has complied with the applicable requirements prescribed by section 371(c) of this part, the designation of the United States shall have no effect after the date of withdrawal, and shall be considered as not having been made, unless a claim for the benefit of a prior filing date under section 365(c) of this part was made in a national application, or an international application designating the United States, filed before the date of such withdrawal. However, such withdrawn international application may serve as the basis for a claim of priority under section 365(a) and (b) of this part, if it designated a country other than the United States.

(Added Pub. L. 94–131, §1, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 687; amended Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §401(b), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3391.)

Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–622 inserted “after the date of withdrawal,” after “effect” and “, unless a claim for the benefit of a prior filing date under section 365(c) of this part was made in a national application, or an international application designating the United States, filed before the date of such withdrawal” after “having been made” in first sentence, and inserted “withdrawn” after “such” in second sentence.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 effective six months after Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(b) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 3 of this title.

§367. Actions of other authorities: Review

(a) Where a Receiving Office other than the Patent and Trademark Office has refused to accord an international filing date to an international application designating the United States or where it has held such application to be withdrawn either generally or as to the United States, the applicant may request review of the matter by the Commissioner, on compliance with the requirements of and within the time limits specified by the treaty and the Regulations. Such review may result in a determination that such application be considered as pending in the national stage.

(b) The review under subsection (a) of this section, subject to the same requirements and conditions, may also be requested in those instances where an international application designating the United States is considered withdrawn due to a finding by the International Bureau under article 12(3) of the treaty.

(Added Pub. L. 94–131, §1, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 687; amended Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §403(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3392.)

Amendments

1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–622 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 effective Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(a) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 366 of this title.

§368. Secrecy of certain inventions; filing international applications in foreign countries

(a) International applications filed in the Patent and Trademark Office shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 17 of this title.

(b) In accordance with article 27(8) of the treaty, the filing of an international application in a country other than the United States on the invention made in this country shall be considered to constitute the filing of an application in a foreign country within the meaning of chapter 17 of this title, whether or not the United States is designated in that international application.

(c) If a license to file in a foreign country is refused or if an international application is ordered to be kept secret and a permit refused, the Patent and Trademark Office when acting as a Receiving Office, International Searching Authority, or International Preliminary Examining Authority, may not disclose the contents of such application to anyone not authorized to receive such disclosure.

(Added Pub. L. 94–131, §1, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 687; amended Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §403(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3392; Pub. L. 99–616, §6, Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3486.)

Amendments

1986—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–616 substituted a comma for “or” after “Receiving Office” and “International Preliminary Examining Authority” for “both”.

1984—Subsecs. (a), (c). Pub. L. 98–622 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–616 effective July 1, 1987, and applicable to all international applications pending before or after that date, see section 9 of Pub. L. 99–616, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 effective Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(a) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

CHAPTER 37—NATIONAL STAGE

Sec.
371.
National stage: Commencement.
372.
National stage: Requirements and procedure.
373.
Improper applicant.
374.
Publication of international application: Effect.
375.
Patent issued on international application: Effect.
376.
Fees.

        

§371. National stage: Commencement

(a) Receipt from the International Bureau of copies of international applications with any amendments to the claims, international search reports, and international preliminary examination reports including any annexes thereto may be required in the case of international applications designating or electing the United States.

(b) Subject to subsection (f) of this section, the national stage shall commence with the expiration of the applicable time limit under article 22(1) or (2), or under article 39(1)(a) of the treaty 1

(c) The applicant shall file in the Patent and Trademark Office—

(1) the national fee provided in section 41(a) of this title;

(2) a copy of the international application, unless not required under subsection (a) of this section or already communicated by the International Bureau, and a translation into the English language of the international application, if it was filed in another language;

(3) amendments, if any, to the claims in the international application, made under article 19 of the treaty, unless such amendments have been communicated to the Patent and Trademark Office by the International Bureau, and a translation into the English language if such amendments were made in another language;

(4) an oath or declaration of the inventor (or other person authorized under chapter 11 of this title) complying with the requirements of section 115 of this title and with regulations prescribed for oaths or declarations of applicants;

(5) a translation into the English language of any annexes to the international preliminary examination report, if such annexes were made in another language.


(d) The requirements with respect to the national fee referred to in subsection (c)(1), the translation referred to in subsection (c)(2), and the oath or declaration referred to in subsection (c)(4) of this section shall be complied with by the date of the commencement of the national stage or by such later time as may be fixed by the Commissioner. The copy of the international application referred to in subsection (c)(2) shall be submitted by the date of the commencement of the national stage. Failure to comply with these requirements shall be regarded as abandonment of the application by the parties thereof, unless it be shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that such failure to comply was unavoidable. The payment of a surcharge may be required as a condition of accepting the national fee referred to in subsection (c)(1) or the oath or declaration referred to in subsection (c)(4) of this section if these requirements are not met by the date of the commencement of the national stage. The requirements of subsection (c)(3) of this section shall be complied with by the date of the commencement of the national stage, and failure to do so shall be regarded as a cancellation of the amendments to the claims in the international application made under article 19 of the treaty. The requirement of subsection (c)(5) shall be complied with at such time as may be fixed by the Commissioner and failure to do so shall be regarded as cancellation of the amendments made under article 34(2)(b) of the treaty 1

(e) After an international application has entered the national stage, no patent may be granted or refused thereon before the expiration of the applicable time limit under article 28 or article 41 of the treaty, except with the express consent of the applicant. The applicant may present amendments to the specification, claims and drawings of the application after the national stage has commenced.

(f) At the express request of the applicant, the national stage of processing may be commenced at any time at which the application is in order for such purpose and the applicable requirements of subsection (c) of this section have been complied with.

(Added Pub. L. 94–131, §1, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 688; amended Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §§402(a)–(d), 403(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3391, 3392; Pub. L. 99–616, §7, Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3486; Pub. L. 102–204, §5(g)(2), Dec. 10, 1991, 105 Stat. 1641.)

Amendments

1991—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 102–204 substituted “provided in section 41(a) of this title” for “prescribed under section 376(a)(4) of this part”.

1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–616, §7(a), amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “Receipt from the International Bureau of copies of international applications with amendments to the claims, if any, and international search reports may be required in the case of all international applications designating the United States.”

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–616, §7(b), amended subsec. (b) generally, substituting “, or under article 39(1)(a) of the treaty” for “of the treaty.”

Subsec. (c)(4), (5). Pub. L. 99–616, §7(c), (d), substituted a semicolon for a period at end of par. (4) and added par. (5).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 99–616, §7(e), inserted “The requirement of subsection (c)(5) shall be complied with at such time as may be fixed by the Commissioner and failure to do so shall be regarded as cancellation of the amendments made under article 34(2)(b) of the treaty” at end.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–616, §7(f), inserted “or article 41” after “article 28”.

1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–622, §402(a), substituted “may be” for “is” and struck out “, except those filed in the Patent Office” after “United States”, which amendment was executed by striking out “, except those filed in the Patent and Trademark Office” as the probable intent of Congress in view of the amendment by section 403(a) of Pub. L. 98–622. See Effective Date of 1984 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 98–622, §403(a), substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98–622 struck out “, at which time the applicant shall have complied with the applicable requirements specified in subsection (c) of this section” after “of the treaty”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–622, §403(a), substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office” in provisions preceding par. (1) and in par. (3).

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 98–622, §402(c)(1), (2), substituted “communicated by” for “received from” and struck out “verified” before “translation”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 98–622, §402(d), substituted provisions setting forth time periods for compliance with the requirements of subsec. (c), payments of surcharges, and the effect of failure to comply for provisions related only to the effect of failure to comply with the requirements of subsec. (c).

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–616 effective July 1, 1987, and applicable to all international applications pending before or after that date, see section 9 of Pub. L. 99–616, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by section 402(a)–(d) of Pub. L. 98–622 effective six months after Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(b) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 3 of this title.

Amendment by section 403(a) of Pub. L. 98–622 effective Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(a) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Effective Date

Chapter effective Jan. 24, 1978, and applicable to international and national applications filed, on and after that date, see section 11 of Pub. L. 94–131, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 102, 366 of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by a period.

§372. National stage: Requirements and procedure

(a) All questions of substance and, within the scope of the requirements of the treaty and Regulations, procedure in an international application designating the United States shall be determined as in the case of national applications regularly filed in the Patent and Trademark Office.

(b) In case of international applications designating but not originating in, the United States—

(1) the Commissioner may cause to be reexamined questions relating to form and contents of the application in accordance with the requirements of the treaty and the Regulations;

(2) the Commissioner may cause the question of unity of invention to be reexamined under section 121 of this title, within the scope of the requirements of the treaty and the Regulations; and

(3) the Commissioner may require a verification of the translation of the international application or any other document pertaining to the application if the application or other document was filed in a language other than English.

(Added Pub. L. 94–131, §1, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 689; amended Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §§402(e), (f), 403(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3392.)

Amendments

1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–622, §403(a), substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 98–622, §402(e), added par. (3).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–622, §402(f), struck out subsec. (c) which related to cancellation of claims and payment of special fees.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by section 402(e), (f) of Pub. L. 98–622 effective six months after Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(b) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 3 of this title.

Amendment by section 403(a) of Pub. L. 98–622 effective Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(a) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§373. Improper applicant

An international application designating the United States, shall not be accepted by the Patent and Trademark Office for the national stage if it was filed by anyone not qualified under chapter 11 of this title to be an applicant for the purpose of filing a national application in the United States. Such international applications shall not serve as the basis for the benefit of an earlier filing date under section 120 of this title in a subsequently filed application, but may serve as the basis for a claim of the right of priority under subsections (a) through (d) of section 119 of this title, if the United States was not the sole country designated in such international application.

(Added Pub. L. 94–131, §1, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 689; amended Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §403(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3392; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §532(c)(5), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4987.)

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–465 substituted “subsections (a) through (d) of section 119” for “section 119”.

1984—Pub. L. 98–622 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective 6 months after Dec. 8, 1994, and applicable to all patent applications filed in the United States on or after that effective date, with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(b)(1), (3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 effective Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(a) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§374. Publication of international application: Effect

The publication under the treaty of an international application shall confer no rights and shall have no effect under this title other than that of a printed publication.

(Added Pub. L. 94–131, §1, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 689.)

§375. Patent issued on international application: Effect

(a) A patent may be issued by the Commissioner based on an international application designating the United States, in accordance with the provisions of this title. Subject to section 102(e) of this title, such patent shall have the force and effect of a patent issued on a national application filed under the provisions of chapter 11 of this title.

(b) Where due to an incorrect translation the scope of a patent granted on an international application designating the United States, which was not originally filed in the English language, exceeds the scope of the international application in its original language, a court of competent jurisdiction may retroactively limit the scope of the patent, by declaring it unenforceable to the extent that it exceeds the scope of the international application in its original language.

(Added Pub. L. 94–131, §1, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 689.)

§376. Fees

(a) The required payment of the international fee and the handling fee, which amounts are specified in the Regulations, shall be paid in United States currency. The Patent and Trademark Office shall charge a national fee as provided in section 41(a), and may also charge the following fees:

(1) A transmittal fee (see section 361(d));

(2) A search fee (see section 361(d));

(3) A supplemental search fee (to be paid when required);

(4) A preliminary examination fee and any additional fees (see section 362(b)).1

(5) Such other fees as established by the Commissioner.


(b) The amounts of fees specified in subsection (a) of this section, except the international fee and the handling fee, shall be prescribed by the Commissioner. He may refund any sum paid by mistake or in excess of the fees so specified, or if required under the treaty and the Regulations. The Commissioner may also refund any part of the search fee, the national fee, the preliminary examination fee, and any additional fees, where he determines such refund to be warranted.

(Added Pub. L. 94–131, §1, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 690; amended Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §§402(g), 403(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3392; Pub. L. 99–616, §8, Nov. 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 3486; Pub. L. 102–204, §5(g)(1), Dec. 10, 1991, 105 Stat. 1640.)

Amendments

1991—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102–204, §5(g)(1)(A), in introductory provisions inserted “shall charge a national fee as provided in section 41(a), and” after “Office”, redesignated pars. (5) and (6) as (4) and (5), respectively, and struck out former par. (4), which read as follows: “A national fee (see section 371(c));”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 102–204, §5(g)(1)(B), substituted “the national fee, the preliminary examination fee,” for “the preliminary examination fee”.

1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–616, §8(a), in introductory provisions, inserted “and the handling fee” and substituted “amounts are” for “amount is”, added par. (5), and redesignated former par. (5) as (6).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–616, §8(b), inserted “and the handling fee” and “the preliminary examination fee and any additional fees,”.

1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–622, §403(a), substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office” in provision preceding par. (1).

Subsec. (a)(5), (6). Pub. L. 98–622, §402(g), redesignated par. (6) as (5). Former par. (5), which read “A special fee (to be paid when required; see section 372(c))”, was struck out.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–616 effective July 1, 1987, and applicable to all international applications pending before or after that date, see section 9 of Pub. L. 99–616, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by section 402(g) of Pub. L. 98–622 effective six months after Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(b) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 3 of this title.

Amendment by section 403(a) of Pub. L. 98–622 effective Nov. 8, 1984, see section 406(a) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 361 of this title.

[CHAPTER 38—TRANSFERRED]

Codification

Chapter 38, as added by Pub. L. 96–517, §6(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3018, was originally editorially inserted after chapter 17 of this title because the probable intent of Congress was to designate the chapter as “18”, in view of the numerical designation of the sections contained in the chapter as sections 200 to 211 and in view of the subject matter of the chapter in relation to the subject matter of Part II of this title. Pub. L. 97–256, title I, §101(5), Sept. 8, 1982, 96 Stat. 816, redesignated chapter 38 as chapter 18 and transferred chapter 18, as so redesignated, from the end of this part to the end of Part II. See 1982 Amendment note set out under the analysis of chapter 18 (§200 et seq.) of this title.

1 So in original. The period probably should be “; and”.