35 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 35 - PATENTS
PART II - PATENTABILITY OF INVENTIONS AND GRANT OF PATENTS
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

PART II—PATENTABILITY OF INVENTIONS AND GRANT OF PATENTS

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

2002—Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(a)(6), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1904, substituted “Examination of Application” for “Examination of Applications” in heading of chapter 12.

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.

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

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.

        

Amendment of Analysis

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(b)(3), (d), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 287, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, this analysis is amended by amending item 102 to read “Conditions for patentability; novelty” and by striking out item 104. See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §3(b)(3), (d), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 287, substituted in item 102 “Conditions for patentability; novelty” for “Conditions for patentability; novelty and loss of right to patent” and struck out item 104 “Invention made abroad”.

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

§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.

(e) The term “third-party requester” means a person requesting ex parte reexamination under section 302 or inter partes reexamination under section 311 who is not the patent owner.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 797; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4603], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–567; Pub. L. 112–29, §3(a), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 285.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(a), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 285, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, this section is amended:

(1) in subsection (e), by striking “or inter partes reexamination under section 311”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

(f) The term “inventor” means the individual or, if a joint invention, the individuals collectively who invented or discovered the subject matter of the invention.

(g) The terms “joint inventor” and “coinventor” mean any 1 of the individuals who invented or discovered the subject matter of a joint invention.

(h) The term “joint research agreement” means a written contract, grant, or cooperative agreement entered into by 2 or more persons or entities for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work in the field of the claimed invention.

(i)(1) The term “effective filing date” for a claimed invention in a patent or application for patent means—

(A) if subparagraph (B) does not apply, the actual filing date of the patent or the application for the patent containing a claim to the invention; or

(B) the filing date of the earliest application for which the patent or application is entitled, as to such invention, to a right of priority under section 119, 365(a), or 365(b) or to the benefit of an earlier filing date under section 120, 121, or 365(c).


(2) The effective filing date for a claimed invention in an application for reissue or reissued patent shall be determined by deeming the claim to the invention to have been contained in the patent for which reissue was sought.

(j) The term “claimed invention” means the subject matter defined by a claim in a patent or an application for a patent.

See 2011 Amendment notes below.

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.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 112–29, §3(a)(1), struck out “or inter partes reexamination under section 311” after “302”.

Subsecs. (f) to (j). Pub. L. 112–29, §3(a)(2), added subsecs. (f) to (j).

1999—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 106–113 added subsec. (e).

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 293, provided that:

“(1) In general.—Except as otherwise provided in this section [amending this section and sections 32, 102, 103, 111, 119, 120, 134, 135, 145, 146, 154, 172, 202, 287, 291, 305, 363, 374, and 375 of this title, repealing sections 104 and 157 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 32, 102, and 111 of this title], the amendments made by this section shall take effect upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011], and shall apply to any application for patent, and to any patent issuing thereon, that contains or contained at any time—

“(A) a claim to a claimed invention that has an effective filing date as defined in section 100(i) of title 35, United States Code, that is on or after the effective date described in this paragraph; or

“(B) a specific reference under section 120, 121, or 365(c) of title 35, United States Code, to any patent or application that contains or contained at any time such a claim.

“(2) Interfering patents.—The provisions of sections 102(g), 135, and 291 of title 35, United States Code, as in effect on the day before the effective date set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection, shall apply to each claim of an application for patent, and any patent issued thereon, for which the amendments made by this section also apply, if such application or patent contains or contained at any time—

“(A) a claim to an invention having an effective filing date as defined in section 100(i) of title 35, United States Code, that occurs before the effective date set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection; or

“(B) a specific reference under section 120, 121, or 365(c) of title 35, United States Code, to any patent or application that contains or contained at any time such a claim.”

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective Nov. 29, 1999, and applicable to any patent issuing from an original application filed in the United States on or after that date, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4608(a)] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 41 of this 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.

Limitation on Issuance of Patents

Pub. L. 112–29, §33, Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 340, provided that:

“(a) Limitation.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no patent may issue on a claim directed to or encompassing a human organism.

“(b) Effective Date.—

“(1) In general.—Subsection (a) shall apply to any application for patent that is pending on, or filed on or after, the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011].

“(2) Prior applications.—Subsection (a) shall not affect the validity of any patent issued on an application to which paragraph (1) does not apply.”

§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 (1) an application for patent, published under section 122(b), by another filed in the United States before the invention by the applicant for patent or (2) a patent granted on an application for patent by another filed in the United States before the invention by the applicant for patent, except that an international application filed under the treaty defined in section 351(a) shall have the effects for the purposes of this subsection of an application filed in the United States only if the international application designated the United States and was published under Article 21(2) of such treaty in the English language; 1 or

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

(g)(1) during the course of an interference conducted under section 135 or section 291, another inventor involved therein establishes, to the extent permitted in section 104, that before such person's invention thereof the invention was made by such other inventor and not abandoned, suppressed, or concealed, or (2) before such person's invention thereof, the invention was made in this country by another inventor who had not abandoned, suppressed, or concealed it. In determining priority of invention under this subsection, 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; Pub. L. 92–358, §2, July 28, 1972, 86 Stat. 502; Pub. L. 94–131, §5, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 691; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §§4505, 4806], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–565, 1501A–590; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13205(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1902; Pub. L. 112–29, §3(b)(1), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 285.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(b)(1), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 285, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, this section is amended to read as follows:

§102. Conditions for patentability; novelty

(a) Novelty; Prior Art.—A person shall be entitled to a patent unless—

(1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention; or

(2) the claimed invention was described in a patent issued under section 151, or in an application for patent published or deemed published under section 122(b), in which the patent or application, as the case may be, names another inventor and was effectively filed before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.


(b) Exceptions.—

(1) Disclosures made 1 year or less before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.—A disclosure made 1 year or less before the effective filing date of a claimed invention shall not be prior art to the claimed invention under subsection (a)(1) if—

(A) the disclosure was made by the inventor or joint inventor or by another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor; or

(B) the subject matter disclosed had, before such disclosure, been publicly disclosed by the inventor or a joint inventor or another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor.


(2) Disclosures appearing in applications and patents.—A disclosure shall not be prior art to a claimed invention under subsection (a)(2) if—

(A) the subject matter disclosed was obtained directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor;

(B) the subject matter disclosed had, before such subject matter was effectively filed under subsection (a)(2), been publicly disclosed by the inventor or a joint inventor or another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor; or

(C) the subject matter disclosed and the claimed invention, not later than the effective filing date of the claimed invention, were owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.


(c) Common Ownership Under Joint Research Agreements.—Subject matter disclosed and a claimed invention shall be deemed to have been owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person in applying the provisions of subsection (b)(2)(C) if—

(1) the subject matter disclosed was developed and the claimed invention was made by, or on behalf of, 1 or more parties to a joint research agreement that was in effect on or before the effective filing date of the claimed invention;

(2) the claimed invention was made as a result of activities undertaken within the scope of the joint research agreement; and

(3) the application for patent for the claimed invention discloses or is amended to disclose the names of the parties to the joint research agreement.


(d) Patents and Published Applications Effective as Prior Art.—For purposes of determining whether a patent or application for patent is prior art to a claimed invention under subsection (a)(2), such patent or application shall be considered to have been effectively filed, with respect to any subject matter described in the patent or application—

(1) if paragraph (2) does not apply, as of the actual filing date of the patent or the application for patent; or

(2) if the patent or application for patent is entitled to claim a right of priority under section 119, 365(a), or 365(b), or to claim the benefit of an earlier filing date under section 120, 121, or 365(c), based upon 1 or more prior filed applications for patent, as of the filing date of the earliest such application that describes the subject matter.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to conditions for patentability; novelty and loss of right to patent.

2002—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 107–273, amended Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4505]. See 1999 Amendment note below. Prior to being amended by Pub. L. 107–273, Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4505], had amended subsec. (e) to read as follows: “The invention was described in—

“(1) an application for patent, published under section 122(b), by another filed in the United States before the invention by the applicant for patent, except that an international application filed under the treaty defined in section 351(a) shall have the effect under this subsection of a national application published under section 122(b) only if the international application designating the United States was published under Article 21(2)(a) of such treaty in the English language; or

“(2) a patent granted on an application for patent by another filed in the United States before the invention by the applicant for patent, except that a patent shall not be deemed filed in the United States for the purposes of this subsection based on the filing of an international application filed under the treaty defined in section 351(a); or”.

1999—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4505], as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, amended subsec. (e) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (e) read as follows: “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”.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4806], amended subsec. (g) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (g) read as follows: “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.”

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, see section 3(n) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4505] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective Nov. 29, 2000 and applicable to all patents and all applications for patents pending on or filed after Nov. 29, 2000, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4508] of Pub. L. 106–113, as amended, set out as a note under section 10 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.

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 Provisions

Provisions of subsec. (g) of this section as in effect on the day before the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, apply to each claim of certain applications for patent, and certain patents issued thereon, for which the amendments made by section 3 of Pub. L. 112–29 also apply, see section 3(n)(2) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 of this title.

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

Continuity of Intent Under the CREATE Act

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(b)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 287, provided that: “The enactment of section 102(c) of title 35, United States Code, under paragraph (1) of this subsection is done with the same intent to promote joint research activities that was expressed, including in the legislative history, through the enactment of the Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement Act of 2004 (Public Law 108–453; the ‘CREATE Act’) [see Short Title of 2004 Amendment note set out under section 1 of this title], the amendments of which are stricken by subsection (c) of this section [amending section 103 of this title]. The United States Patent and Trademark Office shall administer section 102(c) of title 35, United States Code, in a manner consistent with the legislative history of the CREATE Act that was relevant to its administration by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.”

Tax Strategies Deemed Within the Prior Art

Pub. L. 112–29, §14, Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 327, provided that:

“(a) In General.—For purposes of evaluating an invention under section 102 or 103 of title 35, United States Code, any strategy for reducing, avoiding, or deferring tax liability, whether known or unknown at the time of the invention or application for patent, shall be deemed insufficient to differentiate a claimed invention from the prior art.

“(b) Definition.—For purposes of this section, the term ‘tax liability’ refers to any liability for a tax under any Federal, State, or local law, or the law of any foreign jurisdiction, including any statute, rule, regulation, or ordinance that levies, imposes, or assesses such tax liability.

“(c) Exclusions.—This section does not apply to that part of an invention that—

“(1) is a method, apparatus, technology, computer program product, or system, that is used solely for preparing a tax or information return or other tax filing, including one that records, transmits, transfers, or organizes data related to such filing; or

“(2) is a method, apparatus, technology, computer program product, or system used solely for financial management, to the extent that it is severable from any tax strategy or does not limit the use of any tax strategy by any taxpayer or tax advisor.

“(d) Rule of Construction.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to imply that other business methods are patentable or that other business method patents are valid.

“(e) Effective Date; Applicability.—This section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011] and shall apply to any patent application that is pending on, or filed on or after, that date, and to any patent that is issued on or after that date.”

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 as of such earlier filing dates, see section 1(a) of Pub. L. 92–34, formerly set out in a note under section 111 of this title.

1 So in original. The semicolon probably should be a comma.

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

(a) 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.

(b)(1) Notwithstanding subsection (a), and upon timely election by the applicant for patent to proceed under this subsection, a biotechnological process using or resulting in a composition of matter that is novel under section 102 and nonobvious under subsection (a) of this section shall be considered nonobvious if—

(A) claims to the process and the composition of matter are contained in either the same application for patent or in separate applications having the same effective filing date; and

(B) the composition of matter, and the process at the time it was invented, were owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.


(2) A patent issued on a process under paragraph (1)—

(A) shall also contain the claims to the composition of matter used in or made by that process, or

(B) shall, if such composition of matter is claimed in another patent, be set to expire on the same date as such other patent, notwithstanding section 154.


(3) For purposes of paragraph (1), the term “biotechnological process” means—

(A) a process of genetically altering or otherwise inducing a single- or multi-celled organism to—

(i) express an exogenous nucleotide sequence,

(ii) inhibit, eliminate, augment, or alter expression of an endogenous nucleotide sequence, or

(iii) express a specific physiological characteristic not naturally associated with said organism;


(B) cell fusion procedures yielding a cell line that expresses a specific protein, such as a monoclonal antibody; and

(C) a method of using a product produced by a process defined by subparagraph (A) or (B), or a combination of subparagraphs (A) and (B).


(c)(1) Subject matter developed by another person, which qualifies as prior art only under one or more of subsections (e), (f), and (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 claimed invention was made, owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.

(2) For purposes of this subsection, subject matter developed by another person and a claimed invention shall be deemed to have been owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person if—

(A) the claimed invention was made by or on behalf of parties to a joint research agreement that was in effect on or before the date the claimed invention was made;

(B) the claimed invention was made as a result of activities undertaken within the scope of the joint research agreement; and

(C) the application for patent for the claimed invention discloses or is amended to disclose the names of the parties to the joint research agreement.


(3) For purposes of paragraph (2), the term “joint research agreement” means a written contract, grant, or cooperative agreement entered into by two or more persons or entities for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work in the field of the claimed invention.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 798; Pub. L. 98–622, title I, §103, Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3384; Pub. L. 104–41, §1, Nov. 1, 1995, 109 Stat. 351; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4807(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–591; Pub. L. 108–453, §2, Dec. 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3596; Pub. L. 112–29, §§3(c), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 287, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment notes below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(c), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 287, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, this section is amended to read as follows:

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

A patent for a claimed invention may not be obtained, notwithstanding that the claimed invention is not identically disclosed as set forth in section 102, if the differences between the claimed invention and the prior art are such that the claimed invention as a whole would have been obvious before the effective filing date of the claimed invention to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which the claimed invention pertains. Patentability shall not be negated by the manner in which the invention was made.

See 2011 Amendment notes below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §3(c), amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section consisted of subsecs. (a) to (c) and related to conditions for patentability; non-obvious subject matter.

Subsecs. (a), (c)(1). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “102”.

2004—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 108–453 amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) read as follows: “Subject matter developed by another person, which qualifies as prior art only under one or more of subsections (e), (f), and (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.”

1999—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 106–113 substituted “one or more of subsections (e), (f), and (g)” for “subsection (f) or (g)”.

1995—Pub. L. 104–41 designated first and second pars. as subsecs. (a) and (c), respectively, and added subsec. (b).

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 3(c) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, see section 3(n) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 of this title.

Amendment by section 20(j) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 2004 Amendment

Pub. L. 108–453, §3, Dec. 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3596, provided that:

“(a) In General.—The amendments made by this Act [amending this section] shall apply to any patent granted on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 10, 2004].

“(b) Special Rule.—The amendments made by this Act shall not affect any final decision of a court or the United States Patent and Trademark Office rendered before the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall not affect the right of any party in any action pending before the United States Patent and Trademark Office or a court on the date of the enactment of this Act to have that party's rights determined on the basis of the provisions of title 35, United States Code, in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act.”

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4807(b)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–591, provided that: “The amendment made by this section [amending this section] shall apply to any application for patent filed on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 29, 1999].”

Effective Date of 1995 Amendment

Section 3 of Pub. L. 104–41 provided that: “The amendments made by section 1 [amending this section] shall apply to any application for patent filed on or after the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 1, 1995] and to any application for patent pending on such date of enactment, including (in either case) an application for the reissuance of a patent.”

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.”

§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 Director, 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.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 798; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 94–131, §6, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 691; Pub. L. 98–622, title IV, §403(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3392; Pub. L. 103–182, title III, §331, Dec. 8, 1993, 107 Stat. 2113; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §531(a), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4982; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906; (As amended Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

Repeal of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(d), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 287, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, this section is repealed.

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)(1), is classified to section 3301(4) of Title 19, Customs Duties.

Section 2(10) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(2), is classified to section 3501(10) of Title 19.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 112–29, 20(j), struck out “of this title” after “365”.

2002—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner”.

1994—Pub. L. 103–465 amended section generally, expanding scope of section to include WTO member countries along with NAFTA countries and defining term “WTO member country”.

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 Repeal

Repeal effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, see section 3(n) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 of this title.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 20(j) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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.

§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.
Inventors.
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; publication of patent applications.
123.
Micro entity defined.

        

Amendment of Analysis

Pub. L. 112–29, §4(a)(4), (e), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 296, 297, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent application that is filed on or after that effective date, this analysis is amended by amending item 115 to read “Inventor's oath or declaration.” See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §10(g)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 319, which directed adding item 123 at the end of this chapter, was executed by adding the item at the end of the table of sections of this chapter, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Pub. L. 112–29, §4(a)(4), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 296, amended item 115 generally, substituting “Inventor's oath or declaration” for “Oath of applicant”.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(a)(7), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1904, substituted “Inventors” for “Joint inventors” in item 116.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4507(5)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–566, inserted “; publication of patent applications” after “applications” in item 122.

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.

§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 Director.

(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 Director.

(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 Director 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 Director. 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 Director.

(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 Director 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.—Notwithstanding the absence of a claim, upon timely request and as prescribed by the Director, a provisional application may be treated as an application filed under subsection (a). Subject to section 119(e)(3) of this title, if no such request is made, the provisional application shall be regarded as abandoned 12 months after the filing date of such application and shall not be subject to revival after such 12-month period.

(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 Director, 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; Pub. L. 97–247, §5, Aug. 27, 1982, 96 Stat. 319; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §532(b)(3), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4986; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §§4732(a)(10)(A), 4801(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582, 1501A–588; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906; Pub. L. 112–29, §§3(e)(2), 4(a)(3), (d), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 287, 295, 296, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears except the first instance of the use of such term in subsection (b)(8). See 2011 Amendment notes below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §4(a)(3), (d), (e), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 295–297, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent application that is filed on or after that effective date, this section is amended:

(1) in subsection (a)—

(A) in paragraph (2)(C), by striking “by the applicant” and inserting “or declaration”;

(B) in the heading for paragraph (3), by inserting “or declaration” after “and oath”; and

(C) by inserting “or declaration” after “and oath” each place it appears; and


(2) in subsection (b)—

(A) in paragraph (1)(A), by striking “the first paragraph of section 112 of this title” and inserting “section 112(a)”; and

(B) in paragraph (2), by striking “the second through fifth paragraphs of section 112,” and inserting “subsections (b) through (e) of section 112,”.

See 2011 Amendment notes below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(e)(2), (3), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 287, 288, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any request for a statutory invention registration filed on or after that effective date, subsection (b)(8) of this section is amended by striking “sections 115, 131, 135, and 157” and inserting “sections 131 and 135”. See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “112”.

Subsec. (a)(2)(B). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “113”.

Subsec. (a)(2)(C). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “115”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §4(a)(3)(A), substituted “or declaration” for “by the applicant”.

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 112–29, §4(a)(3)(B), (C), inserted “or declaration” after “and oath” in heading and text.

Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 112–29, §4(a)(3)(C), inserted “or declaration” after “and oath” in two places.

Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 112–29, §4(d)(1), substituted “section 112(a)” for “the first paragraph of section 112 of this title”.

Subsec. (b)(1)(B). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “113”.

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 112–29, §4(d)(2), substituted “subsections (b) through (e) of section 112,” for “the second through fifth paragraphs of section 112,”.

Subsec. (b)(5). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “119(e)(3)”.

Subsec. (b)(6). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “119(e)”.

Subsec. (b)(7). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “365(a)” and after “365(c)”.

Subsec. (b)(8). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” before period at end.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(e)(2), substituted “sections 131 and 135” for “sections 115, 131, 135, and 157”.

2002—Subsecs. (a)(1), (3), (4), (b)(1), (3)(B), (C), (6). Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)]. See 1999 Amendment notes below.

1999—Subsecs. (a)(1), (3), (4), (b)(1), (3)(B), (C). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner”.

Subsec. (b)(5). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4801(a)], amended heading and text of par. (5) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “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.”

Subsec. (b)(6). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner”.

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 2011 Amendment

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(e)(3), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 288, provided that: “The amendments made by this subsection [amending this section and repealing section 157 of this title] shall take effect upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011], and shall apply to any request for a statutory invention registration filed on or after that effective date.”

Pub. L. 112–29, §4(e), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 297, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending this section and sections 112, 115, 118, 121, and 251 of this title] shall take effect upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011] and shall apply to any patent application that is filed on or after that effective date.”

Amendment by section 20(j) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4801(a)] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective Nov. 29, 1999, and applicable to any provisional application filed on or after June 8, 1995, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4801(d)] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 119 of this title.

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, provided that a patent or trademark application would be considered filed in the United States Patent Office on the date that it would have been received by the Patent Office except for the delay caused by emergency situation affecting postal service from Mar. 18, 1970 to Mar. 30, 1970, if a claim was made.

§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; Pub. L. 89–83, §9, July 24, 1965, 79 Stat. 261; Pub. L. 94–131, §7, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 691; Pub. L. 112–29, §4(c), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 296.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §4(c), (e), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 296, 297, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent application that is filed on or after that effective date, this section is amended:

(1) in the first undesignated paragraph—

(A) by striking “The specification” and inserting “(a) IN GENERAL.—The specification”; and

(B) by striking “of carrying out his invention” and inserting “or joint inventor of carrying out the invention”;


(2) in the second undesignated paragraph—

(A) by striking “The specification” and inserting “(b) CONCLUSION.—The specification”; and

(B) by striking “applicant regards as his invention” and inserting “inventor or a joint inventor regards as the invention”;


(3) in the third undesignated paragraph, by striking “A claim” and inserting “(c) FORM.—A claim”;

(4) in the fourth undesignated paragraph, by striking “Subject to the following paragraph,” and inserting “(d) REFERENCE IN DEPENDENT FORMS.—Subject to subsection (e),”;

(5) in the fifth undesignated paragraph, by striking “A claim” and inserting “(e) REFERENCE IN MULTIPLE DEPENDENT FORM.—A claim”; and

(6) in the last undesignated paragraph, by striking “An element” and inserting “(f) ELEMENT IN CLAIM FOR A COMBINATION.—An element”.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 designated first to sixth pars. as subsecs. (a) to (f), respectively, inserted headings, in subsec. (a), substituted “or joint inventor of carrying out the invention” for “of carrying out his invention”, in subsec. (b), substituted “inventor or a joint inventor regards as the invention” for “applicant regards as his invention”, and in subsec. (d), substituted “Subject to subsection (e),” for “Subject to the following paragraph,”.

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent application that is filed on or after that effective date, see section 4(e) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 111 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.

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.

§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 Director 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; Pub. L. 94–131, §8, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 691; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906.)

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

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner”.

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 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 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.

§114. Models, specimens

The Director 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 Director may require the applicant to furnish specimens or ingredients for the purpose of inspection or experiment.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 799; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906.)

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.

Amendments

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” in two places.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

§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. For purposes of this section, a consular officer shall include any United States citizen serving overseas, authorized to perform notarial functions pursuant to section 1750 of the Revised Statutes, as amended (22 U.S.C. 4221).

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 799; Pub. L. 97–247, §14(a), Aug. 27, 1982, 96 Stat. 321; Pub. L. 105–277, div. G, title XXII, §2222(d), Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–818; Pub. L. 112–29, §4(a)(1), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 293.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §4(a)(1), (e), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 293, 297, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent application that is filed on or after that effective date, this section is amended to read as follows:

§115. Inventor's oath or declaration

(a) Naming the Inventor; Inventor's Oath or Declaration.—An application for patent that is filed under section 111(a) or commences the national stage under section 371 shall include, or be amended to include, the name of the inventor for any invention claimed in the application. Except as otherwise provided in this section, each individual who is the inventor or a joint inventor of a claimed invention in an application for patent shall execute an oath or declaration in connection with the application.

(b) Required Statements.—An oath or declaration under subsection (a) shall contain statements that—

(1) the application was made or was authorized to be made by the affiant or declarant; and

(2) such individual believes himself or herself to be the original inventor or an original joint inventor of a claimed invention in the application.


(c) Additional Requirements.—The Director may specify additional information relating to the inventor and the invention that is required to be included in an oath or declaration under subsection (a).

(d) Substitute Statement.—

(1) In general.—In lieu of executing an oath or declaration under subsection (a), the applicant for patent may provide a substitute statement under the circumstances described in paragraph (2) and such additional circumstances that the Director may specify by regulation.

(2) Permitted circumstances.—A substitute statement under paragraph (1) is permitted with respect to any individual who—

(A) is unable to file the oath or declaration under subsection (a) because the individual—

(i) is deceased;

(ii) is under legal incapacity; or

(iii) cannot be found or reached after diligent effort; or


(B) is under an obligation to assign the invention but has refused to make the oath or declaration required under subsection (a).


(3) Contents.—A substitute statement under this subsection shall—

(A) identify the individual with respect to whom the statement applies;

(B) set forth the circumstances representing the permitted basis for the filing of the substitute statement in lieu of the oath or declaration under subsection (a); and

(C) contain any additional information, including any showing, required by the Director.


(e) Making Required Statements in Assignment of Record.—An individual who is under an obligation of assignment of an application for patent may include the required statements under subsections (b) and (c) in the assignment executed by the individual, in lieu of filing such statements separately.

(f) Time for Filing.—A notice of allowance under section 151 may be provided to an applicant for patent only if the applicant for patent has filed each required oath or declaration under subsection (a) or has filed a substitute statement under subsection (d) or recorded an assignment meeting the requirements of subsection (e).

(g) Earlier-Filed Application Containing Required Statements or Substitute Statement.—

(1) Exception.—The requirements under this section shall not apply to an individual with respect to an application for patent in which the individual is named as the inventor or a joint inventor and who claims the benefit under section 120, 121, or 365(c) of the filing of an earlier-filed application, if—

(A) an oath or declaration meeting the requirements of subsection (a) was executed by the individual and was filed in connection with the earlier-filed application;

(B) a substitute statement meeting the requirements of subsection (d) was filed in connection with the earlier filed application with respect to the individual; or

(C) an assignment meeting the requirements of subsection (e) was executed with respect to the earlier-filed application by the individual and was recorded in connection with the earlier-filed application.


(2) Copies of oaths, declarations, statements, or assignments.—Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Director may require that a copy of the executed oath or declaration, the substitute statement, or the assignment filed in connection with the earlier-filed application be included in the later-filed application.


(h) Supplemental and Corrected Statements; Filing Additional Statements.—

(1) In general.—Any person making a statement required under this section may withdraw, replace, or otherwise correct the statement at any time. If a change is made in the naming of the inventor requiring the filing of 1 or more additional statements under this section, the Director shall establish regulations under which such additional statements may be filed.

(2) Supplemental statements not required.—If an individual has executed an oath or declaration meeting the requirements of subsection (a) or an assignment meeting the requirements of subsection (e) with respect to an application for patent, the Director may not thereafter require that individual to make any additional oath, declaration, or other statement equivalent to those required by this section in connection with the application for patent or any patent issuing thereon.

(3) Savings clause.—A patent shall not be invalid or unenforceable based upon the failure to comply with a requirement under this section if the failure is remedied as provided under paragraph (1).


(i) Acknowledgment of Penalties.—Any declaration or statement filed pursuant to this section shall contain an acknowledgment that any willful false statement made in such declaration or statement is punishable under section 1001 of title 18 by fine or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “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. For purposes of this section, a consular officer shall include any United States citizen serving overseas, authorized to perform notarial functions pursuant to section 1750 of the Revised Statutes, as amended (22 U.S.C. 4221).”

1998—Pub. L. 105–277 inserted at end “For purposes of this section, a consular officer shall include any United States citizen serving overseas, authorized to perform notarial functions pursuant to section 1750 of the Revised Statutes, as amended (22 U.S.C. 4221).”

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent application that is filed on or after that effective date, see section 4(e) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 111 of this title.

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.

§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 Director, 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 Director may permit the application to be amended accordingly, under such terms as he prescribes.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 799; Pub. L. 97–247, §6(a), Aug. 27, 1982, 96 Stat. 320; Pub. L. 98–622, title I, §104(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3384; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906; Pub. L. 112–29, §20(a), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 333.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(a), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 333, 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended:

(1) in the first undesignated paragraph, by striking “When” and inserting “(a) JOINT INVENTIONS.—When”;

(2) in the second undesignated paragraph, by striking “If a joint inventor” and inserting “(b) OMITTED INVENTOR.—If a joint inventor”; and

(3) in the third undesignated paragraph—

(A) by striking “Whenever” and inserting “(c) CORRECTION OF ERRORS IN APPLICATION.—Whenever”; and

(B) by striking “and such error arose without any deceptive intention on his part,”.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 designated first to third pars. as subsecs. (a) to (c), respectively, inserted headings, and in subsec. (c), struck out “and such error arose without any deceptive intention on his part,” before “the Director”.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” in two places.

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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.

§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.

§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 Director may grant a patent to such inventor upon such notice to him as the Director deems sufficient, and on compliance with such regulations as he prescribes.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 799; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906; Pub. L. 112–29, §4(b)(1), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 296.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §4(b)(1), (e), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 296, 297, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent application that is filed on or after that effective date, this section is amended to read as follows:

§118. Filing by other than inventor

A person to whom the inventor has assigned or is under an obligation to assign the invention may make an application for patent. A person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter may make an 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 appropriate to preserve the rights of the parties. If the Director grants a patent on an application filed under this section by a person other than the inventor, the patent shall be granted to the real party in interest and upon such notice to the inventor as the Director considers to be sufficient.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

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.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “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 Director may grant a patent to such inventor upon such notice to him as the Director deems sufficient, and on compliance with such regulations as he prescribes.”

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” in two places.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent application that is filed on or after that effective date, see section 4(e) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 111 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

§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, or in a WTO member country, 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)(1) No application for patent shall be entitled to this right of priority unless a claim is filed in the Patent and Trademark Office, identifying the foreign application by specifying the application number on that foreign application, the intellectual property authority or country in or for which the application was filed, and the date of filing the application, at such time during the pendency of the application as required by the Director.

(2) The Director may consider the failure of the applicant to file a timely claim for priority as a waiver of any such claim. The Director may establish procedures, including the payment of a surcharge, to accept an unintentionally delayed claim under this section.

(3) The Director may require a certified copy of the original foreign application, specification, and drawings upon which it is based, a translation if not in the English language, and such other information as the Director considers necessary. Any such certification shall be made by the foreign intellectual property authority in which the foreign application was filed and show the date of the application and of the filing of the specification and other papers.

(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 section 112(a) (other than the requirement to disclose the best mode) 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. No application shall be entitled to the benefit of an earlier filed provisional application under this subsection unless an amendment containing the specific reference to the earlier filed provisional application is submitted at such time during the pendency of the application as required by the Director. The Director may consider the failure to submit such an amendment within that time period as a waiver of any benefit under this subsection. The Director may establish procedures, including the payment of a surcharge, to accept an unintentionally delayed submission of an amendment under this subsection during the pendency of the 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.

(3) If the day that is 12 months after the filing date of a provisional application falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia, the period of pendency of the provisional application shall be extended to the next succeeding secular or business day.

(f) Applications for plant breeder's rights filed in a WTO member country (or in a foreign UPOV Contracting Party) shall have the same effect for the purpose of the right of priority under subsections (a) through (c) of this section as applications for patents, subject to the same conditions and requirements of this section as apply to applications for patents.

(g) As used in this section—

(1) the term “WTO member country” has the same meaning as the term is defined in section 104(b)(2) of this title; and

(2) the term “UPOV Contracting Party” means a member of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 800; Pub. L. 87–333, §1, Oct. 3, 1961, 75 Stat. 748; Pub. L. 92–358, §1, July 28, 1972, 86 Stat. 501; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §532(b)(1), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4985; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §§4503(a), (b)(2), 4801(b), (c), 4802], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–563, 1501A–564, 1501A–588, 1501A–589; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(2), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906; Pub. L. 112–29, §§3(g)(6), 15(b), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 288, 328, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment notes below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(g)(6), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 288, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, subsection (a) of this section is amended by striking “; but no patent shall be granted” and all that follows through “one year prior to such filing”. See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–29, §3(g)(6), struck out “; 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” before the period at the end.

Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “363” in two places and after “111(b)” in two places.

Pub. L. 112–29, §15(b), substituted “section 112(a) (other than the requirement to disclose the best mode)” for “the first paragraph of section 112 of this title”.

Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “111(b)” and after “41(a)(1)”.

Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “104(b)(2)”.

2002—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4802(1)]. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4802(1)], as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, inserted “or in a WTO member country,” after “or to citizens of the United States,”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4503(a)], amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: “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.”

Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4503(b)(2)], inserted at end: “No application shall be entitled to the benefit of an earlier filed provisional application under this subsection unless an amendment containing the specific reference to the earlier filed provisional application is submitted at such time during the pendency of the application as required by the Director. The Director may consider the failure to submit such an amendment within that time period as a waiver of any benefit under this subsection. The Director may establish procedures, including the payment of a surcharge, to accept an unintentionally delayed submission of an amendment under this subsection during the pendency of the application.”

Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4801(c)], struck out before period at end “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”.

Subsec. (e)(3). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4801(b)], added par. (3).

Subsecs. (f), (g). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4802(2)], added subsecs. (f) and (g).

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 3(g)(6) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, see section 3(n) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 of this title.

Pub. L. 112–29, §15(c), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 328, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending this section and sections 120 and 282 of this title] shall take effect upon the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011] and shall apply to proceedings commenced on or after that date.”

Amendment by section 20(j) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4503(a), (b)(2)] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective Nov. 29, 2000, and applicable only to applications (including international applications designating the United States) filed on or after that date, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4508] of Pub. L. 106–113, as amended, set out as a note under section 10 of this title.

Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4801(d)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–589, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending this section and section 111 of this title] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 29, 1999] and shall apply to any provisional application filed on or after June 8, 1995, except that the amendments made by subsections (b) and (c) [amending this section] shall have no effect with respect to any patent which is the subject of litigation in an action commenced before such date of enactment.”

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.

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

An application for patent for an invention disclosed in the manner provided by section 112(a) (other than the requirement to disclose the best mode) 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. No application shall be entitled to the benefit of an earlier filed application under this section unless an amendment containing the specific reference to the earlier filed application is submitted at such time during the pendency of the application as required by the Director. The Director may consider the failure to submit such an amendment within that time period as a waiver of any benefit under this section. The Director may establish procedures, including the payment of a surcharge, to accept an unintentionally delayed submission of an amendment under this section.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 800; Pub. L. 94–131, §9, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 691; Pub. L. 98–622, title I, §104(b), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3385; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4503(b)(1)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–563; Pub. L. 112–29, §§3(f), 15(b), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 288, 328, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(f), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 288, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, this section is amended by striking “which is filed by an inventor or inventors named” and inserting “which names an inventor or joint inventor”. See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “363”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §15(b), substituted “section 112(a) (other than the requirement to disclose the best mode)” for “the first paragraph of section 112 of this title”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(f), substituted “which names an inventor or joint inventor” for “which is filed by an inventor or inventors named”.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113 inserted at end “No application shall be entitled to the benefit of an earlier filed application under this section unless an amendment containing the specific reference to the earlier filed application is submitted at such time during the pendency of the application as required by the Director. The Director may consider the failure to submit such an amendment within that time period as a waiver of any benefit under this section. The Director may establish procedures, including the payment of a surcharge, to accept an unintentionally delayed submission of an amendment under this section.”

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 3(f) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, see section 3(n) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 of this title.

Amendment by section 15(b) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that date, see section 15(c) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 119 of this title.

Amendment by section 20(j) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective Nov. 29, 2000, and applicable only to applications (including international applications designating the United States) filed on or after that date, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4508] of Pub. L. 106–113, as amended, set out as a note under section 10 of this title.

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.

§121. Divisional applications

If two or more independent and distinct inventions are claimed in one application, the Director 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 Director may dispense with signing and execution by the inventor. The validity of a patent shall not be questioned for failure of the Director to require the application to be restricted to one invention.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 800; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906; Pub. L. 112–29, §§4(a)(2), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 295, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §4(a)(2), (e), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 295, 297, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent application that is filed on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “If a divisional application” and all that follows through “inventor.” See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “120”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §4(a)(2), struck out “If a divisional application is directed solely to subject matter described and claimed in the original application as filed, the Director may dispense with signing and execution by the inventor.” before “The validity of a patent”.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” wherever appearing.

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

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 4(a)(2) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent application that is filed on or after that effective date, see section 4(e) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 111 of this title.

Amendment by section 20(j) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 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.

§122. Confidential status of applications; publication of patent applications

(a) Confidentiality.—Except as provided in subsection (b), 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 an Act of Congress or in such special circumstances as may be determined by the Director.

(b) Publication.—

(1) In general.—(A) Subject to paragraph (2), each application for a patent shall be published, in accordance with procedures determined by the Director, promptly after the expiration of a period of 18 months from the earliest filing date for which a benefit is sought under this title. At the request of the applicant, an application may be published earlier than the end of such 18-month period.

(B) No information concerning published patent applications shall be made available to the public except as the Director determines.

(C) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a determination by the Director to release or not to release information concerning a published patent application shall be final and nonreviewable.

(2) Exceptions.—(A) An application shall not be published if that application is—

(i) no longer pending;

(ii) subject to a secrecy order under section 181 of this title;

(iii) a provisional application filed under section 111(b) of this title; or

(iv) an application for a design patent filed under chapter 16 of this title.


(B)(i) If an applicant makes a request upon filing, certifying that the invention disclosed in the application has not and will not be the subject of an application filed in another country, or under a multilateral international agreement, that requires publication of applications 18 months after filing, the application shall not be published as provided in paragraph (1).

(ii) An applicant may rescind a request made under clause (i) at any time.

(iii) An applicant who has made a request under clause (i) but who subsequently files, in a foreign country or under a multilateral international agreement specified in clause (i), an application directed to the invention disclosed in the application filed in the Patent and Trademark Office, shall notify the Director of such filing not later than 45 days after the date of the filing of such foreign or international application. A failure of the applicant to provide such notice within the prescribed period shall result in the application being regarded as abandoned, unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Director that the delay in submitting the notice was unintentional.

(iv) If an applicant rescinds a request made under clause (i) or notifies the Director that an application was filed in a foreign country or under a multilateral international agreement specified in clause (i), the application shall be published in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (1) on or as soon as is practical after the date that is specified in clause (i).

(v) If an applicant has filed applications in one or more foreign countries, directly or through a multilateral international agreement, and such foreign filed applications corresponding to an application filed in the Patent and Trademark Office or the description of the invention in such foreign filed applications is less extensive than the application or description of the invention in the application filed in the Patent and Trademark Office, the applicant may submit a redacted copy of the application filed in the Patent and Trademark Office eliminating any part or description of the invention in such application that is not also contained in any of the corresponding applications filed in a foreign country. The Director may only publish the redacted copy of the application unless the redacted copy of the application is not received within 16 months after the earliest effective filing date for which a benefit is sought under this title. The provisions of section 154(d) shall not apply to a claim if the description of the invention published in the redacted application filed under this clause with respect to the claim does not enable a person skilled in the art to make and use the subject matter of the claim.


(c) Protest and Pre-Issuance Opposition.—The Director shall establish appropriate procedures to ensure that no protest or other form of pre-issuance opposition to the grant of a patent on an application may be initiated after publication of the application without the express written consent of the applicant.

(d) National Security.—No application for patent shall be published under subsection (b)(1) if the publication or disclosure of such invention would be detrimental to the national security. The Director shall establish appropriate procedures to ensure that such applications are promptly identified and the secrecy of such inventions is maintained in accordance with chapter 17 of this title.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 801; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4502(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–561; Pub. L. 112–29, §§8(a), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 315, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §8, Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 315, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent application filed before, on, or after that effective date, this section is amended by adding at the end the following:

(e) Preissuance Submissions by Third Parties.—

(1) In general.—Any third party may submit for consideration and inclusion in the record of a patent application, any patent, published patent application, or other printed publication of potential relevance to the examination of the application, if such submission is made in writing before the earlier of—

(A) the date a notice of allowance under section 151 is given or mailed in the application for patent; or

(B) the later of—

(i) 6 months after the date on which the application for patent is first published under section 122 by the Office, or

(ii) the date of the first rejection under section 132 of any claim by the examiner during the examination of the application for patent.


(2) Other requirements.—Any submission under paragraph (1) shall—

(A) set forth a concise description of the asserted relevance of each submitted document;

(B) be accompanied by such fee as the Director may prescribe; and

(C) include a statement by the person making such submission affirming that the submission was made in compliance with this section.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment notes below.

Historical and Revision Notes

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

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (b)(2)(A)(ii). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “181”.

Subsec. (b)(2)(A)(iii). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “111(b)”.

Subsec. (b)(2)(A)(iv). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “16”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “17”.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 112–29, §8(a), added subsec. (e).

1999—Pub. L. 106–113 amended section catchline and text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “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.”

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

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Pub. L. 112–29, §8(b), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 316, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall take effect upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011] and shall apply to any patent application filed before, on, or after that effective date.”

Amendment by section 20(j) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by of Pub. L. 106–113 effective Nov. 29, 2000, and applicable only to applications (including international applications designating the United States) filed on or after that date, and applications published pursuant to subsec. (b) of this section resulting from an international application filed before Nov. 29, 2000 not to be effective as prior art as of the filing date of the international application, but to be effective as prior art in accordance with section 102(e) of this title in effect on Nov. 28, 2000, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4508] of Pub. L. 106–113, as amended, set out as a note under section 10 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.

Study of Applicants Filing Only in United States

Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4502(b)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–562, provided that:

“(1) In general.—The Comptroller General shall conduct a 3-year study of the applicants who file only in the United States on or after the effective date of this subtitle [see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4508] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as an Effective Date of 1999 Amendment note under section 10 of this title] and shall provide the results of such study to the Judiciary Committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

“(2) Contents.—The study conducted under paragraph (1) shall—

“(A) consider the number of such applicants in relation to the number of applicants who file in the United States and outside of the United States;

“(B) examine how many domestic-only filers request at the time of filing not to be published;

“(C) examine how many such filers rescind that request or later choose to file abroad;

“(D) examine the status of the entity seeking an application and any correlation that may exist between such status and the publication of patent applications; and

“(E) examine the abandonment/issuance ratios and length of application pendency before patent issuance or abandonment for published versus unpublished applications.”

§123. Micro entity defined

(a) In General.—For purposes of this title, the term “micro entity” means an applicant who makes a certification that the applicant—

(1) qualifies as a small entity, as defined in regulations issued by the Director;

(2) has not been named as an inventor on more than 4 previously filed patent applications, other than applications filed in another country, provisional applications under section 111(b), or international applications filed under the treaty defined in section 351(a) for which the basic national fee under section 41(a) was not paid;

(3) did not, in the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the applicable fee is being paid, have a gross income, as defined in section 61(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, exceeding 3 times the median household income for that preceding calendar year, as most recently reported by the Bureau of the Census; and

(4) has not assigned, granted, or conveyed, and is not under an obligation by contract or law to assign, grant, or convey, a license or other ownership interest in the application concerned to an entity that, in the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the applicable fee is being paid, had a gross income, as defined in section 61(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, exceeding 3 times the median household income for that preceding calendar year, as most recently reported by the Bureau of the Census.


(b) Applications Resulting From Prior Employment.—An applicant is not considered to be named on a previously filed application for purposes of subsection (a)(2) if the applicant has assigned, or is under an obligation by contract or law to assign, all ownership rights in the application as the result of the applicant's previous employment.

(c) Foreign Currency Exchange Rate.—If an applicant's or entity's gross income in the preceding calendar year is not in United States dollars, the average currency exchange rate, as reported by the Internal Revenue Service, during that calendar year shall be used to determine whether the applicant's or entity's gross income exceeds the threshold specified in paragraphs 1 (3) or (4) of subsection (a).

(d) Institutions of Higher Education.—For purposes of this section, a micro entity shall include an applicant who certifies that—

(1) the applicant's employer, from which the applicant obtains the majority of the applicant's income, is an institution of higher education as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)); or

(2) the applicant has assigned, granted, conveyed, or is under an obligation by contract or law, to assign, grant, or convey, a license or other ownership interest in the particular applications to such an institution of higher education.


(e) Director's Authority.—In addition to the limits imposed by this section, the Director may, in the Director's discretion, impose income limits, annual filing limits, or other limits on who may qualify as a micro entity pursuant to this section if the Director determines that such additional limits are reasonably necessary to avoid an undue impact on other patent applicants or owners or are otherwise reasonably necessary and appropriate. At least 3 months before any limits proposed to be imposed pursuant to this subsection take effect, the Director shall inform the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate of any such proposed limits.

(Added and amended Pub. L. 112–29, §§10(g)(1), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 318, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

References in Text

Section 61(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (a)(3), (4), is classified to section 61(a) of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “purposes” in introductory provisions.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 20(j) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective on Sept. 16, 2011, see section 10(i)(1) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a Fee Setting Authority note under section 41 of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should be “paragraph”.

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.

        

Amendment of Analysis

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(5), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 291, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, this analysis is amended by amending item 134 to read “Appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.” and item 135 to read “Derivation proceedings.” See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(5), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 291, amended items 134 and 135 generally, substituting “Appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board” for “Appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences” in item 134 and “Derivation proceedings” for “Interferences” in item 135.

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 Director 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 Director shall issue a patent therefor.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 801; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906.)

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.

Amendments

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” in two places.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

§132. Notice of rejection; reexamination

(a) Whenever, on examination, any claim for a patent is rejected, or any objection or requirement made, the Director 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.

(b) The Director shall prescribe regulations to provide for the continued examination of applications for patent at the request of the applicant. The Director may establish appropriate fees for such continued examination and shall provide a 50 percent reduction in such fees for small entities that qualify for reduced fees under section 41(h)(1) of this title.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 801; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §§4403, 4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–560, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906; Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

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.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–29 struck out “of this title” after “41(h)(1)”.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)]. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner”.

Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4403], designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4405(b)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–560, provided that: “The amendments made by section 4403 [amending this section]—

“(1) shall take effect on the date that is 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 29, 1999], and shall apply to all applications filed under section 111(a) of title 35, United States Code, on or after June 8, 1995, and all applications complying with section 371 of title 35, United States Code, that resulted from international applications filed on or after June 8, 1995; and

“(2) do not apply to applications for design patents under chapter 16 of title 35, United States Code.”

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 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 Director in such action, the application shall be regarded as abandoned by the parties thereto, unless it be shown to the satisfaction of the Director that such delay was unavoidable.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 801; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906.)

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.

Amendments

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” in two places.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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

(a) Patent Applicant.—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.

(b) Patent Owner.—A patent owner in any reexamination proceeding may appeal from the final rejection of any claim by the primary examiner to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, having once paid the fee for such appeal.

(c) Third-Party.—A third-party requester in an inter partes proceeding may appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences from the final decision of the primary examiner favorable to the patentability of any original or proposed amended or new claim of a patent, having once paid the fee for such appeal.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 801; Pub. L. 98–622, title II, §204(b)(1), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3388; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4605(b)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–570; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §§13106(b), 13202(b)(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1901; Pub. L. 112–29, §§3(j)(1), (3), 7(b), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 290, 313.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §7(b), (e), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 313, 315, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, with certain exceptions, this section is amended:

(1) in subsection (b), by striking “any reexamination proceeding” and inserting “a reexamination”; and

(2) by striking subsection (c).

See 2011 Amendment notes below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(1), (3), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 290, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, this section is amended by:

(1) striking “Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences” each place it appears and inserting “Patent Trial and Appeal Board”; and

(2) amending the section catchline to read as follows: “Appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board”.

See 2011 Amendment notes below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(3), amended section catchline generally. Prior to amendment, section catchline read as follows: “Appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences”.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(1), substituted “Patent Trial and Appeal Board” for “Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–29, §7(b)(1), substituted “a reexamination” for “any reexamination proceeding”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(1), substituted “Patent Trial and Appeal Board” for “Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–29, §7(b)(2), struck out subsec. (c). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “A third-party requester in an inter partes proceeding may appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences from the final decision of the primary examiner favorable to the patentability of any original or proposed amended or new claim of a patent, having once paid the fee for such appeal.”

2002—Subsecs. (a), (b). Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(b)(1), substituted “primary examiner” for “administrative patent judge”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(b)(1), substituted “primary examiner” for “administrative patent judge”.

Pub. L. 107–273, §13106(b), struck out at end “The third-party requester may not appeal the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences.”

1999—Pub. L. 106–113 reenacted section catchline without change and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “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.”

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

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 3(j)(1), (3) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, see section 3(n) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 of this title.

Amendment by section 7(b) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, with certain exceptions, see section 7(e) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 6 of this title.

Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13106(d), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1901, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending this section and sections 141 and 315 of this title] apply with respect to any reexamination proceeding commenced on or after the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 2, 2002].”

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13202(d), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1902, provided that: “The amendments made by section 4605(b), (c), and (e) of the Intellectual Property and Communications Omnibus Reform Act, as enacted by section 1000(a)(9) of Public Law 106–113 [amending this section and sections 141 and 145 of this title], shall apply to any reexamination filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office on or after the date of enactment of Public Law 106–113 [Nov. 29, 1999].”

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective Nov. 29, 1999, and applicable to any patent issuing from an original application filed in the United States on or after that date, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4608(a)] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

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 41 of this title.

§135. Interferences

(a) Whenever an application is made for a patent which, in the opinion of the Director, would interfere with any pending application, or with any unexpired patent, an interference may be declared and the Director 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 Director 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)(1) 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.

(2) A claim which is the same as, or for the same or substantially the same subject matter as, a claim of an application published under section 122(b) of this title may be made in an application filed after the application is published only if the claim is made before 1 year after the date on which the application is published.

(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 Director 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 Director 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 Director 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 Director 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 Director 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 Director, 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 Director from determining patentability of the invention involved in the interference.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 801; Pub. L. 87–831, Oct. 15, 1962, 76 Stat. 958; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 98–622, title I, §105, title II, §202, Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3385, 3386; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §§4507(11), 4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–566, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906; Pub. L. 112–29, §§3(i), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 289, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(i), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 289, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, this section is amended to read as follows:

§135. Derivation proceedings

(a) Institution of Proceeding.—An applicant for patent may file a petition to institute a derivation proceeding in the Office. The petition shall set forth with particularity the basis for finding that an inventor named in an earlier application derived the claimed invention from an inventor named in the petitioner's application and, without authorization, the earlier application claiming such invention was filed. Any such petition may be filed only within the 1-year period beginning on the date of the first publication of a claim to an invention that is the same or substantially the same as the earlier application's claim to the invention, shall be made under oath, and shall be supported by substantial evidence. Whenever the Director determines that a petition filed under this subsection demonstrates that the standards for instituting a derivation proceeding are met, the Director may institute a derivation proceeding. The determination by the Director whether to institute a derivation proceeding shall be final and nonappealable.

(b) Determination by Patent Trial and Appeal Board.—In a derivation proceeding instituted under subsection (a), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board shall determine whether an inventor named in the earlier application derived the claimed invention from an inventor named in the petitioner's application and, without authorization, the earlier application claiming such invention was filed. In appropriate circumstances, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board may correct the naming of the inventor in any application or patent at issue. The Director shall prescribe regulations setting forth standards for the conduct of derivation proceedings, including requiring parties to provide sufficient evidence to prove and rebut a claim of derivation.

(c) Deferral of Decision.—The Patent Trial and Appeal Board may defer action on a petition for a derivation proceeding until the expiration of the 3-month period beginning on the date on which the Director issues a patent that includes the claimed invention that is the subject of the petition. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board also may defer action on a petition for a derivation proceeding, or stay the proceeding after it has been instituted, until the termination of a proceeding under chapter 30, 31, or 32 involving the patent of the earlier applicant.

(d) Effect of Final Decision.—The final decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, if adverse to claims in an application for patent, shall constitute the final refusal by the Office on those claims. The final decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, if adverse to claims in a patent, shall, if no appeal or other review of the decision has been or can be taken or had, constitute cancellation of those claims, and notice of such cancellation shall be endorsed on copies of the patent distributed after such cancellation.

(e) Settlement.—Parties to a proceeding instituted under subsection (a) may terminate the proceeding by filing a written statement reflecting the agreement of the parties as to the correct inventors of the claimed invention in dispute. Unless the Patent Trial and Appeal Board finds the agreement to be inconsistent with the evidence of record, if any, it shall take action consistent with the agreement. Any written settlement or understanding of the parties shall be filed with the Director. At the request of a party to the proceeding, the agreement or understanding shall be treated as business confidential information, shall be kept separate from the file of the involved patents or applications, and shall be made available only to Government agencies on written request, or to any person on a showing of good cause.

(f) Arbitration.—Parties to a proceeding instituted under subsection (a) may, within such time as may be specified by the Director by regulation, 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 Director, 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 Director from determining the patentability of the claimed inventions involved in the proceeding.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §3(i), amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to interferences.

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “122(b)”.

2002—Subsecs. (a), (c), (d). Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)]. See 1999 Amendment notes below.

1999—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” wherever appearing.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4507(11)], designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” wherever appearing.

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 3(i) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, see section 3(n) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 of this title.

Amendment by section 20(j) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4507(11)] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective Nov. 29, 2000, and applicable only to applications (including international applications designating the United States) filed on or after that date, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4508] of Pub. L. 106–113, as amended, set out as a note under section 10 of this title.

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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 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.

Savings Provisions

Provisions of 35 U.S.C. 135, as in effect on the day before the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, apply to each claim of certain applications for patent, and certain patents issued thereon, for which the amendments made by section 3 of Pub. L. 112–29 also apply, see section 3(n)(2) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 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.

        

Amendment of Analysis

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(6), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 291, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, item 146 of this analysis is amended to read “Civil action in case of derivation proceeding.” See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(6), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 291, amended item 146 generally, substituting “Civil action in case of derivation proceeding” for “Civil action in case of interference”.

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 patent owner, or a third-party requester in an inter partes reexamination proceeding, who is in any reexamination proceeding dissatisfied with the final decision in an appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences under section 134 may appeal the decision only to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. 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 Director 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; Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §163(a)(7), (b)(2), Apr. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 49, 50; Pub. L. 98–622, title II, §203(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3387; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §§4605(c), 4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–571, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §§13106(c), 13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1901, 1906; Pub. L. 112–29, §7(c)(1), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 314.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §7(c)(1), (e), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 314, 315, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, with certain exceptions, this section is amended to read as follows:

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

(a) Examinations.—An applicant who is dissatisfied with the final decision in an appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board under section 134(a) may appeal the Board's 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.

(b) Reexaminations.—A patent owner who is dissatisfied with the final decision in an appeal of a reexamination to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board under section 134(b) may appeal the Board's decision only to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

(c) Post-Grant and Inter Partes Reviews.—A party to an inter partes review or a post-grant review who is dissatisfied with the final written decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board under section 318(a) or 328(a) (as the case may be) may appeal the Board's decision only to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

(d) Derivation Proceedings.—A party to a derivation proceeding who is dissatisfied with the final decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in the proceeding 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 derivation proceeding, within 20 days after the appellant has filed notice of appeal in accordance with section 142, files notice with the Director that the party elects to have all further proceedings conducted as provided in section 146. If the appellant does not, within 30 days after the filing of such notice by the adverse party, file a civil action under section 146, the Board's decision shall govern the further proceedings in the case.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to appeals to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(b)(1)(B), made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)]. See 1999 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 107–273, §13106(c), inserted “, or a third-party requester in an inter partes reexamination proceeding, who is” after “patent owner” in third sentence.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(b)(1)(B), substituted “Director” for “Commissioner”.

Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4605(c)], inserted after second sentence “A patent owner in any reexamination proceeding dissatisfied with the final decision in an appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences under section 134 may appeal the decision only to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.”

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, with certain exceptions, see section 7(e) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 6 of this title.

Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Amendment by section 13106(c) of Pub. L. 107–273 applicable with respect to any reexamination proceeding commenced on or after Nov. 2, 2002, see section 13106(d) of Pub. L. 107–273, set out as a note under section 134 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4605(c)] of Pub. L. 106–113 applicable to any reexamination filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office on or after Nov. 2, 2002, see section 13202(d) of Pub. L. 107–273, set out as a note under section 134 of this title.

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4605(c)] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective Nov. 29, 1999, and applicable to any patent issuing from an original application filed in the United States on or after that date, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4608(a)] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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 41 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.

§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 Director, within such time after the date of the decision from which the appeal is taken as the Director prescribes, but in no case less than 60 days after that date.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 802; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §163(a)(7), Apr. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 49; Pub. L. 98–620, title IV, §414(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3362; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906.)

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

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” in two places.

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 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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.

§143. Proceedings on appeal

With respect to an appeal described in section 142 of this title, the Director 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 Director forward the original or certified copies of such documents during pendency of the appeal. In an ex parte case or any reexamination case, the Director 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 Director and the parties in the appeal. The court shall, before hearing an appeal, give notice of the time and place of the hearing to the Director and the parties in the appeal.1

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 802; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §163(a)(7), Apr. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 49; Pub. L. 98–620, title IV, §414(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3363; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §§4605(d), 4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–571, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §§13202(b)(2), 13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1901, 1906; Pub. L. 112–29, §§7(c)(3), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 314, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §7(c)(3), (e), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 314, 315, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, with certain exceptions, this section is amended:

(1) by striking the third sentence and inserting the following: “In an ex parte case, the Director shall submit to the court in writing the grounds for the decision of the Patent and Trademark Office, addressing all of the issues raised in the appeal. The Director shall have the right to intervene in an appeal from a decision entered by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in a derivation proceeding under section 135 or in an inter partes or post-grant review under chapter 31 or 32.”; and

(2) by striking the last sentence.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “142”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §7(c)(3), substituted “In an ex parte case, the Director shall submit to the court in writing the grounds for the decision of the Patent and Trademark Office, addressing all of the issues raised in the appeal. The Director shall have the right to intervene in an appeal from a decision entered by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in a derivation proceeding under section 135 or in an inter partes or post-grant review under chapter 31 or 32.” for “In an ex parte case or any reexamination case, the Director 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.” and struck out “The court shall, before hearing an appeal, give notice of the time and place of the hearing to the Director and the parties in the appeal.” at the end.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(b)(1)(B), made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)]. See 1999 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(b)(2), amended third sentence generally and added fourth sentence identical to existing fourth (now fifth) sentence. Prior to amendment, third sentence read as follows: “In any reexamination case, the Director 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.”

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(b)(1)(B), substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” the first, second, and fourth places appearing.

Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4605(d)], amended third sentence generally. Prior to amendment, third sentence read as follows: “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.”

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 7(c)(3) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, with certain exceptions, see section 7(e) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 6 of this title.

Amendment by section 20(j) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4605(d)] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective Nov. 29, 1999, and applicable to any patent issuing from an original application filed in the United States on or after that date, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4608(a)] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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.

1 So in original. Fourth and fifth sentences are identical.

§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 Director 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; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §163(a)(7), Apr. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 49; Pub. L. 98–620, title IV, §414(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3363; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906.)

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

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner”.

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 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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.

§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(a) 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 Director in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia if commenced within such time after such decision, not less than sixty days, as the Director 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 Director 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; Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §163(a)(7), Apr. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 49; Pub. L. 98–622, title II, §203(b), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3387; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §§4605(e), 4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–571, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906; Pub. L. 112–29, §§3(j)(1), 9(a), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 290, 316, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(1), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 290, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, this section is amended by striking “Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences” each place it appears and inserting “Patent Trial and Appeal Board”. See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “134(a)”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §9(a), substituted “United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia” for “United States District Court for the District of Columbia”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(1), substituted “Patent Trial and Appeal Board” for “Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences” in two places.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)]. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” wherever appearing.

Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4605(e)], inserted “(a)” after “section 134”.

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 3(j)(1) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, see section 3(n) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 of this title.

Amendment by section 9(a) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any civil action commenced on or after that date, see section 9(b) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 1071 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Amendment by section 20(j) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4605(e)] of Pub. L. 106–113 applicable to any reexamination filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office on or after Nov. 2, 2002, see section 13202(d) of Pub. L. 107–273, set out as a note under section 134 of this title.

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4605(e)] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective Nov. 29, 1999, and applicable to any patent issuing from an original application filed in the United States on or after that date, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4608(a)] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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 41 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.

§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 Director 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 Eastern District of Virginia 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 Director 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 Director 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; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §163(a)(7), Apr. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 49; Pub. L. 98–622, title II, §203(c), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3387; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906; Pub. L. 112–29, §§3(j)(1), (2)(A), (4), 9(a), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 290, 316, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(1), (2)(A), (4), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 290, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, this section is amended by:

(1) striking “Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences” each place it appears and inserting “Patent Trial and Appeal Board”;

(2) striking “an interference” and inserting “a derivation proceeding”;

(3) striking “the interference” and inserting “the derivation proceeding”; and

(4) amending the section catchline to read as follows: “Civil action in case of derivation proceeding”.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “141”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §9(a), substituted “United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia” for “United States District Court for the District of Columbia”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(1), (2)(A), (4), amended section catchline generally, substituting “Civil action in case of derivation proceeding” for “Civil action in case of interference”, and substituted in text “a derivation proceeding” for “an interference”, “Patent Trial and Appeal Board” for “Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences”, and “the derivation proceeding” for “the interference”.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” wherever appearing.

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 3(j)(1), (2)(A), (4) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, see section 3(n) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 of this title.

Amendment by section 9(a) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any civil action commenced on or after that date, see section 9(b) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 1071 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Amendment by section 20(j) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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 41 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.

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; provisional rights.
155.
Patent term extension.
155A.
Patent term restoration.
156.
Extension of patent term.
157.
Statutory invention registration.

        

Amendment of Analysis

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(k), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this analysis is amended by striking out items 155 and 155A. See 2011 Amendment notes below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(e)(1), (3), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 287, 288, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any request for a statutory invention registration filed on or after that effective date, this analysis is amended by striking out item 157. See 2011 Amendment notes below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §20(k), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, struck out items 155 “Patent term extension” and 155A “Patent term restoration”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(e)(1), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 287, struck out item 157 “Statutory invention registration”.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4507(6)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–566, inserted “; provisional rights” after “patent” in item 154.

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 Director as though no abandonment or lapse had ever occurred.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 803; Pub. L. 89–83, §4, July 24, 1965, 79 Stat. 260; Pub. L. 93–601, §3, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1956; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906.)

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

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” in last par.

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 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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 Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office] 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.”

§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; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 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.

§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 Director or have his signature placed thereon and shall be recorded in the Patent and Trademark Office.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 804; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §§13203(c), 13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1902, 1906.)

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

2002—Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(b)(1)(B), made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113. See 1999 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 107–273, §13203(c), struck out “and attested by an officer of the Patent and Trademark Office designated by the Director,” after “signature placed thereon”.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(b)(1)(B), substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” in two places.

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

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 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.

§154. Contents and term of patent; provisional rights

(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) Adjustment of Patent Term.—

(1) Patent term guarantees.—

(A) Guarantee of prompt patent and trademark office responses.—Subject to the limitations under paragraph (2), if the issue of an original patent is delayed due to the failure of the Patent and Trademark Office to—

(i) provide at least one of the notifications under section 132 of this title or a notice of allowance under section 151 of this title not later than 14 months after—

(I) the date on which an application was filed under section 111(a) of this title; or

(II) the date on which an international application fulfilled the requirements of section 371 of this title;


(ii) respond to a reply under section 132, or to an appeal taken under section 134, within 4 months after the date on which the reply was filed or the appeal was taken;

(iii) act on an application within 4 months after the date of a decision by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences under section 134 or 135 or a decision by a Federal court under section 141, 145, or 146 in a case in which allowable claims remain in the application; or

(iv) issue a patent within 4 months after the date on which the issue fee was paid under section 151 and all outstanding requirements were satisfied,


the term of the patent shall be extended 1 day for each day after the end of the period specified in clause (i), (ii), (iii), or (iv), as the case may be, until the action described in such clause is taken.

(B) Guarantee of no more than 3-year application pendency.—Subject to the limitations under paragraph (2), if the issue of an original patent is delayed due to the failure of the United States Patent and Trademark Office to issue a patent within 3 years after the actual filing date of the application in the United States, not including—

(i) any time consumed by continued examination of the application requested by the applicant under section 132(b);

(ii) any time consumed by a proceeding under section 135(a), any time consumed by the imposition of an order under section 181, or any time consumed by appellate review by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences or by a Federal court; or

(iii) any delay in the processing of the application by the United States Patent and Trademark Office requested by the applicant except as permitted by paragraph (3)(C),


the term of the patent shall be extended 1 day for each day after the end of that 3-year period until the patent is issued.

(C) Guarantee or adjustments for delays due to interferences, secrecy orders, and appeals.—Subject to the limitations under paragraph (2), if the issue of an original patent is delayed due to—

(i) a proceeding under section 135(a);

(ii) the imposition of an order under section 181; or

(iii) appellate review by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences or by a Federal court in a case in which the patent was issued under a decision in the review reversing an adverse determination of patentability,


the term of the patent shall be extended 1 day for each day of the pendency of the proceeding, order, or review, as the case may be.


(2) Limitations.—

(A) In general.—To the extent that periods of delay attributable to grounds specified in paragraph (1) overlap, the period of any adjustment granted under this subsection shall not exceed the actual number of days the issuance of the patent was delayed.

(B) Disclaimed term.—No patent the term of which has been disclaimed beyond a specified date may be adjusted under this section beyond the expiration date specified in the disclaimer.

(C) Reduction of period of adjustment.—

(i) The period of adjustment of the term of a patent under paragraph (1) shall be reduced by a period equal to the period of time during which the applicant failed to engage in reasonable efforts to conclude prosecution of the application.

(ii) With respect to adjustments to patent term made under the authority of paragraph (1)(B), an applicant shall be deemed to have failed to engage in reasonable efforts to conclude processing or examination of an application for the cumulative total of any periods of time in excess of 3 months that are taken to respond to a notice from the Office making any rejection, objection, argument, or other request, measuring such 3-month period from the date the notice was given or mailed to the applicant.

(iii) The Director shall prescribe regulations establishing the circumstances that constitute a failure of an applicant to engage in reasonable efforts to conclude processing or examination of an application.


(3) Procedures for patent term adjustment determination.—

(A) The Director shall prescribe regulations establishing procedures for the application for and determination of patent term adjustments under this subsection.

(B) Under the procedures established under subparagraph (A), the Director shall—

(i) make a determination of the period of any patent term adjustment under this subsection, and shall transmit a notice of that determination with the written notice of allowance of the application under section 151; and

(ii) provide the applicant one opportunity to request reconsideration of any patent term adjustment determination made by the Director.


(C) The Director shall reinstate all or part of the cumulative period of time of an adjustment under paragraph (2)(C) if the applicant, prior to the issuance of the patent, makes a showing that, in spite of all due care, the applicant was unable to respond within the 3-month period, but in no case shall more than three additional months for each such response beyond the original 3-month period be reinstated.

(D) The Director shall proceed to grant the patent after completion of the Director's determination of a patent term adjustment under the procedures established under this subsection, notwithstanding any appeal taken by the applicant of such determination.


(4) Appeal of patent term adjustment determination.—

(A) An applicant dissatisfied with a determination made by the Director under paragraph (3) shall have remedy by a civil action against the Director filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia within 180 days after the grant of the patent. Chapter 7 of title 5 shall apply to such action. Any final judgment resulting in a change to the period of adjustment of the patent term shall be served on the Director, and the Director shall thereafter alter the term of the patent to reflect such change.

(B) The determination of a patent term adjustment under this subsection shall not be subject to appeal or challenge by a third party prior to the grant of the patent.

(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 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.


(d) Provisional Rights.—

(1) In general.—In addition to other rights provided by this section, a patent shall include the right to obtain a reasonable royalty from any person who, during the period beginning on the date of publication of the application for such patent under section 122(b), or in the case of an international application filed under the treaty defined in section 351(a) designating the United States under Article 21(2)(a) of such treaty, the date of publication of the application, and ending on the date the patent is issued—

(A)(i) makes, uses, offers for sale, or sells in the United States the invention as claimed in the published patent application or imports such an invention into the United States; or

(ii) if the invention as claimed in the published patent application is a process, uses, offers for sale, or sells in the United States or imports into the United States products made by that process as claimed in the published patent application; and

(B) had actual notice of the published patent application and, in a case in which the right arising under this paragraph is based upon an international application designating the United States that is published in a language other than English, had a translation of the international application into the English language.


(2) Right based on substantially identical inventions.—The right under paragraph (1) to obtain a reasonable royalty shall not be available under this subsection unless the invention as claimed in the patent is substantially identical to the invention as claimed in the published patent application.

(3) Time limitation on obtaining a reasonable royalty.—The right under paragraph (1) to obtain a reasonable royalty shall be available only in an action brought not later than 6 years after the patent is issued. The right under paragraph (1) to obtain a reasonable royalty shall not be affected by the duration of the period described in paragraph (1).

(4) Requirements for international applications.—

(A) Effective date.—The right under paragraph (1) to obtain a reasonable royalty based upon the publication under the treaty defined in section 351(a) of an international application designating the United States shall commence on the date of publication under the treaty of the international application, or, if the publication under the treaty of the international application is in a language other than English, on the date on which the Patent and Trademark Office receives a translation of the publication in the English language.

(B) Copies.—The Director may require the applicant to provide a copy of the international application and a translation thereof.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 804; Pub. L. 89–83, §5, July 24, 1965, 79 Stat. 261; Pub. L. 96–517, §4, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3018; Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9002, Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1563; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §532(a)(1), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4983; Pub. L. 104–295, §20(e)(1), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3529; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §§4402(a), 4504], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–557, 1501A–564; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §§13204, 13206(a)(8), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1902, 1904; Pub. L. 112–29, §§3(j)(1), (2)(B), 9(a), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 290, 316, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment notes below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(1), (2)(B), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 290, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon:

(1) this section is amended by striking “Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences” each place it appears and inserting “Patent Trial and Appeal Board”; and

(2) the heading for subparagraph (C) of subsection (b)(1) of this section is amended to read as follows: “Guarantee of adjustments for delays due to derivation proceedings, secrecy orders, and appeals.—”.

See 2011 Amendment notes 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

2011—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “365(c)”.

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “365(b)”.

Subsec. (b)(1)(A)(i). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), in introductory provisions, struck out “of this title” after “132” and after “151”.

Subsec. (b)(1)(A)(i)(I). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “111(a)”.

Subsec. (b)(1)(A)(i)(II). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “371”.

Subsec. (b)(1)(A)(iii), (B)(ii). Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(1), substituted “Patent Trial and Appeal Board” for “Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences”.

Subsec. (b)(1)(C). Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(2)(B), amended heading generally. Prior to amendment, heading read as follows: “Guarantee or adjustments for delays due to interferences, secrecy orders, and appeals”.

Subsec. (b)(1)(C)(iii). Pub. L. 112–29, §3(j)(1), substituted “Patent Trial and Appeal Board” for “Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences”.

Subsec. (b)(4)(A). Pub. L. 112–29, §9(a), substituted “United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia” for “United States District Court for the District of Columbia”.

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), in introductory provisions, struck out “of this title” after “285”.

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “excluded by paragraph (2))”.

2002—Subsec. (b)(4)(A). Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(a)(8), struck out “, United States Code,” after “title 5”.

Subsec. (d)(4)(A). Pub. L. 107–273, §13204, amended subsec. (d)(4)(A) as in effect on Nov. 29, 2000, by substituting “the date of” for “the date on which the Patent and Trademark Office receives a copy of the” and “publication in the English language” for “international application in the English language”.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4504(1)], inserted “; provisional rights” after “patent” in section catchline.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4402(a)], amended heading and text of subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, text provided for interference delay or secrecy orders, extensions for appellate review, a limitations period, and a maximum period of 5 years duration for all extensions.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4504(2)], added subsec. (d).

1996—Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 104–295 substituted “acts” for “Acts” in introductory provisions.

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 3(j)(1), (2)(B) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, see section 3(n) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 of this title.

Amendment by section 9(a) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any civil action commenced on or after that date, see section 9(b) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 1071 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Amendment by section 20(j) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4405(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–560, provided that: “The amendments made by sections 4402 and 4404 [amending this section, sections 156 and 282 of this title, and section 1295 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure] shall take effect on the date that is 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 29, 1999] and, except for a design patent application filed under chapter 16 of title 35, United States Code, shall apply to any application filed on or after the date that is 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act.”

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4504] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective Nov. 29, 2000, applicable only to applications (including international applications designating the United States) filed on or after that date, and additionally applicable to any pending application filed before Nov. 29, 2000, if such pending application is published pursuant to a request of the applicant under such procedures as may be established by the Director, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4508] of Pub. L. 106–113, as amended, set out as a note under section 10 of 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 authorized the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks to prescribe regulations for further limited reexamination of applications pending 2 years or longer and for examination of more than 1 independent and distinct invention in applications pending 3 years or longer, as of the effective date of section 154(a)(2) of this title, and to establish appropriate related fees.

§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 Director 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 Director 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; amended Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(6), (10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906.)

Repeal of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(k), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is repealed.

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.

Amendments

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)]. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director shall promptly” for “Commissioner shall promptly”.

Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(6)], substituted “notify the Director” for “notify the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks”.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

§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 Director of the number of any patent so extended. On receipt of such notice, the Director 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; amended Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(7), (10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906.)

Repeal of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(k), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is repealed.

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.

Amendments

2002—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)]. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director shall confirm” for “Commissioner shall confirm”.

Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(7)], substituted “notify the Director” for “notify the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks”.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

§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, which shall include any patent term adjustment granted under section 154(b), 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 paragraph (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 Director. 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 Director 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 Director 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 Director may require.


For purposes of determining the date on which a product receives permission under the second sentence of this paragraph, if such permission is transmitted after 4:30 P.M., Eastern Time, on a business day, or is transmitted on a day that is not a business day, the product shall be deemed to receive such permission on the next business day. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the term “business day” means any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, excluding any legal holiday under section 6103 of title 5.

(2)(A) Within 60 days of the submittal of an application for extension of the term of a patent under paragraph (1), the Director 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 Director, 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 Director 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 Director 1 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 of the Assistant Secretary for Marketing and Inspection Services.

(ii) The Secretary making a determination under clause (i) shall notify the Director 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 Director 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 Director.

(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 Director 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 Director 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 Director may require.


(B) If the Director 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 Director 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 Director 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 Director solely on the basis of the representations contained in the application for the extension. If the Director 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 Director 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 Director 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, 512, or 515 is a reference to section 503, 505, 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) 2 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 2 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 507,2 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 2 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 submitted,


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 Director may establish such fees as the Director 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; Pub. L. 105–115, title I, §125(b)(2)(P), Nov. 21, 1997, 111 Stat. 2326; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §§4404, 4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–560, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(a)(9), (b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1904, 1906; Pub. L. 112–29, §37(a), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 341.)

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 the eighth paragraph under the heading “Bureau of Animal Industry” of 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 Title 42 and Tables.

Sections 503, 505, 512, and 515 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, referred to in subsecs. (f)(4)(B) and (g)(1)(B), (3)(B), are classified, respectively, to sections 353, 355, 360b, and 360e of Title 21, Food and Drugs. Section 507 of the Act, referred to in subsec. (g)(1)(B), was classified to section 357 of Title 21, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 105–115, title I, §125(b)(1), Nov. 21, 1997, 111 Stat. 2325.

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

2011—Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 112–29 inserted concluding provisions.

2002—Subsec. (b)(3)(B). Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(a)(9)(A), substituted “paragraph” for “paragraphs”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(b)(1)(B), made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)]. See 1999 Amendment note below.

Subsec. (d)(2)(B)(i). Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(a)(9)(B), substituted “below the Office” for “below the office”.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(b)(1)(B), made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)]. See 1999 Amendment note below.

Subsec. (g)(6)(B)(iii). Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(a)(9)(C), substituted “submitted” for “submittted”.

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(b)(1)(B), made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)]. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4404], in introductory provisions, inserted “, which shall include any patent term adjustment granted under section 154(b),” after “the original expiration date of the patent”.

Subsecs. (d), (e), (h). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(b)(1)(B), substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” wherever appearing.

1997—Subsec. (f)(4)(B). Pub. L. 105–115, §125(b)(2)(P), struck out “507,” after “505,” in two places.

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 2011 Amendment

Pub. L. 112–29, §37(b), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 341, provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply to any application for extension of a patent term under section 156 of title 35, United States Code, that is pending on, that is filed after, or as to which a decision regarding the application is subject to judicial review on, the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011].”

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4404] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective on date that is 6 months after Nov. 29, 1999, and, except for design patent application filed under chapter 16 of this title, applicable to any application filed on or after such date, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4405(a)] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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.

1 So in original. Probably should be “Commissioner”.

2 See References in Text note below.

§157. Statutory invention registration

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the Director 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 Director;

(3) waives the right to receive a patent on the invention within such period as may be prescribed by the Director; and

(4) pays application, publication, and other processing fees established by the Director.


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 Director 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 Director 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; amended Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A), (11)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582, 1501A–583; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906; Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment notes below.

Repeal of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(e)(1), (3), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 287, 288, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any request for a statutory invention registration filed on or after that effective date, this section is repealed.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “provision” in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “112”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “289” and after “292”.

2002—Subsecs. (a), (c). Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)]. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Subsecs. (a), (c). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A), as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” wherever appearing.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(11)], substituted “Director” for “Secretary of Commerce”.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any request for a statutory invention registration filed on or after that effective date, see section 3(e)(3) of Pub. L. 111–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment note under section 111 of this title.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 20(j) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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].”

Termination of Reporting Requirements

For termination, effective May 15, 2000, of provisions in subsec. (d) of this section relating to annual reports to Congress, see section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance, and page 51 of House Document No. 103–7.

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.

§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; Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

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.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 struck out “of this title” after “112”.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

§163. Grant

In the case of a plant patent, the grant shall include the right to exclude others from asexually reproducing the plant, and from using, offering for sale, or selling the plant so reproduced, or any of its parts, throughout the United States, or from importing the plant so reproduced, or any parts thereof, into the United States.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 804; Pub. L. 105–289, §3(a), Oct. 27, 1998, 112 Stat. 2781.)

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.

Amendments

1998—Pub. L. 105–289 reenacted section catchline without change and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “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.”

Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Pub. L. 105–289, §3(b), Oct. 27, 1998, 112 Stat. 2781, provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply to any plant patent issued on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 27, 1998].”

Findings and Purposes

Pub. L. 105–289, §2, Oct. 27, 1998, 112 Stat. 2780, provided that:

“(a) Findings.—The Congress makes the following findings:

“(1) The protection provided by plant patents under title 35, United States Code, dating back to 1930, has historically benefited American agriculture and horticulture and the public by providing an incentive for breeders to develop new plant varieties.

“(2) Domestic and foreign agricultural trade is rapidly expanding and is very different from the trade of the past. An unforeseen ambiguity in the provisions of title 35, United States Code, is undermining the orderly collection of royalties due breeders holding United States plant patents.

“(3) Plant parts produced from plants protected by United States plant patents are being taken from illegally reproduced plants and traded in United States markets to the detriment of plant patent holders.

“(4) Resulting lost royalty income inhibits investment in domestic research and breeding activities associated with a wide variety of crops—an area where the United States has historically enjoyed a strong international position. Such research is the foundation of a strong horticultural industry.

“(5) Infringers producing such plant parts from unauthorized plants enjoy an unfair competitive advantage over producers who pay royalties on varieties protected by United States plant patents.

“(b) Purposes.—The purposes of this Act [see section 1 of Pub. L. 105–289, set out as a Short Title of 1998 Amendments note under section 1 of this title] are—

“(1) to clearly and explicitly provide that title 35, United States Code, protects the owner of a plant patent against the unauthorized sale of plant parts taken from plants illegally reproduced;

“(2) to make the protections provided under such title more consistent with those provided breeders of sexually reproduced plants under the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2321 et seq.), as amended by the Plant Variety Protection Act Amendments of 1994 (Public Law 103–349); and

“(3) to strengthen the ability of United States plant patent holders to enforce their patent rights with regard to importation of plant parts produced from plants protected by United States plant patents, which are propagated without the authorization of the patent holder.”

§164. Assistance of Department of Agriculture

The President may by Executive order direct the Secretary of Agriculture, in accordance with the requests of the Director, 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 Director officers and employees of the Department.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 804; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906.)

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.

Amendments

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” in two places.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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.

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.

§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; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §532(c)(2), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4987; Pub. L. 112–29, §§3(g)(1), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 288, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(g)(1), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 288, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, this section is amended by striking “and the time specified in section 102(d)”. See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “119” and after “119(e)”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(g)(1), struck out “and the time specified in section 102(d)” before “shall be six months”.

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 3(g)(1) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, see section 3(n) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 of this title.

Amendment by section 20(j) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

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; Pub. L. 97–247, §16, Aug. 27, 1982, 96 Stat. 321; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §532(c)(3), Dec. 8, 1994, 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.

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 to compensation.
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.

        

Amendments

2002—Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(a)(10), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1904, substituted “to” for “of” in item 183.

§181. Secrecy of certain inventions and withholding of patent

Whenever publication or disclosure by the publication of an application or 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 of Patents upon being so notified shall order that the invention be kept secret and shall withhold the publication of the application or the grant of a patent therefor under the conditions set forth hereinafter.

Whenever the publication or disclosure of an invention by the publication of an application or by the granting of a patent, in which the Government does not have a property interest, might, in the opinion of the Commissioner of Patents, 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 publication of an application or 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 of Patents and the Commissioner of Patents shall order that the invention be kept secret and shall withhold the publication of the application or 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 of Patents 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 publication of the application or the grant of a patent withheld for a period of more than one year. The Commissioner of Patents 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 of Patents 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; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §§4507(7), 4732(a)(10)(B)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–566, 1501A–582.)

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.

Amendments

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(B)], substituted “Commissioner of Patents” for “Commissioner” wherever appearing.

Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4507(7)(A)], in first par., inserted “by the publication of an application or” after “disclosure” and “the publication of the application or” after “withhold”.

Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4507(7)(B)], inserted “by the publication of an application or” after “disclosure of an invention” in second par.

Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4507(7)(C)], in third par., inserted “by the publication of the application or” after “disclosure of the invention” and “the publication of the application or” after “withhold”.

Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4507(7)(D)], inserted “the publication of an application or” after “kept secret and” in first sentence of fourth par.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4507(7)] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective Nov. 29, 2000, and applicable only to applications (including international applications designating the United States) filed on or after that date, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4508] of Pub. L. 106–113, as amended, set out as a note under section 10 of this title.

Amendment by section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(B)] of Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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 Homeland Security designated as a defense agency of United States for purposes of this chapter by Executive Order No. 13286, §85, Feb. 28, 2003, 68 F.R. 10632.

§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 of Patents 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 of Patents. The abandonment shall be held to have occurred as of the time of violation. The consent of the Commissioner of Patents 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; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(B)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

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.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 struck out “of this title” after “181”.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113 substituted “Commissioner of Patents” for “Commissioner” wherever appearing.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

§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; Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §160(a)(12), Apr. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 48; Pub. L. 102–572, title IX, §902(b)(1), Oct. 29, 1992, 106 Stat. 4516; Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 struck out “of this title” after “181”.

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

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.

§184. Filing of application in foreign country

Except when authorized by a license obtained from the Commissioner of Patents 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 of Patents 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; Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9101(b)(1), Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1567; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(B)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 112–29, §20(b), (j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 333, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(b), (j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 333, 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended:

(1) in the first undesignated paragraph—

(A) by striking “Except when” and inserting “(a) FILING IN FOREIGN COUNTRY.—Except when”; and

(B) by striking “and without deceptive intent”;


(2) in the second undesignated paragraph, by striking “The term” and inserting “(b) APPLICATION.—The term”;

(3) in the third undesignated paragraph, by striking “The scope” and inserting “(c) SUBSEQUENT MODIFICATIONS, AMENDMENTS, AND SUPPLEMENTS.—The scope”; and

(4) by striking “of this title” each place that term appears.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 designated first to third pars. as subsecs. (a) to (c), respectively, inserted headings, in subsec. (a), struck out “of this title” after “181” in two places and struck out “and without deceptive intent” after “through error”, and, in subsec. (c), struck out “of this title” after “under section 181” in first sentence.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113 substituted “Commissioner of Patents” for “Commissioner” two places in first par.

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

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 directed Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks to prescribe such regulations as necessary to implement the amendments made by section 9101 (amending sections 184 to 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.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9101(b)(2), Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1568; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(a)(11), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1904; Pub. L. 112–29, §20(c), (j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 333, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(c), (j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 333, 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “and without deceptive intent” and by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 struck out “of this title” after “184” and after “181” and struck out “and without deceptive intent” after “error”.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 struck out second period at end.

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 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.

§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; Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9101(b)(3), Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1568; Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

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

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 struck out “of this title” after “181” and after “184”.

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 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 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.

§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.
Licensing federally owned inventions.
210.
Precedence of chapter.
211.
Relationship to antitrust laws.
212.
Disposition of rights in educational awards.

        

Amendments

2000—Pub. L. 106–404, §4(b), Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1744, substituted “Licensing federally owned inventions” for “Restrictions on licensing of federally owned inventions” in item 209.

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.

§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 without unduly encumbering future research and discovery; 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; amended Pub. L. 106–404, §5, Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1745.)

Amendments

2000—Pub. L. 106–404 substituted “enterprise without unduly encumbering future research and discovery;” for “enterprise;”.

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.

Short Title

This chapter is popularly known as the Bayh-Dole Act. Section 6(a) of Pub. L. 96–517, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3018, which enacted this chapter, is also popularly known as the Bayh-Dole Act and also as the University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act of 1980. For complete classification of section 6(a) of Pub. L. 96–517 to the Code, see Tables.

§201. Definitions

As used in this chapter—

(a) The term “Federal agency” means any executive agency as defined in section 105 of title 5, and the military departments as defined by section 102 of title 5.

(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; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(a)(12), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1904.)

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

2002—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107–273 struck out “United States Code,” after “section 105 of title 5,” and “, United States Code” after “section 102 of title 5”.

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”.

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) 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. 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) 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 1 section 203(b).

(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, 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.

(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 15 percent of such excess shall be paid to the Treasury of the United States and the remaining 85 percent shall be used for the same purposes described above in this clause; 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 with a nonprofit organization, a small business firm, or a non-Federal inventor, the Federal agency employing such coinventor may, for the purpose of consolidating rights in the invention and if it finds that it would expedite the development of the invention—

(1) license or assign whatever rights it may acquire in the subject invention to the nonprofit organization, small business firm, or non-Federal inventor in accordance with the provisions of this chapter; or

(2) acquire any rights in the subject invention from the nonprofit organization, small business firm, or non-Federal inventor, but only to the extent the party from whom the rights are acquired voluntarily enters into the transaction and no other transaction under this chapter is conditioned on such acquisition.


(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; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(12)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–583; Pub. L. 106–404, §6(1), Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1745; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(a)(13), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1905; Pub. L. 111–8, div. G, title I, §1301(h), Mar. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 829; Pub. L. 112–29, §§3(g)(7), 13(a), 20(i)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 288, 327, 334.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(i)(2), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 334, 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended:

(1) in subsection (b)(3), by striking “the section 203(b)” and inserting “section 203(b)”; and

(2) in subsection (c)(7)(D), by striking “except where it proves” and all that follows through “small business firms; and” and inserting “except where it is determined to be infeasible following a reasonable inquiry, a preference in the licensing of subject inventions shall be given to small business firms; and”.

See 2011 Amendment notes below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(g)(7), (n), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 288, 293, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, subsection (c) of this section is amended:

(1) in paragraph (2)—

(A) by striking “publication, on sale, or public use,” and all that follows through “obtained in the United States” and inserting “the 1-year period referred to in section 102(b) would end before the end of that 2-year period”; and

(B) by striking “prior to the end of the statutory” and inserting “before the end of that 1-year”; and


(2) in paragraph (3), by striking “any statutory bar date that may occur under this title due to publication, on sale, or public use” and inserting “the expiration of the 1-year period referred to in section 102(b)”.

See 2011 Amendment notes below.

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 and 5908 and former section 2457 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, and enacted provisions set out as notes under sections 13 and 41 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(i)(2)(A), substituted “section 203(b)” for “the section 203(b)”.

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 112–29, §3(g)(7)(A), substituted “the 1-year period referred to in section 102(b) would end before the end of that 2-year period” for “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” and “before the end of that 1-year” for “prior to the end of the statutory”.

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 112–29, §3(g)(7)(B), substituted “the expiration of the 1-year period referred to in section 102(b)” for “any statutory bar date that may occur under this title due to publication, on sale, or public use”.

Subsec. (c)(7)(D). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(i)(2)(B), substituted “except where it is determined to be infeasible following a reasonable inquiry, a preference in the licensing of subject inventions shall be given to small business firms; and” for “except where it proves infeasible after a reasonable inquiry, in the licensing of subject inventions shall be given to small business firms; and”.

Subsec. (c)(7)(E)(i). Pub. L. 112–29, §13(a), substituted “15 percent” for “75 percent”, “85 percent” for “25 percent”, and “described above in this clause;” for “as described above in this clause (D);”.

2009—Subsec. (b)(3), (4). Pub. L. 111–8 redesignated par. (4) as (3) and struck out former par. (3) which read as follows: “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.”

2002—Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(a)(13)(A), substituted “section 203(b)” for “last paragraph of section 203(2)”.

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(a)(13)(B)(i), substituted “additional rights,” for “additional rights;”.

Subsec. (c)(5). Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(a)(13)(B)(ii), struck out “of the United States Code” after “section 552 of title 5”.

2000—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 106–404 amended subsec. (e) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (e) read as follows: “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.”

1999—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 106–113, in first sentence, substituted “(iv)” for “iv)” and struck out a second period at end.

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.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 3(g)(7) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 18-month period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to certain applications for patent and any patents issuing thereon, see section 3(n) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 of this title.

Pub. L. 112–29, §13(b), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 327, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011] and shall apply to any patent issued before, on, or after that date.”

Amendment by section 20(i)(2) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

1 So in original. The word “the” probably should not appear.

§203. March-in rights

(a) 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—

(1) 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;

(2) action is necessary to alleviate health or safety needs which are not reasonably satisfied by the contractor, assignee, or their licensees;

(3) 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

(4) 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.


(b) A determination pursuant to this section or section 202(b)(4) 1 shall not be subject to chapter 71 of title 41. 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, as appropriate, the determination of the Federal agency. In cases described in paragraphs (1) and (3) of subsection (a), 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; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(a)(14), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1905; Pub. L. 111–350, §5(i)(2), Jan. 4, 2011, 124 Stat. 3850.)

References in Text

Section 202(b)(4), referred to in subsec. (b), was redesignated section 202(b)(3) of this title by Pub. L. 111–8, div. G, title I, §1301(h), Mar. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 829.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 111–350 substituted “chapter 71 of title 41” for “the Contract Disputes Act (41 U.S.C. §601 et seq.)”.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 redesignated par. (1) as subsec. (a) and former subpars. (a) to (d) as pars. (1) to (4), respectively, redesignated former par. (2) as subsec. (b), struck out quotation marks and comma before “as appropriate”, and substituted “paragraphs (1) and (3) of subsection (a)” for “paragraphs (a) and (c)”.

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.

1 See References in Text note below.

§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.)

§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.”

§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 inventions, 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, including acquiring rights for and administering royalties to the Federal Government in any invention, but only to the extent the party from whom the rights are acquired voluntarily enters into the transaction, to facilitate the licensing of a federally owned invention; 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; Pub. L. 106–404, §6(2), Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1745; Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 112–29 struck out “of this title” after “29”.

2000—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 106–404, §6(2)(A), substituted “inventions” for “patent applications, patents, or other forms of protection obtained”.

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 106–404, §6(2)(B), inserted “, including acquiring rights for and administering royalties to the Federal Government in any invention, but only to the extent the party from whom the rights are acquired voluntarily enters into the transaction, to facilitate the licensing of a federally owned invention” after “or through contract”.

1984—Pub. L. 98–620 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 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 Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office] 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 Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office], 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 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 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 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, 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, 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 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.

[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 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, 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 [set out above], 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 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 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 [set out above] 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 [set out above].”

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.      

§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. Licensing federally owned inventions

(a) Authority.—A Federal agency may grant an exclusive or partially exclusive license on a federally owned invention under section 207(a)(2) only if—

(1) granting the license is a reasonable and necessary incentive to—

(A) call forth the investment capital and expenditures needed to bring the invention to practical application; or

(B) otherwise promote the invention's utilization by the public;


(2) the Federal agency finds that the public will be served by the granting of the license, as indicated by the applicant's intentions, plans, and ability to bring the invention to practical application or otherwise promote the invention's utilization by the public, and that the proposed scope of exclusivity is not greater than reasonably necessary to provide the incentive for bringing the invention to practical application, as proposed by the applicant, or otherwise to promote the invention's utilization by the public;

(3) the applicant makes a commitment to achieve practical application of the invention within a reasonable time, which time may be extended by the agency upon the applicant's request and the applicant's demonstration that the refusal of such extension would be unreasonable;

(4) granting the license will not tend to substantially lessen competition or create or maintain a violation of the Federal antitrust laws; and

(5) in the case of an invention covered by a foreign patent application or patent, the interests of the Federal Government or United States industry in foreign commerce will be enhanced.


(b) Manufacture in United States.—A Federal agency shall normally grant a license under section 207(a)(2) to use or sell any federally owned invention in the United States only to a licensee who agrees that any products embodying the invention or produced through the use of the invention will be manufactured substantially in the United States.

(c) Small Business.—First preference for the granting of any exclusive or partially exclusive licenses under section 207(a)(2) shall be given to small business firms having equal or greater likelihood as other applicants to bring the invention to practical application within a reasonable time.

(d) Terms and Conditions.—Any licenses granted under section 207(a)(2) shall contain such terms and conditions as the granting agency considers appropriate, and shall include provisions—

(1) retaining a nontransferrable, irrevocable, paid-up license for any Federal agency to practice the invention or have the invention practiced throughout the world by or on behalf of the Government of the United States;

(2) requiring periodic reporting on utilization of the invention, and utilization efforts, by the licensee, but only to the extent necessary to enable the Federal agency to determine whether the terms of the license are being complied with, except that any such report 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; and

(3) empowering the Federal agency to terminate the license in whole or in part if the agency determines that—

(A) the licensee is not executing its commitment to achieve practical application of the invention, including commitments contained in any plan submitted in support of 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;

(B) the licensee is in breach of an agreement described in subsection (b);

(C) termination 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; or

(D) the licensee has been found by a court of competent jurisdiction to have violated the Federal antitrust laws in connection with its performance under the license agreement.


(e) Public Notice.—No exclusive or partially exclusive license may be granted under section 207(a)(2) unless public notice of the intention to grant an exclusive or partially exclusive license on a federally owned invention has been provided in an appropriate manner at least 15 days before the license is granted, and the Federal agency has considered all comments received before the end of the comment period in response to that public notice. This subsection shall not apply to the licensing of inventions made under a cooperative research and development agreement entered into under section 12 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3710a).

(f) Plan.—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 or marketing of the invention, except that any such plan 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.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §6(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3024; amended Pub. L. 106–404, §4(a), Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1743; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(a)(15), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1905; Pub. L. 112–29, §20(i)(3), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335.)

Amendment of Subsection (d)(1)

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(i)(3), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, subsection (d)(1) of this section is amended by striking “nontransferrable” and inserting “nontransferable”. See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 112–29 substituted “nontransferable” for “nontransferrable”.

2002—Subsecs. (d)(2), (f). Pub. L. 107–273 struck out “of the United States Code” after “title 5”.

2000—Pub. L. 106–404 amended section catchline and text generally, restructuring and revising provisions setting forth criteria, terms, and conditions relating to granting of licenses on federally owned inventions.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

§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 20135 of title 51;

(8) section 6 of the Coal Research and 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) section 9 of the Federal Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5908; 88 Stat. 1878);

(12) section 5(d) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2054(d); 86 Stat. 1211);

(13) section 3 of the Act of April 5, 1944 (30 U.S.C. 323; 58 Stat. 191); 1

(14) section 8001(c)(3) of the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 6981(c); 90 Stat. 2829);

(15) section 219 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2179; 83 Stat. 806);

(16) section 427(b) of the Federal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 937(b); 86 Stat. 155);

(17) section 306(d) of the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 1226(d); 91 Stat. 455); 1

(18) section 21(d) of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2218(d); 88 Stat. 1548);

(19) section 6(b) of the Solar Photovoltaic Energy Research Development and Demonstration Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 5585(b); 92 Stat. 2516);

(20) section 12 of the Native Latex Commercialization and Economic Development Act of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 178j; 92 Stat. 2533); and

(21) 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 section 202(c)(4) and section 203 of this title. 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 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; Pub. L. 104–113, §7, Mar. 7, 1996, 110 Stat. 779; Pub. L. 105–393, title II, §220(c)(2), Nov. 13, 1998, 112 Stat. 3625; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(a)(16), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1905; Pub. L. 109–58, title X, §1009(a)(2), Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 934; Pub. L. 111–314, §4(c), Dec. 18, 2010, 124 Stat. 3440; Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), (l), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 335, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, this section is amended by striking “of this title” each place that term appears. See 2011 Amendment note below.

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 and 5908 and former section 2457 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, and enacted provisions set out as notes under sections 13 and 41 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see 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)(13), was omitted from the Code.

Section 306(d) of the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(17), 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)(20), is Pub. L. 95–592, Nov. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 2529, 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 Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 178 of Title 7 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)(21), 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, 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.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–29 struck out “of this title” after “203”.

2010—Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 111–314 substituted “section 20135 of title 51” for “section 305 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2457)”.

2005—Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 109–58 substituted “Coal Research and Development Act of 1960” for “Coal Research Development Act of 1960”.

2002—Subsec. (a)(11). Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(a)(16)(A)(i), substituted “5908” for “5901”.

Subsec. (a)(20). Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(a)(16)(A)(ii), substituted “178j” for “178(j)”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(a)(16)(B), substituted “section 202(c)(4)” for “paragraph 202(c)(4)” and struck out second period after “title”.

1998—Subsec. (a)(11) to (22). Pub. L. 105–393 redesignated pars. (12) to (22) as (11) to (21), respectively, and struck out former par. (11) which read as follows: “subsection (e) of section 302 of the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 (40 U.S.C. App. 302(e); 79 Stat. 5);”.

1996—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 104–113 struck out “, as amended by the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986,” after “1980”.

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.

Change of Name

Reference to the Director of Central Intelligence or the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Director's capacity as the head of the intelligence community deemed to be a reference to the Director of National Intelligence. Reference to the Director of Central Intelligence or the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Director's capacity as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency deemed to be a reference to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. See section 1081(a), (b) of Pub. L. 108–458, set out as a note under section 401 of Title 50, War and National Defense.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date, see section 20(l) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

1 See References in Text note below.

§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.)

§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.)