35 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 35 - PATENTS
PART III - PATENTS AND PROTECTION OF PATENT RIGHTS
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

PART III—PATENTS AND PROTECTION OF PATENT RIGHTS

Chap.
Sec.
25.
Amendment and Correction of Patents
251
26.
Ownership and Assignment
261
27.
Government Interests in Patents
266
28.
Infringement of Patents
271
29.
Remedies for Infringement of Patent, and Other Actions
281
30.
Prior Art Citations to Office and Ex Parte Reexamination of Patents
301
31.
Optional Inter Partes Reexamination of Patents 1
311

        

32.
Post-Grant Review
321

        

Amendment of Analysis

Pub. L. 112–29, §§6(b), 35, Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 304, 341, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued on or after that effective date, this analysis is amended by striking the item relating to chapter 31 and inserting the following:

31.
Inter Partes Review
311

        

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §6(b), (e), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 304, 311, added items for chapters 31 and 32 and struck out former item for chapter 31 “Optional Inter Partes Reexamination of Patents”.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(a)(17), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1905, inserted a comma after “Patent” in item for chapter 29.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4604(b)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–570, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13202(c)(2), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1902, substituted “Ex Parte Reexamination of Patents” for “Reexamination of Patents” in item for chapter 30 and added item for chapter 31.

1982—Pub. L. 97–256, title I, §101(7), Sept. 8, 1982, 96 Stat. 816, added item for chapter 30.

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

CHAPTER 25—AMENDMENT AND CORRECTION OF PATENTS

Sec.
251.
Reissue of defective patents.
252.
Effect of reissue.
253.
Disclaimer.
254.
Certificate of correction of Patent and Trademark Office mistake.
255.
Certificate of correction of applicant's mistake.
256.
Correction of named inventor.
257.
Supplemental examinations to consider, reconsider, or correct information.

        

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §12(b), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 327, added item 257.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(a)(18), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1905, substituted “Correction of named inventor” for “Misjoinder of inventor” in item 256.

1975—Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949, substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office” in item 254.

§251. Reissue of defective patents

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

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

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

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

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 808; 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)(2), 20(d), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 296, 333.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(d), (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 “Whenever” and inserting “(a) IN GENERAL.—Whenever”; and

(B) by striking “without any deceptive intention”;


(2) in the second undesignated paragraph, by striking “The Director” and inserting “(b) MULTIPLE REISSUED PATENTS.—The Director”;

(3) in the third undesignated paragraph, by striking “The provisions” and inserting “(c) APPLICABILITY OF THIS TITLE.—The provisions”; and

(4) in the last undesignated paragraph, by striking “No reissued patent” and inserting “(d) REISSUE PATENT ENLARGING SCOPE OF CLAIMS.—No reissued patent”.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §4(b)(2), (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 in the third undesignated paragraph by inserting “or the application for the original patent was filed by the assignee of the entire interest” after “claims of the original patent”. See 2011 Amendment note below.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §64 (R.S. 4916, amended May 24, 1928, ch. 730, 45 Stat. 732.)

The sentences of the corresponding section of existing statute are rearranged and divided into two sections with some changes in language. The clause at the end of the present statute is omitted as obsolete.

The third paragraph incorporates by reference the requirements of other applications, and adds a new provision relating to application for reissue being made in certain cases by the assignee.

A two year period of limitation on applying for broadened reissues is added, codifying the present rule of decision with a fixed period.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §20(d), designated first to fourth pars. as subsecs. (a) to (d), respectively, inserted headings, and in subsec. (a), struck out “without any deceptive intention” after “error”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §4(b)(2), in third par., inserted “or the application for the original patent was filed by the assignee of the entire interest” after “claims of the original 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” in first and second pars.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 4(b)(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(d) 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.

§252. Effect of reissue

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

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

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 808; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(2), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4989; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4507(8)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–566.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §64 (R.S. 4916, amended May 24, 1928, ch. 730, 45 Stat. 732.)

The first paragraph follows the present section with some rearrangement in language. The second paragraph adds new provisions for the protection of intervening rights, the court is given discretion to protect legitimate activities which would be adversely affected by the grant of a reissue and things made before the grant of the reissue are not subject to the reissue unless a claim of the original patent which is repeated in the reissue is infringed.

Amendments

1999—Pub. L. 106–113 inserted “substantially” before “identical” in two places in first par.

1994—Pub. L. 103–465 amended second par. generally. Prior to amendment, second par. read as follows: “No reissued patent shall abridge or affect the right of any person or his successors in business who made, purchased or used prior to the grant of a reissue anything patented by the reissued patent, to continue the use of, or to sell to others to be used or sold, the specific thing so made, purchased or used, unless the making, using or selling of such thing infringes a valid claim of the reissued patent which was in the original patent. The court before which such matter is in question may provide for the continued manufacture, use or sale of the thing made, purchased or used as specified, or for the manufacture, use or sale of which substantial preparation was made before the grant of the reissue, and it may also provide for the continued practice of any process patented by the reissue, practice, or for the practice of which substantial preparation was made, prior to the grant of the reissue, to the extent and under such terms as the court deems equitable for the protection of investments made or business commenced before the grant of the reissue.”

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 1994 Amendment

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

§253. Disclaimer

Whenever, without any deceptive intention, a claim of a patent is invalid the remaining claims shall not thereby be rendered invalid. A patentee, whether of the whole or any sectional interest therein, may, on payment of the fee required by law, make disclaimer of any complete claim, stating therein the extent of his interest in such patent. Such disclaimer shall be in writing, and recorded in the Patent and Trademark Office; and it shall thereafter be considered as part of the original patent to the extent of the interest possessed by the disclaimant and by those claiming under him.

In like manner any patentee or applicant may disclaim or dedicate to the public the entire term, or any terminal part of the term, of the patent granted or to be granted.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 809; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 112–29, §20(e), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 334.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(e), (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 the first undesignated paragraph, by striking “Whenever, without any deceptive intention,” and inserting “(a) IN GENERAL.—Whenever”; and

(2) in the second undesignated paragraph, by striking “In like manner” and inserting “(b) ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER OR DEDICATION.—In the manner set forth in subsection (a),”.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §65 (R.S. 4917).

Language is changed and substantive changes are introduced; (1) only a claim as a whole may be disclaimed, and (2) the provision regarding delay is omitted. See preliminary general description of bill.

See section 288.

The second paragraph is new and provides for the disclaiming or dedication of an entire patent, or any terminal part of the term, for example, a patentee may disclaim the last three years of the term of his patent.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 designated first and second pars. as subsecs. (a) and (b), respectively, inserted headings, in subsec. (a) substituted “Whenever” for “Whenever, without any deceptive intention,”, and in subsec. (b) substituted “In the manner set forth in subsection (a),” for “In like manner”.

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

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 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.

§254. Certificate of correction of Patent and Trademark Office mistake

Whenever a mistake in a patent, incurred through the fault of the Patent and Trademark Office, is clearly disclosed by the records of the Office, the Director may issue a certificate of correction stating the fact and nature of such mistake, under seal, without charge, to be recorded in the records of patents. A printed copy thereof shall be attached to each printed copy of the patent, and such certificate shall be considered as part of the original patent. Every such patent, together with such certificate, shall have the same effect and operation in law on the trial of actions for causes thereafter arising as if the same had been originally issued in such corrected form. The Director may issue a corrected patent without charge in lieu of and with like effect as a certificate of correction.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 809; 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.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §88 (Mar. 4, 1925, ch. 535, §1, 43 Stat. 1268).

The last sentence of the present section is omitted as obsolete. A sentence is added similar to a provision in the corresponding section in the trade-mark law, 15 U.S.C., 1946 ed., §1057(f), and provides that the Commissioner may issue a corrected patent instead of a certificate of correction.

Amendments

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.

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

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.

§255. Certificate of correction of applicant's mistake

Whenever a mistake of a clerical or typographical nature, or of minor character, which was not the fault of the Patent and Trademark Office, appears in a patent and a showing has been made that such mistake occurred in good faith, the Director may, upon payment of the required fee, issue a certificate of correction, if the correction does not involve such changes in the patent as would constitute new matter or would require re-examination. Such patent, together with the certificate, shall have the same effect and operation in law on the trial of actions for causes thereafter arising as if the same had been originally issued in such corrected form.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 809; 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.)

Historical and Revision Notes

This section providing for the correction of minor clerical errors made by the applicant, is new and follows a similar provision in the trade-mark law, 15 U.S.C., 1946 ed., §1057(g).

Amendments

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. 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 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.

§256. Correction of named inventor

Whenever through error a person is named in an issued patent as the inventor, or through error an inventor is not named in an issued patent and such error arose without any deceptive intention on his part, the Director may, on application of all the parties and assignees, with proof of the facts and such other requirements as may be imposed, issued a certificate correcting such error.

The error of omitting inventors or naming persons who are not inventors shall not invalidate the patent in which such error occurred if it can be corrected as provided in this section. The court before which such matter is called in question may order correction of the patent on notice and hearing of all parties concerned and the Director shall issue a certificate accordingly.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 810; Pub. L. 97–247, §6(b), Aug. 27, 1982, 96 Stat. 320; 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(f), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 334.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(f), (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 the first undesignated paragraph—

(A) by striking “Whenever” and inserting “(a) CORRECTION.—Whenever”; and

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

(2) in the second undesignated paragraph, by striking “The error” and inserting “(b) PATENT VALID IF ERROR CORRECTED.—The error”.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Historical and Revision Notes

This section is new and is companion to section 116.

The first two paragraphs provide for the correction of the inadvertent joining or nonjoining of a person as a joint inventor. The third paragraph provides that a patent shall not be invalid for such cause, and also provides that a court may order correction of a patent; the two sentences of this paragraph are independent.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 designated first and second pars. as subsecs. (a) and (b), respectively, inserted headings, and in subsec. (a) struck out “and such error arose without any deceptive intention on his part” after “not named in an issued 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” in two places.

1982—Pub. L. 97–247 substituted “Correction of named inventor” for “Misjoinder of inventor” as section catchline and, in text, substituted “Whenever through error a person is named in an issued patent as the inventor, or through error an inventor is not named in an issued patent and such error arose without any deceptive intention on his part, the Commissioner may, on application of all the parties and assignees, with proof of the facts and such other requirements as may be imposed, issue a certificate correcting such error” for “Whenever a patent is issued on the application of persons as joint inventors and it appears that one of such persons was not in fact a joint inventor, and that he was included as a joint inventor by error and without any deceptive intention, the Commissioner may, on application of all the parties and assignees, with proof of the facts and such other requirements as may be imposed, issue a certificate deleting the name of the erroneously joined person from the patent”, substituted “The error of omitting inventors or naming persons who are not inventors shall not invalidate the patent in which such error occurred if it can be corrected as provided in this section” for “Whenever a patent is issued and it appears that a person was a joint inventor, but was omitted by error and without deceptive intention on his part, the Commissioner may, on application of all the parties and assignees, with proof of the facts and such other requirements as may be imposed, issue a certificate adding his name to the patent as a joint inventor”, and struck out provision that the misjoinder or nonjoinder of joint inventors not invalidate a patent, if such error could be corrected as provided in this section.

Effective Date of 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 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.

§257. Supplemental examinations to consider, reconsider, or correct information

(a) Request for Supplemental Examination.—A patent owner may request supplemental examination of a patent in the Office to consider, reconsider, or correct information believed to be relevant to the patent, in accordance with such requirements as the Director may establish. Within 3 months after the date a request for supplemental examination meeting the requirements of this section is received, the Director shall conduct the supplemental examination and shall conclude such examination by issuing a certificate indicating whether the information presented in the request raises a substantial new question of patentability.

(b) Reexamination Ordered.—If the certificate issued under subsection (a) indicates that a substantial new question of patentability is raised by 1 or more items of information in the request, the Director shall order reexamination of the patent. The reexamination shall be conducted according to procedures established by chapter 30, except that the patent owner shall not have the right to file a statement pursuant to section 304. During the reexamination, the Director shall address each substantial new question of patentability identified during the supplemental examination, notwithstanding the limitations in chapter 30 relating to patents and printed publication or any other provision of such chapter.

(c) Effect.—

(1) In general.—A patent shall not be held unenforceable on the basis of conduct relating to information that had not been considered, was inadequately considered, or was incorrect in a prior examination of the patent if the information was considered, reconsidered, or corrected during a supplemental examination of the patent. The making of a request under subsection (a), or the absence thereof, shall not be relevant to enforceability of the patent under section 282.

(2) Exceptions.—

(A) Prior allegations.—Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an allegation pled with particularity in a civil action, or set forth with particularity in a notice received by the patent owner under section 505(j)(2)(B)(iv)(II) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355(j)(2)(B)(iv)(II)), before the date of a supplemental examination request under subsection (a) to consider, reconsider, or correct information forming the basis for the allegation.

(B) Patent enforcement actions.—In an action brought under section 337(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1337(a)), or section 281, paragraph (1) shall not apply to any defense raised in the action that is based upon information that was considered, reconsidered, or corrected pursuant to a supplemental examination request under subsection (a), unless the supplemental examination, and any reexamination ordered pursuant to the request, are concluded before the date on which the action is brought.


(d) Fees and Regulations.—

(1) Fees.—The Director shall, by regulation, establish fees for the submission of a request for supplemental examination of a patent, and to consider each item of information submitted in the request. If reexamination is ordered under subsection (b), fees established and applicable to ex parte reexamination proceedings under chapter 30 shall be paid, in addition to fees applicable to supplemental examination.

(2) Regulations.—The Director shall issue regulations governing the form, content, and other requirements of requests for supplemental examination, and establishing procedures for reviewing information submitted in such requests.


(e) Fraud.—If the Director becomes aware, during the course of a supplemental examination or reexamination proceeding ordered under this section, that a material fraud on the Office may have been committed in connection with the patent that is the subject of the supplemental examination, then in addition to any other actions the Director is authorized to take, including the cancellation of any claims found to be invalid under section 307 as a result of a reexamination ordered under this section, the Director shall also refer the matter to the Attorney General for such further action as the Attorney General may deem appropriate. Any such referral shall be treated as confidential, shall not be included in the file of the patent, and shall not be disclosed to the public unless the United States charges a person with a criminal offense in connection with such referral.

(f) Rule of Construction.—Nothing in this section shall be construed—

(1) to preclude the imposition of sanctions based upon criminal or antitrust laws (including section 1001(a) of title 18, the first section of the Clayton Act, and section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act to the extent that section relates to unfair methods of competition);

(2) to limit the authority of the Director to investigate issues of possible misconduct and impose sanctions for misconduct in connection with matters or proceedings before the Office; or

(3) to limit the authority of the Director to issue regulations under chapter 3 relating to sanctions for misconduct by representatives practicing before the Office.

(Added and amended Pub. L. 112–29, §§12(a), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 325, 335.)

References in Text

The first section of the Clayton Act, referred to in subsec. (f)(1), is classified to section 12 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade, and section 53 of Title 29, Labor.

Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, referred to in subsec. (f)(1), is classified to section 45 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (c)(2)(B). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “281”.

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

Pub. L. 112–29, §12(c), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 327, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [enacting 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 issued before, on, or after that effective date.”

CHAPTER 26—OWNERSHIP AND ASSIGNMENT

Sec.
261.
Ownership; assignment.
262.
Joint owners.

        

§261. Ownership; assignment

Subject to the provisions of this title, patents shall have the attributes of personal property.

Applications for patent, patents, or any interest therein, shall be assignable in law by an instrument in writing. The applicant, patentee, or his assigns or legal representatives may in like manner grant and convey an exclusive right under his application for patent, or patents, to the whole or any specified part of the United States.

A certificate of acknowledgment under the hand and official seal of a person authorized to administer oaths within the United States, or, in a foreign country, of a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States or an officer authorized to administer oaths whose authority is proved by a certificate of a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States, or apostille of an official designated by a foreign country which, by treaty or convention, accords like effect to apostilles of designated officials in the United States, shall be prima facie evidence of the execution of an assignment, grant or conveyance of a patent or application for patent.

An assignment, grant or conveyance shall be void as against any subsequent purchaser or mortgagee for a valuable consideration, without notice, unless it is recorded in the Patent and Trademark Office within three months from its date or prior to the date of such subsequent purchase or mortgage.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 810; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 97–247, §14(b), Aug. 27, 1982, 96 Stat. 321.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §47 (R.S. 4898, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §5, 29 Stat. 93, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §6, 42 Stat. 391, (3) Aug. 18, 1941, ch. 370, 55 Stat. 634).

The first paragraph is new but is declaratory only. The second paragraph is the same as in the corresponding section of existing statute. The third paragraph is from the existing statute, a specific reference to another statute is omitted. The fourth paragraph is the same as the existing statute but language has been changed.

Amendments

1982—Pub. L. 97–247 inserted “, or apostille of an official designated by a foreign country which, by treaty or convention, accords like effect to apostilles of designated officials in the United States”.

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

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

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

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

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

§262. Joint owners

In the absence of any agreement to the contrary, each of the joint owners of a patent may make, use, offer to sell, or sell the patented invention within the United States, or import the patented invention into the United States, without the consent of and without accounting to the other owners.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 810; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(3), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4989.)

Historical and Revision Notes

This section states a condition in existing law not expressed in the existing statutes.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–465 substituted “use, offer to sell, or sell” for “use or sell” and inserted “within the United States, or import the patented invention into the United States,” after “invention”.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

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

CHAPTER 27—GOVERNMENT INTERESTS IN PATENTS

Sec.
[266.
Repealed.]
267.
Time for taking action in Government applications.

        

Amendments

1965—Pub. L. 89–83, §8, July 24, 1965, 79 Stat. 261, struck out item 266 “Issue of patents without fees to Government employees”.

[§266. Repealed. Pub. L. 89–83, §8, July 24, 1965, 79 Stat. 261]

Section, act July 19, 1952, ch. 950, §1, 66 Stat. 811, provided for issuance of patents to government employees without fees.

Effective Date of Repeal

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

§267. Time for taking action in Government applications

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 133 and 151 of this title, the Director may extend the time for taking any action to three years, when an application has become the property of the United States and the head of the appropriate department or agency of the Government has certified to the Director that the invention disclosed therein is important to the armament or defense of the United States.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 811; 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(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., §37 (R.S. 4894, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §4, 29 Stat. 692, 693, (2) July 6, 1916, ch. 225, §1, 39 Stat. 345, 347–8, (3) Mar. 2, 1927, ch. 273, §1, 44 Stat. 1335, (4) Aug. 7, 1939, ch. 568, 53 Stat. 1264).

This provision, which appears as the last two sentences of the corresponding section of the present statute (see note to section 133) is made a separate section and rewritten in simpler form.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 struck out “of this title” after “151”.

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 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.

CHAPTER 28—INFRINGEMENT OF PATENTS

Sec.
271.
Infringement of patent.
272.
Temporary presence in the United States.
273.
Defense to infringement based on prior commercial use.

        

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §5(b), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 299, amended item 273 generally, substituting “Defense to infringement based on prior commercial use” for “Defense to infringement based on earlier inventor”.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4302(b)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–557, added item 273.

§271. Infringement of patent

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this title, whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent.

(b) Whoever actively induces infringement of a patent shall be liable as an infringer.

(c) Whoever offers to sell or sells within the United States or imports into the United States a component of a patented machine, manufacture, combination or composition, or a material or apparatus for use in practicing a patented process, constituting a material part of the invention, knowing the same to be especially made or especially adapted for use in an infringement of such patent, and not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use, shall be liable as a contributory infringer.

(d) No patent owner otherwise entitled to relief for infringement or contributory infringement of a patent shall be denied relief or deemed guilty of misuse or illegal extension of the patent right by reason of his having done one or more of the following: (1) derived revenue from acts which if performed by another without his consent would constitute contributory infringement of the patent; (2) licensed or authorized another to perform acts which if performed without his consent would constitute contributory infringement of the patent; (3) sought to enforce his patent rights against infringement or contributory infringement; (4) refused to license or use any rights to the patent; or (5) conditioned the license of any rights to the patent or the sale of the patented product on the acquisition of a license to rights in another patent or purchase of a separate product, unless, in view of the circumstances, the patent owner has market power in the relevant market for the patent or patented product on which the license or sale is conditioned.

(e)(1) It shall not be an act of infringement to make, use, offer to sell, or sell within the United States or import into the United States a patented invention (other than a new animal drug or veterinary biological product (as those terms are used in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Act of March 4, 1913) which is primarily manufactured using recombinant DNA, recombinant RNA, hybridoma technology, or other processes involving site specific genetic manipulation techniques) solely for uses reasonably related to the development and submission of information under a Federal law which regulates the manufacture, use, or sale of drugs or veterinary biological products.

(2) It shall be an act of infringement to submit—

(A) an application under section 505(j) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or described in section 505(b)(2) of such Act for a drug claimed in a patent or the use of which is claimed in a patent,

(B) an application under section 512 of such Act or under the Act of March 4, 1913 (21 U.S.C. 151–158) for a drug or veterinary biological product which is not primarily manufactured using recombinant DNA, recombinant RNA, hybridoma technology, or other processes involving site specific genetic manipulation techniques and which is claimed in a patent or the use of which is claimed in a patent, or

(C)(i) with respect to a patent that is identified in the list of patents described in section 351(l)(3) of the Public Health Service Act (including as provided under section 351(l)(7) of such Act), an application seeking approval of a biological product, or

(ii) if the applicant for the application fails to provide the application and information required under section 351(l)(2)(A) of such Act, an application seeking approval of a biological product for a patent that could be identified pursuant to section 351(l)(3)(A)(i) of such Act,


if the purpose of such submission is to obtain approval under such Act to engage in the commercial manufacture, use, or sale of a drug, veterinary biological product, or biological product claimed in a patent or the use of which is claimed in a patent before the expiration of such patent.

(3) In any action for patent infringement brought under this section, no injunctive or other relief may be granted which would prohibit the making, using, offering to sell, or selling within the United States or importing into the United States of a patented invention under paragraph (1).

(4) For an act of infringement described in paragraph (2)—

(A) the court shall order the effective date of any approval of the drug or veterinary biological product involved in the infringement to be a date which is not earlier than the date of the expiration of the patent which has been infringed,

(B) injunctive relief may be granted against an infringer to prevent the commercial manufacture, use, offer to sell, or sale within the United States or importation into the United States of an approved drug, veterinary biological product, or biological product,

(C) damages or other monetary relief may be awarded against an infringer only if there has been commercial manufacture, use, offer to sell, or sale within the United States or importation into the United States of an approved drug, veterinary biological product, or biological product, and

(D) the court shall order a permanent injunction prohibiting any infringement of the patent by the biological product involved in the infringement until a date which is not earlier than the date of the expiration of the patent that has been infringed under paragraph (2)(C), provided the patent is the subject of a final court decision, as defined in section 351(k)(6) of the Public Health Service Act, in an action for infringement of the patent under section 351(l)(6) of such Act, and the biological product has not yet been approved because of section 351(k)(7) of such Act.


The remedies prescribed by subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (D) are the only remedies which may be granted by a court for an act of infringement described in paragraph (2), except that a court may award attorney fees under section 285.

(5) Where a person has filed an application described in paragraph (2) that includes a certification under subsection (b)(2)(A)(iv) or (j)(2)(A)(vii)(IV) of section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355), and neither the owner of the patent that is the subject of the certification nor the holder of the approved application under subsection (b) of such section for the drug that is claimed by the patent or a use of which is claimed by the patent brought an action for infringement of such patent before the expiration of 45 days after the date on which the notice given under subsection (b)(3) or (j)(2)(B) of such section was received, the courts of the United States shall, to the extent consistent with the Constitution, have subject matter jurisdiction in any action brought by such person under section 2201 of title 28 for a declaratory judgment that such patent is invalid or not infringed.

(6)(A) Subparagraph (B) applies, in lieu of paragraph (4), in the case of a patent—

(i) that is identified, as applicable, in the list of patents described in section 351(l)(4) of the Public Health Service Act or the lists of patents described in section 351(l)(5)(B) of such Act with respect to a biological product; and

(ii) for which an action for infringement of the patent with respect to the biological product—

(I) was brought after the expiration of the 30-day period described in subparagraph (A) or (B), as applicable, of section 351(l)(6) of such Act; or

(II) was brought before the expiration of the 30-day period described in subclause (I), but which was dismissed without prejudice or was not prosecuted to judgment in good faith.


(B) In an action for infringement of a patent described in subparagraph (A), the sole and exclusive remedy that may be granted by a court, upon a finding that the making, using, offering to sell, selling, or importation into the United States of the biological product that is the subject of the action infringed the patent, shall be a reasonable royalty.

(C) The owner of a patent that should have been included in the list described in section 351(l)(3)(A) of the Public Health Service Act, including as provided under section 351(l)(7) of such Act for a biological product, but was not timely included in such list, may not bring an action under this section for infringement of the patent with respect to the biological product.

(f)(1) Whoever without authority supplies or causes to be supplied in or from the United States all or a substantial portion of the components of a patented invention, where such components are uncombined in whole or in part, in such manner as to actively induce the combination of such components outside of the United States in a manner that would infringe the patent if such combination occurred within the United States, shall be liable as an infringer.

(2) Whoever without authority supplies or causes to be supplied in or from the United States any component of a patented invention that is especially made or especially adapted for use in the invention and not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use, where such component is uncombined in whole or in part, knowing that such component is so made or adapted and intending that such component will be combined outside of the United States in a manner that would infringe the patent if such combination occurred within the United States, shall be liable as an infringer.

(g) Whoever without authority imports into the United States or offers to sell, sells, or uses within the United States a product which is made by a process patented in the United States shall be liable as an infringer, if the importation, offer to sell, sale, or use of the product occurs during the term of such process patent. In an action for infringement of a process patent, no remedy may be granted for infringement on account of the noncommercial use or retail sale of a product unless there is no adequate remedy under this title for infringement on account of the importation or other use, offer to sell, or sale of that product. A product which is made by a patented process will, for purposes of this title, not be considered to be so made after—

(1) it is materially changed by subsequent processes; or

(2) it becomes a trivial and nonessential component of another product.


(h) As used in this section, the term “whoever” includes any State, any instrumentality of a State, and any officer or employee of a State or instrumentality of a State acting in his official capacity. Any State, and any such instrumentality, officer, or employee, shall be subject to the provisions of this title in the same manner and to the same extent as any nongovernmental entity.

(i) As used in this section, an “offer for sale” or an “offer to sell” by a person other than the patentee, or any designee of the patentee, is that in which the sale will occur before the expiration of the term of the patent.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 811; Pub. L. 98–417, title II, §202, Sept. 24, 1984, 98 Stat. 1603; Pub. L. 98–622, title I, §101(a), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3383; Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9003, Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1563; Pub. L. 100–670, title II, §201(i), Nov. 16, 1988, 102 Stat. 3988; Pub. L. 100–703, title II, §201, Nov. 19, 1988, 102 Stat. 4676; Pub. L. 102–560, §2(a)(1), Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4230; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(a), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4988; Pub. L. 108–173, title XI, §1101(d), Dec. 8, 2003, 117 Stat. 2457; Pub. L. 111–148, title VII, §7002(c)(1), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 815.)

Historical and Revision Notes

The first paragraph of this section is declaratory only, defining infringement.

Paragraphs (b) and (c) define and limit contributory infringement of a patent and paragraph (d) is ancillary to these paragraphs, see preliminary general description of bill. One who actively induces infringement as by aiding and abetting the same is liable as an infringer, and so is one who sells a component part of a patented invention or material or apparatus for use therein knowing the same to be especially made or especially adapted for use in the infringement of the patent except in the case of a staple article or commodity of commerce having other uses. A patentee is not deemed to have misused his patent solely by reason of doing anything authorized by the section.

References in Text

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, referred to in subsec. (e)(1), (2), is act June 25, 1938, ch. 675, 52 Stat. 1040, which is classified generally to chapter 9 (§301 et seq.) of Title 21, Food and Drugs. Sections 505 and 512 of the Act are classified to sections 355 and 360b, respectively, of Title 21. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 301 of Title 21 and Tables.

Act of March 4, 1913, referred to in subsec. (e)(1), (2), is act Mar. 4, 1913, ch. 145, 37 Stat. 828. The provisions of such act relating to viruses, etc., applicable to domestic animals, popularly known as the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, are contained in the eighth paragraph under the heading “Bureau of Animal Industry” of act Mar. 4, 1913, at 37 Stat. 832, and are 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.

Section 351 of the Public Health Service Act, referred to in subsec. (e)(2)(C), (4)(D), (6)(A), (C), is classified to section 262 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 111–148, §7002(c)(1)(A)(iv), substituted “, veterinary biological product, or biological product” for “or veterinary biological product” in concluding provisions.

Subsec. (e)(2)(C). Pub. L. 111–148, §7002(c)(1)(A)(i)–(iii), added subpar. (C).

Subsec. (e)(4). Pub. L. 111–148, §7002(c)(1)(B)(iv), substituted “(C), and (D)” for “and (C)” in concluding provisions.

Subsec. (e)(4)(B). Pub. L. 111–148, §7002(c)(1)(B)(i), substituted “, veterinary biological product, or biological product” for “or veterinary biological product” and struck out “and” at end.

Subsec. (e)(4)(C). Pub. L. 111–148, §7002(c)(1)(B)(ii), substituted “, veterinary biological product, or biological product” for “or veterinary biological product” and “, and” for period at end.

Subsec. (e)(4)(D). Pub. L. 111–148, §7002(c)(1)(B)(iii), added subpar. (D).

Subsec. (e)(6). Pub. L. 111–148, §7002(c)(1)(C), added par. (6).

2003—Subsec. (e)(5). Pub. L. 108–173 added par. (5).

1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–465, §533(a)(1), inserted “, offers to sell,” after “uses” and “or imports into the United States any patented invention” after “the United States”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 103–465, §533(a)(2), substituted “offers to sell or sells within the United States or imports into the United States” for “sells”.

Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 103–465, §533(a)(3)(A), substituted “offer to sell, or sell within the United States or import into the United States” for “or sell”.

Subsec. (e)(3). Pub. L. 103–465, §533(a)(3)(B), substituted “offering to sell, or selling within the United States or importing into the United States” for “or selling”.

Subsec. (e)(4)(B), (C). Pub. L. 103–465, §533(a)(3)(C), (D), substituted “offer to sell, or sale within the United States or importation into the United States” for “or sale”.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 103–465, §533(a)(4), substituted “offers to sell, sells,” for “sells”, “importation, offer to sell, sale,” for “importation, sale,”, and “other use, offer to sell, or” for “other use or”.

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 103–465, §533(a)(5), added subsec. (i).

1992—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 102–560 added subsec. (h).

1988—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 100–703 added cls. (4) and (5).

Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(i)(1), inserted “which is primarily manufactured using recombinant DNA, recombinant RNA, hybridoma technology, or other processes involving site specific genetic manipulation techniques” after “March 4, 1913)” and “or veterinary biological products” after “sale of drugs”.

Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(i)(2), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: “It shall be an act of infringement to submit an application under section 505(j) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or described in section 505(b)(2) of such Act for a drug claimed in a patent or the use of which is claimed in a patent, if the purpose of such submission is to obtain approval under such Act to engage in the commercial manufacture, use, or sale of a drug claimed in a patent or the use of which is claimed in a patent before the expiration of such patent.”

Subsec. (e)(4). Pub. L. 100–670, §201(i)(3), inserted “or veterinary biological product” after “drug” in subpars. (A) to (C).

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 100–418 added subsec. (g).

1984—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 98–417 added subsec. (e).

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 98–622 added subsec. (f).

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

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

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 102–560 effective with respect to violations that occur on or after Oct. 28, 1992, see section 4 of Pub. L. 102–560, set out as a note under section 2541 of Title 7, Agriculture.

Effective Date of 1988 Amendments

Section 202 of title II of Pub. L. 100–703 provided that: “The amendment made by this title [amending this section] shall apply only to cases filed on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 19, 1988].”

Section 9006 of Pub. L. 100–418 provided that:

“(a) In General.—The amendments made by this subtitle [subtitle A (§§9001–9007) of title IX of Pub. L. 100–418, enacting section 295 of this title and amending this section and sections 154 and 287 of this title] take effect 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 23, 1988] and, subject to subsections (b) and (c), shall apply only with respect to products made or imported after the effective date of the amendments made by this subtitle.

“(b) Exceptions.—The amendments made by this subtitle shall not abridge or affect the right of any person or any successor in business of such person to continue to use, sell, or import any specific product already in substantial and continuous sale or use by such person in the United States on January 1, 1988, or for which substantial preparation by such person for such sale or use was made before such date, to the extent equitable for the protection of commercial investments made or business commenced in the United States before such date. This subsection shall not apply to any person or any successor in business of such person using, selling, or importing a product produced by a patented process that is the subject of a process patent enforcement action commenced before January 1, 1987, before the International Trade Commission, that is pending or in which an order has been entered.

“(c) Retention of Other Remedies.—The amendments made by this subtitle shall not deprive a patent owner of any remedies available under subsections (a) through (f) of section 271 of title 35, United States Code, under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 [19 U.S.C. 1337], or under any other provision of law.”

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–622 applicable only to the supplying, or causing to be supplied, of any component or components of a patented invention after Nov. 8, 1984, see section 106(c) of Pub. L. 98–622, set out as a note under section 103 of this title.

Reports to Congress; Effect on Domestic Industries of Process Patent Amendments Act of 1988

Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9007, Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1567, provided that the Secretary of Commerce was to make annual reports to Congress covering each of the successive five 1-year periods beginning 6 months after Aug. 23, 1988, on the effect of the amendments made by subtitle A (§§9001–9007) of title IX of Pub. L. 100–418, enacting section 295 of this title and amending sections 154, 271, and 287 of this title, on those domestic industries that submit complaints to the Department of Commerce alleging that their legitimate sources of supply have been adversely affected by the amendments.

§272. Temporary presence in the United States

The use of any invention in any vessel, aircraft or vehicle of any country which affords similar privileges to vessels, aircraft or vehicles of the United States, entering the United States temporarily or accidentally, shall not constitute infringement of any patent, if the invention is used exclusively for the needs of the vessel, aircraft or vehicle and is not offered for sale or sold in or used for the manufacture of anything to be sold in or exported from the United States.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 812; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(4), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4989.)

Historical and Revision Notes

This section follows the requirement of the International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, to which the United States is a party, and also codifies the holding of the Supreme Court that use of a patented invention on board a foreign ship does not infringe a patent.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–465 substituted “not offered for sale or sold” for “not sold”.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

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

§273. Defense to infringement based on prior commercial use

(a) In General.—A person shall be entitled to a defense under section 282(b) with respect to subject matter consisting of a process, or consisting of a machine, manufacture, or composition of matter used in a manufacturing or other commercial process, that would otherwise infringe a claimed invention being asserted against the person if—

(1) such person, acting in good faith, commercially used the subject matter in the United States, either in connection with an internal commercial use or an actual arm's length sale or other arm's length commercial transfer of a useful end result of such commercial use; and

(2) such commercial use occurred at least 1 year before the earlier of either—

(A) the effective filing date of the claimed invention; or

(B) the date on which the claimed invention was disclosed to the public in a manner that qualified for the exception from prior art under section 102(b).


(b) Burden of Proof.—A person asserting a defense under this section shall have the burden of establishing the defense by clear and convincing evidence.

(c) Additional Commercial Uses.—

(1) Premarketing regulatory review.—Subject matter for which commercial marketing or use is subject to a premarketing regulatory review period during which the safety or efficacy of the subject matter is established, including any period specified in section 156(g), shall be deemed to be commercially used for purposes of subsection (a)(1) during such regulatory review period.

(2) Nonprofit laboratory use.—A use of subject matter by a nonprofit research laboratory or other nonprofit entity, such as a university or hospital, for which the public is the intended beneficiary, shall be deemed to be a commercial use for purposes of subsection (a)(1), except that a defense under this section may be asserted pursuant to this paragraph only for continued and noncommercial use by and in the laboratory or other nonprofit entity.


(d) Exhaustion of Rights.—Notwithstanding subsection (e)(1), the sale or other disposition of a useful end result by a person entitled to assert a defense under this section in connection with a patent with respect to that useful end result shall exhaust the patent owner's rights under the patent to the extent that such rights would have been exhausted had such sale or other disposition been made by the patent owner.

(e) Limitations and Exceptions.—

(1) Personal defense.—

(A) In general.—A defense under this section may be asserted only by the person who performed or directed the performance of the commercial use described in subsection (a), or by an entity that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with such person.

(B) Transfer of right.—Except for any transfer to the patent owner, the right to assert a defense under this section shall not be licensed or assigned or transferred to another person except as an ancillary and subordinate part of a good-faith assignment or transfer for other reasons of the entire enterprise or line of business to which the defense relates.

(C) Restriction on sites.—A defense under this section, when acquired by a person as part of an assignment or transfer described in subparagraph (B), may only be asserted for uses at sites where the subject matter that would otherwise infringe a claimed invention is in use before the later of the effective filing date of the claimed invention or the date of the assignment or transfer of such enterprise or line of business.


(2) Derivation.—A person may not assert a defense under this section if the subject matter on which the defense is based was derived from the patentee or persons in privity with the patentee.

(3) Not a general license.—The defense asserted by a person under this section is not a general license under all claims of the patent at issue, but extends only to the specific subject matter for which it has been established that a commercial use that qualifies under this section occurred, except that the defense shall also extend to variations in the quantity or volume of use of the claimed subject matter, and to improvements in the claimed subject matter that do not infringe additional specifically claimed subject matter of the patent.

(4) Abandonment of use.—A person who has abandoned commercial use (that qualifies under this section) of subject matter may not rely on activities performed before the date of such abandonment in establishing a defense under this section with respect to actions taken on or after the date of such abandonment.

(5) University exception.—

(A) In general.—A person commercially using subject matter to which subsection (a) applies may not assert a defense under this section if the claimed invention with respect to which the defense is asserted was, at the time the invention was made, owned or subject to an obligation of assignment to either an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)),1 or a technology transfer organization whose primary purpose is to facilitate the commercialization of technologies developed by one or more such institutions of higher education.

(B) Exception.—Subparagraph (A) shall not apply if any of the activities required to reduce to practice the subject matter of the claimed invention could not have been undertaken using funds provided by the Federal Government.


(f) Unreasonable Assertion of Defense.—If the defense under this section is pleaded by a person who is found to infringe the patent and who subsequently fails to demonstrate a reasonable basis for asserting the defense, the court shall find the case exceptional for the purpose of awarding attorney fees under section 285.

(g) Invalidity.—A patent shall not be deemed to be invalid under section 102 or 103 solely because a defense is raised or established under this section.

(Added Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4302(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–555; amended Pub. L. 112–29, §5(a), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 297.)

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to defense to infringement based on earlier inventor.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Pub. L. 112–29, §5(c), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 299, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall apply to any patent issued on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011].”

Effective Date

Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, subtitle C, §4303], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–557, provided that: “This subtitle [enacting this section and provisions set out as a note under section 1 of this title] and the amendments made by this subtitle shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 29, 1999], but shall not apply to any action for infringement that is pending on such date of enactment or with respect to any subject matter for which an adjudication of infringement, including a consent judgment, has been made before such date of enactment.”

1 So in original. Another closing parenthesis probably should precede the comma.

CHAPTER 29—REMEDIES FOR INFRINGEMENT OF PATENT, AND OTHER ACTIONS

Sec.
281.
Remedy for infringement of patent.
282.
Presumption of validity; defenses.
283.
Injunction.
284.
Damages.
285.
Attorney fees.
286.
Time limitation on damages.
287.
Limitation on damages and other remedies; marking and notice.
288.
Action for infringement of a patent containing an invalid claim.
289.
Additional remedy for infringement of design patent.
290.
Notice of patent suits.
291.
Interfering patents.
292.
False marking.
293.
Nonresident patentee, service and notice.1

        

294.
Voluntary arbitration.
295.
Presumption: Product made by patented process.
296.
Liability of States, instrumentalities of States, and State officials for infringement of patents.
297.
Improper and deceptive invention promotion.
298.
Advice of counsel.
299.
Joinder of parties.

        

Amendment of Analysis

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(h)(2), (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, item 291 of this analysis is amended to read “Derived patents.”. See 2011 Amendment notes below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §19(d)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 333, added item 299.

Pub. L. 112–29, §17(b), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 329, added item 298.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(h)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 289, amended item 291 generally, substituting “Derived patents” for “Interfering patents”.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4102(b)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–554, added item 297.

1992—Pub. L. 102–560, §2(b), Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4230, added item 296.

1988—Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §§9004(b), 9005(b), Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1566, inserted “and other remedies” in item 287 and added item 295.

1982—Pub. L. 97–247, §17(b)(2), Aug. 27, 1982, 96 Stat. 323, added item 294.

1 So in original. Does not conform to section catchline.

§281. Remedy for infringement of patent

A patentee shall have remedy by civil action for infringement of his patent.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 812.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §§67 and 70, part (R.S. 4919; R.S. 4921, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §6, 29 Stat. 694, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §8, 42 Stat. 392, (3) Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 726, §1, 60 Stat. 778).

The corresponding two sections of existing law are divided among sections 281, 283, 284, 285, 286 and 289 with some changes in language. Section 281 serves as an introduction or preamble to the following sections, the modern term civil action is used, there would be, of course, a right to a jury trial when no injunction is sought.

§282. Presumption of validity; defenses

A patent shall be presumed valid. Each claim of a patent (whether in independent, dependent, or multiple dependent form) shall be presumed valid independently of the validity of other claims; dependent or multiple dependent claims shall be presumed valid even though dependent upon an invalid claim. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, if a claim to a composition of matter is held invalid and that claim was the basis of a determination of nonobviousness under section 103(b)(1), the process shall no longer be considered nonobvious solely on the basis of section 103(b)(1). The burden of establishing invalidity of a patent or any claim thereof shall rest on the party asserting such invalidity.

The following shall be defenses in any action involving the validity or infringement of a patent and shall be pleaded:

(1) Noninfringement, absence of liability for infringement or unenforceability,

(2) Invalidity of the patent or any claim in suit on any ground specified in part II of this title as a condition for patentability,

(3) Invalidity of the patent or any claim in suit for failure to comply with—

(A) any requirement of section 112, except that the failure to disclose the best mode shall not be a basis on which any claim of a patent may be canceled or held invalid or otherwise unenforceable; or

(B) any requirement of section 251.


(4) Any other fact or act made a defense by this title.


In actions involving the validity or infringement of a patent the party asserting invalidity or noninfringement shall give notice in the pleadings or otherwise in writing to the adverse party at least thirty days before the trial, of the country, number, date, and name of the patentee of any patent, the title, date, and page numbers of any publication to be relied upon as anticipation of the patent in suit or, except in actions in the United States Court of Federal Claims, as showing the state of the art, and the name and address of any person who may be relied upon as the prior inventor or as having prior knowledge of or as having previously used or offered for sale the invention of the patent in suit. In the absence of such notice proof of the said matters may not be made at the trial except on such terms as the court requires. Invalidity of the extension of a patent term or any portion thereof under section 154(b) or 156 of this title because of the material failure—

(1) by the applicant for the extension, or

(2) by the Director,


to comply with the requirements of such section shall be a defense in any action involving the infringement of a patent during the period of the extension of its term and shall be pleaded. A due diligence determination under section 156(d)(2) is not subject to review in such an action.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 812; Pub. L. 89–83, §10, July 24, 1965, 79 Stat. 261; Pub. L. 94–131, §10, Nov. 14, 1975, 89 Stat. 692; Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §161(7), Apr. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 49; Pub. L. 98–417, title II, §203, Sept. 24, 1984, 98 Stat. 1603; Pub. L. 102–572, title IX, §902(b)(1), Oct. 29, 1992, 106 Stat. 4516; Pub. L. 104–41, §2, Nov. 1, 1995, 109 Stat. 352; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §§4402(b)(1), 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), (4), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906; Pub. L. 112–29, §§15(a), 20(g), (j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 328, 334, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(g), (j), (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 the first undesignated paragraph—

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

(B) by striking the third sentence;

(2) in the second undesignated paragraph—

(A) by striking “The following” and inserting “(b) DEFENSES.—The following”;

(B) in paragraph (1), by striking “uneforceability,” and inserting “unenforceability.”; and

(C) in paragraph (2), by striking “patentability,” and inserting “patentability.”;

(3) in the third undesignated paragraph—

(A) by striking “In actions involving the validity or infringement of a patent” and inserting “(c) NOTICE OF ACTIONS; ACTIONS DURING EXTENSION OF PATENT TERM.—In an action involving the validity or infringement of a patent”; and

(B) by striking “Claims Court” and inserting “Court of Federal Claims”; and

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

See 2011 Amendment notes below.

Historical and Revision Notes

Derived from Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §69 (R.S. 4920, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §2, 29 Stat. 692, (2) Aug. 5, 1939, ch. 450, §1, 53 Stat. 1212).

The first paragraph declares the existing presumption of validity of patents.

The five defenses named in R.S. 4920 are omitted and replaced by a broader paragraph specifying defenses in general terms.

The third paragraph, relating to notice of prior patents, publications and uses, is based on part of the last paragraph of R.S. 4920 which was superseded by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure but which is reinstated with modifications.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §20(g)(1), (2)(A), (C), (3), (j), designated first to third pars. as subsecs. (a) to (c), respectively, inserted headings, in subsec. (a), struck out third sentence which read “Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, if a claim to a composition of matter is held invalid and that claim was the basis of a determination of nonobviousness under section 103(b)(1), the process shall no longer be considered nonobvious solely on the basis of section 103(b)(1).”, in par. (2) of subsec. (b), struck out “of this title” after “II” and substituted “patentability.” for “patentability,”, and in introductory provisions of subsec. (c), struck out “of this title” after “156” and substituted “In an action involving the validity or infringement of a patent” for “In actions involving the validity or infringement of a patent” and “Court of Federal Claims” for “Claims Court”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(g)(2)(B), which directed substitution of “unenforceability.” for “uneforceability,” in par. (1) of former second par. which was designated subsec. (b), was executed by making the substitution for “unenforceability,”, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Pub. L. 112–29, §15(a), amended second par. by substituting “(3) Invalidity of the patent or any claim in suit for failure to comply with—

“(A) any requirement of section 112, except that the failure to disclose the best mode shall not be a basis on which any claim of a patent may be canceled or held invalid or otherwise unenforceable; or

“(B) any requirement of section 251.”

for “(3) Invalidity of the patent or any claim in suit for failure to comply with any requirement of sections 112 or 251 of this title,”.

2002—Third par. Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(b)(4), made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4402(b)(1)]. See 1999 Amendment note below.

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—Third par. 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 “(2) by the Director,” for “(2) by the Commissioner,”.

Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4402(b)(1)], as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(b)(4), substituted “154(b) or 156 of this title” for “156 of this title”.

1995—First par. Pub. L. 104–41 inserted after second sentence “Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, if a claim to a composition of matter is held invalid and that claim was the basis of a determination of nonobviousness under section 103(b)(1), the process shall no longer be considered nonobvious solely on the basis of section 103(b)(1).”

1992—Third par. Pub. L. 102–572 substituted “United States Court of Federal Claims” for “United States Claims Court”.

1984—Pub. L. 98–417 inserted provision at end that the invalidity of the extension of a patent term or any portion thereof under section 156 of this title because of the material failure by the applicant for the extension, or by the Commissioner, to comply with the requirements of such section shall be a defense in any action involving the infringement of a patent during the period of the extension of its term and shall be pleaded, and that a due diligence determination under section 156(d)(2) is not subject to review in such an action.

1982—Third par. Pub. L. 97–164 substituted “Claims Court” for “Court of Claims”.

1975—First par. Pub. L. 94–131 made presumption of validity applicable to claim of a patent in multiple dependent form and multiple dependent claims and substituted “asserting such invalidity” for “asserting it”.

1965—Pub. L. 89–83 required each claim of a patent (whether in independent or dependent form) to be presumed valid independently of the validity of other claims and required dependent claims to be presumed valid even though dependent upon an invalid claim.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 15(a) 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(g), (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, §4402(b)(1)] 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 1992 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 102–572 effective Oct. 29, 1992, see section 911 of Pub. L. 102–572, set out as a note under section 171 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

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

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

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

Effective Date of 1965 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 89–83 effective 3 months after July 24, 1965, see section 7(a) of Pub. L. 89–83, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

§283. Injunction

The several courts having jurisdiction of cases under this title may grant injunctions in accordance with the principles of equity to prevent the violation of any right secured by patent, on such terms as the court deems reasonable.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 812.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §70, part (R.S. 4921, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §6, 29 Stat. 694, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §8, 42 Stat. 392, (3) Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 726, §1, 60 Stat. 778).

This section is the same as the provision which opens R.S. 4921 with minor changes in language.

§284. Damages

Upon finding for the claimant the court shall award the claimant damages adequate to compensate for the infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty for the use made of the invention by the infringer, together with interest and costs as fixed by the court.

When the damages are not found by a jury, the court shall assess them. In either event the court may increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed. Increased damages under this paragraph shall not apply to provisional rights under section 154(d) of this title.

The court may receive expert testimony as an aid to the determination of damages or of what royalty would be reasonable under the circumstances.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 813; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4507(9)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–566; 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., §§67 and 70, part (R.S. 4919; R.S. 4921, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §6, 29 Stat. 694, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §8, 42 Stat. 392, (3) Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 726, §1, 60 Stat. 778).

This section consolidates the provisions relating to damages in R.S. 4919 and 4921, with some changes in language.

Amendments

2011—Second par. Pub. L. 112–29 struck out “of this title” after “154(d)”.

1999—Second par. Pub. L. 106–113 inserted at end “Increased damages under this paragraph shall not apply to provisional rights under section 154(d) 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 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.

§285. Attorney fees

The court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 813.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §70, part (R.S. 4921, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §6, 29 Stat. 694, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §8, 42 Stat. 392, (3) Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 726, §1, 60 Stat. 778).

This section is substantially the same as the corresponding provision in R.S. 4921; “in exceptional cases” has been added as expressing the intention of the present statute as shown by its legislative history and as interpreted by the courts.

§286. Time limitation on damages

Except as otherwise provided by law, no recovery shall be had for any infringement committed more than six years prior to the filing of the complaint or counterclaim for infringement in the action.

In the case of claims against the United States Government for use of a patented invention, the period before bringing suit, up to six years, between the date of receipt of a written claim for compensation by the department or agency of the Government having authority to settle such claim, and the date of mailing by the Government of a notice to the claimant that his claim has been denied shall not be counted as part of the period referred to in the preceding paragraph.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 813.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §70, part (R.S. 4921, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §6, 29 Stat. 694, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §8, 42 Stat. 392, (3) Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 726, §1, 60 Stat. 778).

The first paragraph is the same as the provision in R.S. 4921 with minor changes in language, with the added provision relating to the date for counterclaims for infringement.

The second paragraph is new and relates to extending the period of limitations with respect to suits in the Court of Claims in certain instances when administrative consideration is pending.

§287. Limitation on damages and other remedies; marking and notice

(a) Patentees, and persons making, offering for sale, or selling within the United States any patented article for or under them, or importing any patented article into the United States, may give notice to the public that the same is patented, either by fixing thereon the word “patent” or the abbreviation “pat.”, together with the number of the patent, or by fixing thereon the word “patent” or the abbreviation “pat.” together with an address of a posting on the Internet, accessible to the public without charge for accessing the address, that associates the patented article with the number of the patent, or when, from the character of the article, this can not be done, by fixing to it, or to the package wherein one or more of them is contained, a label containing a like notice. In the event of failure so to mark, no damages shall be recovered by the patentee in any action for infringement, except on proof that the infringer was notified of the infringement and continued to infringe thereafter, in which event damages may be recovered only for infringement occurring after such notice. Filing of an action for infringement shall constitute such notice.

(b)(1) An infringer under section 271(g) shall be subject to all the provisions of this title relating to damages and injunctions except to the extent those remedies are modified by this subsection or section 9006 of the Process Patent Amendments Act of 1988. The modifications of remedies provided in this subsection shall not be available to any person who—

(A) practiced the patented process;

(B) owns or controls, or is owned or controlled by, the person who practiced the patented process; or

(C) had knowledge before the infringement that a patented process was used to make the product the importation, use, offer for sale, or sale of which constitutes the infringement.


(2) No remedies for infringement under section 271(g) of this title shall be available with respect to any product in the possession of, or in transit to, the person subject to liability under such section before that person had notice of infringement with respect to that product. The person subject to liability shall bear the burden of proving any such possession or transit.

(3)(A) In making a determination with respect to the remedy in an action brought for infringement under section 271(g), the court shall consider—

(i) the good faith demonstrated by the defendant with respect to a request for disclosure,

(ii) the good faith demonstrated by the plaintiff with respect to a request for disclosure, and

(iii) the need to restore the exclusive rights secured by the patent.


(B) For purposes of subparagraph (A), the following are evidence of good faith:

(i) a request for disclosure made by the defendant;

(ii) a response within a reasonable time by the person receiving the request for disclosure; and

(iii) the submission of the response by the defendant to the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer is not known, to the supplier, of the product to be purchased by the defendant, together with a request for a written statement that the process claimed in any patent disclosed in the response is not used to produce such product.


The failure to perform any acts described in the preceding sentence is evidence of absence of good faith unless there are mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances include the case in which, due to the nature of the product, the number of sources for the product, or like commercial circumstances, a request for disclosure is not necessary or practicable to avoid infringement.

(4)(A) For purposes of this subsection, a “request for disclosure” means a written request made to a person then engaged in the manufacture of a product to identify all process patents owned by or licensed to that person, as of the time of the request, that the person then reasonably believes could be asserted to be infringed under section 271(g) if that product were imported into, or sold, offered for sale, or used in, the United States by an unauthorized person. A request for disclosure is further limited to a request—

(i) which is made by a person regularly engaged in the United States in the sale of the same type of products as those manufactured by the person to whom the request is directed, or which includes facts showing that the person making the request plans to engage in the sale of such products in the United States;

(ii) which is made by such person before the person's first importation, use, offer for sale, or sale of units of the product produced by an infringing process and before the person had notice of infringement with respect to the product; and

(iii) which includes a representation by the person making the request that such person will promptly submit the patents identified pursuant to the request to the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer is not known, to the supplier, of the product to be purchased by the person making the request, and will request from that manufacturer or supplier a written statement that none of the processes claimed in those patents is used in the manufacture of the product.


(B) In the case of a request for disclosure received by a person to whom a patent is licensed, that person shall either identify the patent or promptly notify the licensor of the request for disclosure.

(C) A person who has marked, in the manner prescribed by subsection (a), the number of the process patent on all products made by the patented process which have been offered for sale or sold by that person in the United States, or imported by the person into the United States, before a request for disclosure is received is not required to respond to the request for disclosure. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the term “all products” does not include products made before the effective date of the Process Patent Amendments Act of 1988.

(5)(A) For purposes of this subsection, notice of infringement means actual knowledge, or receipt by a person of a written notification, or a combination thereof, of information sufficient to persuade a reasonable person that it is likely that a product was made by a process patented in the United States.

(B) A written notification from the patent holder charging a person with infringement shall specify the patented process alleged to have been used and the reasons for a good faith belief that such process was used. The patent holder shall include in the notification such information as is reasonably necessary to explain fairly the patent holder's belief, except that the patent holder is not required to disclose any trade secret information.

(C) A person who receives a written notification described in subparagraph (B) or a written response to a request for disclosure described in paragraph (4) shall be deemed to have notice of infringement with respect to any patent referred to in such written notification or response unless that person, absent mitigating circumstances—

(i) promptly transmits the written notification or response to the manufacturer or, if the manufacturer is not known, to the supplier, of the product purchased or to be purchased by that person; and

(ii) receives a written statement from the manufacturer or supplier which on its face sets forth a well grounded factual basis for a belief that the identified patents are not infringed.


(D) For purposes of this subsection, a person who obtains a product made by a process patented in the United States in a quantity which is abnormally large in relation to the volume of business of such person or an efficient inventory level shall be rebuttably presumed to have actual knowledge that the product was made by such patented process.

(6) A person who receives a response to a request for disclosure under this subsection shall pay to the person to whom the request was made a reasonable fee to cover actual costs incurred in complying with the request, which may not exceed the cost of a commercially available automated patent search of the matter involved, but in no case more than $500.

(c)(1) With respect to a medical practitioner's performance of a medical activity that constitutes an infringement under section 271(a) or (b) of this title, the provisions of sections 281, 283, 284, and 285 of this title shall not apply against the medical practitioner or against a related health care entity with respect to such medical activity.

(2) For the purposes of this subsection:

(A) the term “medical activity” means the performance of a medical or surgical procedure on a body, but shall not include (i) the use of a patented machine, manufacture, or composition of matter in violation of such patent, (ii) the practice of a patented use of a composition of matter in violation of such patent, or (iii) the practice of a process in violation of a biotechnology patent.

(B) the term “medical practitioner” means any natural person who is licensed by a State to provide the medical activity described in subsection (c)(1) or who is acting under the direction of such person in the performance of the medical activity.

(C) the term “related health care entity” shall mean an entity with which a medical practitioner has a professional affiliation under which the medical practitioner performs the medical activity, including but not limited to a nursing home, hospital, university, medical school, health maintenance organization, group medical practice, or a medical clinic.

(D) the term “professional affiliation” shall mean staff privileges, medical staff membership, employment or contractual relationship, partnership or ownership interest, academic appointment, or other affiliation under which a medical practitioner provides the medical activity on behalf of, or in association with, the health care entity.

(E) the term “body” shall mean a human body, organ or cadaver, or a nonhuman animal used in medical research or instruction directly relating to the treatment of humans.

(F) the term “patented use of a composition of matter” does not include a claim for a method of performing a medical or surgical procedure on a body that recites the use of a composition of matter where the use of that composition of matter does not directly contribute to achievement of the objective of the claimed method.

(G) the term “State” shall mean any state 1 or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.


(3) This subsection does not apply to the activities of any person, or employee or agent of such person (regardless of whether such person is a tax exempt organization under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code), who is engaged in the commercial development, manufacture, sale, importation, or distribution of a machine, manufacture, or composition of matter or the provision of pharmacy or clinical laboratory services (other than clinical laboratory services provided in a physician's office), where such activities are:

(A) directly related to the commercial development, manufacture, sale, importation, or distribution of a machine, manufacture, or composition of matter or the provision of pharmacy or clinical laboratory services (other than clinical laboratory services provided in a physician's office), and

(B) regulated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Public Health Service Act, or the Clinical Laboratories Improvement Act.


(4) This subsection shall not apply to any patent issued based on an application the earliest effective filing date of which is prior to September 30, 1996.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 813; Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9004(a), Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1564; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(5), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4989; Pub. L. 104–208, div. A, title I, §101(a) [title VI, §616], Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009, 3009–67; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4803], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–589; Pub. L. 112–29, §§3(g)(2), 16(a)(1), 20(i)(4), (j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 288, 328, 335.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(i)(4), (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:

(1) in subsection (c)(2)(G), by striking “any state” and inserting “any State”; and

(2) except in subsection (b)(1), by striking “of this title” each place that term appears.

See 2011 Amendment notes below.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(g)(2), (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)(4) of this section is amended by striking “the earliest effective filing date of which is prior to” and inserting “which has an effective filing date before”. See 2011 Amendment note below.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §49 (R.S. 4900, amended Feb. 7, 1927, ch. 67, 44 Stat. 1058).

Language is changed. The proviso in the corresponding section of existing statute is omitted as being temporary in character and now obsolete.

References in Text

Section 9006 of the Process Patent Amendments Act of 1988, referred to in subsec. (b)(1), is section 9006 of title IX of Pub. L. 100–418, which is set out as a note under section 271 of this title.

The effective date of the Process Patent Amendments Act of 1988, referred to in subsec. (b)(4)(C), is the effective date of title IX of Pub. L. 100–418. See section 9006 of Pub. L. 100–418, set out as a note under section 271 of this title.

Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, referred to in subsec. (c)(3), is classified to section 501(c) of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(3)(B), 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. 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 subsec. (c)(3)(B), 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.

The Clinical Laboratories Improvement Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(3)(B), probably means the Clinical Laboratories Improvement Act of 1967, section 5 of Pub. L. 90–174, Dec. 5, 1967, 81 Stat. 536, which enacted section 263a of Title 42 and enacted provisions set out as notes under section 263a of Title 42. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 263a of Title 42 and Tables.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–29, §16(a)(1), substituted “or by fixing thereon the word ‘patent’ or the abbreviation ‘pat.’ together with an address of a posting on the Internet, accessible to the public without charge for accessing the address, that associates the patented article with the number of the patent, or when,” for “or when,”.

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “271(g)”.

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “271(a) or (b)” and after “285”.

Subsec. (c)(2)(G). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(i)(4), substituted “any State” for “any state”.

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 112–29, §3(g)(2), substituted “which has an effective filing date before” for “the earliest effective filing date of which is prior to”.

1999—Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 106–113 substituted “based on an application the earliest effective filing date of which is prior to September 30, 1996” for “before the date of enactment of this subsection”.

1996—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–208 added subsec. (c).

1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–465, §533(b)(5)(A), substituted “making, offering for sale, or selling within the United States” for “making or selling” and inserted “or importing any patented article into the United States,” after “under them,”.

Subsec. (b)(1)(C). Pub. L. 103–465, §533(b)(5)(B)(i), substituted “use, offer for sale, or sale” for “use, or sale”.

Subsec. (b)(4)(A). Pub. L. 103–465, §533(b)(5)(B)(ii), substituted “sold, offered for sale, or” for “sold or” in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (b)(4)(A)(ii). Pub. L. 103–465, §533(b)(5)(B)(iii), substituted “use, offer for sale, or sale” for “use, or sale”.

Subsec. (b)(4)(C). Pub. L. 103–465, §533(b)(5)(B)(iv), (v), substituted “have been offered for sale or sold” for “have been sold” and “United States, or imported by the person into the United States, before” for “United States before”.

1988—Pub. L. 100–418 inserted “and other remedies” in section catchline, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), and added subsec. (b).

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 3(g)(2) 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, §16(a)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 328, provided that: “The amendment made by this subsection [amending this section] shall apply to any case that is pending on, or commenced on or after, the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011].”

Amendment by section 20(i)(4), (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 on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(a), (b)(3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.

Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–418 effective 6 months after Aug. 23, 1988, and, subject to enumerated exceptions, applicable only with respect to products made or imported after such effective date, see section 9006 of Pub. L. 100–418, set out as a note under section 271 of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should be capitalized.

§288. Action for infringement of a patent containing an invalid claim

Whenever, without deceptive intention, a claim of a patent is invalid, an action may be maintained for the infringement of a claim of the patent which may be valid. The patentee shall recover no costs unless a disclaimer of the invalid claim has been entered at the Patent and Trademark Office before the commencement of the suit.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 813; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 112–29, §20(h), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 334.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §20(h), (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 by striking “, without deceptive intention,”. See 2011 Amendment note below.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §71 (R.S. 4922).

The necessity for a disclaimer to recover on valid claims is eliminated. See section 253.

Language is changed.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 struck out “, without deceptive intention,” after “Whenever”.

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

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 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.

§289. Additional remedy for infringement of design patent

Whoever during the term of a patent for a design, without license of the owner, (1) applies the patented design, or any colorable imitation thereof, to any article of manufacture for the purpose of sale, or (2) sells or exposes for sale any article of manufacture to which such design or colorable imitation has been applied shall be liable to the owner to the extent of his total profit, but not less than $250, recoverable in any United States district court having jurisdiction of the parties.

Nothing in this section shall prevent, lessen, or impeach any other remedy which an owner of an infringed patent has under the provisions of this title, but he shall not twice recover the profit made from the infringement.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 813.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §§74, 75 (Feb. 4, 1887, ch. 105, §§1, 2, 24 Stat. 387, 388).

Language is changed.

§290. Notice of patent suits

The clerks of the courts of the United States, within one month after the filing of an action under this title shall give notice thereof in writing to the Director, setting forth so far as known the names and addresses of the parties, name of the inventor, and the designating number of the patent upon which the action has been brought. If any other patent is subsequently included in the action he shall give like notice thereof. Within one month after the decision is rendered or a judgment issued the clerk of the court shall give notice thereof to the Director. The Director shall, on receipt of such notices, enter the same in the file of such patent.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 814; 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., §70, part (R.S. 4921, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §6, 29 Stat. 694, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §8, 42 Stat. 392, (3) Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 726, §1, 60 Stat. 778).

This is the last sentence of R.S. 4921, third paragraph, with minor changes in language.

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” 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.

§291. Interfering patents

The owner of an interfering patent may have relief against the owner of another by civil action, and the court may adjudge the question of the validity of any of the interfering patents, in whole or in part. The provisions of the second paragraph of section 146 of this title shall apply to actions brought under this section.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 814; Pub. L. 112–29, §§3(h)(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(h)(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 to read as follows:

§291. Derived patents

(a) In General.—The owner of a patent may have relief by civil action against the owner of another patent that claims the same invention and has an earlier effective filing date, if the invention claimed in such other patent was derived from the inventor of the invention claimed in the patent owned by the person seeking relief under this section.

(b) Filing Limitation.—An action under this section may be filed only before the end of the 1-year period beginning on the date of the issuance of the first patent containing a claim to the allegedly derived invention and naming an individual alleged to have derived such invention as the inventor or joint inventor.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §66 (R.S. 4918, amended Mar. 2, 1927, ch. 273, §12, 44 Stat. 1337).

Language is changed.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “146”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §3(h)(1), amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “The owner of an interfering patent may have relief against the owner of another by civil action, and the court may adjudge the question of the validity of any of the interfering patents, in whole or in part. The provisions of the second paragraph of section 146 shall apply to actions brought under this section.”

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 3(h)(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.

Savings Provisions

Provisions of 35 U.S.C. 291, 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.

§292. False marking

(a) Whoever, without the consent of the patentee, marks upon, or affixes to, or uses in advertising in connection with anything made, used, offered for sale, or sold by such person within the United States, or imported by the person into the United States, the name or any imitation of the name of the patentee, the patent number, or the words “patent,” “patentee,” or the like, with the intent of counterfeiting or imitating the mark of the patentee, or of deceiving the public and inducing them to believe that the thing was made, offered for sale, sold, or imported into the United States by or with the consent of the patentee; or

Whoever marks upon, or affixes to, or uses in advertising in connection with any unpatented article, the word “patent” or any word or number importing that the same is patented for the purpose of deceiving the public; or

Whoever marks upon, or affixes to, or uses in advertising in connection with any article, the words “patent applied for,” “patent pending,” or any word importing that an application for patent has been made, when no application for patent has been made, or if made, is not pending, for the purpose of deceiving the public—

Shall be fined not more than $500 for every such offense. Only the United States may sue for the penalty authorized by this subsection.

(b) A person who has suffered a competitive injury as a result of a violation of this section may file a civil action in a district court of the United States for recovery of damages adequate to compensate for the injury.

(c) The marking of a product, in a manner described in subsection (a), with matter relating to a patent that covered that product but has expired is not a violation of this section.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 814; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(6), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4990; Pub. L. 112–29, §16(b)(1)–(3), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 329.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §50 (R.S. 4901).

This is a criminal provision. The first two paragraphs of the corresponding section of existing statute are consolidated, a new paragraph relating to false marking of “patent applied for” is added, and false advertising is included in all the offenses. The minimum fine which has been interpreted by the courts as a maximum, is replaced by a higher maximum. The informer action is included as additional to an ordinary criminal action.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–29, §16(b)(1), inserted at end “Only the United States may sue for the penalty authorized by this subsection.”

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–29, §16(b)(2), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: “Any person may sue for the penalty, in which event one-half shall go to the person suing and the other to the use of the United States.”

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–29, §16(b)(3), added subsec. (c).

1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–465, in first par., substituted “used, offered for sale, or sold by such person within the United States, or imported by the person into the United States” for “used, or sold by him” and “made, offered for sale, sold, or imported into the United States” for “made or sold”.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Pub. L. 112–29, §16(b)(4), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 329, provided that: “The amendments made by this subsection [amending this section] shall apply to all cases, without exception, that are pending on, or commenced on or after, the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011].”

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

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

§293. Nonresident patentee; service and notice

Every patentee not residing in the United States may file in the Patent and Trademark Office a written designation stating the name and address of a person residing within the United States on whom may be served process or notice of proceedings affecting the patent or rights thereunder. If the person designated cannot be found at the address given in the last designation, or if no person has been designated, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia shall have jurisdiction and summons shall be served by publication or otherwise as the court directs. The court shall have the same jurisdiction to take any action respecting the patent or rights thereunder that it would have if the patentee were personally within the jurisdiction of the court.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 814; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 112–29, §9(a), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 316.)

Historical and Revision Notes

This section provides for service on non-resident patentees.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 substituted “United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia” for “United States District Court for the District of Columbia”.

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

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by 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.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

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

§294. Voluntary arbitration

(a) A contract involving a patent or any right under a patent may contain a provision requiring arbitration of any dispute relating to patent validity or infringement arising under the contract. In the absence of such a provision, the parties to an existing patent validity or infringement dispute may agree in writing to settle such dispute by arbitration. Any such provision or agreement shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, except for any grounds that exist at law or in equity for revocation of a contract.

(b) Arbitration of such disputes, awards by arbitrators and confirmation of awards shall be governed by title 9, to the extent such title is not inconsistent with this section. In any such arbitration proceeding, the defenses provided for under section 282 of this title shall be considered by the arbitrator if raised by any party to the proceeding.

(c) An award by an arbitrator shall be final and binding between the parties to the arbitration but shall have no force or effect on any other person. The parties to an arbitration may agree that in the event a patent which is the subject matter of an award is subsequently determined to be invalid or unenforceable in a judgment rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction from which no appeal can or has been taken, such award may be modified by any court of competent jurisdiction upon application by any party to the arbitration. Any such modification shall govern the rights and obligations between such parties from the date of such modification.

(d) When an award is made by an arbitrator, the patentee, his assignee or licensee shall give notice thereof in writing to the Director. There shall be a separate notice prepared for each patent involved in such proceeding. Such notice shall set forth the names and addresses of the parties, the name of the inventor, and the name of the patent owner, shall designate the number of the patent, and shall contain a copy of the award. If an award is modified by a court, the party requesting such modification shall give notice of such modification to the Director. The Director shall, upon receipt of either notice, enter the same in the record of the prosecution of such patent. If the required notice is not filed with the Director, any party to the proceeding may provide such notice to the Director.

(e) The award shall be unenforceable until the notice required by subsection (d) is received by the Director.

(Added Pub. L. 97–247, §17(b)(1), Aug. 27, 1982, 96 Stat. 322; amended 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(a)(19), (b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1905, 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.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–29 struck out “of this title” after “282”.

2002—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(a)(19)(A), struck out “United States Code,” after “title 9,”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(a)(19)(B), substituted “rendered by a court of” for “rendered by a court to”.

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

1999—Subsecs. (d), (e). Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, §13206(b)(1)(B), substituted “Director” 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.

Effective Date

Section 17(c) of Pub. L. 97–247 provided that: “Sections 5, 6, 8 through 12, and 17(b) of this Act [enacting this section and amending sections 21, 111, 116, and 256 of this title and sections 1058, 1063, 1064, 1065, and 1066 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade] shall take effect six months after enactment [Aug. 27, 1982].”

§295. Presumption: Product made by patented process

In actions alleging infringement of a process patent based on the importation, sale, offer for sale, or use of a product which is made from a process patented in the United States, if the court finds—

(1) that a substantial likelihood exists that the product was made by the patented process, and

(2) that the plaintiff has made a reasonable effort to determine the process actually used in the production of the product and was unable to so determine,


the product shall be presumed to have been so made, and the burden of establishing that the product was not made by the process shall be on the party asserting that it was not so made.

(Added Pub. L. 100–418, title IX, §9005(a), Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1566; amended Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(7), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4990.)

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–465 substituted “sale, offer for sale, or use” for “sale, or use” in introductory provisions.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

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

Effective Date

Section effective 6 months after Aug. 23, 1988, and, subject to enumerated exceptions, applicable only with respect to products made or imported after such effective date, see section 9006 of Pub. L. 100–418, set out as an Effective Date of 1988 Amendment note under section 271 of this title.

§296. Liability of States, instrumentalities of States, and State officials for infringement of patents

(a) In General.—Any State, any instrumentality of a State, and any officer or employee of a State or instrumentality of a State acting in his official capacity, shall not be immune, under the eleventh amendment of the Constitution of the United States or under any other doctrine of sovereign immunity, from suit in Federal court by any person, including any governmental or nongovernmental entity, for infringement of a patent under section 271, or for any other violation under this title.

(b) Remedies.—In a suit described in subsection (a) for a violation described in that subsection, remedies (including remedies both at law and in equity) are available for the violation to the same extent as such remedies are available for such a violation in a suit against any private entity. Such remedies include damages, interest, costs, and treble damages under section 284, attorney fees under section 285, and the additional remedy for infringement of design patents under section 289.

(Added Pub. L. 102–560, §2(a)(2), Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4230.)

Effective Date

Section effective with respect to violations that occur on or after Oct. 28, 1992, see section 4 of Pub. L. 102–560, set out as an Effective Date of 1992 Amendment note under section 2541 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§297. Improper and deceptive invention promotion

(a) In General.—An invention promoter shall have a duty to disclose the following information to a customer in writing, prior to entering into a contract for invention promotion services:

(1) the total number of inventions evaluated by the invention promoter for commercial potential in the past 5 years, as well as the number of those inventions that received positive evaluations, and the number of those inventions that received negative evaluations;

(2) the total number of customers who have contracted with the invention promoter in the past 5 years, not including customers who have purchased trade show services, research, advertising, or other nonmarketing services from the invention promoter, or who have defaulted in their payment to the invention promoter;

(3) the total number of customers known by the invention promoter to have received a net financial profit as a direct result of the invention promotion services provided by such invention promoter;

(4) the total number of customers known by the invention promoter to have received license agreements for their inventions as a direct result of the invention promotion services provided by such invention promoter; and

(5) the names and addresses of all previous invention promotion companies with which the invention promoter or its officers have collectively or individually been affiliated in the previous 10 years.


(b) Civil Action.—(1) Any customer who enters into a contract with an invention promoter and who is found by a court to have been injured by any material false or fraudulent statement or representation, or any omission of material fact, by that invention promoter (or any agent, employee, director, officer, partner, or independent contractor of such invention promoter), or by the failure of that invention promoter to disclose such information as required under subsection (a), may recover in a civil action against the invention promoter (or the officers, directors, or partners of such invention promoter), in addition to reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees—

(A) the amount of actual damages incurred by the customer; or

(B) at the election of the customer at any time before final judgment is rendered, statutory damages in a sum of not more than $5,000, as the court considers just.


(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), in a case where the customer sustains the burden of proof, and the court finds, that the invention promoter intentionally misrepresented or omitted a material fact to such customer, or willfully failed to disclose such information as required under subsection (a), with the purpose of deceiving that customer, the court may increase damages to not more than three times the amount awarded, taking into account past complaints made against the invention promoter that resulted in regulatory sanctions or other corrective actions based on those records compiled by the Commissioner of Patents under subsection (d).

(c) Definitions.—For purposes of this section—

(1) a “contract for invention promotion services” means a contract by which an invention promoter undertakes invention promotion services for a customer;

(2) a “customer” is any individual who enters into a contract with an invention promoter for invention promotion services;

(3) the term “invention promoter” means any person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other entity who offers to perform or performs invention promotion services for, or on behalf of, a customer, and who holds itself out through advertising in any mass media as providing such services, but does not include—

(A) any department or agency of the Federal Government or of a State or local government;

(B) any nonprofit, charitable, scientific, or educational organization, qualified under applicable State law or described under section 170(b)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

(C) any person or entity involved in the evaluation to determine commercial potential of, or offering to license or sell, a utility patent or a previously filed nonprovisional utility patent application;

(D) any party participating in a transaction involving the sale of the stock or assets of a business; or

(E) any party who directly engages in the business of retail sales of products or the distribution of products; and


(4) the term “invention promotion services” means the procurement or attempted procurement for a customer of a firm, corporation, or other entity to develop and market products or services that include the invention of the customer.


(d) Records of Complaints.—

(1) Release of complaints.—The Commissioner of Patents shall make all complaints received by the Patent and Trademark Office involving invention promoters publicly available, together with any response of the invention promoters. The Commissioner of Patents shall notify the invention promoter of a complaint and provide a reasonable opportunity to reply prior to making such complaint publicly available.

(2) Request for complaints.—The Commissioner of Patents may request complaints relating to invention promotion services from any Federal or State agency and include such complaints in the records maintained under paragraph (1), together with any response of the invention promoters.

(Added Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4102(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–552.)

References in Text

Section 170(b)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (c)(3)(B), is classified to section 170(b)(1)(A) of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Effective Date

Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, subtitle A, §4103], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–554, provided that: “This subtitle [enacting this section and provisions set out as a note under section 1 of this title] and the amendments made by this subtitle shall take effect 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 29, 1999].”

§298. Advice of counsel

The failure of an infringer to obtain the advice of counsel with respect to any allegedly infringed patent, or the failure of the infringer to present such advice to the court or jury, may not be used to prove that the accused infringer willfully infringed the patent or that the infringer intended to induce infringement of the patent.

(Added Pub. L. 112–29, §17(a), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 329.)

Effective Date

Except as otherwise provided in Pub. L. 111–29, section effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued on or after that effective date, see section 35 of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment note under section 1 of this title.

§299. Joinder of parties

(a) Joinder of Accused Infringers.—With respect to any civil action arising under any Act of Congress relating to patents, other than an action or trial in which an act of infringement under section 271(e)(2) has been pled, parties that are accused infringers may be joined in one action as defendants or counterclaim defendants, or have their actions consolidated for trial, or counterclaim defendants only if—

(1) any right to relief is asserted against the parties jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences relating to the making, using, importing into the United States, offering for sale, or selling of the same accused product or process; and

(2) questions of fact common to all defendants or counterclaim defendants will arise in the action.


(b) Allegations Insufficient for Joinder.—For purposes of this subsection, accused infringers may not be joined in one action as defendants or counterclaim defendants, or have their actions consolidated for trial, based solely on allegations that they each have infringed the patent or patents in suit.

(c) Waiver.—A party that is an accused infringer may waive the limitations set forth in this section with respect to that party.

(Added Pub. L. 112–29, §19(d)(1), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 332.)

Effective Date

Section applicable to any civil action commenced on or after Sept. 16, 2011, see section 19(e) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment note under section 1295 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

CHAPTER 30—PRIOR ART CITATIONS TO OFFICE AND EX PARTE REEXAMINATION OF PATENTS

Sec.
301.
Citation of prior art.
302.
Request for reexamination.
303.
Determination of issue by Director.
304.
Reexamination order by Director.
305.
Conduct of reexamination proceedings.
306.
Appeal.
307.
Certificate of patentability, unpatentability, and claim cancellation.

        

Amendment of Analysis

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(g)(2), (3), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 312, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, the item relating to section 301 in this analysis is amended to read as follows:

301.
Citation of prior art and written statements.

        

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §6(g)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 312, amended item 301 generally, substituting “Citation of prior art and written statements” for “Citation of prior art”.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906, made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999—Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906, substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” in item 304.

Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §§4602, 4732(a)(9)(B)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–567, 1501A–582, inserted “EX PARTE” before “REEXAMINATION” in chapter heading and substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” in item 303.

§301. Citation of prior art

Any person at any time may cite to the Office in writing prior art consisting of patents or printed publications which that person believes to have a bearing on the patentability of any claim of a particular patent. If the person explains in writing the pertinency and manner of applying such prior art to at least one claim of the patent, the citation of such prior art and the explanation thereof will become a part of the official file of the patent. At the written request of the person citing the prior art, his or her identity will be excluded from the patent file and kept confidential.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §1, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3015; amended Pub. L. 112–29, §6(g)(1), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 311.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(g)(1), (3), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 311, 312, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, this section is amended to read as follows:

§301. Citation of prior art and written statements

(a) In General.—Any person at any time may cite to the Office in writing—

(1) prior art consisting of patents or printed publications which that person believes to have a bearing on the patentability of any claim of a particular patent; or

(2) statements of the patent owner filed in a proceeding before a Federal court or the Office in which the patent owner took a position on the scope of any claim of a particular patent.


(b) Official File.—If the person citing prior art or written statements pursuant to subsection (a) explains in writing the pertinence and manner of applying the prior art or written statements to at least 1 claim of the patent, the citation of the prior art or written statements and the explanation thereof shall become a part of the official file of the patent.

(c) Additional Information.—A party that submits a written statement pursuant to subsection (a)(2) shall include any other documents, pleadings, or evidence from the proceeding in which the statement was filed that addresses the written statement.

(d) Limitations.—A written statement submitted pursuant to subsection (a)(2), and additional information submitted pursuant to subsection (c), shall not be considered by the Office for any purpose other than to determine the proper meaning of a patent claim in a proceeding that is ordered or instituted pursuant to section 304, 314, or 324. If any such written statement or additional information is subject to an applicable protective order, such statement or information shall be redacted to exclude information that is subject to that order.

(e) Confidentiality.—Upon the written request of the person citing prior art or written statements pursuant to subsection (a), that person's identity shall be excluded from the patent file and kept confidential.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “Any person at any time may cite to the Office in writing prior art consisting of patents or printed publications which that person believes to have a bearing on the patentability of any claim of a particular patent. If the person explains in writing the pertinency and manner of applying such prior art to at least one claim of the patent, the citation of such prior art and the explanation thereof will become a part of the official file of the patent. At the written request of the person citing the prior art, his or her identity will be excluded from the patent file and kept confidential.”

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(g)(3), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 312, provided that: “The amendments made by this subsection [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 issued before, on, or after that effective date.”

Effective Date

Chapter effective July 1, 1981, and applicable to patents in force as of July 1, 1981, or issued thereafter, see section 8(b) of Pub. L. 96–517, set out as an Effective Date of 1980 Amendment note under section 41 of this title.

§302. Request for reexamination

Any person at any time may file a request for reexamination by the Office of any claim of a patent on the basis of any prior art cited under the provisions of section 301 of this title. The request must be in writing and must be accompanied by payment of a reexamination fee established by the Director pursuant to the provisions of section 41 of this title. The request must set forth the pertinency and manner of applying cited prior art to every claim for which reexamination is requested. Unless the requesting person is the owner of the patent, the Director promptly will send a copy of the request to the owner of record of the patent.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §1, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3015; amended Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(8), (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(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—Pub. L. 112–29 struck out “of this title” after “301” and after “41”.

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 promptly” for “Commissioner promptly”.

Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(8)], substituted “Director pursuant” for “Commissioner of Patents pursuant”.

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.

§303. Determination of issue by Director

(a) Within three months following the filing of a request for reexamination under the provisions of section 302 of this title, the Director will determine whether a substantial new question of patentability affecting any claim of the patent concerned is raised by the request, with or without consideration of other patents or printed publications. On his own initiative, and any time, the Director may determine whether a substantial new question of patentability is raised by patents and publications discovered by him or cited under the provisions of section 301 of this title. The existence of a substantial new question of patentability is not precluded by the fact that a patent or printed publication was previously cited by or to the Office or considered by the Office.

(b) A record of the Director's determination under subsection (a) of this section will be placed in the official file of the patent, and a copy promptly will be given or mailed to the owner of record of the patent and to the person requesting reexamination, if any.

(c) A determination by the Director pursuant to subsection (a) of this section that no substantial new question of patentability has been raised will be final and nonappealable. Upon such a determination, the Director may refund a portion of the reexamination fee required under section 302 of this title.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §1, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3015; amended Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(9)(A), (10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §§13105(a), 13206(b)(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1900, 1905, 1906; Pub. L. 112–29, §§6(h)(1)(A), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 312, 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, §6(h)(1), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 312, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, subsection (a) of this section is amended by striking “section 301 of this title” and inserting “section 301 or 302”. See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “section 302”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(h)(1)(A), substituted “section 301 or 302” for “section 301 of this title”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “section 302”.

2002—Subsec. (a). 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, §13105(a), inserted at end “The existence of a substantial new question of patentability is not precluded by the fact that a patent or printed publication was previously cited by or to the Office or considered by the Office.”

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

Subsec. (c). 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—Pub. L. 106–113, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(9)(A)(i)], substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” in section catchline.

Subsec. (a). 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” in two places.

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

Subsec. (c). 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” in two places.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(h)(1)(B), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 312, provided that: “The amendment made by this paragraph [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 issued 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 2002 Amendment

Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13105(b), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1900, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending this section and section 312 of this title] shall apply with respect to any determination of the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office that is made under section 303(a) or 312(a) of title 35, United States Code, on or after the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 2, 2002].”

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.

§304. Reexamination order by Director

If, in a determination made under the provisions of subsection 303(a) of this title, the Director finds that a substantial new question of patentability affecting any claim of a patent is raised, the determination will include an order for reexamination of the patent for resolution of the question. The patent owner will be given a reasonable period, not less than two months from the date a copy of the determination is given or mailed to him, within which he may file a statement on such question, including any amendment to his patent and new claim or claims he may wish to propose, for consideration in the reexamination. If the patent owner files such a statement, he promptly will serve a copy of it on the person who has requested reexamination under the provisions of section 302 of this title. Within a period of two months from the date of service, that person may file and have considered in the reexamination a reply to any statement filed by the patent owner. That person promptly will serve on the patent owner a copy of any reply filed.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §1, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3016; amended 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(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—Pub. L. 112–29 struck out “of this title” after “303(a)” and after “302”.

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 section catchline and text.

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.

§305. Conduct of reexamination proceedings

After the times for filing the statement and reply provided for by section 304 of this title have expired, reexamination will be conducted according to the procedures established for initial examination under the provisions of sections 132 and 133 of this title. In any reexamination proceeding under this chapter, the patent owner will be permitted to propose any amendment to his patent and a new claim or claims thereto, in order to distinguish the invention as claimed from the prior art cited under the provisions of section 301 of this title, or in response to a decision adverse to the patentability of a claim of a patent. No proposed amended or new claim enlarging the scope of a claim of the patent will be permitted in a reexamination proceeding under this chapter. All reexamination proceedings under this section, including any appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, will be conducted with special dispatch within the Office.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §1, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3016; amended Pub. L. 98–622, title II, §204(c), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3388; Pub. L. 112–29, §§3(j)(1), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 290, 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.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “304”, after “133”, and after “301”.

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

1984—Pub. L. 98–622, §204(c), substituted “Patent Appeals and Interferences” for “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 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 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.

§306. Appeal

The patent owner involved in a reexamination proceeding under this chapter may appeal under the provisions of section 134 of this title, and may seek court review under the provisions of sections 141 to 144 of this title, with respect to any decision adverse to the patentability of any original or proposed amended or new claim of the patent.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §1, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3016; amended Pub. L. 112–29, §§6(h)(2)(A), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 312, 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—Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “134” and after “144”.

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(h)(2)(A), substituted “144” for “145”.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(h)(2)(B), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 312, provided that: “The amendment made by this paragraph [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011] and shall apply to any appeal of a reexamination before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences or the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that is pending on, or brought on or after, the date of the enactment of this Act.”

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.

§307. Certificate of patentability, unpatentability, and claim cancellation

(a) In a reexamination proceeding under this chapter, when the time for appeal has expired or any appeal proceeding has terminated, the Director will issue and publish a certificate canceling any claim of the patent finally determined to be unpatentable, confirming any claim of the patent determined to be patentable, and incorporating in the patent any proposed amended or new claim determined to be patentable.

(b) Any proposed amended or new claim determined to be patentable and incorporated into a patent following a reexamination proceeding will have the same effect as that specified in section 252 of this title for reissued patents on the right of any person who made, purchased, or used within the United States, or imported into the United States, anything patented by such proposed amended or new claim, or who made substantial preparation for the same, prior to issuance of a certificate under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.

(Added Pub. L. 96–517, §1, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3016; amended Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(8), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4990; 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(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. (b). Pub. L. 112–29 struck out “of this title” after “252”.

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

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

1994—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–465 substituted “used within the United States, or imported into the United States, anything” for “used anything”.

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 1994 Amendment

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

CHAPTER 31—OPTIONAL INTER PARTES REEXAMINATION PROCEDURES

Sec.
311.
Request for inter partes reexamination.
312.
Determination of issue by Director.
313.
Inter partes reexamination order by Director.
314.
Conduct of inter partes reexamination proceedings.
315.
Appeal.
316.
Certificate of patentability, unpatentability, and claim cancellation.
317.
Inter partes reexamination prohibited.
318.
Stay of litigation.

        

Amendment of Chapter Heading and Analysis

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), (c)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 299, 304, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, this chapter heading and analysis are amended generally, substituting “INTER PARTES REVIEW” for existing chapter heading, substituting item 311 “Inter partes review.”, item 312 “Petitions.”, item 313 “Preliminary response to petition.”, item 314 “Institution of inter partes review.”, item 315 “Relation to other proceedings or actions.”, item 316 “Conduct of inter partes review.”, item 317 “Settlement.”, and item 318 “Decision of the Board.” for existing items 311 to 318, respectively, and adding item 319 “Appeal.” See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 299, substituted “INTER PARTES REVIEW” for “OPTIONAL INTER PARTES REEXAMINATION PROCEDURES” in chapter heading and amended analysis generally, adding items 311 to 319, and striking out former items 311 “Request for inter partes reexamination”, 312 “Determination of issue by Director”, 313 “Inter partes reexamination order by Director”, 314 “Conduct of inter partes reexamination proceedings”, 315 “Appeal”, 316 “Certificate of patentability, unpatentability, and claim cancellation”, 317 “Inter partes reexamination prohibited”, and 318 “Stay of litigation”.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13202(c)(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1902, made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4604(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–567, which enacted this chapter.

§311. Request for inter partes reexamination

(a) In General.—Any third-party requester at any time may file a request for inter partes reexamination by the Office of a patent on the basis of any prior art cited under the provisions of section 301.

(b) Requirements.—The request shall—

(1) be in writing, include the identity of the real party in interest, and be accompanied by payment of an inter partes reexamination fee established by the Director under section 41; and

(2) set forth the pertinency and manner of applying cited prior art to every claim for which reexamination is requested.


(c) Copy.—The Director promptly shall send a copy of the request to the owner of record of the patent.

(Added Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4604(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–567; amended Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13202(a)(1), (c)(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1901, 1902; Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 299.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), (c)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 299, 304, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, this section is amended to read as follows:

§311. Inter partes review

(a) In General.—Subject to the provisions of this chapter, a person who is not the owner of a patent may file with the Office a petition to institute an inter partes review of the patent. The Director shall establish, by regulation, fees to be paid by the person requesting the review, in such amounts as the Director determines to be reasonable, considering the aggregate costs of the review.

(b) Scope.—A petitioner in an inter partes review may request to cancel as unpatentable 1 or more claims of a patent only on a ground that could be raised under section 102 or 103 and only on the basis of prior art consisting of patents or printed publications.

(c) Filing Deadline.—A petition for inter partes review shall be filed after the later of either—

(1) the date that is 9 months after the grant of a patent or issuance of a reissue of a patent; or

(2) if a post-grant review is instituted under chapter 32, the date of the termination of such post-grant review.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to request for inter partes reexamination.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(c)(1), made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, which enacted this section.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(a)(1)(A), substituted “third-party requester” for “person”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(a)(1)(B), substituted “The” for “Unless the requesting person is the owner of the patent, the”.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(c)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 304, provided that:

“(A) In general.—The amendments made by subsection (a) [enacting section 319 of this title and amending this section and sections 312 to 318 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 issued before, on, or after that effective date.

“(B) Graduated implementation.—The Director [Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office] may impose a limit on the number of inter partes reviews that may be instituted under chapter 31 of title 35, United States Code, during each of the first 4 1-year periods in which the amendments made by subsection (a) are in effect, if such number in each year equals or exceeds the number of inter partes reexaminations that are ordered under chapter 31 of title 35, United States Code, in the last fiscal year ending before the effective date of the amendments made by subsection (a).”

Effective Date

Chapter 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 an Effective Date of 1999 Amendment note under section 41 of this title.

Regulations

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(c)(1), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 304, provided that: “The Director [Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office] shall, not later than the date that is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011], issue regulations to carry out chapter 31 of title 35, United States Code, as amended by subsection (a) of this section.”

Report to Congress

Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, subtitle F, §4606], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–571, provided that: “Not later than 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 29, 1999], the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office shall submit to the Congress a report evaluating whether the inter partes reexamination proceedings established under the amendments made by this subtitle [see Short Title of 1999 Amendment note set out under section 1 of this title] are inequitable to any of the parties in interest and, if so, the report shall contain recommendations for changes to the amendments made by this subtitle to remove such inequity.”

§312. Determination of issue by Director

(a) Reexamination.—Not later than 3 months after the filing of a request for inter partes reexamination under section 311, the Director shall determine whether the information presented in the request shows that there is a reasonable likelihood that the requester would prevail with respect to at least 1 of the claims challenged in the request, with or without consideration of other patents or printed publications. A showing that there is a reasonable likelihood that the requester would prevail with respect to at least 1 of the claims challenged in the request is not precluded by the fact that a patent or printed publication was previously cited by or to the Office or considered by the Office.

(b) Record.—A record of the Director's determination under subsection (a) shall be placed in the official file of the patent, and a copy shall be promptly given or mailed to the owner of record of the patent and to the third-party requester.

(c) Final Decision.—A determination by the Director under subsection (a) shall be final and non-appealable. Upon a determination that the showing required by subsection (a) has not been made, the Director may refund a portion of the inter partes reexamination fee required under section 311.

(Added Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4604(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–568; amended Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §§13105(a), 13202(a)(2), (c)(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1900–1902; Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), (c)(3)(A)(i), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 300, 305.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), (c)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 300, 304, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, this section is amended to read as follows:

§312. Petitions

(a) Requirements of Petition.—A petition filed under section 311 may be considered only if—

(1) the petition is accompanied by payment of the fee established by the Director under section 311;

(2) the petition identifies all real parties in interest;

(3) the petition identifies, in writing and with particularity, each claim challenged, the grounds on which the challenge to each claim is based, and the evidence that supports the grounds for the challenge to each claim, including—

(A) copies of patents and printed publications that the petitioner relies upon in support of the petition; and

(B) affidavits or declarations of supporting evidence and opinions, if the petitioner relies on expert opinions;


(4) the petition provides such other information as the Director may require by regulation; and

(5) the petitioner provides copies of any of the documents required under paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) to the patent owner or, if applicable, the designated representative of the patent owner.


(b) Public Availability.—As soon as practicable after the receipt of a petition under section 311, the Director shall make the petition available to the public.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to determination of issue by Director.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–29, §6(c)(3)(A)(i)(I), substituted “the information presented in the request shows that there is a reasonable likelihood that the requester would prevail with respect to at least 1 of the claims challenged in the request,” for “a substantial new question of patentability affecting any claim of the patent concerned is raised by the request,” and “A showing that there is a reasonable likelihood that the requester would prevail with respect to at least 1 of the claims challenged in the request” for “The existence of a substantial new question of patentability”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–29, §6(c)(3)(A)(i)(II), substituted “the showing required by subsection (a) has not been made,” for “no substantial new question of patentability has been raised,”.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(c)(1), made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, which enacted this section.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(a)(2)(A), struck out second sentence which read as follows: “On the Director's initiative, and at any time, the Director may determine whether a substantial new question of patentability is raised by patents and publications.”

Pub. L. 107–273, §13105(a), inserted at end “The existence of a substantial new question of patentability is not precluded by the fact that a patent or printed publication was previously cited by or to the Office or considered by the Office.”

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(a)(2)(B), struck out “, if any” after “third-party requester”.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 6(a) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, see section 6(c)(2) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 311 of this title.

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(c)(3)(B), (C), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 305, provided that:

“(B) Application.—The amendments made by this paragraph [amending this section and section 313 of this title]—

“(i) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011]; and

“(ii) shall apply to requests for inter partes reexamination that are filed on or after such date of enactment, but before the effective date set forth in paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection [set out as a note under section 311 of this title].

“(C) Continued applicability of prior provisions.—The provisions of chapter 31 of title 35, United States Code, as amended by this paragraph [amending this section and section 313 of this title], shall continue to apply to requests for inter partes reexamination that are filed before the effective date set forth in paragraph (2)(A) as if subsection (a) [enacting section 319 of this title and amending this section and sections 312 to 318 of this title] had not been enacted.”

Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Amendment by section 13105(a) of Pub. L. 107–273 applicable with respect to any determination of the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office that is made on or after Nov. 2, 2002, see section 13105(b) of Pub. L. 107–273, set out as a note under section 303 of this title.

§313. Inter partes reexamination order by Director

If, in a determination made under section 312(a), the Director finds that it has been shown that there is a reasonable likelihood that the requester would prevail with respect to at least 1 of the claims challenged in the request, the determination shall include an order for inter partes reexamination of the patent for resolution of the question. The order may be accompanied by the initial action of the Patent and Trademark Office on the merits of the inter partes reexamination conducted in accordance with section 314.

(Added Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4604(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–568; amended Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13202(c)(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1902; Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), (c)(3)(A)(ii), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 300, 305.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), (c)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 300, 304, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, this section is amended to read as follows:

§313. Preliminary response to petition

If an inter partes review petition is filed under section 311, the patent owner shall have the right to file a preliminary response to the petition, within a time period set by the Director, that sets forth reasons why no inter partes review should be instituted based upon the failure of the petition to meet any requirement of this chapter.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29, §6(c)(3)(A)(ii), which directed substitution of “it has been shown that there is a reasonable likelihood that the requester would prevail with respect to at least 1 of the claims challenged in the request” for “a substantial new question of patentability affecting a claim of the patent is raised”, was executed by making the substitution for “a substantial new question of patentability affecting a claim of a patent is raised”, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “If, in a determination made under section 312(a), the Director finds that it has been shown that there is a reasonable likelihood that the requester would prevail with respect to at least 1 of the claims challenged in the request, the determination shall include an order for inter partes reexamination of the patent for resolution of the question. The order may be accompanied by the initial action of the Patent and Trademark Office on the merits of the inter partes reexamination conducted in accordance with section 314.”

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, which enacted this section.

Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by section 6(a) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, see section 6(c)(2) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 311 of this title.

Amendment by section 6(c)(3)(A)(ii) of Pub. L. 112–29 effective Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to requests for inter partes reexamination filed on or after Sept. 16, 2011, but before the effective date set forth in section 6(c)(2)(A) of Pub. L. 112–29, with continued applicability of prior provisions, see section 6(c)(3)(B), (C) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 312 of this title.

§314. Conduct of inter partes reexamination proceedings

(a) In General.—Except as otherwise provided in this section, reexamination shall be conducted according to the procedures established for initial examination under the provisions of sections 132 and 133. In any inter partes reexamination proceeding under this chapter, the patent owner shall be permitted to propose any amendment to the patent and a new claim or claims, except that no proposed amended or new claim enlarging the scope of the claims of the patent shall be permitted.

(b) Response.—(1) With the exception of the inter partes reexamination request, any document filed by either the patent owner or the third-party requester shall be served on the other party. In addition, the Office shall send to the third-party requester a copy of any communication sent by the Office to the patent owner concerning the patent subject to the inter partes reexamination proceeding.

(2) Each time that the patent owner files a response to an action on the merits from the Patent and Trademark Office, the third-party requester shall have one opportunity to file written comments addressing issues raised by the action of the Office or the patent owner's response thereto, if those written comments are received by the Office within 30 days after the date of service of the patent owner's response.

(c) Special Dispatch.—Unless otherwise provided by the Director for good cause, all inter partes reexamination proceedings under this section, including any appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, shall be conducted with special dispatch within the Office.

(Added Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4604(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–568; amended Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13202(a)(3), (c)(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1901, 1902; Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 300.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), (c)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 300, 304, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, this section is amended to read as follows:

§314. Institution of inter partes review

(a) Threshold.—The Director may not authorize an inter partes review to be instituted unless the Director determines that the information presented in the petition filed under section 311 and any response filed under section 313 shows that there is a reasonable likelihood that the petitioner would prevail with respect to at least 1 of the claims challenged in the petition.

(b) Timing.—The Director shall determine whether to institute an inter partes review under this chapter pursuant to a petition filed under section 311 within 3 months after—

(1) receiving a preliminary response to the petition under section 313; or

(2) if no such preliminary response is filed, the last date on which such response may be filed.


(c) Notice.—The Director shall notify the petitioner and patent owner, in writing, of the Director's determination under subsection (a), and shall make such notice available to the public as soon as is practicable. Such notice shall include the date on which the review shall commence.

(d) No Appeal.—The determination by the Director whether to institute an inter partes review under this section shall be final and nonappealable.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to conduct of inter partes reexamination proceedings.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(c)(1), made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, which enacted this section.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(a)(3), redesignated par. (2) as (1), substituted “the Office shall send to the third-party requester a copy” for “the third-party requester shall receive a copy”, redesignated par. (3) as (2), and struck out former par. (1) which read as follows: “This subsection shall apply to any inter partes reexamination proceeding in which the order for inter partes reexamination is based upon a request by a third-party requester.”

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 issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, see section 6(c)(2) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 311 of this title.

§315. Appeal

(a) Patent Owner.—The patent owner involved in an inter partes reexamination proceeding under this chapter—

(1) may appeal under the provisions of section 134 and may appeal under the provisions of sections 141 through 144, with respect to any decision adverse to the patentability of any original or proposed amended or new claim of the patent; and

(2) may be a party to any appeal taken by a third-party requester under subsection (b).


(b) Third-Party Requester.—A third-party requester—

(1) may appeal under the provisions of section 134, and may appeal under the provisions of sections 141 through 144, with respect to any final decision favorable to the patentability of any original or proposed amended or new claim of the patent; and

(2) may, subject to subsection (c), be a party to any appeal taken by the patent owner under the provisions of section 134 or sections 141 through 144.


(c) Civil Action.—A third-party requester whose request for an inter partes reexamination results in an order under section 313 is estopped from asserting at a later time, in any civil action arising in whole or in part under section 1338 of title 28, the invalidity of any claim finally determined to be valid and patentable on any ground which the third-party requester raised or could have raised during the inter partes reexamination proceedings. This subsection does not prevent the assertion of invalidity based on newly discovered prior art unavailable to the third-party requester and the Patent and Trademark Office at the time of the inter partes reexamination proceedings.

(Added Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4604(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–569; amended Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §§13106(a), 13202(a)(4), (c)(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1900–1902; Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 300.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), (c)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 300, 304, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, this section is amended to read as follows:

§315. Relation to other proceedings or actions

(a) Infringer's Civil Action.—

(1) Inter partes review barred by civil action.—An inter partes review may not be instituted if, before the date on which the petition for such a review is filed, the petitioner or real party in interest filed a civil action challenging the validity of a claim of the patent.

(2) Stay of civil action.—If the petitioner or real party in interest files a civil action challenging the validity of a claim of the patent on or after the date on which the petitioner files a petition for inter partes review of the patent, that civil action shall be automatically stayed until either—

(A) the patent owner moves the court to lift the stay;

(B) the patent owner files a civil action or counterclaim alleging that the petitioner or real party in interest has infringed the patent; or

(C) the petitioner or real party in interest moves the court to dismiss the civil action.


(3) Treatment of counterclaim.—A counterclaim challenging the validity of a claim of a patent does not constitute a civil action challenging the validity of a claim of a patent for purposes of this subsection.


(b) Patent Owner's Action.—An inter partes review may not be instituted if the petition requesting the proceeding is filed more than 1 year after the date on which the petitioner, real party in interest, or privy of the petitioner is served with a complaint alleging infringement of the patent. The time limitation set forth in the preceding sentence shall not apply to a request for joinder under subsection (c).

(c) Joinder.—If the Director institutes an inter partes review, the Director, in his or her discretion, may join as a party to that inter partes review any person who properly files a petition under section 311 that the Director, after receiving a preliminary response under section 313 or the expiration of the time for filing such a response, determines warrants the institution of an inter partes review under section 314.

(d) Multiple Proceedings.—Notwithstanding sections 135(a), 251, and 252, and chapter 30, during the pendency of an inter partes review, if another proceeding or matter involving the patent is before the Office, the Director may determine the manner in which the inter partes review or other proceeding or matter may proceed, including providing for stay, transfer, consolidation, or termination of any such matter or proceeding.

(e) Estoppel.—

(1) Proceedings before the office.—The petitioner in an inter partes review of a claim in a patent under this chapter that results in a final written decision under section 318(a), or the real party in interest or privy of the petitioner, may not request or maintain a proceeding before the Office with respect to that claim on any ground that the petitioner raised or reasonably could have raised during that inter partes review.

(2) Civil actions and other proceedings.—The petitioner in an inter partes review of a claim in a patent under this chapter that results in a final written decision under section 318(a), or the real party in interest or privy of the petitioner, may not assert either in a civil action arising in whole or in part under section 1338 of title 28 or in a proceeding before the International Trade Commission under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 that the claim is invalid on any ground that the petitioner raised or reasonably could have raised during that inter partes review.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to appeals.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(c)(1), made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, which enacted this section.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 107–273, §13106(a), reenacted heading without change and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “A third-party requester may—

“(1) appeal under the provisions of section 134 with respect to any final decision favorable to the patentability of any original or proposed amended or new claim of the patent; or

“(2) be a party to any appeal taken by the patent owner under the provisions of section 134, subject to subsection (c).”

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(a)(4), struck out “United States Code,” after “title 28,”.

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 issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, see section 6(c)(2) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 311 of this title.

Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Amendment by section 13106(a) 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.

Estoppel Effect of Reexamination

Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, subtitle F, §4607], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–571, provided that: “Any party who requests an inter partes reexamination under section 311 of title 35, United States Code, is estopped from challenging at a later time, in any civil action, any fact determined during the process of such reexamination, except with respect to a fact determination later proved to be erroneous based on information unavailable at the time of the inter partes reexamination decision. If this section is held to be unenforceable, the enforceability of the remainder of this subtitle [see Short Title of 1999 Amendment note set out under section 1 of this title] or of this title [see Tables for classification] shall not be denied as a result.”

§316. Certificate of patentability, unpatentability, and claim cancellation

(a) In General.—In an inter partes reexamination proceeding under this chapter, when the time for appeal has expired or any appeal proceeding has terminated, the Director shall issue and publish a certificate canceling any claim of the patent finally determined to be unpatentable, confirming any claim of the patent determined to be patentable, and incorporating in the patent any proposed amended or new claim determined to be patentable.

(b) Amended or New Claim.—Any proposed amended or new claim determined to be patentable and incorporated into a patent following an inter partes reexamination proceeding shall have the same effect as that specified in section 252 of this title for reissued patents on the right of any person who made, purchased, or used within the United States, or imported into the United States, anything patented by such proposed amended or new claim, or who made substantial preparation therefor, prior to issuance of a certificate under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.

(Added Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4604(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–569; amended Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13202(c)(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1902; Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 302.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), (c)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 302, 304, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, this section is amended to read as follows:

§316. Conduct of inter partes review

(a) Regulations.—The Director shall prescribe regulations—

(1) providing that the file of any proceeding under this chapter shall be made available to the public, except that any petition or document filed with the intent that it be sealed shall, if accompanied by a motion to seal, be treated as sealed pending the outcome of the ruling on the motion;

(2) setting forth the standards for the showing of sufficient grounds to institute a review under section 314(a);

(3) establishing procedures for the submission of supplemental information after the petition is filed;

(4) establishing and governing inter partes review under this chapter and the relationship of such review to other proceedings under this title;

(5) setting forth standards and procedures for discovery of relevant evidence, including that such discovery shall be limited to—

(A) the deposition of witnesses submitting affidavits or declarations; and

(B) what is otherwise necessary in the interest of justice;


(6) prescribing sanctions for abuse of discovery, abuse of process, or any other improper use of the proceeding, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or an unnecessary increase in the cost of the proceeding;

(7) providing for protective orders governing the exchange and submission of confidential information;

(8) providing for the filing by the patent owner of a response to the petition under section 313 after an inter partes review has been instituted, and requiring that the patent owner file with such response, through affidavits or declarations, any additional factual evidence and expert opinions on which the patent owner relies in support of the response;

(9) setting forth standards and procedures for allowing the patent owner to move to amend the patent under subsection (d) to cancel a challenged claim or propose a reasonable number of substitute claims, and ensuring that any information submitted by the patent owner in support of any amendment entered under subsection (d) is made available to the public as part of the prosecution history of the patent;

(10) providing either party with the right to an oral hearing as part of the proceeding;

(11) requiring that the final determination in an inter partes review be issued not later than 1 year after the date on which the Director notices the institution of a review under this chapter, except that the Director may, for good cause shown, extend the 1-year period by not more than 6 months, and may adjust the time periods in this paragraph in the case of joinder under section 315(c);

(12) setting a time period for requesting joinder under section 315(c); and

(13) providing the petitioner with at least 1 opportunity to file written comments within a time period established by the Director.


(b) Considerations.—In prescribing regulations under this section, the Director shall consider the effect of any such regulation on the economy, the integrity of the patent system, the efficient administration of the Office, and the ability of the Office to timely complete proceedings instituted under this chapter.

(c) Patent Trial and Appeal Board.—The Patent Trial and Appeal Board shall, in accordance with section 6, conduct each inter partes review instituted under this chapter.

(d) Amendment of the Patent.—

(1) In general.—During an inter partes review instituted under this chapter, the patent owner may file 1 motion to amend the patent in 1 or more of the following ways:

(A) Cancel any challenged patent claim.

(B) For each challenged claim, propose a reasonable number of substitute claims.


(2) Additional motions.—Additional motions to amend may be permitted upon the joint request of the petitioner and the patent owner to materially advance the settlement of a proceeding under section 317, or as permitted by regulations prescribed by the Director.

(3) Scope of claims.—An amendment under this subsection may not enlarge the scope of the claims of the patent or introduce new matter.


(e) Evidentiary Standards.—In an inter partes review instituted under this chapter, the petitioner shall have the burden of proving a proposition of unpatentability by a preponderance of the evidence.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to certificate of patentability, unpatentability, and claim cancellation.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, which enacted this section.

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 issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, see section 6(c)(2) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 311 of this title.

§317. Inter partes reexamination prohibited

(a) Order for Reexamination.—Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, once an order for inter partes reexamination of a patent has been issued under section 313, neither the third-party requester nor its privies,1 may file a subsequent request for inter partes reexamination of the patent until an inter partes reexamination certificate is issued and published under section 316, unless authorized by the Director.

(b) Final Decision.—Once a final decision has been entered against a party in a civil action arising in whole or in part under section 1338 of title 28,1 that the party has not sustained its burden of proving the invalidity of any patent claim in suit or if a final decision in an inter partes reexamination proceeding instituted by a third-party requester is favorable to the patentability of any original or proposed amended or new claim of the patent, then neither that party nor its privies may thereafter request an inter partes reexamination of any such patent claim on the basis of issues which that party or its privies raised or could have raised in such civil action or inter partes reexamination proceeding, and an inter partes reexamination requested by that party or its privies on the basis of such issues may not thereafter be maintained by the Office, notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter. This subsection does not prevent the assertion of invalidity based on newly discovered prior art unavailable to the third-party requester and the Patent and Trademark Office at the time of the inter partes reexamination proceedings.

(Added Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4604(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–570; amended Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13202(a)(5), (c)(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1901, 1902; Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 303.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), (c)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 303, 304, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, this section is amended to read as follows:

§317. Settlement

(a) In General.—An inter partes review instituted under this chapter shall be terminated with respect to any petitioner upon the joint request of the petitioner and the patent owner, unless the Office has decided the merits of the proceeding before the request for termination is filed. If the inter partes review is terminated with respect to a petitioner under this section, no estoppel under section 315(e) shall attach to the petitioner, or to the real party in interest or privy of the petitioner, on the basis of that petitioner's institution of that inter partes review. If no petitioner remains in the inter partes review, the Office may terminate the review or proceed to a final written decision under section 318(a).

(b) Agreements in Writing.—Any agreement or understanding between the patent owner and a petitioner, including any collateral agreements referred to in such agreement or understanding, made in connection with, or in contemplation of, the termination of an inter partes review under this section shall be in writing and a true copy of such agreement or understanding shall be filed in the Office before the termination of the inter partes review as between the parties. 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, and shall be made available only to Federal Government agencies on written request, or to any person on a showing of good cause.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to restriction on subsequent request for inter partes reexamination.

2002—Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(c)(1), made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, which enacted this section.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(a)(5)(A), substituted “third-party requester nor its privies” for “patent owner nor the third-party requester, if any, nor privies of either”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 107–273, §13202(a)(5)(B), struck out “United States Code,” after “title 28,”.

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 issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, see section 6(c)(2) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 311 of this title.

1 So in original. The comma probably should not appear.

§318. Stay of litigation

Once an order for inter partes reexamination of a patent has been issued under section 313, the patent owner may obtain a stay of any pending litigation which involves an issue of patentability of any claims of the patent which are the subject of the inter partes reexamination order, unless the court before which such litigation is pending determines that a stay would not serve the interests of justice.

(Added Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4604(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–570; amended Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13202(c)(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1902; Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 303.)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), (c)(2), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 303, 304, provided that, effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, this section is amended to read as follows:

§318. Decision of the Board

(a) Final Written Decision.—If an inter partes review is instituted and not dismissed under this chapter, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board shall issue a final written decision with respect to the patentability of any patent claim challenged by the petitioner and any new claim added under section 316(d).

(b) Certificate.—If the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issues a final written decision under subsection (a) and the time for appeal has expired or any appeal has terminated, the Director shall issue and publish a certificate canceling any claim of the patent finally determined to be unpatentable, confirming any claim of the patent determined to be patentable, and incorporating in the patent by operation of the certificate any new or amended claim determined to be patentable.

(c) Intervening Rights.—Any proposed amended or new claim determined to be patentable and incorporated into a patent following an inter partes review under this chapter shall have the same effect as that specified in section 252 for reissued patents on the right of any person who made, purchased, or used within the United States, or imported into the United States, anything patented by such proposed amended or new claim, or who made substantial preparation therefor, before the issuance of a certificate under subsection (b).

(d) Data on Length of Review.—The Office shall make available to the public data describing the length of time between the institution of, and the issuance of a final written decision under subsection (a) for, each inter partes review.

See 2011 Amendment note below.

Amendments

2011—Pub. L. 112–29 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “Once an order for inter partes reexamination of a patent has been issued under section 313, the patent owner may obtain a stay of any pending litigation which involves an issue of patentability of any claims of the patent which are the subject of the inter partes reexamination order, unless the court before which such litigation is pending determines that a stay would not serve the interests of justice.”

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113, which enacted this section.

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 issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, see section 6(c)(2) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 311 of this title.

§319. Appeal

A party dissatisfied with the final written decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board under section 318(a) may appeal the decision pursuant to sections 141 through 144. Any party to the inter partes review shall have the right to be a party to the appeal.

(Added Pub. L. 112–29, §6(a), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 304.)

Effective Date

Section effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, with provisions for graduated implementation, see section 6(c)(2) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment note under section 311 of this title.

CHAPTER 32—POST-GRANT REVIEW

Sec.
321.
Post-grant review.
322.
Petitions.
323.
Preliminary response to petition.
324.
Institution of post-grant review.
325.
Relation to other proceedings or actions.
326.
Conduct of post-grant review.
327.
Settlement.
328.
Decision of the Board.
329.
Appeal.

        

§321. Post-grant review

(a) In General.—Subject to the provisions of this chapter, a person who is not the owner of a patent may file with the Office a petition to institute a post-grant review of the patent. The Director shall establish, by regulation, fees to be paid by the person requesting the review, in such amounts as the Director determines to be reasonable, considering the aggregate costs of the post-grant review.

(b) Scope.—A petitioner in a post-grant review may request to cancel as unpatentable 1 or more claims of a patent on any ground that could be raised under paragraph (2) or (3) of section 282(b) (relating to invalidity of the patent or any claim).

(c) Filing Deadline.—A petition for a post-grant review may only be filed not later than the date that is 9 months after the date of the grant of the patent or of the issuance of a reissue patent (as the case may be).

(Added Pub. L. 112–29, §6(d), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 306.)

Effective Date

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(f)(2), (3), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 311, provided that:

“(2) Applicability.—

“(A) In general.—The amendments made by subsection (d) [enacting this chapter] 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, except as provided in section 18 [set out as a note below] and in paragraph (3), shall apply only to patents described in section 3(n)(1) [set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 of this title].

“(B) Limitation.—The Director [Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office] may impose a limit on the number of post-grant reviews that may be instituted under chapter 32 of title 35, United States Code, during each of the first 4 1-year periods in which the amendments made by subsection (d) are in effect.

“(3) Pending interferences.—

“(A) Procedures in general.—The Director shall determine, and include in the regulations issued under paragraph (1) [set out as a note below], the procedures under which an interference commenced before the effective date set forth in paragraph (2)(A) is to proceed, including whether such interference—

“(i) is to be dismissed without prejudice to the filing of a petition for a post-grant review under chapter 32 of title 35, United States Code; or

“(ii) is to proceed as if this Act [see Short Title of 2011 Amendment note set out under section 1 of this title] had not been enacted.

“(B) Proceedings by patent trial and appeal board.—For purposes of an interference that is commenced before the effective date set forth in paragraph (2)(A), the Director may deem the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to be the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, and may allow the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to conduct any further proceedings in that interference.

“(C) Appeals.—The authorization to appeal or have remedy from derivation proceedings in sections 141(d) and 146 of title 35, United States Code, as amended by this Act, and the jurisdiction to entertain appeals from derivation proceedings in section 1295(a)(4)(A) of title 28, United States Code, as amended by this Act, shall be deemed to extend to any final decision in an interference that is commenced before the effective date set forth in paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection and that is not dismissed pursuant to this paragraph.”

Regulations

Pub. L. 112–29, §6(f)(1), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 311, provided that: “The Director [Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office] shall, not later than the date that is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011], issue regulations to carry out chapter 32 of title 35, United States Code, as added by subsection (d) of this section.”

Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents

Pub. L. 112–29, §18, Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 329, provided that:

“(a) Transitional Program.—

“(1) Establishment.—Not later than the date that is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011], the Director [Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office] shall issue regulations establishing and implementing a transitional post-grant review proceeding for review of the validity of covered business method patents. The transitional proceeding implemented pursuant to this subsection shall be regarded as, and shall employ the standards and procedures of, a post-grant review under chapter 32 of title 35, United States Code, subject to the following:

“(A) Section 321(c) of title 35, United States Code, and subsections (b), (e)(2), and (f) of section 325 of such title shall not apply to a transitional proceeding.

“(B) A person may not file a petition for a transitional proceeding with respect to a covered business method patent unless the person or the person's real party in interest or privy has been sued for infringement of the patent or has been charged with infringement under that patent.

“(C) A petitioner in a transitional proceeding who challenges the validity of 1 or more claims in a covered business method patent on a ground raised under section 102 or 103 of title 35, United States Code, as in effect on the day before the effective date set forth in section 3(n)(1) [set out as an Effective Date of 2011 Amendment; Savings Provisions note under section 100 of this title], may support such ground only on the basis of—

“(i) prior art that is described by section 102(a) of such title of such title [sic] (as in effect on the day before such effective date); or

“(ii) prior art that—

     “(I) discloses the invention more than 1 year before the date of the application for patent in the United States; and

     “(II) would be described by section 102(a) of such title (as in effect on the day before the effective date set forth in section 3(n)(1)) if the disclosure had been made by another before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent.

“(D) The petitioner in a transitional proceeding that results in a final written decision under section 328(a) of title 35, United States Code, with respect to a claim in a covered business method patent, or the petitioner's real party in interest, may not assert, either in a civil action arising in whole or in part under section 1338 of title 28, United States Code, or in a proceeding before the International Trade Commission under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1337), that the claim is invalid on any ground that the petitioner raised during that transitional proceeding.

“(E) The Director may institute a transitional proceeding only for a patent that is a covered business method patent.

“(2) Effective date.—The regulations issued under paragraph (1) 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 covered business method patent issued before, on, or after that effective date, except that the regulations shall not apply to a patent described in section 6(f)(2)(A) of this Act [set out as a note above] during the period in which a petition for post-grant review of that patent would satisfy the requirements of section 321(c) of title 35, United States Code.

“(3) Sunset.—

“(A) In general.—This subsection, and the regulations issued under this subsection, are repealed effective upon the expiration of the 8-year period beginning on the date that the regulations issued under to [sic] paragraph (1) take effect.

“(B) Applicability.—Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), this subsection and the regulations issued under this subsection shall continue to apply, after the date of the repeal under subparagraph (A), to any petition for a transitional proceeding that is filed before the date of such repeal.

“(b) Request for Stay.—

“(1) In general.—If a party seeks a stay of a civil action alleging infringement of a patent under section 281 of title 35, United States Code, relating to a transitional proceeding for that patent, the court shall decide whether to enter a stay based on—

“(A) whether a stay, or the denial thereof, will simplify the issues in question and streamline the trial;

“(B) whether discovery is complete and whether a trial date has been set;

“(C) whether a stay, or the denial thereof, would unduly prejudice the nonmoving party or present a clear tactical advantage for the moving party; and

“(D) whether a stay, or the denial thereof, will reduce the burden of litigation on the parties and on the court.

“(2) Review.—A party may take an immediate interlocutory appeal from a district court's decision under paragraph (1). The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit shall review the district court's decision to ensure consistent application of established precedent, and such review may be de novo.

“(c) ATM Exemption for Venue Purposes.—In an action for infringement under section 281 of title 35, United States Code, of a covered business method patent, an automated teller machine shall not be deemed to be a regular and established place of business for purposes of section 1400(b) of title 28, United States Code.

“(d) Definition.—

“(1) In general.—For purposes of this section, the term ‘covered business method patent’ means a patent that claims a method or corresponding apparatus for performing data processing or other operations used in the practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service, except that the term does not include patents for technological inventions.

“(2) Regulations.—To assist in implementing the transitional proceeding authorized by this subsection, the Director shall issue regulations for determining whether a patent is for a technological invention.

“(e) Rule of Construction.—Nothing in this section shall be construed as amending or interpreting categories of patent-eligible subject matter set forth under section 101 of title 35, United States Code.”

§322. Petitions

(a) Requirements of Petition.—A petition filed under section 321 may be considered only if—

(1) the petition is accompanied by payment of the fee established by the Director under section 321;

(2) the petition identifies all real parties in interest;

(3) the petition identifies, in writing and with particularity, each claim challenged, the grounds on which the challenge to each claim is based, and the evidence that supports the grounds for the challenge to each claim, including—

(A) copies of patents and printed publications that the petitioner relies upon in support of the petition; and

(B) affidavits or declarations of supporting evidence and opinions, if the petitioner relies on other factual evidence or on expert opinions;


(4) the petition provides such other information as the Director may require by regulation; and

(5) the petitioner provides copies of any of the documents required under paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) to the patent owner or, if applicable, the designated representative of the patent owner.


(b) Public Availability.—As soon as practicable after the receipt of a petition under section 321, the Director shall make the petition available to the public.

(Added Pub. L. 112–29, §6(d), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 306.)

Effective Date

Section effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable only to patents described in section 3(n)(1) of Pub. L. 112–29 (35 U.S.C. 100 note), with certain exceptions and limitations, see section 6(f)(2), (3) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 321 of this title.

§323. Preliminary response to petition

If a post-grant review petition is filed under section 321, the patent owner shall have the right to file a preliminary response to the petition, within a time period set by the Director, that sets forth reasons why no post-grant review should be instituted based upon the failure of the petition to meet any requirement of this chapter.

(Added Pub. L. 112–29, §6(d), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 306.)

Effective Date

Section effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable only to patents described in section 3(n)(1) of Pub. L. 112–29 (35 U.S.C. 100 note), with certain exceptions and limitations, see section 6(f)(2), (3) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 321 of this title.

§324. Institution of post-grant review

(a) Threshold.—The Director may not authorize a post-grant review to be instituted unless the Director determines that the information presented in the petition filed under section 321, if such information is not rebutted, would demonstrate that it is more likely than not that at least 1 of the claims challenged in the petition is unpatentable.

(b) Additional Grounds.—The determination required under subsection (a) may also be satisfied by a showing that the petition raises a novel or unsettled legal question that is important to other patents or patent applications.

(c) Timing.—The Director shall determine whether to institute a post-grant review under this chapter pursuant to a petition filed under section 321 within 3 months after—

(1) receiving a preliminary response to the petition under section 323; or

(2) if no such preliminary response is filed, the last date on which such response may be filed.


(d) Notice.—The Director shall notify the petitioner and patent owner, in writing, of the Director's determination under subsection (a) or (b), and shall make such notice available to the public as soon as is practicable. Such notice shall include the date on which the review shall commence.

(e) No Appeal.—The determination by the Director whether to institute a post-grant review under this section shall be final and nonappealable.

(Added Pub. L. 112–29, §6(d), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 306.)

Effective Date

Section effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable only to patents described in section 3(n)(1) of Pub. L. 112–29 (35 U.S.C. 100 note), with certain exceptions and limitations, see section 6(f)(2), (3) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 321 of this title.

§325. Relation to other proceedings or actions

(a) Infringer's Civil Action.—

(1) Post-grant review barred by civil action.—A post-grant review may not be instituted under this chapter if, before the date on which the petition for such a review is filed, the petitioner or real party in interest filed a civil action challenging the validity of a claim of the patent.

(2) Stay of civil action.—If the petitioner or real party in interest files a civil action challenging the validity of a claim of the patent on or after the date on which the petitioner files a petition for post-grant review of the patent, that civil action shall be automatically stayed until either—

(A) the patent owner moves the court to lift the stay;

(B) the patent owner files a civil action or counterclaim alleging that the petitioner or real party in interest has infringed the patent; or

(C) the petitioner or real party in interest moves the court to dismiss the civil action.


(3) Treatment of counterclaim.—A counterclaim challenging the validity of a claim of a patent does not constitute a civil action challenging the validity of a claim of a patent for purposes of this subsection.


(b) Preliminary Injunctions.—If a civil action alleging infringement of a patent is filed within 3 months after the date on which the patent is granted, the court may not stay its consideration of the patent owner's motion for a preliminary injunction against infringement of the patent on the basis that a petition for post-grant review has been filed under this chapter or that such a post-grant review has been instituted under this chapter.

(c) Joinder.—If more than 1 petition for a post-grant review under this chapter is properly filed against the same patent and the Director determines that more than 1 of these petitions warrants the institution of a post-grant review under section 324, the Director may consolidate such reviews into a single post-grant review.

(d) Multiple Proceedings.—Notwithstanding sections 135(a), 251, and 252, and chapter 30, during the pendency of any post-grant review under this chapter, if another proceeding or matter involving the patent is before the Office, the Director may determine the manner in which the post-grant review or other proceeding or matter may proceed, including providing for the stay, transfer, consolidation, or termination of any such matter or proceeding. In determining whether to institute or order a proceeding under this chapter, chapter 30, or chapter 31, the Director may take into account whether, and reject the petition or request because, the same or substantially the same prior art or arguments previously were presented to the Office.

(e) Estoppel.—

(1) Proceedings before the office.—The petitioner in a post-grant review of a claim in a patent under this chapter that results in a final written decision under section 328(a), or the real party in interest or privy of the petitioner, may not request or maintain a proceeding before the Office with respect to that claim on any ground that the petitioner raised or reasonably could have raised during that post-grant review.

(2) Civil actions and other proceedings.—The petitioner in a post-grant review of a claim in a patent under this chapter that results in a final written decision under section 328(a), or the real party in interest or privy of the petitioner, may not assert either in a civil action arising in whole or in part under section 1338 of title 28 or in a proceeding before the International Trade Commission under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 that the claim is invalid on any ground that the petitioner raised or reasonably could have raised during that post-grant review.


(f) Reissue Patents.—A post-grant review may not be instituted under this chapter if the petition requests cancellation of a claim in a reissue patent that is identical to or narrower than a claim in the original patent from which the reissue patent was issued, and the time limitations in section 321(c) would bar filing a petition for a post-grant review for such original patent.

(Added Pub. L. 112–29, §6(d), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 307.)

References in Text

Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, referred to in subsec. (e)(2), is classified to section 1337 of Title 19, Customs Duties.

Effective Date

Section effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable only to patents described in section 3(n)(1) of Pub. L. 112–29 (35 U.S.C. 100 note), with certain exceptions and limitations, see section 6(f)(2), (3) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 321 of this title.

§326. Conduct of post-grant review

(a) Regulations.—The Director shall prescribe regulations—

(1) providing that the file of any proceeding under this chapter shall be made available to the public, except that any petition or document filed with the intent that it be sealed shall, if accompanied by a motion to seal, be treated as sealed pending the outcome of the ruling on the motion;

(2) setting forth the standards for the showing of sufficient grounds to institute a review under subsections (a) and (b) of section 324;

(3) establishing procedures for the submission of supplemental information after the petition is filed;

(4) establishing and governing a post-grant review under this chapter and the relationship of such review to other proceedings under this title;

(5) setting forth standards and procedures for discovery of relevant evidence, including that such discovery shall be limited to evidence directly related to factual assertions advanced by either party in the proceeding;

(6) prescribing sanctions for abuse of discovery, abuse of process, or any other improper use of the proceeding, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or an unnecessary increase in the cost of the proceeding;

(7) providing for protective orders governing the exchange and submission of confidential information;

(8) providing for the filing by the patent owner of a response to the petition under section 323 after a post-grant review has been instituted, and requiring that the patent owner file with such response, through affidavits or declarations, any additional factual evidence and expert opinions on which the patent owner relies in support of the response;

(9) setting forth standards and procedures for allowing the patent owner to move to amend the patent under subsection (d) to cancel a challenged claim or propose a reasonable number of substitute claims, and ensuring that any information submitted by the patent owner in support of any amendment entered under subsection (d) is made available to the public as part of the prosecution history of the patent;

(10) providing either party with the right to an oral hearing as part of the proceeding;

(11) requiring that the final determination in any post-grant review be issued not later than 1 year after the date on which the Director notices the institution of a proceeding under this chapter, except that the Director may, for good cause shown, extend the 1-year period by not more than 6 months, and may adjust the time periods in this paragraph in the case of joinder under section 325(c); and

(12) providing the petitioner with at least 1 opportunity to file written comments within a time period established by the Director.


(b) Considerations.—In prescribing regulations under this section, the Director shall consider the effect of any such regulation on the economy, the integrity of the patent system, the efficient administration of the Office, and the ability of the Office to timely complete proceedings instituted under this chapter.

(c) Patent Trial and Appeal Board.—The Patent Trial and Appeal Board shall, in accordance with section 6, conduct each post-grant review instituted under this chapter.

(d) Amendment of the Patent.—

(1) In general.—During a post-grant review instituted under this chapter, the patent owner may file 1 motion to amend the patent in 1 or more of the following ways:

(A) Cancel any challenged patent claim.

(B) For each challenged claim, propose a reasonable number of substitute claims.


(2) Additional motions.—Additional motions to amend may be permitted upon the joint request of the petitioner and the patent owner to materially advance the settlement of a proceeding under section 327, or upon the request of the patent owner for good cause shown.

(3) Scope of claims.—An amendment under this subsection may not enlarge the scope of the claims of the patent or introduce new matter.


(e) Evidentiary Standards.—In a post-grant review instituted under this chapter, the petitioner shall have the burden of proving a proposition of unpatentability by a preponderance of the evidence.

(Added Pub. L. 112–29, §6(d), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 308.)

Effective Date

Section effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable only to patents described in section 3(n)(1) of Pub. L. 112–29 (35 U.S.C. 100 note), with certain exceptions and limitations, see section 6(f)(2), (3) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 321 of this title.

§327. Settlement

(a) In General.—A post-grant review instituted under this chapter shall be terminated with respect to any petitioner upon the joint request of the petitioner and the patent owner, unless the Office has decided the merits of the proceeding before the request for termination is filed. If the post-grant review is terminated with respect to a petitioner under this section, no estoppel under section 325(e) shall attach to the petitioner, or to the real party in interest or privy of the petitioner, on the basis of that petitioner's institution of that post-grant review. If no petitioner remains in the post-grant review, the Office may terminate the post-grant review or proceed to a final written decision under section 328(a).

(b) Agreements in Writing.—Any agreement or understanding between the patent owner and a petitioner, including any collateral agreements referred to in such agreement or understanding, made in connection with, or in contemplation of, the termination of a post-grant review under this section shall be in writing, and a true copy of such agreement or understanding shall be filed in the Office before the termination of the post-grant review as between the parties. 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, and shall be made available only to Federal Government agencies on written request, or to any person on a showing of good cause.

(Added Pub. L. 112–29, §6(d), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 310.)

Effective Date

Section effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable only to patents described in section 3(n)(1) of Pub. L. 112–29 (35 U.S.C. 100 note), with certain exceptions and limitations, see section 6(f)(2), (3) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 321 of this title.

§328. Decision of the Board

(a) Final Written Decision.—If a post-grant review is instituted and not dismissed under this chapter, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board shall issue a final written decision with respect to the patentability of any patent claim challenged by the petitioner and any new claim added under section 326(d).

(b) Certificate.—If the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issues a final written decision under subsection (a) and the time for appeal has expired or any appeal has terminated, the Director shall issue and publish a certificate canceling any claim of the patent finally determined to be unpatentable, confirming any claim of the patent determined to be patentable, and incorporating in the patent by operation of the certificate any new or amended claim determined to be patentable.

(c) Intervening Rights.—Any proposed amended or new claim determined to be patentable and incorporated into a patent following a post-grant review under this chapter shall have the same effect as that specified in section 252 for reissued patents on the right of any person who made, purchased, or used within the United States, or imported into the United States, anything patented by such proposed amended or new claim, or who made substantial preparation therefor, before the issuance of a certificate under subsection (b).

(d) Data on Length of Review.—The Office shall make available to the public data describing the length of time between the institution of, and the issuance of a final written decision under subsection (a) for, each post-grant review.

(Added and amended Pub. L. 112–29, §§6(d), 20(j), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 310, 335.)

Amendments

2011—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–29, §20(j), struck out “of this title” after “252”.

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 upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable only to patents described in section 3(n)(1) of Pub. L. 112–29 (35 U.S.C. 100 note), with certain exceptions and limitations, see section 6(f)(2), (3) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 321 of this title.

§329. Appeal

A party dissatisfied with the final written decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board under section 328(a) may appeal the decision pursuant to sections 141 through 144. Any party to the post-grant review shall have the right to be a party to the appeal.

(Added Pub. L. 112–29, §6(d), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 311.)

Effective Date

Section effective upon the expiration of the 1-year period beginning Sept. 16, 2011, and applicable only to patents described in section 3(n)(1) of Pub. L. 112–29 (35 U.S.C. 100 note), with certain exceptions and limitations, see section 6(f)(2), (3) of Pub. L. 112–29, set out as a note under section 321 of this title.