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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

NATIONAL LEGISLATION - USA

Patent Laws and Regulations


Laws: Title 35, Parts I to IV, United States Code

Regulations: Title 37, Chapter I (Subchapter A, Parts 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, and 15a and Subchapter B); Chapter IV and Chapter V, Code of Federal Regulations.


CHAPTER 11 – APPLICATION FOR PATENT                                                (Continued)

35 U.S.C. 119 Benefit of earlier filing date; right of priority

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

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

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

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

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

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

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 800; Oct. 3, 1961, Pub. L. 87-333, 1, 75 Stat. 748; July 28, 1972, Pub. L. 92-358, 1, 86 Stat. 501; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93-596, 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

(As amended Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103-465, Title V, Subtitle C, 532(b)(1), 108 Stat. 4985.)

35 U.S.C. 120 Benefit of earlier filing date in the United States

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

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 800; Nov. 14, 1975, Pub. L. 94-131, 9, 89 Stat. 691.)

(As amended Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98-622, Title I, 104(b), 98 Stat. 3385.)

35 U.S.C. 121 Divisional applications

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

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

35 U.S.C. 122 Confidential status of applications

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

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

 

CHAPTER 12 – EXAMINATION OF APPLICATION

35 U.S.C. 131 Examination of application

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

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 801.)

35 U.S.C. 132 Notice of rejection; reexamination

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

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 801.)

35 U.S.C. 133 Time for prosecuting application

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

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 801.)

35 U.S.C. 134 Appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences

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

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 801.)

(As amended Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98-622, Title II, 204(b)(1), 98 Stat. 3388.)

35 U.S.C. 135 Interferences

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

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

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

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

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

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

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 801; Oct. 15, 1962, Pub. L. 87-831, 76 Stat. 958; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93-596, 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

(As amended Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98-622, Title I, 105, Title II, 202, 98 Stat. 3385, 3386.)

 

CHAPTER 13 – REVIEW OF PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE DECISION

35 U.S.C. 141 Appeal to Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

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

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 802.)

(As amended Apr. 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97-164, Title I, Part B, 163(a)(7) in part, (b)(2), 96 Stat. 49, 50; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98-622, Title II, 203(a), 98 Stat. 3387.)

35 U.S.C. 142 Notice of appeal

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

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 802; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93-596, 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

(As amended Apr. 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97-164, Title I, Part B, 163(a)(7) in part, 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98-620, Title IV, Subtitle C, 414(a), 98 Stat. 3363.)

35 U.S.C. 143 Proceedings on appeal

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

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 802; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93-596, 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

(As amended Apr. 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97-164, Title I, Part B, 163(a)(7) in part, 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98-620, Title IV, Subtitle C, 414(a), 98 Stat. 3363.)

35 U.S.C. 144 Decision on appeal

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit shall review the decision from which an appeal is taken on the record before the Patent and Trademark Office. Upon its determination the court shall issue to the Commissioner its mandate and opinion, which shall be entered of record in the Patent and Trademark Office and shall govern the further proceedings in the case.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 802; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93-596, 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

(As amended Apr. 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97-164, Title I, Part B, 163(a)(7) in part, 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98-620, Title IV, Subtitle C, 414(a), 98 Stat. 3363.)

35 U.S.C. 145 Civil action to obtain patent

An applicant dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences in an appeal under section 134 of this title may, unless appeal has been taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, have remedy by civil action against the Commissioner in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia if commenced within such time after such decision, not less than sixty days, as the Commissioner appoints. The court may adjudge that such applicant is entitled to receive a patent for his invention, as specified in any of his claims involved in the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, as the facts in the case may appear and such adjudication shall authorize the Commissioner to issue such patent on compliance with the requirements of law. All the expenses of the proceedings shall be paid by the applicant.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 803.)

(As amended Apr. 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97-164, Title I, Part B, 163(a)(7) in part, 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98-622, Title II 203(b), 98 Stat. 3387.)

35 U.S.C. 146 Civil action in case of interference

Any party to an interference dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences on the interference, may have remedy by civil action, if commenced within such time after such decision, not less than sixty days, as the Commissioner appoints or as provided in section 141 of this title, unless he has appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and such appeal is pending or has been decided. In such suits the record in the Patent and Trademark Office shall be admitted on motion of either party upon the terms and conditions as to costs, expenses, and the further cross-examination of the witnesses as the court imposes, without prejudice to the right of the parties to take further testimony. The testimony and exhibits of the record in the Patent and Trademark Office when admitted shall have the same effect as if originally taken and produced in the suit.

Such suit may be instituted against the party in interest as shown by the records of the Patent and Trademark Office at the time of the decision complained of, but any party in interest may become a party to the action. If there be adverse parties residing in a plurality of districts not embraced within the same state, or an adverse party residing in a foreign country, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia shall have jurisdiction and may issue summons against the adverse parties directed to the marshal of any district in which any adverse party resides. Summons against adverse parties residing in foreign countries may be served by publication or otherwise as the court directs. The Commissioner shall not be a necessary party but he shall be notified of the filing of the suit by the clerk of the court in which it is filed and shall have the right to intervene. Judgment of the court in favor of the right of an applicant to a patent shall authorize the Commissioner to issue such patent on the filing in the Patent and Trademark Office of a certified copy of the judgment and on compliance with the requirements of law.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 803; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93-596, 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

(As amended Apr. 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97-164, Title I, Part B, 163(a)(7) in part, 96 Stat. 49; Nov. 8, 1984, Pub. L. 98-622, Title II, 203(c), 98 Stat. 3387.)

 

CHAPTER 14 – ISSUE OF PATENT

35 U.S.C. 151 Issue of patent

If it appears that applicant is entitled to a patent under the law, a written notice of allowance of the application shall be given or mailed to the applicant. The notice shall specify a sum, constituting the issue fee or a portion thereof, which shall be paid within three months thereafter.

Upon payment of this sum the patent shall issue, but if payment is not timely made, the application shall be regarded as abandoned.

Any remaining balance of the issue fee shall be paid within three months from the sending of a notice thereof and, if not paid, the patent shall lapse at the termination of this three-month period. In calculating the amount of a remaining balance, charges for a page or less may be disregarded.

If any payment required by this section is not timely made, but is submitted with the fee for delayed payment and the delay in payment is shown to have been unavoidable, it may be accepted by the Commissioner as though no abandonment or lapse had ever occurred.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 803; July 24, 1965, Pub. L. 89-83, 4, 79 Stat. 260; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93-601, 3, 88 Stat. 1956.)

35 U.S.C. 152 Issue of patent to assignee

Patents may by granted to the assignee of the inventor of record in the Patent and Trademark Office, upon the application made and the specification sworn to by the inventor, except as otherwise provided in this title.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 804; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93-596, 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

35 U.S.C. 153 How issued

Patents shall be issued in the name of the United States of America, under the seal of the Patent and Trademark Office, and shall be signed by the Commissioner or have his signature placed thereon and attested by an officer of the Patent and Trademark Office designated by the Commissioner, and shall be recorded in the Patent and Trademark Office.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 1, 66 Stat. 804; Jan. 2, 1975, Pub. L. 93-596, 1, 88 Stat. 1949.)

Continue to: 35 U.S.C. 154 Contents and term of patent

 

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