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What is a re-examination of a patent?

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Anyone has the right to request that a previously issued patent be re-examined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (for a fee). The request for re-examination is usually reserved for cases in which a party is trying to invalidate a patent or trying to get their patent expressly re-validated, by presenting either new prior art or explaining the affect of prior art on the invention. The re-examination request can potentially help to bypass often lengthy and costly infringement lawsuits. A re-examination request is not limited by any date restrictions, as anyone may file one at any time.

There are two types of re-examinations: Inter partes and ex parte. Inter partes (between parties) allows both the patentee (or his/her/their assignee) and the requester to respond and comment on office actions issued by an examiner during the re-examination process. Ex parte (by one party) allows negotiation between the examiner and the patentee only; the requester is only an observer.

For more information on intellectual property, please visit Patent, Trademark, Copyright Information.

The content of this article is not intended to be, and does not constitute, legal advice and does not create attorney-client privilege. Consult the attorney of your choice before embarking on any legal matter or any document preparation/filing.

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Dr. Thomas R. (Terry) Williamson III is a Patent Attorney practicing in Atlanta, Georgia.

C2008, Williamson Intellectual Property Law, LLC; all rights reserved, world-wide.

Williamson Intellectual Property Law, LLC
1870 The Exchange, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30339
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Williamson Intellectual Property Law, LLC
1870 The Exchange, Suite 100 - Atlanta, Georgia 30339