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Intellectual Property Patent Licensing and Transactions

Filing a Reissue Can Correct Serious Patent Errors

Reissue applications may be quite useful. They may be useful in correcting some type of errors that one would normally think of as “errors” in the strict sense of the word. But they may also be used to correct “errors” in scope of patent protection and may thus be used to increase patent value and should thus be considered as a strategic tool in a patent holder’s toolbox.

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Many parties obtain U.S. patents every year. Sometimes there are errors or deficiencies in these patents. Many minor errors may be corrected by means of a certificate of correction issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). But more serious errors, and even some things that one may not think of as being “errors,” may be corrected by means of filing a reissue application. According to statute:

“Whenever any patent is, through error, deemed wholly or partially 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 [of the USPTO] shall … 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.” See, 35 U.S.C. Section 251(a).

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