35 U.S.C. § 251

Current through P.L. 117-214 (published on www.congress.gov on 10/19/2022)
Section 251 - Reissue of defective patents
(a) IN GENERAL.-Whenever any patent is, through error, 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.
(b) MULTIPLE REISSUED PATENTS.-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.
(c) APPLICABILITY OF THIS TITLE.-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 or the application for the original patent was filed by the assignee of the entire interest.
(d) REISSUE PATENT ENLARGING SCOPE OF CLAIMS.-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.

35 U.S.C. § 251

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), Sept. 16, 2011, 20, Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 296, 333.

HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTESBased 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.

EDITORIAL NOTES

AMENDMENTS2011- 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.

STATUTORY NOTES AND RELATED SUBSIDIARIES

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 2011 AMENDMENTAmendment 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 AMENDMENTAmendment 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.

invention
The term "invention" means invention or discovery.
patentee
The word "patentee" includes not only the patentee to whom the patent was issued but also the successors in title to the patentee.