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35 U.S.C. 121, Divisional applications

Executive summary:

Potential for Errors: This document contains one section of the U.S. Patent Act (found in Title 35 of the United States Code) as amended by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. This page was last updated in November 2011. While the page has been edited to help ensure that the changes made by the AIA to this section are reflected in this document, errors are possible. If you notice such errors, please contact Dan Tysver at (dtysver@bitlaw.com).

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35 U.S.C. 121 Divisional applications.

If two or more independent and distinct inventions are claimed in one application, the Director 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 Director may dispense with signing and execution by the inventor. The validity of a patent shall not be questioned for failure of the Director to require the application to be restricted to one invention.

(Amended Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)).)

Effective Dates for Changes Made to this Section

INVENTOR'S OATH OR DECLARATION
Section 4 of the America Invents Act

(e) EFFECTIVE DATE.--The amendments made by this section shall take effect upon the expiration of the 1–year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply to any patent application that is filed on or after that effective date.

REMOVAL OF "OF THIS TITLE"
Section 20 of the America Invents Act

(l) EFFECTIVE DATE.--The amendments made by this section shall take effect upon the expiration of the 1 year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date.