35 U.S.C. 251: Reissue of defective patents

Taken from the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 10.2019, Last Revised in June 2020

Current Pre-AIA AIA Redline

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35 U.S.C. 251 Reissue of defective patents.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application filed on or after September 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 251 (pre-AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (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.

(Amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 4(b) and 20(d) (effective Sept, 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)