MPEP 1411
Form of Specification

This is the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 08.2017, Last Revised in January 2018

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1411    Form of Specification [R-08.2017]

37 C.F.R. 1.173 Reissue specification, drawings, and amendments.

  • (a) Contents of a reissue application. An application for reissue must contain the entire specification, including the claims, and the drawings of the patent. No new matter shall be introduced into the application. No reissue 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, pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 251.
    • (1) Specification, including claims. The entire specification, including the claims, of the patent for which reissue is requested must be furnished in the form of a copy of the printed patent, in double column format, each page on only one side of a single sheet of paper. If an amendment of the reissue application is to be included, it must be made pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section. The formal requirements for papers making up the reissue application other than those set forth in this section are set out in § 1.52. Additionally, a copy of any disclaimer (§ 1.321 ), certificate of correction (§§ 1.322 through 1.324 ), or reexamination certificate (§ 1.570 ) issued in the patent must be included. (See also § 1.178 ).
    • (2) Drawings. Applicant must submit a clean copy of each drawing sheet of the printed patent at the time the reissue application is filed. If such copy complies with § 1.84, no further drawings will be required. Where a drawing of the reissue application is to include any changes relative to the patent being reissued, the changes to the drawing must be made in accordance with paragraph (b)(3) of this section. The Office will not transfer the drawings from the patent file to the reissue application.

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Pursuant to 37 CFR 1.173(a)(1) the application specification, including the claims, must be furnished in the form of a copy of the printed patent in double column format (so that the patent can be simply copied without cutting). Applicants are required to submit a clean copy of each drawing sheet of the printed patent at the time the reissue application is filed (37 CFR 1.173(a)(2) ). Any changes to the drawings must be made in accordance with 37 CFR 1.173(b)(3). Thus, a full copy of the printed patent (including the front page) is used to provide the abstract, drawings, specification, and claims of the patent for the reissue application. Each page of the patent must appear on only one side of each individual page of the specification of the reissue application; a two-sided copy of the patent is not proper. It should be noted that a re-typed specification is not acceptable in a reissue application; the full copy of the printed patent must be used. If, however, the changes to be made to the patent are so extensive/numerous that reading and understanding the specification is extremely difficult and error-prone, a clean copy of the specification may be submitted if accompanied by a grantable petition under 37 CFR 1.183 for waiver of 37 CFR 1.125(d) and 37 CFR 1.173(a)(1).

Pursuant to 37 CFR 1.173(b), amendments may be made at the time of filing of a reissue application. The amendment may be made either by:

  • (A) physically incorporating the changes within the specification by cutting the column of the printed patent and inserting the added material and rejoining the remainder of the column and then joining the resulting modified column to the other column of the printed patent. Markings pursuant to 37 CFR 1.173(d) must be used to show the changes. The columnar structure of the printed patent must be preserved, and the physically modified page must comply with 37 CFR 1.52(a)(1). As to compliance with 37 CFR 1.52(a)(1)(iv), the "written either by a typewriter or machine printer in permanent dark ink or its equivalent" requirement is deemed to be satisfied where a caret and line are drawn from a position within the text to a newly added phrase, clause, sentence, etc. typed legibly in the margin; or
  • (B) providing a preliminary amendment (a separate amendment paper) directing that specified changes be made to the copy of the printed patent.

The presentation of the insertions or deletions as part of the original reissue specification is an amendment under 37 CFR 1.173(b). An amendment of the reissue application made at the time of filing of the reissue application must be made in accordance with 37 CFR 1.173(b)-(e) and (g); see MPEP § 1453. Thus, as required by 37 CFR 1.173(c), an amendment of the claims made at the time of filing of a reissue application must include a separate paper setting forth the status of all claims (i.e., pending or canceled), and an explanation of the support in the disclosure of the patent for the changes made to the claims.

If a chart, table, or chemical formula is amended and it spans two columns of the patent, it should not be split. Rather, the chart, table, or chemical formula should be provided in its entirety as part of the column of the patent to which it pertains, in order to provide a continuity of the description. When doing so, the chart, table, or chemical formula may extend beyond the width of the column. Change in only a part of a word or chemical formula is not permitted. Entire words or chemical formulas must be shown as being changed. Deletion of a chemical formula should be shown by brackets which are substantially larger and darker than any in the formula.

Where an approved terminal disclaimer was filed in the application for the patent to be reissued, a copy of that terminal disclaimer need not be filed in the reissue application by the reissue applicant. To identify this information, an internal review form will be filled out at the appropriate point and placed into the file for the reissue application.

Twice reissued patent:

Examples of the form for a twice-reissued patent are found in Re. 23,558 and Re. 28,488. Double underlining and double bracketing are used in the second reissue application, while bold-faced type and double bracketing appear in the printed patent (the second reissue patent) to indicate further insertions and deletions, respectively, in the second reissue patent.

When a copy of a first reissue patent is used as the specification of a second reissue application (filed as a reissue of a reissue), additions made by the first reissue will already be printed in italics, and should remain in such format. Thus, applicants need only present additions to the specification/claims in the second reissue application as double underlined text. Subject matter to be deleted from the first reissue patent should be presented in the second reissue application within sets of double brackets.