Patent reexamination provides a means for a third party to challenge an issued patent in the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). It also provides a patent holder with a means to potentially bolster an issued patent, such as by having newly discovered prior art considered.
Reexamination by Patent Holder or Third Party
Patent reexamination allows the patent owner or a third party to file a request to have an issued patent evaluated by the USPTO again. Patent reexamination is sometimes referred to as ex parte reexamination because it is a proceeding that involves only the patent owner and the USPTO; when a third party files a request for patent reexamination, the third party does not participate further after filing that request, and thus, cannot point out errors or submit rebuttal points during the patent reexamination process.
Ex Parte Reexamination
Allowing patent reexamination to be initiated by the patent holder gives the patent holder a unique opportunity to bolster its issued patent by sharpening claims that might otherwise be subject to challenge during litigation and/or having prior art considered that the patent holder was not aware of prior to issuance of the patent. But third parties also utilize patent reexamination to challenge a patent based on patents or printed publications of which they are aware. Patent reexamination may be preferred as the standard to initiate this proceeding can be lower than the standard to initiate inter partes review or other post-grant proceedings.
Patent Reexamination Attorneys
Combining our experience in patent prosecution as well as patent litigation, we serve both patent holders and third party challengers with patent reexamination proceedings.
As a patent law firm, our patent attorneys can assist with advising on patent reexamination legal issues. See our Patents service line page for additional information about our patent reexamination attorneys and legal services.