Oh No, I Just Found a Mistake in My Issued Patent! How You Can Fix It.

Sep 26, 2014

Often times, following the issue of a patent, the firm, inventors, assignees, or other vested individuals will notice an error in the issued patent. While not ideal, small mistakes may be easily remedied by obtaining a Certificate of Correction from the USPTO.

To ensure that an error will be reviewed and corrected by the USPTO in response to receiving a certificate of correction, two statutory requirements must be met. The first regards the type of mistake made and the second concerns the nature of the proposed correction. Specifically, for a Certificate of Correction form to be accepted:

  1. The mistake must be:
    1. Of a clerical nature
    2. Of a typographical nature, or
    3. A mistake of minor character
  2. The correction must not involve changes which would:
    1. Constitute new matter, or
    2. Require reexamination

If the above criteria is successfully met, a Certificate of Correction form should be accepted to rectify the mistake. The form itself is quite simple to fill out. A sample is provided below.

Using the above Certificate of Correction form, one needs only to provide the patent number, application number, issue date, and inventors listed on the patent. When providing the corrected information in the “shown below” section of the form, only provide the newly corrected information. All material that is displayed in this section will eventually replace the existing entries on the cover page of the patent.

In order to designate the correct section of the cover page, provide the appropriate section number, indicated in parenthesis adjacent to each field on the cover page of an issued patent. For example, the patent number is listed as entry (10), the name of the invention (54), and the assignees as (73). Refer to a patent cover page for all remaining entry field reference numbers.

To correct text within the patent that is not on the cover page, the text of the correction requested should also be submitted on the above Certificate of Correction form. The location of the error in the printed patent should be identified on form PTO/SB/44 by column and line number or claim and line number.

With the corrected information displayed in the main body of the Certificate of Correction form, you may now provide the appropriate mailing address of the sender. With the certificate completely filled out, the last item required for submission with the form are the applicable fees. Two separate fees must be submitted with the completed form, one for the submission of the certificate and a processing fee. The fees are detailed below.

  1. Certificate of Correction for Applicant’s Mistake (set forth in 37 CFR 1.323)
  2. Processing Fee (set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(i))

The completed certificate of correction and all applicable fees may then be submitted to the USPTO Certificate of Corrections Branch. The specific mailing address may be found at the end of the form. For further information on a certificate of correction, please see Section 1480 of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP).

If you have any questions regarding: responding to patent office actions, prosecuting your patent application, conducting interviews with patent examiners, branding, trademarks, patent planning or other intellectual property matters, please contact Garcia-Zamor Intellectual Property Law, LLC.