Retroactive Correction of Patent Claims
Back in March, I discussed the degree of change that can be secured from the USPTO via a Certificate of Correction (COC). As a reminder, one of the more limited methods to address errors in an issued patent is via COC as defined by 35 U.S.C. § 255. The statue provides that mistakes of a clerical or typographical nature, or of minor character may be corrected upon request. Such mistakes must have been made in good faith, and not constitute new matter or require reexamination.
Once issued, a valid COC is only effective prospectively. For this reason, such certificates are best secured at the earliest possible date.
Of course until claims are very closely scrutinized, the need for minor correction may not be so apparent. In cases where the COC is not secured for years, is there a mechanism available to retroactively correct a patent claim as to such minor errors? Read the rest of this entry »