Patent Reexamination Search: Everything You Need To Know

A patent reexamination search is a public tool provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).3 min read

A patent reexamination search is a public tool provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It provides extensive information about both pending and issued patents. Re-examinations are marked consistently in this database.

Using the Patent Search Database

  • First, office workers can access the PALM system and click on Palm, followed by General Information. This will allow access to the Intranet's General Information Display.
  • The patent number is entered in the search box. When the Patent Number Information link appears, they will choose the Continuity Data selection to find the reexamination number.
  • Keep in mind that about 10 days will pass before a filed reexamination is indicated in the system.

Benefits of Patent Reexamination

Patent lawsuits can cost millions because the U.S. courts allow for extensive discovery. Reexaminations are much more affordable because discovery is either not allowed or limited.

If a patent has been issued, the federal court automatically considers it valid unless "clear and convincing" proof to the contrary is present. This is not the case with reexaminations, so it is easier to declare a patent invalid at this level.

In most cases, it is possible to remain anonymous when you ask for a reexamination. This is useful if you are afraid that you may be a target of a patent infringement lawsuit. You can make the request through your patent attorney or another third party. If you file a federal suit, on the other hand, you must identify yourself.

During litigation, reexamination can be requested. This occurs in about 25 percent of reexamination cases. Often, the judge will hold the litigation proceedings until the reexamination proceedings are complete. This helps the defendant by providing more time to do a thorough prior art search in an attempt to declare the patent invalid.

Even if the patent is not found completely invalid, reexamination often successfully limits the scope of a patent claim, which means that a product that previously infringed on a patent may now be legally allowed.