米国特許出願、米国特許の取得を支援する米国弁理士・米国特許弁護士の情報サイト

特許権の復活

米国では日本と違い、一度放棄になった特許・出願の復活が可能です。また、手続きも比較的簡単なので、何らかの理由で過去に拒絶理由通知に応答しなかった方や年金を支払わなかった方も検討されてはいかがでしょうか。

「不可避(Unavoidable)」かつ「故意でない(Unintentional)」)理由があって、規定期限内にオフィスアクションに対応できず、出願が放棄になった場合、特許料金(issue fee)または年金(maintenance fee)を規定期限以内に支払わなかった場合は、米国特許法 37 CFR 1.137に規定される上申書を提出することにより放棄になった出願を復活することが可能です。上申書のほかに、未対応のオフィスアクションの回答書の提出、さらにペナルティーを含むオフィシャル料金の支払が必要になります。

年金の不払いの場合は、放棄後24ヶ月以内なら復活が可能です。

 

米国特許法 37 CFR 1.137

§1.137 Revival of abandoned application, terminated reexamination proceeding, or lapsed patent.

(a)

Unavoidable. If the delay in reply by applicant or patent owner was unavoidable, a petition may be filed pursuant to this paragraph to revive an abandoned application, a reexamination proceeding terminated under § § 1.550(d) or 1.957(b) or (c), or a lapsed patent. A grantable petition pursuant to this paragraph must be accompanied by:

(1)

The reply required to the outstanding Office action or notice, unless previously filed;

(2)

The petition fee as set forth in § 1.17(l);

(3)

A showing to the satisfaction of the Director that the entire delay in filing the required reply from the due date for the reply until the filing of a grantable petition pursuant to this paragraph was unavoidable; and

(4)

Any terminal disclaimer (and fee as set forth in § 1.20(d)) required pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section.

(b)

Unintentional. If the delay in reply by applicant or patent owner was unintentional, a petition may be filed pursuant to this paragraph to revive an abandoned application, a reexamination proceeding terminated under § § 1.550(d) or 1.957(b) or (c), or a lapsed patent. A grantable petition pursuant to this paragraph must be accompanied by:

(1)

The reply required to the outstanding Office action or notice, unless previously filed;

(2)

The petition fee as set forth in § 1.17(m);

(3)

A statement that the entire delay in filing the required reply from the due date for the reply until the filing of a grantable petition pursuant to this paragraph was unintentional. The Director may require additional information where there is a question whether the delay was unintentional; and

(4)

Any terminal disclaimer (and fee as set forth in § 1.20(d)) required pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section.

(c)

Reply. In a nonprovisional application abandoned for failure to prosecute, the required reply may be met by the filing of a continuing application. In a nonprovisional utility or plant application filed on or after June 8, 1995, and abandoned for failure to prosecute, the required reply may also be met by the filing of a request for continued examination in compliance with § 1.114. In an application or patent, abandoned or lapsed for failure to pay the issue fee or any portion thereof, the required reply must include payment of the issue fee or any outstanding balance. In an application, abandoned for failure to pay the publication fee, the required reply must include payment of the publication fee.

(d)

Terminal disclaimer. (1) Any petition to revive pursuant to this section in a design application must be accompanied by a terminal disclaimer and fee as set forth in § 1.321 dedicating to the public a terminal part of the term of any patent granted thereon equivalent to the period of abandonment of the application. Any petition to revive pursuant to this section in either a utility or plant application filed before June 8, 1995, must be accompanied by a terminal disclaimer and fee as set forth in § 1.321 dedicating to the public a terminal part of the term of any patent granted thereon equivalent to the lesser of:

(i)

The period of abandonment of the application; or

(ii)

The period extending beyond twenty years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States or, if the application contains a specific reference to an earlier filed application(s) under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, or 365(c), from the date on which the earliest such application was filed.

(2)

Any terminal disclaimer pursuant to paragraph (d)(1) of this section must also apply to any patent granted on a continuing utility or plant application filed before June 8, 1995, or a continuing design application, that contains a specific reference under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, or 365(c) to the application for which revival is sought.

(3)

The provisions of paragraph (d)(1) of this section do not apply to applications for which revival is sought solely for purposes of copendency with a utility or plant application filed on or after June 8, 1995, to lapsed patents, to reissue applications, or to reexamination proceedings.

(e)

Request for reconsideration. Any request for reconsideration or review of a decision refusing to revive an abandoned application, a terminated reexamination proceeding, or lapsed patent upon petition filed pursuant to this section, to be considered timely, must be filed within two months of the decision refusing to revive or within such time as set in the decision. Unless a decision indicates otherwise, this time period may be extended under:

(1)

The provisions of § 1.136 for an abandoned application or lapsed patent;

(2)

The provisions of § 1.550(c) for a terminated ex parte reexamination proceeding filed under § 1.510; or

(3)

The provisions of § 1.956 for a terminated inter partes reexamination proceeding filed under § 1.913.

(f)

Abandonment for failure to notify the Office of a foreign filing: A nonprovisional application abandoned pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 122(b)(2)(B)(iii) for failure to timely notify the Office of the filing of an application in a foreign country or under a multinational treaty that requires publication of applications eighteen months after filing, may be revived only pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section. The reply requirement of paragraph (c) of this section is met by the notification of such filing in a foreign country or under a multinational treaty, but the filing of a petition under this section will not operate to stay any period for reply that may be running against the application.

(g)

Provisional applications. A provisional application, abandoned for failure to timely respond to an Office requirement, may be revived pursuant to this section. Subject to the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 119(e)(3) and § 1.7(b), a provisional application will not be regarded as pending after twelve months from its filing date under any circumstances.

米国での特許存続期間は、出願から20年です。ただし、1995年6月8日以降、2000年5月29日以前に出願された特許に関しては、出願人にとって不利になる審査の遅滞があった場合、この遅滞分特許期間が延長されます。

また、特許が登録された後の手続としては、登録日から3.5年、7.5年および11.5年目の計3回の特許料の納付があります。該当年の登録月日に登録料納付期間が始まり、登録月日6カ月経過後に納付期間が終了します。6ヵ月の年金納付猶予期間がありますが、猶予期間を利用して年金を納付する場合には、ペナルティーとして印紙代の50%(いわゆる「倍額期間」)が加算されますので注意が必要です。

なお、日本と異なる点として、米国においては、特許の復活がかなり広く認められることが挙げられます。不可抗力な場合だけなく、「故意でない」場合まで含みますからほとんどの場合救済されます。また、復活できる期限もかなり長いということがありますので、年金を納付しなかったとしても諦めるのではなく、米国の場合には何とかなる場合が多いので、復活にトライされることをお勧めします。

私たちがこのサイトに情報を提供しています!

  • 米国/日本弁理士 矢口太郎
  • 米国弁護士 竹下このみ
  • 米国弁護士 大澤淑子
  • 米国弁理士 小林明子
  • 米国パテントエージェント 尾城日奈子
  • 特許技術者 山口美紀

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日本での連絡先:
恵泉国際特許事務所
03-5298-6552(代表)