Preissuance submission is a mechanism allowing a third party to participate in the examination of pending patent applications by submitting any printed potentially relevant publication. Any third party can submit for consideration and inclusion in the record of a published patent application, any patent, published patent application, or other printed publication of potential relevance to the examination of a patent application. For example, a published academic article or a product document could be submitted on the question of patentability, while a dictionary definition could be submitted for the question of indefiniteness.
The timing of preissuance submission is important. It has to be submitted before a notice of allowance of the subject patent application is mailed. A third party has at least a six month window after the publication date of a patent application to submit a preissuance submission.
Preissuance submission can be made anonymously. The anonymity allows third-party competitors to conceal their interest in the prosecution of a patent application. In addition, the filing party does not have the duty to provide the applicant a copy of the preissuance submission. Preissuance submission is an inexpensive tool for third-parties to actively monitor and participate in the prosecution of a competitor’s patent applications. For example, it allows a third-party to limit the scope of competitors’ patent applications. In order to take advantage of the benefit of preissuance submission, third-parties should timely review competitors’ filings.
If you have a question about preissuance submission or monitoring a competitors applications, please feel free to reach out to us via telephone or email. You may also fill out our online inquiry form and we will strive to get back to you within 24 hours.