What is a statutory invention registration in the US patent office? A patent SIR is not a patent, but can be used to keep others from getting a patent.
Sometimes you begin a patent application and things change. The change can take a number of forms. You may decide that you will not use the technology. You may realize that getting a patent may be problematical. You may run into financial problems and cannot afford to pursue the patent further. For whatever reason you decide you are not going to continue - but just in case you do not want any competitor to be able to patent your idea.
Enter the Statutory Invention Registration
Any applicant for a patent may request, at any time during the pendency of their pending application, that the specification and drawings be published as an SIR. It then becomes part of the public record and can be used as prior art against later patent applications.
But be aware - by using an SIR you are giving up any chance of getting a patent on this invention in the future.
How Does This Work?
The process is fairly straightforward. The request must include the following:
(2) A required fee for filing a request for publication of a statutory invention registration;
(3) A statement that, in the opinion of the requester, the application to which the request is directed meets the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 112; and
(4) A statement that, in the opinion of the requester, the application to which the request is directed complies with the formal requirements of this part for printing as a patent.
To insure that all of this is done properly the applicant can use a standard USPTO form [ PTO/SB/94 ], which can be downloaded from the US patent office web site.
NOTE: This avenue can only be used with filed non-provisional applications - not provisionals.
Should you Use It?
Not really. I frankly have never had a client ask for an SIR so have not had to consider it. But if they did I would advise them to think carefully about using it. All non-provisional patent applications filed after November 29, 2000 will normally be published after 18 months. Allowing that to happen rather than requesting an SIR is a desirable alternative since publication of the application is achieved without any waiver of patent rights.
The Statutory Invention Registration
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Mike Ervin - Cost Effective Small Business Patent Protection.
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