Patents: Third Party Rights

Changes to the Patent Act & Patent Rules take effect October 30, 2019. One change that is very important to be aware of is the introduction of Third Party Rights.

Third Party Rights

Third Party Rights will now arise during the period of time after an applicant/patent owner fails to take a required action or pay a required fee. For example, third party rights may arise after the patent applicant fails to pay a maintenance fee, fails to request examination, or fails to pay the final fee. Generally, third party rights will start 6 months after the missed deadline & will end once the application is reinstated (or when the patent is revived). Third parties who practice the invention during this time will generally be able to rely on these rights to avoid patent infringement.

Best Practice

Accordingly, although an applicant has 12 months to reinstate an application after missing a deadline for a particular action or payment of a fee, it is in the applicant’s best interest to rectify the issue as soon as possible to avoid the introduction of third party rights.

The above content is for informational purposes only and is not legal or professional advice.