On September 16, 2012, the provisions for Supplemental Examination in the America Invents Act will take effect. A patent owner will be able to request supplemental examination of a patent in view of information presetned by the owner. A request for supplemental examination permits the patentee to “consider, reconsider, or correct information believed [by the patent owner] to be relevant to the patent”. This standard is broader than for reissues.

Supplemental Examination gives a patent owner the opportunity to submit art that was not previously consdired by the patent examiner. It will prevent later-file dclaims of invalidity on inequitable conduct grousn arising out of the owner’s failure to submit hte information during prosecution.

Author’s Note: Supplemental Examination expands the ability for patent owners to correct any mistakes or oversights in submitting art during the prosecution of the patent. Patent owners, especially those who plan on enforcing their patents, should review the prosecution history of their patents and use this mechanism to correct the mistakes and oversights to reduce the possibility that the patents will be deemed invalid later on.

For more information, visit the “AIA Implementation page(USPTO AIA Implementation)”:http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/index.jsp of the USPTO