The mission in the Patent Place of work would be to ensure the patent system contributes to a strong economy, encourages innovation, and fosters entrepreneurial spirit. In pursuit of this mission, the Patent Business office examines patent applications and problems patents after applicants satisfy the statutory requirements for patent protection.
Once the Patent Workplace issues a patent, the patent owner might judicially enforce the rights vested inside the patent by filing a patent infringement claim in federal court. An alleged infringer might defend against an infringement claim by asserting that the patent owner failed to comply with his duty of candor and good faith towards the Patent Office throughout the prosecution with the patent, thereby committing inequitable execute.
The Patent Office imposes a duty of candor and great faith on each individual associated using the filing and prosecution of the patent application. This duty extends to the patent applicant and his representatives, for instance attorneys and patent agents that assist in the prosecution or preparation in the patent.
A breach of this duty constitutes inequitable perform when an affirmative misrepresentation of the material fact, failure to disclose material information, or submission of false material details couples with intent to deceive or mislead the Patent Place of work. Since courts presume a patent is valid, a party seeking to render a patent unenforceable due to inequitable conduct should prove both materiality and intent by clear and convincing evidence.
As soon as a threshold acquiring of materiality and intent are established, the court balances the materiality of the data using the intent from the accused to determine if the equities warrant a conclusion of inequitable carry out. A finding of inequitable execute renders all claims of the patent unenforceable and may adversely affect related patents contaminated by the inequitable execute.