How Does a Patent Application Become Abandoned?
An abandoned Patent Application occurs when the Applicant does not meet United States Patent Office’s (USPTO) requirements in responding to the USPTO.
Are They Public Record?
Does an abandoned US Patent become public record when it is abandoned? It depends! For national security reasons, some Patents are kept top secret.
With the exception of top secret Patents, when a US Patent is granted the contents of the granted Patent’s USPTO file wrapper become public record.
As a general rule:
- When a US Patent Application is abandoned, the USPTO file wrapper for the US Patent Application does not become public record.
- A US Provisional Patent Application does not become public record.
Existing Patent Applications Available to the Public Include:
- Published Patent Applications
- Reissue Patent Applications
- Documents that were sealed as a condition of filing the Patent Application
- Arbitration records associated with a Patent Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceeding
- All documents and evidence entered in a US Patent’s Reexamination Proceedings’ records
Abandoned Patent Applications Available to the Public
- Unpublished abandoned applications (including provisional applications) that are identified or relied upon
- Unpublished pending applications (including provisional applications) whose benefit is claimed
- Unpublished pending applications (including provisional applications) that are incorporated by reference or otherwise identified
USPTO Legal Authority Regarding Public Records of Patent Applications
37 Code of Federal Regulations Section 1.11
37 Code of Federal Regulations Section 1.14
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