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§ 303. —  Determination of issue by Director.



[Laws in effect as of January 24, 2002]
[Document not affected by Public Laws enacted between
  January 24, 2002 and December 19, 2002]
[CITE: 35USC303]

 
                            TITLE 35--PATENTS
 
            PART III--PATENTS AND PROTECTION OF PATENT RIGHTS
 
CHAPTER 30--PRIOR ART CITATIONS TO OFFICE AND EX PARTE REEXAMINATION OF 
                                 PATENTS
 
Sec. 303. Determination of issue by Director

    (a) Within three months following the filing of a request for 
reexamination under the provisions of section 302 of this title, the 
Director will determine whether a substantial new question of 
patentability affecting any claim of the patent concerned is raised by 
the request, with or without consideration of other patents or printed 
publications. On his own initiative, and any time, the Director may 
determine whether a substantial new question of patentability is raised 
by patents and publications discovered by him or cited under the 
provisions of section 301 of this title. The existence of a substantial 
new question of patentability is not precluded by the fact that a patent 
or printed publication was previously cited by or to the Office or 
considered by the Office.
    (b) A record of the Director's determination under subsection (a) of 
this section will be placed in the official file of the patent, and a 
copy promptly will be given or mailed to the owner of record of the 
patent and to the person requesting reexamination, if any.
    (c) A determination by the Director pursuant to subsection (a) of 
this section that no substantial new question of patentability has been 
raised will be final and nonappealable. Upon such a determination, the 
Director may refund a portion of the reexamination fee required under 
section 302 of this title.

(Added Pub. L. 96-517, Sec. 1, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3015; amended 
Pub. L. 106-113, div. B, Sec. 1000(a)(9) [title IV, Sec. 4732(a)(9)(A), 
(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A-582; Pub. L. 107-273, 
div. C, title III, Secs. 13105(a), 13206(b)(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 
1900, 1905, 1906.)


                               Amendments

    2002--Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107-273, Sec. 13206(b)(1)(B), made 
technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106-113, 
Sec. 1000(a)(9) [title IV, Sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)]. See 1999 Amendment note 
below.
    Pub. L. 107-273, Sec. 13105(a), inserted at end ``The existence of a 
substantial new question of patentability is not precluded by the fact 
that a patent or printed publication was previously cited by or to the 
Office or considered by the Office.''
    Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 107-273, Sec. 13206(b)(1)(A), made technical 
correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106-113, Sec. 1000(a)(9) 
[title IV, Sec. 4732(a)(9)(A)(ii)]. See 1999 Amendment note below.
    Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107-273, Sec. 13206(b)(1)(B), made technical 
correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106-113, Sec. 1000(a)(9) 
[title IV, Sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)]. See 1999 Amendment note below.
    1999--Pub. L. 106-113, Sec. 1000(a)(9) [title IV, 
Sec. 4732(a)(9)(A)(i)], substituted ``Director'' for ``Commissioner'' in 
section catchline.
    Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 106-113, Sec. 1000(a)(9) [title IV, 
Sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)], as amended by Pub. L. 107-273, 
Sec. 13206(b)(1)(B), substituted ``Director'' for ``Commissioner'' in 
two places.
    Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 106-113, Sec. 1000(a)(9) [title IV, 
Sec. 4732(a)(9)(A)(ii)], as amended by Pub. L. 107-273, 
Sec. 13206(b)(1)(A), substituted ``Director's'' for ``Commissioner's''.
    Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 106-113, Sec. 1000(a)(9) [title IV, 
Sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)], as amended by Pub. L. 107-273, 
Sec. 13206(b)(1)(B), substituted ``Director'' for ``Commissioner'' in 
two places.


                    Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

    Pub. L. 107-273, div. C, title III, Sec. 13105(b), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 
Stat. 1900, provided that: ``The amendments made by this section 
[amending this section and section 312 of this title] shall apply with 
respect to any determination of the Director of the United States Patent 
and Trademark Office that is made under section 303(a) or 312(a) of 
title 35, United States Code, on or after the date of enactment of this 
Act [Nov. 2, 2002].''


                    Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

    Amendment by Pub. L. 106-113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, 
see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, Sec. 4731] of Pub. L. 106-113, set out 
as a note under section 1 of this title.

                  Section Referred to in Other Sections

    This section is referred to in section 304 of this title.



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