[논단] 미국특허법 상 QPIDS 및 IDS 제도, supplemental Exam 제도 요약
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첨부파일 : 미국특허법 상 QPIDS 및 IDS 제도, supplemental Exam 제도 요약.pdf

미국특허법 상 QPIDS IDS 제도, supplemental Exam 제도 요약

 

특허법인 유일하이스트

정의성변리사, 송해모변리사, 김은구변리사

 

미국특허출원의 경우, 등록결정 후 등록료 납부 전에 다양한 이유로 IDS를 제출할 필요가 발생합니다예를 들어 분할출원에 대해 의견제출통지서를 받게 된 경우.  이 경우 미국대리인이 QPIDS를 신청할 것을 제안하게 됩니다.  QPIDS를 신청하면 원래 등록결정이 취소되고 다시 RCE를 신청하게 되기 때문에 고객들이 이해가 어려운 경우가 많습니다.

 

이에 따라 미국특허법상 QPIDS 제도를 요약한 것과, IDS 제도, IDS를 위반한 경우 사후적으로 보완할 수 있는 supplemental Exam 제도를 미국대리인들과 주고받은 메일 등을 근거로 아래와 같이 정리했습니다.

 

1. QPIDS 제도

QPIDS는 등록 결정이 되어 등록료를 납부한 특허에 대해서 IDS를 제출하기 위한 파일럿 프로그램입니다.

등록료 납부 후 등록공고 전에 IDS 이슈가 발생하는 경우, 이용할 수 있으며 QPIDS를 신청하면 등록 건에 대해서 RCE를 청구하여 IDS 문건에 따른 등록 가능 여부를 재심사 받습니다.

재심사 결과 IDS 문건이 특허성에 영향이 없다고 판단되면, RCE 비용을 환불 받을 수 있습니다.

만약, IDS 문건이 특허성에 영향이 있다고 판단되면, 심사관은 등록을 취소하고 OA를 새로 발행합니다.

 

결론적으로, 위 내용들을 고려하시어 하기 두 가지 방안 중 하나를 선택할 수 있습니다.

1)    등록 결정이 되었으나, 권리안정성 측면에서 RCE 비용을 납부하고 QPIDS를 제출하여 심사관 판단을 받아보는 방안

2)     제출해야 할 자료의 materiality가 약한 경우로 특허성에 영향성이 낮아서 제출하지 않아도 문제가 되지 않을 가능성이 높고 소송 발생 가능성이 낮으면 QPIDS 제출하지 않고 등록을 유지하는 방안

 

2. IDS 제도 및 supplemental Exam 제도

1)     IDS의 단계별 제출시기, 비용, 제출해야 되는 서류 등

답변) 여기에 대한 답은 아래 37 CFR 1.97 1.98을 참조해주십시오.  

귀사 고객에서 문제 되는 사항인 한국이나 외국 특허청에서 OA가 발생한 후 3달 내에 IDS에 제출할 의무가 있습니다.

 

2)     등록 이후(Post Grant)에는 IDS 제출 의무가 없는지 여부. (그렇다면 미국 특허 등록 이후에 외국 패밀리 특허 심사과정에서 중요한 선행문헌이 나온 경우 그를 제출하지 않아도 무방한지)

답변) IDS제출 의무가 특허가 Issue될 때까지만 있습니다등록이후에  외국 특허청에서 OA가 발생하더라도 IDS를 제출할 의무가 없습니다.

 

3)     IDS 의무를 위반한 경우 리스크(리스크가 적용된 실제적인 사례가 있으면 소개 좀 부탁)

답변) Material Information IDS로 제출하지 않을 시, Inequitable Conduct에 해당될 여지가 있습니다. Inequitable Conduct에 해당되면 추후 등록이 되더라도 특허를 행사할 수 없습니다. (Unenforceable)   이런 사례는 CAFC 판례에 부지기수로 많습니다다만, 2011년에 CAFC  케이스 Therasense 케이스의 판례에서 Material Information에 대한 기준이 높아진 이후로 Inequitable Conduct가 인정된 경우가 줄어든 경향은 있습니다

 

4)     IDS 를 지키지 않은 특허는 추후 Enforcement 시에 문제가 있을 수 있다고 하는데, 그를 사후적으로 해결하기 위한 절차(Post Grant Review or Inter-Partes Review?) 및 비용에 대한 정보

답변) IDS 의무 위반 때문에 특허가 Unenforceable된 경우 되는 경우에 대한 해결책으로 Supplemental Examination제도가 AIA제정시 도입되었습니다이제도를 이용해 IDS의무 위반에 대한 문제점을 어느 정도 Fix할 수 있습니다제출해야 될 사항은 아래와 같습니다다만 비용이 꽤 듭니다. PTO fee $4,400이 들고, 저희 대리인 비용은 $5,000~8,000 정도 들것 같습니다.

 

(1) An identification of the number of the patent for which supplemental examination is requested.

(2) A list of the items of information that are requested to be considered, reconsidered, or corrected. Where appropriate, the list must meet the requirements of § 1.98(b).

(3) A list identifying any other prior or concurrent post-patent Office proceedings involving the patent for which supplemental examination is being requested, including an identification of the type of proceeding, the identifying number of any such proceeding (e.g., a control number or reissue application number), and the filing date of any such proceeding.

(4) An identification of each claim of the patent for which supplemental examination is requested.

(5) A separate, detailed explanation of the relevance and manner of applying each item of information to each claim of the patent for which supplemental examination is requested.

(6) A copy of the patent for which supplemental examination is requested and a copy of any disclaimer or certificate issued for the patent.

(7) A copy of each item of information listed in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, accompanied by a written English translation of all of the necessary and pertinent parts of any non-English language item of information. The patent owner is not required to submit copies of items of information that form part of the discussion within the body of the request as specified in § 1.605(b), or copies of U.S. patents and U.S. patent application publications.

(8) A summary of the relevant portions of any submitted document, other than the request, that is over 50 pages in length. The summary must include citations to the particular pages containing the relevant portions.

(9) An identification of the owner(s) of the entire right, title, and interest in the patent requested to be examined, and a submission by the patent owner in compliance with § 3.73(c) establishing the entirety of the ownership in the patent requested to be examined.

 

별첨

37 C.F.R. 1.97   Filing of information disclosure statement.

·         (a) In order for an applicant for a patent or for a reissue of a patent to have an information disclosure statement in compliance with § 1.98 considered by the Office during the pendency of the application, the information disclosure statement must satisfy one of paragraphs (b), (c), or (d) of this section.

·         (b) An information disclosure statement shall be considered by the Office if filed by the applicant within any one of the following time periods:

o     

o    (1) Within three months of the filing date of a national application other than a continued prosecution application under § 1.53(d);

o    (2) Within three months of the date of entry of the national stage as set forth in § 1.491 in an international application;

o    (3) Before the mailing of a first Office action on the merits; or

o    (4) Before the mailing of a first Office action after the filing of a request for continued examination under §1.114.

·         (c) An information disclosure statement shall be considered by the Office if filed after the period specified in paragraph (b) of this section, provided that the information disclosure statement is filed before the mailing date of any of a final action under § 1.113, a notice of allowance under § 1.311, or an action that otherwise closes prosecution in the application, and it is accompanied by one of:

o     

o    (1) The statement specified in paragraph (e) of this section; or

o    (2) The fee set forth in § 1.17(p).

·         (d) An information disclosure statement shall be considered by the Office if filed by the applicant after the period specified in paragraph (c) of this section, provided that the information disclosure statement is filed on or before payment of the issue fee and is accompanied by:

o     

o    (1) The statement specified in paragraph (e) of this section; and

o    (2) The fee set forth in § 1.17(p).

·         (e) A statement under this section must state either:

o     

o    (1) That each item of information contained in the information disclosure statement was first cited in any communication from a foreign patent office in a counterpart foreign application not more than three months prior to the filing of the information disclosure statement; or

o    (2) That no item of information contained in the information disclosure statement was cited in a communication from a foreign patent office in a counterpart foreign application, and, to the knowledge of the person signing the certification after making reasonable inquiry, no item of information contained in the information disclosure statement was known to any individual designated in § 1.56(c) more than three months prior to the filing of the information disclosure statement.

·         (f) No extensions of time for filing an information disclosure statement are permitted under § 1.136. If a bona fideattempt is made to comply with § 1.98, but part of the required content is inadvertently omitted, additional time may be given to enable full compliance.

·         (g) An information disclosure statement filed in accordance with this section shall not be construed as a representation that a search has been made.

·         (h) The filing of an information disclosure statement shall not be construed to be an admission that the information cited in the statement is, or is considered to be, material to patentability as defined in § 1.56(b).

·         (i) If an information disclosure statement does not comply with either this section or § 1.98, it will be placed in the file but will not be considered by the Office.

·          

37 C.F.R. 1.98   Content of information disclosure statement.

·         (a) Any information disclosure statement filed under § 1.97 shall include the items listed in paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section.

o     

o    (1) A list of all patents, publications, applications, or other information submitted for consideration by the Office. U.S. patents and U.S. patent application publications must be listed in a section separately from citations of other documents. Each page of the list must include:

§   

§  (i) The application number of the application in which the information disclosure statement is being submitted;

§  (ii) A column that provides a space, next to each document to be considered, for the examiner’s initials; and

§  (iii) A heading that clearly indicates that the list is an information disclosure statement.

o    (2) A legible copy of:

§   

§  (i) Each foreign patent;

§  (ii) Each publication or that portion which caused it to be listed, other than U.S. patents and U.S. patent application publications unless required by the Office;

§  (iii) For each cited pending unpublished U.S. application, the application specification including the claims, and any drawing of the application, or that portion of the application which caused it to be listed including any claims directed to that portion; and

§  (iv) All other information or that portion which caused it to be listed.

o    (3)

§   

§  (i) A concise explanation of the relevance, as it is presently understood by the individual designated in §1.56(c) most knowledgeable about the content of the information, of each patent, publication, or other information listed that is not in the English language. The concise explanation may be either separate from applicant’s specification or incorporated therein.

§  (ii) A copy of the translation if a written English-language translation of a non-English-language document, or portion thereof, is within the possession, custody, or control of, or is readily available to any individual designated in § 1.56(c).

·         (b)

o     

o    (1) Each U.S. patent listed in an information disclosure statement must be identified by inventor, patent number, and issue date.

o    (2) Each U.S. patent application publication listed in an information disclosure statement shall be identified by applicant, patent application publication number, and publication date.

o    (3) Each U.S. application listed in an information disclosure statement must be identified by the inventor, application number, and filing date.

o    (4) Each foreign patent or published foreign patent application listed in an information disclosure statement must be identified by the country or patent office which issued the patent or published the application, an appropriate document number, and the publication date indicated on the patent or published application.

o    (5) Each publication listed in an information disclosure statement must be identified by publisher, author (if any), title, relevant pages of the publication, date, and place of publication.

·         (c) When the disclosures of two or more patents or publications listed in an information disclosure statement are substantively cumulative, a copy of one of the patents or publications as specified in paragraph (a) of this section may be submitted without copies of the other patents or publications, provided that it is stated that these other patents or publications are cumulative.

·         (d) A copy of any patent, publication, pending U.S. application or other information, as specified in paragraph (a) of this section, listed in an information disclosure statement is required to be provided, even if the patent, publication, pending U.S. application or other information was previously submitted to, or cited by, the Office in an earlier application, unless:

o     

o    (1) The earlier application is properly identified in the information disclosure statement and is relied on for an earlier effective filing date under 35 U.S.C. 120; and

(2) The information disclosure statement submitted in the earlier application complies with paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section.

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