Monday, September 26, 2011

Intervening Rights

  • The doctrine of absolute intervening rights protects an accused infringer’s right to continue using, selling, or offering to sell specific products covered by reissued or reexamined claims when the particular accused product had been made before the date of the reissue or reexamination and the scope of the claims is substantively changed.
  • The doctrine of equitable intervening rights protects an accused infringer’s ability to make, sell, offer to sell, or use particular items of the same type that the accused infringer had made, purchased, or used before the reexamination even if the particular item was produced thereafter. It also protects a newly created product that was not of a type produced before the reexamination if the accused infringer made “substantial preparations” for manufacture of the product before the reissue or reexamination.