Patents Post-Grant: SNQ Review Options in Patent Reexamination

Patents Post-Grant: SNQ Review Options in Patent Reexamination

SNQ Review Options Vary Significantly Between Ex Parte & Inter Partes Patent Reexamination

As discussed back in March relative to inter partes reexamination, the proper mechanism for seeking review of a denied Substantial New Question Of Patentability (SNQ) may depend on the status of the claims of the proceeding. For example, where inter partes reexamination is denied as to certain claims of a request, the appeal of such SNQ denial is improper. Yet, if all claims are actively reexamined, denied SNQs may be appealed to the BPAI. Patent Owners may petition the finding of an SNQ in very limited circumstances. (i.e., an ultra vires Order) 

In ex parte patent reexamination, Patent Owners are now expected to appeal the finding of an SNQ based upon the June 25, 2010 Federal Regsiter Notice. Denied SNQs are only petitionable by third parties if reexamination is denied as to all requested claims.

Keeping the various options straight in your head can be a challenge. Below is a graphic that lays out the options for easy reference.


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