Wednesday, September 22, 2004

A Dark Side To Public PAIR? Recently, the USPTO has been touting the public PAIR system as a way for applicants (or other interested parties) to access the file wrappers of issued patents and public applications. Many people weren't aware however, that under 37 C.F.R. 1.14, once an application is published, ALL of the file wrapper becomes publicly available. That means any 37 C.F.R. 1.131 declarations ("swear-behinds") or 1.132 statements (oaths or declarations traversing rejections) will become public knowledge once your application publishes.

An interesting note here is that statements under 37 C.F.R. 1.627 (preliminary statements made pursuant to an interference), which are supposed to be under "seal" are now trumped by 1.14 - so everything now becomes available.

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