SIRs or Statutory Invention Registrations will no longer be accepted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) after March 16, 2013.
A statutory invention registration is (was) a publication of an invention by the USPTO made at the request of the applicant. Applicant’s had to meet certain criteria before a SIR would be published.
Historically, SIRs were used by applicants when they did not believe that they could get a patent on their invention. Publishing the patent application would place the invention(s) in the public domain so no one else could subsequently get a patent on that idea. It also lessened the likelihood that the applicant would be sued by someone that may have a similar invention. At least that was the theory.
In fact, almost all patent applications in the US have been published 18 months after they were filed in accordance with international treaties. The published patent applications serve almost the exact same purpose as a statutory invention registration.
Once an application is published, the applicant only has to either let the application go abandoned or expressly abandon the application to put the invention into the public domain. Additionally, you can, for a small fee, have the USPTO publish the application before the 18 month. So, as the chart above shows, there has not been a real call for SIRs in recent history.
This was considered during enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). It was agreed that provisions of 35 U.S.C. 157 pertaining to SIRs should be repealled.
The effective date of the repeal of SIRs is March 16, 2013, regardless of the filing date of the application. The USPTO will consider any pending requests for SIRs filed before March 16, 2013, but any SIRs requests filed on or after March 16, 2013 will not be accepted.
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– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +