Ex Parte Reexamination

Prior to the AIA, reconsideration by the PTO of patentability of an issued patent could be requested by Ex Parte reexamination or Inter Partes Reexamination. Ex partes Reexamination remained unchanged by the AIA but Inter Partes Reexamination was replaced by Inter Partes Review and Post Grant Review. Nevertheless, Inter Partes Reexaminations filed prior to September 16, 2012 will be handled under the rules prior to September 16, 2012. No Inter Partes reexaminations may be filed on or after September 16, 2012.

If certain threshold conditions are met, namely a substantial new question of patentability for an Ex Parte Reexamination or the likelihood that at least one claim will be found invalid for an Inter Partes Reexamination, is raised based on previously unconsidered patents or publications, these procedure effectively submits the patent to an examination process, much like that to which original applications are exposed, but with consideration of the previously unconsidered prior art. Ex parte Reexamination may be requested by anyone at any time, but only the patent owner participates in the reexamination proceeding. In inter partes reexamination, a third party requester may participate. For a comparison of Ex Parte Reexamination and Inter Partes Reexamination, see Ex Partes vs. Inter Partes Reexamination Comparison.