Clarifying patent law’s recapture bar
Abstract: Patent applicants sometimes amend their original applications in response to a patent examiner’s rejection — for example, adding or withdrawing elements so that the invention isn’t obvious and, thus, unpatentable. Such amendments can have long-standing effects, though, as one inventor learned the hard way when he tried to obtain a reissue patent. This article reviews the court’s ruling, which is a strong reminder that deliberately limiting patent claims will preempt the possibility of recapture in a patent reissue. A short sidebar highlights how a defective inventor declaration also doomed the reissue application. In re McDonald, No. 21-1697 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 10, 2022).