2015年1月21日 星期三

CIP母案可能為CIP案先前技術的討論

這個問題來自原本CIP(Continuation-In-Part)案的設計是除了可以加上新技術(new matter)外,還可引用母案作為優先權日(這端賴是否具有母案揭露內容支持的權利範圍),如此也排除了自己的母案作為先前技術的阻礙,不過在某些情況下,CIP的審查意見中仍可引用了CIP案自己的母案作為先前技術

其實,當決定要提出CIP時,其實同時也應考量是否用全新的申請案進行,不過,因為有以上幾個優點,CIP案還是不錯的選擇。

問題一:是否CIP案就直接繼承了母案的優先權日?

不,這還要看部分權利範圍所界定的發明(subject matter)是否已經在母案揭露內容中;如果都沒有,顯然優先權日已經無用。

問題二:是否CIP案可以免除母案揭露內容的阻礙?

不,這與優先權考量差不多,當CIP某請求項新增了未揭示於母案的技術,母案優先權則不適用該項權利範圍(逐項考量是否繼承母案優先權日),而且,CIP案的申請日往往也超過母案申請日公開日(updated)後1年,也就失去"1年"申請人自己揭露內容的優惠期,於是,母案即可用來作為CIP案該項未被母案支持的請求項的引證前案

MPEP 2133.01
When applicant files a continuation-in-part whose claims are not supported by the parent application, the effective filing date is the filing date of the child CIP. Any prior art disclosing the invention or an obvious variant thereof having a critical reference date more than 1 year prior to the filing date of the child will bar the issuance of a patent under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(b)....

相關案例為「Santarus, Inc. v. Par Pharmaceutical, Inc., 694 F.3d 1344 (Fed. Cir. 2012)」,可參考本部落格先前討論:http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2014/10/cip-santarus-v-par-pharma-fed-cir-2012.html(CIP案被自己母案阻礙的案例)

一點點結論:
  1. 專利案,包括CIP案,每項請求項的優先權是逐項判斷的(claim-by-claim basis)
  2. 審查CIP案的權利範圍時,審查單位應判斷出哪些請求項具有新增技術,哪些都是繼承自母案的技術
  3. CIP案中有關新增技術的請求項會失去與先申請案(母案)的聯繫
  4. 如果CIP案申請日距離母案公開日超過一年,母案可能會成為核駁CIP案的先前技術,甚至CIP案本質已經暗示審查委員可以引用母案作出審查意見

以上「CIP母案可能為CIP案的先前技術」 較少見於AIA改革法案之前的實務,因為那是先發明主義的年代;另一個可能的理由是,當申請人提出CIP時,不必要交待那一項範圍是新的發明標的(new subject matter),也沒有義務要提到何謂新增技術,於是,專利審查委員也就不細查新增技術,於是也就確定是否引用母案是否會有爭議,就不引證了,因為其中還牽扯一些發明完成日的可能爭議!

但卻可能常見於AIA改革法案之後的CIP申請案的核駁理由中,理由是排除自己揭露內容1年的優惠期是僅參考CIP申請日,不考慮發明完成日,且已經刪除原本103(c)排除自己先前申請案的優惠。


CIP母案成為CIP案的先前技術,這個核駁理由應該就是103。

應用:
  • CIP不一定是因為應付核駁理由所做的決定,這時常常是已經超過母案申請日公開日(updated)一年了。
  • 盡量於母案申請後而未早期公開(或公告)的時間內提出CIP案。
  • 最好是母案申請後一年內提出CIP案,這是CIP案多半是因為有新的研發技術產生。
  • 如果有CIP的打算,可重新考慮申請新案。
資料參考:
http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/beware-of-the-cipparent-applications-ca-63798/

這個參考資料中提到,若母案在pre-AIA(AIA先申請主義實施前)提出,一般來說,延續案應該繼承母案的優先權日等pre-AIA法規的好處;不過,可以新增技術的CIP案則可能發生在post-AIA(AIA實施後),這樣就可能失去與繼承母案好處的連結。


法條參考:

MPEP 2133 Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(b)pre-AIA
II.   THE 1-YEAR TIME BAR IS MEASURED FROM THE U.S. FILING DATE
If one discloses his or her own work more than 1 year before the filing of the patent application, that person is barred from obtaining a patent. In re Katz, 687 F.2d 450, 454, 215 USPQ 14, 17 (CCPA 1982). The 1-year time bar is measured from the U.S. filing date. Thus, applicant will be barred from obtaining a patent if the public came into possession of the invention on a date before the 1-year grace period ending with the U.S. filing date. It does not matter how the public came into possession of the invention. Public possession could occur by a public use, public sale, a publication, a patent or any combination of these. In addition, the prior art need not be identical to the claimed invention but will bar patentability if it is an obvious variant thereof. In re Foster, 343 F.2d 980, 145 USPQ 166 (CCPA 1966). See MPEP § 706.02 regarding the effective U.S. filing date of an application. 



MPEP 2136.02 Content of the Prior Art Available Against the Claimspre-AIA
...Likewise, subject matter which is disclosed in a parent application, but not included in the child continuation-in-part (CIP) cannot be relied on in a pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) rejection over the issued or published CIP....

pre-AIA 美國專利法第102(e)條(http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2008/09/102e.html),比申請日的前案,但如果先前申請案是相同申請案申請人,可以排除被引用作為進步性的核駁理由。

pre-AIA 103(c)(pre-AIA,可排除自己的公開前案
(1) Subject matter developed by another person, which qualifies as prior art only under one or more of subsections (e), (f), and (g) of section 102 of this title, shall not preclude patentability under this section where the subject matter and the claimed invention were, at the time the claimed invention was made, owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.
(2) For purposes of this subsection, subject matter developed by another person and a claimed invention shall be deemed to have been owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person if -
     (A) the claimed invention was made by or on behalf of parties to a joint research agreement that was in effect on or before the date the claimed invention was made;
     (B) the claimed invention was made as a result of activities undertaken within the scope of the joint research agreement; and
     (C) the application for patent for the claimed invention discloses or is amended to disclose the names of the parties to the joint research agreement.
(3) For purposes of paragraph (2), the term "joint research agreement" means a written contract, grant, or cooperative agreement entered into by two or more persons or entities for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work in the field of the claimed invention.

post-AIA
美國專利改革法案後的103條款(http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2012/10/103.html


Ron

2 則留言:

Sam Huang 提到...
作者已經移除這則留言。
Sam Huang 提到...

理論上是這樣子沒錯
但實務上面臨一個問題
審查官沒有那種美國時間(咦?)
去逐一釐清子案各請求項跟母案之間的關係
所以中間就會有些好處產生