35 USC 131: Examination of application
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35 USC 131: Examination of application Text contains those laws in effect on June 15, 2024

§131. Examination of application

The Director shall cause an examination to be made of the application and the alleged new invention; and if on such examination it appears that the applicant is entitled to a patent under the law, the Director shall issue a patent therefor.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 801 ; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4732(a)(10)(A)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536 , 1501A-582; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, §13206(b)(1)(B), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1906 .)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §36 (R.S. 4893).

The first part is revised in language and amplified. The phrase "and that the invention is sufficiently useful and important" is omitted as unnecessary, the requirements for patentability being stated in sections 101, 102 and 103.

Editorial Notes


2002-Pub. L. 107–273 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 106–113. See 1999 Amendment note below.

1999-Pub. L. 106–113, as amended by Pub. L. 107–273, substituted "Director" for "Commissioner" in two places.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113 effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, §4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

Pre-Prosecution Assessment Pilot Program

Pub. L. 117–328, div. W, §106, Dec. 29, 2022, 136 Stat. 5521 , provided that:

"(a) Pilot Program.-Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 29, 2022], the Director shall establish a pilot program to assist first-time prospective patent applicants in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a potential patent application submitted by such a prospective applicant.

"(b) Considerations.-In developing the pilot program required under subsection (a), the Director shall establish-

"(1) a notification process to notify a prospective patent applicant seeking an assessment described in that subsection that any assessment so provided may not be considered an official ruling of patentability from the Office;

"(2) conditions to determine eligibility for the pilot program, taking into consideration available resources;

"(3) reasonable limitations on the amount of time to be spent providing assistance to each individual first-time prospective patent applicant;

"(4) procedures for referring prospective patent applicants to legal counsel, including through the patent pro bono programs; and

"(5) procedures to protect the confidentiality of the information disclosed by prospective patent applicants."

[For definitions of terms used in section 106 of div. W of Pub. L. 117–328, set out above, see section 102 of div. W of Pub. L. 117–328, set out as a Definitions note under section 1 of this title.]