Copyright, Patents

Fair Use of Copies of NPL Made in Patent Examination

The American Institute of Physics and John Wiley & Sons Inc. recently filed a copyright infringement complaint against two U.S. law firms for making copies of copyrighted works and submitting them, without permission, to clients and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office during prosecution of client patent applications.  On January 19, 2012, the USPTO issued a memorandum stating its position on the subject.  The USPTO stated, “we believe that it is fair use for an applicant to make copies of NPL and submit those copies to the USPTO during examination in an IDS.  The USPTO takes no position on whether additional copies of NPL made during the course of patent prosecution (e.g. for the client, for other attorneys, for the inventor, or for the law firm’s future reference) qualify as fair use.”  A copy of the Memorandum from the USPTO can be found here.

Mark Wilson

About Mark Wilson

A licensed patent attorney in the MVA Intellectual Property group, Mark Wilson focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation and other complex business cases. Mark possesses extensive experience litigating patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret disputes, as well as counseling clients in obtaining, protecting, licensing and enforcing intellectual property. He has litigated intellectual property cases in wide-ranging industries and arts, including cases dealing with mechanical, chemical and electrical arts and Internet technologies. Mark also regularly litigates complex business matters, such as contract and unfair competition cases, and other commercial disputes involving the licensing, use or sale of intellectual property and related technologies.

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