Question #29 from the October 2003 (PM) patent bar exam is in the Prometric database.
On Thursday, February 6, 2003, applicant files an application for a design patent in Country X, which issues the patent on the filing date. In accordance with the patent laws, rules and the procedures as related in the MPEP, what is the last date applicant can file a U.S. design application to avoid any loss of patent rights?
(A) Friday, February 6, 2004 (assume not a Federal holiday).
(B) Thursday, February 5, 2004 (assume not a Federal holiday).
(C) Wednesday, August 6, 2003.
(D) Wednesday, May 6, 2003.
(E) None of the above are correct.
ANSWER: The correct answer is (C). See 35 U.S.C. § 172; MPEP § 1504.02. 35 U.S.C. § 172 provides that the time specified in 35 U.S.C. 102(d) shall be six months in the case of designs. Thus, to avoid a statutory bar under 35 U.S.C. § 102(d), the U.S. design patent application must be made within six months of the foreign filing, i.e., by August 6, 2003. MPEP § 1504.02 states “[r]egistration of a design abroad is considered to be equivalent to patenting under 35 U.S.C. 119(a)-(d) and 35 U.S.C. 102(d), whether or not the foreign grant is published. (See Ex parte Lancaster, 151 USPQ 713 (Bd. App. 1965); Ex parte Marinissen, 155 USPQ 528 (Bd. App. 1966); Appeal No. 239-48, Decided April 30, 1965, 151 USPQ 711, (Bd. App. 1965); Ex parte Appeal decided September 3, 1968, 866 O.G. 16 (Bd. App. 1966). The basis of this practice is that if the foreign applicant has received the protection offered in the foreign country, no matter what the protection is called (‘patent,’ ‘Design Registration,’ etc.), if the United States application is timely filed, a claim for priority will vest. If, on the other hand, the U.S. application is not timely filed, a statutory bar arises under 35 U.S.C. 102(d) as modified by 35 U.S.C. 172. In order for the filing to be timely for priority purposes and to avoid possible statutory bars, the U.S. design patent application must be made within 6 months of the foreign filing.” (A) and (B) are incorrect because they are after the six month period. (D) is not correct because it is not the latest date for filing as required by the question. (E) is not correct because answer (C) is correct.