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Of submarines and interference: legal status changes following citation of an earlier US patent or patent application under 35 USC §102 (e)


  • Simmons, Edlyn S.
  • Spahl, Bettina D.


The changes in legal status of issued US patents which may result from the resolution of conflicts with patents of earlier date under 35 USC §102 (e) are reviewed. Some suggestions on how these changes may be tracked are provided. Resolution of these conflicts is often delayed by the existence of submarine patents, i.e., patent applications that have an earlier date but are published much later or are otherwise not known to the initial patentee. Resolution is also complicated by the "first to invent" concept in US patent law. The types of action resulting from the operation of 35 USC §102 (e) are described with reference to specific cases, and include interference, infringement and validity resolution, reexamination, reissue applications and disclaimers.

Suggested Citation

  • Simmons, Edlyn S. & Spahl, Bettina D., 2000. "Of submarines and interference: legal status changes following citation of an earlier US patent or patent application under 35 USC §102 (e)," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 191-203, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worpat:v:22:y:2000:i:3:p:191-203

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