Certificates of Correction

An issued patent should be reviewed upon receipt for errors. Occasionally, an error will crop up, either because of a minor clerical or typographical error, or because of something the Patent and Trademark Office processed incorrectly. These errors can be corrected if caught soon after issuance of the patent.

If the mistake was the applicant’s fault but occurred in good faith, then a certificate of correction may be requested. A fee must be paid along with this correction request. Once the certificate of correction issues, the certificate and patent together will operate in law as if the patent had originally been issued with the correction.

Two requirements must be met for a certificate of correction to issue. First, the error must be minor: it must be clerical or typographical or equally small in nature. Second, the correction cannot include new matter or anything that would require reexamination. Therefore, substantial changes to the claims, or changes beyond minor clerical or typographical changes, are not proper for such a request. Anything that would affect the scope or meaning of the patent would require reexamination. If a certificate of correction is the not the proper vehicle for the change, then you must try to implement the change through a reissue application.