This website illustrates how Civil Engineers may make greater use of the Global Patent System to Promote Progress in their Field.
The American Founders included Patent Rights in the United States Constitution to Promote Progress.
U.S. Patenting
     The patent laws provide the Civil Engineering Patent Applicant with the reissue procedure as a tool to correct mistakes in an issued patent.  Unlike the minor typographical errors corrected by a Certificate of Correction, reissue corrects more serious errors in an issued patent by essentially allowing the Applicant to reopen prosecution of that patent.  Because reissue reopens prosecution before the USPTO, the agency accordingly charges similar fees for reissue as it charges for original patent filing and prosecution (e.g., see Patent Filing, RCE, and Allowance and Issue).    

Prior to the 2011 Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, to commence reissue, an inventor had to declare that the issued patent was defective, and that the defect arose through error without deceptive intent.  Leahy-Smith modified the requirements, eliminating the deceptive intent requirement, and allowing an assignee of the entire interest of an issued patent, often the inventorís employing corporation, to commence reissue.  Serious errors in the specification or drawings, and incorrect claim scope in light of the prior art often spawn the defect requiring correction by reissue.  In one typical scenario for reissue, the Applicant may learn of a prior art reference that could invalidate a patent after that patent issues, and therefore proactively initiates reissue to narrow the patent claims to overcome the prior reference prior to litigation.  If the defect requires broadening claim scope, then the patent laws require that reissue commence within two years of the defective patentís issue.
Tappan Zee Bridge in New York
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