An error in a recorded assignment document will be corrected by Assignment Division provided a “corrective document” is submitted. The “corrective document” must include the following:
The new recordation form cover sheet must identify the submission as a “corrective document” submission and indicate the reel and frame number where the incorrectly recorded assignment document appears. The original cover sheet should be submitted with the corrective document. The corrective document will be recorded and given a new reel and frame number and recording date. The recording fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.21(h) is required for each patent application and patent against which the corrective document is being recorded. See MPEP § 302.06.
Corrections may be made on the original assignment document, for example, by lining out an incorrect patent or application number in a merger or change of name (see MPEP § 314).
Office policy regarding recordation of assignment documents is directed toward maintaining a complete history of claimed interests in property and, therefore, recorded assignment documents will not be expunged even if subsequently found to be invalid. See In re Ratny, 24 USPQ2d 1713 (Comm’r Pat. 1992). Once a document is recorded with the Assignment Services Division, the Assignment Services Division will not remove the papers from the record relating to that application or patent. See MPEP § 323.01(d).
323.01 Correction of Error in Recorded Cover Sheet [R-08.2012]
37 CFR 3.34 Correction of cover sheet errors.
- (a) An error in a cover sheet recorded pursuant to § 3.11 will be corrected only if:
- (1) The error is apparent when the cover sheet is compared with the recorded document to which it pertains and
- (2) A corrected cover sheet is filed for recordation.
- (b) The corrected cover sheet must be accompanied by a copy of the document originally submitted for recording and by the recording fee as set forth in § 3.41.
Any alleged error in a recorded cover sheet will only be corrected if the error is apparent from a comparison with the recorded assignment document. The corrected cover sheet should be directed to Assignment Division.
During the recording process, the Assignment Services Division will check to see that a cover sheet is complete and record the data exactly as it appears on the cover sheet. The Assignment Services Division does not compare the cover sheet with the assignment document (or other document affecting title). Once the document is recorded, the Office will issue a notice of recordation.
The party recording the document should carefully review the notice of recordation.
Typographical errors made by the Office will be corrected promptly and without charge upon written request directed to the Assignment Services Division. For any other error, the party recording the document is responsible for filing the papers and paying the recordation fees necessary to correct the error, using the procedures set forth in MPEP §§ 323.01(a) through 323.01(c).
323.01(a) Typographical Errors in Cover Sheet [R-08.2012]
A party who wishes to correct a typographical error on a recorded cover sheet must submit the following to the Assignment Services Division:
- (A) a copy of the originally recorded assignment document (or other document affecting title);
- (B) a corrected cover sheet; and
- (C) the required fee for each application or patent to be corrected (37 CFR 3.41).
See 37 CFR 3.34. The party requesting correction should also submit a copy of the original cover sheet, to facilitate comparison of the corrected cover sheet with the originally recorded document.
The party filing the corrected cover sheet should check the box titled "Other" in the area of the sheet requesting "Nature of Conveyance," and indicate that the submission is to correct an error in a cover sheet previously recorded. The party should also identify the reel and frame numbers (if known), and the nature of the correction (e.g., "correction to the spelling of assignor’s name" or "correction of application number or patent number" ). The Office will then compare the corrected cover sheet with the original cover sheet and the originally recorded assignment document (or other document affecting title) to determine whether the correction is typographical in nature. If the error is typographical in nature, the Assignment Services Division will record the corrected cover sheet and correct the Assignment Historical Database.I.TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS IN COVER SHEET THAT DO NOT AFFECT TITLE TO APPLICATION OR PATENT
If the original cover sheet contains a typographical error that does not affect title to the application or patent against which the original assignment or name change is recorded, the Assignment Services Division will correct the Assignment Historical Database and permit the recording party to keep the original date of recordation.II.TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS IN COVER SHEET THAT DO AFFECT TITLE TO APPLICATION OR PATENT
If the original cover sheet contains a typographical error that affects title to the application or patent against which the assignment or name change is recorded, the recording party will not be entitled to keep the original date of recordation. Rather, the Assignment Services Division will correct its automated records and change the date of recordation to the date the corrected cover sheet was received in the Office.
323.01(b) Typographical Errors in Recorded Assignment Document [R-08.2012]
If there is an error in the recorded assignment document (or other document affecting title) rather than in the cover sheet, the party responsible for an erroneous document (e.g., the assignor) must either create and record a new document or make corrections to the original document and re-record it. If an assignor is not available to correct an original document or execute a new one, the assignee may submit an affidavit or declaration in which the assignee identifies the error and requests correction. The affidavit or declaration must be accompanied by a copy of the originally recorded papers, a cover sheet, and the required fee for each application or patent to be corrected (37 CFR 3.41). See In re Abacab International Computers Ltd., 21 USPQ2d 1078 (Comm’r Pat. 1987).
323.01(c) Assignment or Change of Name Improperly Filed and Recorded by Another Person Against Owner’s Application or Patent [R-07.2015]
When the owner of an application or registration discovers that another party has improperly recorded an assignment or name change against the owner’s application or patent, the owner must correct the error by having a corrected cover sheet filed with the Assignment Services Division.
The owner should contact the party who recorded the papers with the erroneous information and request that such party record corrective papers. However, if the party cannot be located or is unwilling to file corrective papers, then the true owner must record the necessary papers with the Assignment Services Division to correct the error.
Specifically, the owner should submit the following to the Assignment Services Division:
- (A) a completed cover sheet identifying the application or patent against which the assignment was improperly recorded;
- (B) an affidavit or declaration (1) identifying itself as the correct owner, (2) stating that the previously recorded document was submitted with erroneous information, and (3) providing the reel and frame number of the previously recorded document; and
- (C) the required fee (37 CFR 3.41) for each application or patent to be corrected.
The affidavit or declaration should include a summary of the true chain of title to make it clear that the chain of title for the application or patent identified should not be considered altered by the incorrect assignment or name change, and a statement that the original applicant or patentee or last correct assignee has been, and continues to be, the owner of the application, or patent at issue.
On the corrected cover sheet, the owner should check the box titled "Other" in the area of the cover sheet requesting the "Nature of Conveyance," and indicate that the submission is to correct an error made in a previously recorded document that erroneously affects the identified application(s), or patent(s). The party should also write the name of the correct owner in both the box requesting the name of the conveying party and the box requesting the name and address of the receiving party; this is to make it clear that ownership never changed and that any assignment or name change recorded against the application(s) or patent(s) was erroneous.
323.01(d) Expungement of Assignment Records [R-07.2015]
Petitions to correct, modify or "expunge" assignment records are rarely granted and will not result in the removal of a document from the assignment records. Such petitions are granted only if the petitioner can prove that:
- (A) the normal corrective procedures outlined in MPEP § 323.01(a) through § 323.01(c) will not provide the petitioner with adequate relief; and
- (B) the integrity of the assignment records will not be affected by granting the petition.
Assignment records are recognized as distinct from application file records. Even if a petition to "expunge" a document is granted with respect to a particular application or patent, the image of the recorded document will remain in the records of the Assignment Services Division at the same reel and frame number, and the image will appear when someone views that reel and frame number. The Office will, however, delete the links to the application or patent that was the subject of the petition, so that no information about the recorded document will appear when someone searches for that application or patent number in the Assignment Historical Database. A redacted version of the "expunged" document must be recorded and will appear in the assignment records instead of the "expunged" document upon the granting of the petition. An additional assignment of the “correct” document may be recorded in addition to the redacted version where the redacted version is incomplete or the original document was not correct.
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