The United States Patent Law defines Statutory Invention Registration (SIR) as an invention’s publication by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
This publication is issued as per an inventor or assignee’s request. Still, there are a few conditions to be met when an applicant looks to get a patent application published as a SIR:
- The application should sufficiently describe his/her invention’s details to the public so that anyone with average skill in the art may be able to create and manufacture the invention without unnecessary experimentation.
- The application must meet the printing’s requirement, as laid out in regulations of the Director of the patent office.
- The applicant surrenders the right to obtain a patent on the invention within such period, as per the Director’s suggestion;
- The applicant must pay publication, application, and other processing fees, as fixed by the Director.
Earlier, the applicants used the statutory invention registrations to publish patent applications on which they no longer felt that they could obtain patents.
When they did the patent applications publication, they ensured that the inventions were in the knowledge of the public and no one else could later acquire a patent on them.
However, after the American Inventors Protection Act (1999), most patent applications that were filed in the US were published 18 months after their filing.
Once an application is published, an inventor should just let his/her application surrender patent’s right and bring the invention in public domain.
A SIR is a “prior art” under all applicable sections of 35 U.S.C. 102 including section 102(e) and a “constructive reduction to practice” under 35 U.S.C. 102(g).
SIRs are cross-referenced, classified and reserved in the search files, distributed to foreign patent offices, stored in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office computer tapes, generated in commercial databases, and declared in the Official Gazette.
Inventors or scientists who consider their invention not-patentable often request for Statutory Invention Registrations.
Requesting for the publication of a SIR ensures that no one else will be able to acquire a future patent for the same invention.
Where Defensive Publication (DEF) is published with the letter “T” in the publication number, the US Statutory Invention Registrations are published with the alphabet “H” in the publication number.