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How can one challenge a patent or patent application?

If you have reason to believe that the patent is not valid or otherwise enforceable, there are several ways to challenge it:

-You can challenge it at the USPTO by filing a request for reexamination of the patent, or by filing an inter partes dispute such as a request for post grant review, inter partes review, or, for certain kinds of financial services patents, a covered business method patent review. -You can challenge a patent in court, either when defending yourself in a lawsuit brought against you for patent infringement, or by filing a declaratory judgment (DJ) action requesting the court to hold the patent invalid. -You can challenge a patent application by submitting what is termed “prior art” (e.g., references, publications, or descriptions of the disclosures described above made prior to the filing date of the application) to the USPTO. This must be done before the patent issues. You can search for prior art on your own or by “crowdsourcing,"" that is using an online community to assist with the searching. You can find a patent search “crowdsourcing” websites by performing an internet search. For more information about submitting prior art relevant to a pending patent application (rather than patent), please see our webpage on pre-issuance submissions.

An attorney can help advise you about the various options available to challenge patents and patent applications.

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