DEFINITION of 'Patent Reexamination'
A process conducted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on a patent that already has been issued in order to verify the claims and scope of the patent. A patent reexamination is usually brought about by the original patent holder when that party feels another party has produced a product or service that infringes on its patent. Both parties are given the opportunity to state their cases in writing, and then the USPTO will render its judgment. The reexamination process originated as a cheaper and faster way to settle patent disputes rather than through litigation.
BREAKING DOWN 'Patent Reexamination'
Patents and other intellectual properties are an extremely valuable asset for a company - one worth protecting. In certain industries, such as technology and generic drugs, patent disputes involve very large stakes in today's marketplace, and the outcome of a patent reexamination or trial can cause big swings in the underlying stocks of the companies involved.