(a) Whoever, without the consent of the patentee, marks upon, or affixes to, or uses in advertising in connection with anything made, used, offered for sale, or sold by such person within the United States, or imported by the person into the United States, the name or any imitation of the name of the patentee, the patent number, or the words “patent,” “patentee,” or the like, with the intent of counterfeiting or imitating the mark of the patentee, or of deceiving the public and inducing them to believe that the thing was made, offered for sale, sold, or imported into the United States by or with the consent of the patentee; or
Whoever marks upon, or affixes to, or uses in advertising in connection with any unpatented article, the word “patent” or any word or number importing that the same is patented for the purpose of deceiving the public; or
Whoever marks upon, or affixes to, or uses in advertising in connection with any article, the words “patent applied for,” “patent pending,” or any word importing that an application for patent has been made, when no application for patent has been made, or if made, is not pending, for the purpose of deceiving the public—
Shall be fined not more than $500 for every such offense. Only the United States may sue for the penalty authorized by this subsection.
(b) A person who has suffered a competitive injury as a result of a violation of this section may file a civil action in a district court of the United States for recovery of damages adequate to compensate for the injury.
(c) The marking of a product, in a manner described in subsection (a), with matter relating to a patent that covered that product but has expired is not a violation of this section.
(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 814; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(6), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4990; Pub. L. 112–29, §16(b)(1)–(3), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 329.)
Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §50 (R.S. 4901).
This is a criminal provision. The first two paragraphs of the corresponding section of existing statute are consolidated, a new paragraph relating to false marking of “patent applied for” is added, and false advertising is included in all the offenses. The minimum fine which has been interpreted by the courts as a maximum, is replaced by a higher maximum. The informer action is included as additional to an ordinary criminal action.
2011—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–29, §16(b)(1), inserted at end “Only the United States may sue for the penalty authorized by this subsection.”
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–29, §16(b)(2), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: “Any person may sue for the penalty, in which event one-half shall go to the person suing and the other to the use of the United States.”
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–29, §16(b)(3), added subsec. (c).
1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–465, in first par., substituted “used, offered for sale, or sold by such person within the United States, or imported by the person into the United States” for “used, or sold by him” and “made, offered for sale, sold, or imported into the United States” for “made or sold”.
Pub. L. 112–29, §16(b)(4), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 329, provided that: “The amendments made by this subsection [amending this section] shall apply to all cases, without exception, that are pending on, or commenced on or after, the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 16, 2011].”
Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(a), (b)(3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.