Boykin Act Law and Legal Definition

Boykin Act approved on August 8, 1946 extended the U.S. patenting deadlines for citizens of former enemy nations. It was enacted for the purpose of restoring, to a certain extent, priority rights which may have been lost as a result of the international communications difficulties existing during World War II. The Boykin Act permitted a person who had filed application for a patent in a friendly foreign country during World War II to claim rights of priority of the foreign filing date as his date of invention in the United States, even though the foreign filing date was more than 1 year prior to the United States filing date. In return, the Act provided that the term of any patent issued thereunder would expire 20 years from the foreign filing date and that such patent could not be the basis of a claim against the United States Government for patent infringement. The Act specifically provided that if an applicant sought the extended rights of priority he must make written request, accompanied by a copy of his foreign application, to the United States Patent Office during the pendency of the U. S. application.

The procedure for processing applications requesting extended priority rights under the Boykin Act was provided by the Patent Office. The procedure required the patent examiner to acknowledge the priority request if all the proper papers had been filed. If the patent examiner found the claims allowable, he was to proceed and examine the foreign application to determine whether the claimed invention was disclosed in the foreign application, before granting rights of priority based on the filing date of the foreign application. The procedure also required a supervisory examiner to approve the action granting the extended rights of priority and also any action withdrawing previously granted priority rights. Further, a label was to be placed on the outside of the application file setting forth that the application had been given the benefit of the Boykin Act based upon a foreign application and that the term of the patent grant terminated 20 years from the date of the foreign filing date.