In most instances, the reissue-examination procedure is instituted by a patent owner who voluntarily files a reissue application as a consequence of related patent litigation. Some federal district courts in earlier decisions have required a patentee-litigant to file a reissue application as a consequence of the patent litigation. However, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held in Green v. The Rich Iron Co., 944 F.2d 852, 853, 20 USPQ2d 1075, 1076 (Fed. Cir. 1991) that a federal district court in an infringement case could not compel a patentee to seek reissue by the USPTO.
It is to be noted that only a patentee or his or her assignee may file a reissue patent application. An order by a court for a different party to file a reissue will not be binding on the Office.