Petitions to correct, modify or “expunge” assignment records are rarely granted and will not result in the removal of a document from the assignment records. Such petitions are granted only if the petitioner can prove that:
- (A) the normal corrective procedures outlined in MPEP § 323.01(a) through § 323.01(c) will not provide the petitioner with adequate relief; and
- (B) the integrity of the assignment records will not be affected by granting the petition.
Assignment records are recognized as distinct from application file records. Even if a petition to “expunge” a document is granted with respect to a particular application or patent, the image of the recorded document will remain in the records of the Assignment Services Division at the same reel and frame number, and the image will appear when someone views that reel and frame number. The Office will, however, delete the links to the application or patent that was the subject of the petition, so that no information about the recorded document will appear when someone searches for that application or patent number in the Assignment Historical Database. A redacted version of the “expunged” document must be recorded and will appear in the assignment records instead of the “expunged” document upon the granting of the petition. An additional assignment of the “correct” document may be recorded in addition to the redacted version where the redacted version is incomplete or the original document was not correct.