35 U.S. Code § 292 - False marking
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.
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”.
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.