Alien property custodian documents
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During World War II, the U.S. government seized approximately 47,000 patents and pending patent applications filed by residents of enemy and enemy-occupied countries. In the spring of 1943, the Office of the Alien Property Custodian (APC), the agency responsible for managing seized enemy property, authorized the U.S. Patent Office to publish approximately 3,000 pending applications.
These documents, which came to be known as APC publications, have the same format as issued patents but lack claims. They are identified by their application serial number, which is printed in the upper right corner. They were assigned class numbers but not subclasses.
Approximately 50 percent of APC published applications eventually issued as patents. The rest are presumed abandoned. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Public Search Facility has a complete set of APC published applications arranged numerically in bound volumes. APC publications are not included in the USPTO's internal or public patent databases, although some may have been filed in patent examiners' paper search files.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, 8th ed. August 2001, Rev. July 2008. See section 901.06(c) for instructions on citing APC publications.