USPTO Plans National Roadshow on AIA Implementation

The United States Patent and Trademark Office will once again take to the road in the Fall of 2012 to discuss implementation of the America Invents Act (AIA). The USPTO is planning to host eight (8) roadshows during September 2012 to share information about new final rules implementing provisions of the America Invents Act that become effective on September 16, 2012. The Roadshows are free and open to the public, and pre-registration is not required. Nevertheless, seating will be limited and is available only on a first-come, first-served basis. The USPTO has posted the agenda
for these Roadshows on their website.

The USPTO will webcast the roadshows during the first week (from Minneapolis, Alexandria, and Los Angeles) and post videos of those events on the micro-site. Copies of any written materials will also be made available on the USPTO micro-site devoted to the AIA Roadshows.
While attorneys are certainly invited to attend these Roadshow presentations, no CLE credit is available for attending any Roadshow event.



Scott McKeown, Partner at Oblon Spivak and Practice Center Contributor, sent in this article discussing the status of patent reform.

Further Fee Diversion Wrangling Unlikely

As the saying goes, “almost” only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Recent events suggest that patent reform can now be added to the list.

Last week, H.R. 1249 was passed by the House. A copy of the bill, with all amendments, is found (here). A helpful mark-up illustrating the differences between the Senate Bill (S.23) and H.R. 1249 is found (here). (Thanks to Brad Pedersen of Patterson Thuente Christensen & Pedersen for the mark-up). (more…)

PTO Director Initiates Reexamination against Gift Tax Patent in Week of January 10, 2011

Here is this week’s installment of Reexamination Requests from Scott Daniels, of Reexamination Alert and Practice Center Contributor….

In a very unusual step, the Director of the PTO has initiated a reexamination of U.S. Patent No. 6,567,790 claiming a method of estate planning (ex parte Request No. (17)). In its reexamination order, the PTO explained that Director initiates reexamination when it appears “that an examining procedure has not been followed which has resulted in the issuance of a claim in a patent that is prima facie unpatentable, and there is a compelling reason to order reexamination at the Director’s initiative.” 

In this instance, the original examiner’s failure to consider a specific article “has created an extraordinary situation” requiring reexamination.  According to the reexamination order, the article was not considered or discussed in the original prosecution, even though it disclosed the claimed feature noted by the original examiner as the reason for allowance.  Whether such methods related to legal and tax matters should be eligible for patent protection has been hotly disputed. (See also IPWatchdog’s post “Patent Office Orders Reexamination of Tax Related Patent” for more on this reexamination story). (more…)

New BPAI Appeal Rules Proposed

The following post comes from Scott A. McKeown, partner at Oblon Spivak, Practice Center Contributor and writer for Patents Post Grant.

Rules for Ex Parte Appeals to be Simplified

In recent years, the USPTO has advanced significant changes to the rules of practice for ex parte appeals to the Board of Patent Appeals & Interferences (BPAI). (previously proposed appeal rules). The past proposal was not exactly greeted with enthusiasm by stakeholders. In response, today’s Federal register includes a new, and much improved, ex parte appeals rule package. (here)

The new proposal, consistent with the spirit of Director Kappos’ administration to date, advances a refreshing change of pace. Previously the Office proposed increased formality and bureaucratic hurdles seemingly geared toward making USPTO appeal practice more burdensome and expensive to Applicants. The new rules, like many of the proposals of the Kappos regime, advance common sense solutions designed to simplify appeal. Yet, one of the proposed revisions could be used to frustrate the statutorily mandated special dispatch to be accorded ex parte patent reexaminations. (more…)

Lots of Support at Patent Office Three Track Public Meeting

Written by Gene Quinn (of and Practice Center Contributor)

[Tuesday] the United States Patent and Trademark Office held a public meeting on the so-called Three Track examination proposal, with everyone in agreement that the proposal is quite welcome, at least in principle.  On June 4, 2010, the USPTO published a Notice in the Federal Register setting out the preliminary Three Track proposal and setting Tuesday, July 20, 2010 as a date for the public to come to the Alexandria, Virginia campus to let PTO Officials hear their thoughts.  This public meeting proceeds the due date of written comments by a full month, and many of those who spoke explained they would continue to review the proposal and follow up with additional written comments.  For more information on the specifics of the proposal please see USPTO Announces New Examination Rules.

One thing can be said definitively: everyone thinks it is a good idea, no one has issues with accelerating applications (Track 1) or allowing them to remain on course as today (Track 2), but there were numerous concerns raised about applicants slowing applications down (Track 3).  The good news for the PTO, however, is that speaker after speaker highlighted the same or similar concerns, so it does appear as if there are a finite set of manageable considerations for the PTO to address.  In fact, the senior PTO Officials that I spoke with after the public meeting were extremely pleased and quite grateful.  I was told by one senior PTO Official that the points raised were all good and that the PTO intends to take them into consideration and address the concerns, along with whatever written feedback they receive.  What a refreshing change that will be! (more…)