The deadline for submitting public comments on the USPTO’s proposed rules for patent trial proceedings is next week, April 9 and 10, 2012.  Specifically, public comments on the seven Federal Register notices containing the USPTO’s rulemaking proposals are due as follows:

  • Rules of Practice for Trials before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and Judicial Review of Patent Trial and Appeal Board Decisions—public comments due April 9, 2012;
  • Practice Guide for Proposed Trial Rules—public comments due April 9, 2012;
  • Changes to Implement Inter Partes Review Proceedings—public comments due April 10, 2012;
  • Changes to Implement Post-Grant Review Proceedings—public comments due April 10, 2012;
  • Changes to Implement Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents—public comments due April 10, 2012;
  • Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents—Definition of Technological Invention—public comments due April 10, 2012;
  • Changes to Implement Derivation Proceedings—public comments due April 10, 2012. 

To help makes sense of these proposed rulemakeings (totaling 130+ pages in the Federal Register), my colleagues and I prepared a Legal News Alert which outlines some of the major provisions in each of the seven notices.  Courtenay Brinckerhoff has shared her first impressions on the rules packages, and I’ve pointed out three rules in particular that deserve a hard look.

Additional resources are posted on the USPTO’s America Invents Act webpage.  You can watch videos of the USPTO’s AIA Roadshow presentations on the ”Umbrella Rules“ (rules that will govern all patent trial proceedings at the Board) and on the “Specific Rules for Post Grant Review, Inter Partes Review, Covered Business Method Review, and Derivation.”

Now is your opportunity to be heard and to help the USPTO get these rules done right the first time around.  Once the rules become final, any significant revisions will require an entire new round of notice and comment. 

So…. speak up!