Tag Archives: Patent Term Adjustment (PTA)

The Goodlatte Innovation Act Proposes More U.S. Patent Reform

On October 23, 2014, Congressman Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced the “Innovation Act,” which is intended “to make improvements and technical corrections” to the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) “and for other purposes.” Although the bulk of the Act focuses on patent litigation, Section 9 includes significant changes to a variety of substantive provisions of U.S. patent … Continue reading this entry

A Look At The Technical Amendments To The America Invents Act (AIA) Made By HR 6621

On January 14, 2013, President Obama signed HR 6621 into law. The title of HR 6621 is “To correct and improve certain provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act,” but it also makes changes to other provisions of U.S. patent law, including the Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) provisions. This article provides an overview of the … Continue reading this entry

The Patent Term Adjustment Pendulum Swings The Other Way

On January 28, 2013, Judge Brinkema of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a decision in a different Exelixis v. Kappos Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) case (1:12cv574) (Exelixis II) that affirms the USPTO’s interpretation of 35 USC § 154(b)(1)(B)(i). Judge Brinkema’s decision in Exelixis II is in direct conflict with … Continue reading this entry

House, Senate Pass Changes To America Invents Act And Patent Term Adjustment

The Senate has passed a modified version of HR 6621, which focuses on changes “[t]o correct and improve certain provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act” and also includes other provisions unrelated to the AIA, such as those impacting Patent Term Adjustment (PTA). The President is expected to sign the bill soon, and it will take effect … Continue reading this entry

HR 6621 Would Add New Barriers To Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) Appeals

Although most of HR 6621 (introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith on Nov. 30, 2012) would make changes “[t]o correct and improve certain provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act,” the bill includes other provisions that are entirely unrelated to the AIA and that would dramatically impact patent term. The provision receiving the most public attention would … Continue reading this entry

District Court Invalidates USPTO Interpretation Of Patent Term Adjustment RCE Carve-Out

In a decision issued November 1, 2012 in Exelixis, Inc. v. Kappos, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has found that the USPTO’s interpretation and application of the “RCE carve-out” provision of the Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) statute is contrary to law. Although I wrote about some “RCE carve-out” challenges just … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Changes Post-Notice Of Appeal Patent Term Adjustment Rules

In an August 16, 2012 Federal Register Notice, the USPTO announced final rules that change the way that Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) will be calculated after a Notice of Appeal has been filed. The final rules generally follow the rules that were proposed in December of 2011 and treat “appellate review” for PTA purposes as … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Proposes To Close Post-Notice Of Appeal Gap In Patent Term Adjustment Rules

In a Federal Register Notice issued December 28, 2011, the USPTO announced that it is considering changes to the Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) rules relating to “appellate review by the Board.” I have written previously about the post-Notice of Appeal gap left by the current PTA rules, and believe that these new proposed changes would go … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Tweaks Patent Term Adjustment Rules To Accommodate McKesson-Type IDS Submissions

In a Federal Register Notice issued December 1, 2011, the USPTO issued a final rule that tweaks the patent term adjustment rules to permit applicants to promptly file McKesson-type Information Disclosure Statements (IDSs) without incurring a patent term adjustment deduction. The rule change took effect on December 1, 2011. (The Federal Register Notice indicates that … Continue reading this entry

Another Board Affirmance Found To Improperly Rely On A New Ground Of Rejection

Barely two weeks after vacating the decision of the USPTO Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences in In re Leithem as being based on a new ground of rejection, the Federal Circuit took similar action in In Re Stepan Co. While the Board in Leithem had relied on different characterizations of the cited prior art references, … Continue reading this entry

Federal Circuit Vacates Board Affirmance Found To Rely On New Ground Of Rejection

The recent Federal Circuit decision in In re Leithem highlights what some practitioners believe is a growing problem with decisions from the USPTO Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences: the Board’s practice of “affirming” a rejection based on a new ground of rejection. The court soundly criticized this practice when it vacated and remanded the Board … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Says Status Inquiry Triggers Patent Term Adjustment Deduction

Despite statistics on the USPTO’s Patents Dashboard indicating that the average time from a Request for Continued Examination (RCE) to the next Office Action is 3.8 months, I continue to experience much more significant delays of 9-12 months or longer. When I telephone examiners to check on the status of my applications, they are sympathetic … Continue reading this entry

ArQule Challenges Holiday Deduction From Patent Term Adjustment

In an action that has advanced to the summary judgment stage, ArQule, Inc. is challenging the PTO’s practice of charging “applicant delay” when a response is filed on the next business day after a deadline that fell on a Federal holiday. While a decision in ArQule’s favor could impact numerous patents, the single day at … Continue reading this entry

Proposed Changes to Patent Term Adjustment Rules--Looking a Gift Horse In The Mouth

On April 6, 2011, the USPTO announced proposed changes to the Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) rules that would award PTA for USPTO delay when an examiner reopens prosecution after a notice of appeal has been filed. While I have written previously about the gap left by the USPTO’s current PTA rules, I am afraid that … Continue reading this entry

Patent Term Adjustment - When Is An Action An Action?

Yet another complaint has been filed against the USPTO challenging Patent Term Adjustment. The issue raised in Oncolytics Biotech Inc. v. Kappos is whether a deficient Office Action that was subsequently vacated by the USPTO nevertheless satisfied the USPTO’s obligation to take action within four months of the applicant’s previous reply.… Continue reading this entry

Patent Term Adjustment - Is Equitable Tolling Available For Wyeth Problems?

Although it has been over a year since the Federal Circuit decision in Wyeth v. Kappos, Wyeth-related Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) problems continue. One issue raised in several pending district court cases is whether a patentee can invoke the doctrine of equitable tolling to bring a civil action more than 180 days after the patent was granted. … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Launches Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program

On December 8, 2010, the USPTO launched an Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program that will permit applicants to delay payment of search and examination fees (only) for up to 12 months for certain original U.S. non-provisional applications. Applicants who use this program will incur a $130 surcharge and, perhaps more importantly for applicants in pharmaceutical and biotechnology … Continue reading this entry

An Appealing Patent Term Adjustment Issue

Since the Federal Circuit decision in Wyeth v. Kappos, we have been applying greater scrutiny to the USPTO’s interpretations of the Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) statute. While we previously reviewed the USPTO’s calculations to ensure that the USPTO delays and Applicant delays were correctly counted in accordance with the rules, we find ourselves more frequently questioning whether the … Continue reading this entry

New RCE Docketing Delays Examination

Checking the status of a U.S. patent application after you’ve filed a Request for Continued Examination (RCE) can be confusing and disheartening. Even if you’ve filed several responses and conducted an examiner interview, the USPTO’s Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system will show the status of your application as “Docketed New Case—Ready for Examination.” A … Continue reading this entry

Proposed Changes to Missing Parts Practice Miss the Mark

The USPTO has proposed changes to Missing Parts practice, ostensibly in response to requests to reduce costs that are incurred one year after a provisional application is filed. It is hard to believe that the ability to delay the payment of certain fees would offer any significant relief to applicants. On the other hand, the proposed changes create … Continue reading this entry