Last week the USPTO issued four Federal Register Notices with proposed rules to implement different aspects of the American Invents Act. Each proposed rule making has a 60 day comment period that expires in early March. As announced on the USPTO’s Leahy-Smith America Invents Act Implementation webpage, the USPTO will be carrying out an “AIA Roadshow” during this time period to discuss these and other forthcoming proposed rules with interested members of the public.
The First Batch Of Proposed Rules
The first batch of proposed rules relate to the following AIA provisions:
- Third party submission of prior art in a patent application
- Citation of prior art in a patent file
- OED Statute of Limitations
- Inventor’s oath and declaration
The comment period for the first three items expires March 5, 2012, while the comment period for the last item expires March 6, 2012.
I will be writing about the proposed rules in more detail in future articles.
Forthcoming Proposed Rules
Still to come are proposed rules relating to the following AIA provisions:
- Supplemental examination
- Post-grant review
- Inter partes review
- Transitional program for covered business methods
- Derivation proceedings
The AIA Roadshow
The USPTO’s Leahy-Smith America Invents Act Implementation webpage provides the following schedule for public meetings:
|Friday, February 17||USPTO Campus||Alexandria, VA|
|Friday, February 24||Sunnyvale Public Library||Sunnyvale, CA|
|Monday, February 27||Marriott Library, University of Utah||Salt Lake City, UT|
|Wednesday, February 29||Dallas Public Library||Dallas, TX|
|Friday, March 2||Broward County Main Library||Ft. Lauderdale, FL|
|Monday, March 5||Boston Public Library||Boston, MA|
|Wednesday, March 7||Chicago Public Library||Chicago, IL|
According to the USPTO, each meeting will follow this basic format:
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM Welcoming Remarks
10:30 AM – 11:15 AM Patent Related Provisions
11:15 AM – 11:30 AM Break
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Patent Related Provisions
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Lunch
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM Contested Case Provisions
3:00 PM – 3:15 PM Break
3:15 PM – 4:30 PM Contested Case Provisions
These meetings should be a good way for attendees to learn more about the proposed rules and voice their concerns and suggestions.
The Time To Participate Is Now
Director Kappos urges public participation in his message about the proposed rules:
I encourage the patent community to provide feedback to USPTO on our proposals, so that together we can implement a 21st century patent system and create a 21st century patent and trademark office. I likewise encourage the patent community to attend one of our upcoming cross-country roadshows where we will discuss our proposals and receive direct input on them.
As I wrote previously, the AIA makes the most sweeping changes to U.S. patent law since at least the 1952 Patent Act. Although the statute itself is of primary importance, the implementing regulations will have a direct impact on the patent process, from filing to grant to post-grant review. In the coming months, we have a unique opportunity to shape the regulations that we will be working under for years to come, but we will have to do our part by taking the time to review the proposed regulations and provide our views to the USPTO.