Category Archives: Duty of Disclosure

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USPTO Access To Relevant Prior Art Initiative

In an October 25, 2018 Federal Register Notice, the USPTO announced staged implementation of the first phase of an initiative aimed at “leveraging electronic resources to retrieve information” of record in one patent application for consideration in another. While the first phase of the Access to Relevant Prior Art Initiative is limited to importing citations from a … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Again Proposes To Revise Duty Of Disclosure In View Of Therasense

More than five years after the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision in Therasense and its first proposed rulemaking under that decision, the USPTO has issued a new proposed rulemaking to adapt its duty of disclosure rule (37 CFR § 1.56) to the court’s decision. As set forth in the October 28, 2016 Federal Register Notice, the revised rule would … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Proposes New IDS Framework

Tucked into the USPTO’s proposed patent fee changes is a proposal to change the Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) framework. While applicants may welcome the simplified procedures for obtaining consideration of an IDS, they may have to adjust their patent budgets to account for new IDS fees, especially if they pursue corresponding foreign applications that might generate … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Proposes Changes To Rules Of Professional Responsibility, Elevates Duty Of Disclosure Over Client Confidentiality

In a Federal Register Notice published October 18, 2012, the USPTO announced proposed changes to its rules of professional responsibility that would replace the current rules with rules based on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, with some modifications. While most of the proposed rules are familiar, a few appear to elevate the duty … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Announces QPIDS Pilot Program For Post-Issue Fee Information Disclosure Statements

The USPTO has announced a new pilot program to permit Applicants to obtain consideration of certain Information Disclosure Statements (IDSs) after the Issue Fee has been paid without having to reopen prosecution. The “Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement (QPIDS) Pilot Program” takes effect May 16, 2012 and will run through September 30, 2012 unless it … Continue reading this entry

Public Comments Criticize USPTO's Proposed Rules For "Routine Discovery," "Patentee Estoppel," and Amendments in Board Trial Proceedings

As I previously pointed out, there are three proposed rules in the USPTO’s patent trial proceedings rules package that raise concerns and should be dropped.  Public comments on these proposed rules were due April 9-10, 2012.  Now that the public has spoken, let’s take a look at what people had to say about these three specific … Continue reading this entry

Help The USPTO Reduce The Paperwork Burdens Of Patent Prosecution

As announced in a recent Federal Register Notice, the USPTO is soliciting public comments on its information collection requirements, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. This is an important opportunity to highlight requirements that are unnecessarily burdensome and that may go beyond requirements authorized by statute. While my main paperwork concerns relate to the … Continue reading this entry

Will The USPTO Use The New CCD Tool To Lessen The IDS Burden?

I know that the USPTO is busy studying the America Invents Act and drafting its implementing regulations, but it is disappointing that nothing has been done to address the inefficiencies of the current Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) rules. This inaction is even more egregious now that the Trilateral Patent Offices (EPO, JPO, USPTO) have launched … Continue reading this entry

Beware The IDS Of March

The oracle told Julius Caesar to “beware the ides of March,” but patent practitioners have more cause for concern about the IDSs they will have to file in March. The McKesson Problem Federal Circuit decisions such as McKesson indicate that there can be a duty to disclose information from co-pendng U.S. applications, including Office Actions and cited … Continue reading this entry

New Duty of Disclosure for European Patent Applications

European patent applications filed on or after January 1, 2011 will be subject to a new disclosure requirement designed to support international worksharing efforts. The new rule will require applicants to submit copies of search results received from the national patent office of the priority country (the Office of First Filing, or OFF). Failure to comply with … Continue reading this entry

Will The Federal Circuit's Therasense Decision Solve The McKesson Problem?

This week the Federal Circuit heard oral arguments in its en banc rehearing of Therasense, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson & Co. As reflected in the en banc order, the court took this case en banc in order to reconsider—and hopefully reform—the law of inequitable conduct. The court’s decision could solve the McKesson problem and rein … Continue reading this entry

Next on the Agenda: Fixing the McKesson IDS Problem?

David Kappos has wrapped up his first year as Director of the USPTO. As noted in his blog, he has implemented a number of new programs and rolled out several new initiatives. Perhaps most importantly, he has fostered an atmosphere of cooperation between the USPTO and the stakeholder community. With that in mind, I again urge the … Continue reading this entry

Three Easy Solutions to the McKesson Problem

Federal Circuit decisions such as McKesson Information Solutions, Inc. v. Bridge Medical, Inc., 487 F.3d 897 (Fed. Cir. 2007), indicate that there can be a duty to disclose information from co-pendng U.S. applications, including Office Actions and cited references. However, the USPTO’s current IDS rules do not provide an efficient framework for citing information from a co-pending U.S. … Continue reading this entry