Category Archives: USPTO Proposed Rule Changes

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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

Higher US Patent Fees On The Horizon

The USPTO has published a proposed fee schedule for patent fees likely to take effect October 1, 2017–the start of the USPTO’s next fiscal year. The proposed fee schedule makes “slight” changes to many fees, and more “significant” changes to RCE, ex parte appeal, and patent trial fees (among others). Written comments are due by December, … 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 Plans To Hike Patent Fees

The USPTO has published proposed changes to patent fees that it says will “slightly” increase patent prosecution fees–even though several common fees will increase by 10% to 25%. The proposed changes to the Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) fees reflect a planned restructuring of the IDS rules that could benefit applicants, but the other changes seem to … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Offers Small Entities One Streamlined Patent Appeal

In a September 15, 2015 Federal Register Notice, the USPTO announced a pilot program that will permit certain Small or Micro Entities to expedite a pending ex parte appeal. According to the Notice, the USPTO aims to decide petitions to be enrolled in the expedited patent appeal program within 2 months, and to render decisions in … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Pilots Expedited Patent Appeal Program But At What Price?

In a June 15, 2015 Federal Register Notice, the USPTO announced the Expedited Patent Appeal Pilot program, which will run until 2,000 ex parte patent appeals are expedited under the program, or until June 20, 2016, whichever occurs first. This program is more like the old “Dump One, Bump One” program that permitted an applicant to … Continue reading this entry

The USPTO Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance TRIPS Over Treaty Requirements

With thanks to my colleague Dr. Christopher Swift for his expert advice on the intersections of US and international law. The “Myriad-Mayo” patent subject matter eligibility guidance issued March 4, 2014 reflects the USPTO’s interpretation of Supreme Court cases interpreting and applying 35 USC § 101 to claims involving laws of nature, natural phenomena, and natural products, but the … Continue reading this entry

Comments On Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance Due By July 31

This week brings the July 31, 2014 deadline for submitting written comments on two USPTO patent subject matter eligibility guidance documents: The “Myriad-Mayo” Guidance issued March 4, 2014 (for claims involving laws of nature, natural phenomena, and natural products) and the “Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank” Guidance issued June 24, 2014 (for claims involving abstract … Continue reading this entry

How Long Is Too Long (Or Too Short) For Patent Application Pendency?

The USPTO is requesting input on the “optimal” targets for its patent application pendency metrics. The USPTO’s current targets are 10 months to a first Office Action and 20 months to grant or abandonment. The USPTO wants to know if you think these targets too long, too short, or just right, and will consider written … Continue reading this entry

Why Are Method Of Treatment Claims And Method Of Manufacture Claims Subject To Scrutiny Under The USPTO Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance?

The USPTO has asked for written comments on its patent subject matter eligibility guidance by July 31, 2014. In this article, I discuss why therapeutic method claims and method of manufacture claims should not be subject to scrutiny under the USPTO’s multi-factored § 101 analysis.… Continue reading this entry

Putting Structure And Function Into Context For USPTO Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance

The USPTO’s “Guidance For Determining Subject Matter Eligibility Of Claims Reciting Or Involving Laws of Nature, Natural Phenomena, and Natural Products” has been criticized for requiring a product to be markedly different in structure from a product of nature in order to be eligible for patenting, even though the Supreme Court has considered both structure and function when evaluating the … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Asks For Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Comments By July 31, 2014

In a June 30, 2014 Federal Register notice, the USPTO requested public comments by July 31, 2014  on patent subject matter eligibility under the recent Supreme Court decision in Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International and on the USPTO’s March 4, 2014 “Guidance For Determining Subject Matter Eligibility Of Claims Reciting Or Involving Laws of Nature, Natural Phenomena, and Natural … Continue reading this entry

How The Supreme Court Decision In Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Undermines The USPTO Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance

On June 19, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, finding that patents directed to “a computer-implemented scheme for mitigating ‘settlement risk'” were invalid as being drawn to a patent-ineligible abstract idea. Although the Court did not address patent claims relating to laws of nature or natural phenomena, … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Proposes Revised Patent Term Adjustment Rules For RCEs Under Novartis

The USPTO has published proposed rules for calculating Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) for applications in which a Request for Continued Examination (RCE) has been filed, after the Federal Circuit held in Novartis v. Lee that the USPTO’s original rules were not consistent with the PTA statute. While the proposed rules appear to follow the Federal … Continue reading this entry

Public Comments On USPTO Proposed Attributable Ownership Rules

The USPTO proposed attributable ownership rules would require the public disclosure of the “attributable owner” of patent applications and patents. In this article, I outlined some of my concerns with the proposed rules. Here, I provide a review of some of the written comments submitted to the USPTO in response to the Federal Register Notice. … Continue reading this entry

FTC PAE Study Would Collect Detailed Confidential Business Information From 25 PAEs

In the May 19, 2014 Federal Register, the Federal Trade Commission published a Notice and Request for Comments concerning its proposal “to collect information about Patent Assertion Entity (‘‘PAE’’) organization, structure, economic relationships, and activity, including acquisition, assertion, litigation, and licensing practices.” Written comments on the proposed FTC PAE study are due by June 18, 2014.… Continue reading this entry

USPTO Finally Updates Patent Term Adjustment Calculator--Sort Of

In a Federal Register Notice issued May 15, 2014, the USPTO announced that its Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) calculator finally has been updated to implement the changes to the PTA statute embodied in the Technical Corrections Act which was enacted on January 13, 2013, but has not yet been updated to implement the changes required … Continue reading this entry

Stakeholders Testify On Patent Subject Matter Eligibility

On May 9, 2014, the USPTO held a public forum on the USPTO’s new patent subject matter eligibility guidance (the “Guidance”), previously discussed here. In promoting the forum, the USPTO stated that it wished to “to receive public feedback from organizations and individuals on the Guidance.” The USPTO may be regretting it did not request … Continue reading this entry

Update From The May 9, 2014 USPTO Patent Eligibility Guidelines Forum

On May 9, 2014, the USPTO hosted a forum to receive public feedback on the patent subject matter eligibility guidance for examiners circulated on March 4, 2014. The USPTO heard formal presentations from ten speakers (including myself) and comments from audience members. Most speakers suggested alternative approaches to applying the Supreme Court’s “product of nature” and “law … Continue reading this entry

The New USPTO Patent Eligibility Rejections Under Section 101

Well, it’s happening. Office Actions with new patent eligibility rejections based on the USPTO’s March 4, 2014 Guidance are being mailed out to patent practitioners across the nation. While some new rejections under §101 were expected, others have been more surprising. The most frustrating ones I have seen relate to pharmaceutical compositions, methods of making pharmaceutical compositions, … Continue reading this entry

Update On Myriad Appeal And Announcing A Public Forum On The USPTO 101 Guidelines

Myriad has appealed the district court decision that denied its motion for a preliminary injunction against Ambry Genetics Corp. According to a report in Bloomberg BNA Life Sciences Law & Industry Report™, on April 14 , 2014, the Federal Circuit denied Myriad’s motion to expedite proceedings, but it is still possible that this Myriad appeal will … Continue reading this entry

The Complexities Of The USPTO Proposed Attributable Ownership Rules

The USPTO proposed attributable ownership rules would require the public disclosure of the “attributable owner” of patent applications and patents. As discussed in this article, the proposed definition of  “attributable owner” reaches far beyond title holder (assignee), and includes parties with standing to enforce the patent (including exclusive licensees), ultimate parent entities as defined in 16 … Continue reading this entry

The USPTO Does Not Need The Onerous Proposed Attributable Owner Rules

The Federal Register Notice promulgating the proposed Attributable Owner rules offers some lofty justifications for the rules. Because the rules have been promulgated pursuant to a White House initiative, they are likely to take effect in some form, but applicants and stakeholders should not miss the opportunity to submit comments and suggestions to the USPTO … Continue reading this entry

The State Of Vaccines Under The USPTO 101 Guidelines

In his State of the Union Address given on January 28, 2014, President Obama recognized the need for continued and increased investment in new technologies, including technologies specific to the biological and pharmaceutical fields. (Original Official White House Photo by Pete Souza, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0) How would “vaccines that stay ahead of drug-resistant … Continue reading this entry