Patent Reforms from AIA Going Into Effect – Comments on New Rules Available

May 29th, 2012

by John Harris

The U.S. patent system is moving inexorably towards adopting a number of new rules and regulations designed to implement the patent reform law “Leahy-Smith America Invents Act” (AIA). All provisions of this patent reform law, such as “first inventor to file”, will go into effect on March 13, 2013 (some are already in effect). Certain new rules will be ready to go before that date, however.

People interested in these so-called “reforms” to the patent system, how the system might work under the new law, and how to adapt to the new laws, may want to review information about these new rules and regulations.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently posted comments received in response to the Office’s several public notices on AIA implementation. These comments illuminate many potential complications in some of the new laws and rules. The comments can be inspected here.

The comments have been divided by subject as follows:
• Inter Partes Review
• Post-Grant Review
• Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patent Review
• Definition of Technological Invention
• Derivation Proceedings
• Umbrella Administrative Trial Rules and Practice Guide
• Genetic Diagnostic Testing
• Statute of Limitations Provisions for Office Disciplinary Proceedings
• Patent Public Advisory Committee Public Hearings on the Proposed Patent Fee Schedule
• Satellite Offices for the Nationwide Workforce
• Supplemental Examination and Revision of the Nationwide Workforce
• Inventor’s Oath or Declaration
• Preissuance Submissions by Third Parties
• Post Patent Provisions
• Leahy-Smith America Invents Act Implementation

The comments may, or may not, be given serious consideration by the USPTO as it enacts the new rules over the coming months. It is clear, however, that there are a number of complicated new provisions that patent system stakeholders will need to understand.

For further information about these new developments in patent reform, contact any attorney in the MMM IP Group.

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