Rules of Practice Before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences in Ex Parte Appeals; Request for Comments on Potential Modifications to Final Rule and Notice of Roundtable During Comment Period
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) is considering modifications to rules governing practice before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) in ex parte patent appeals. Previously submitted comments with regard to an earlier published final rule, particularly those submitted in response to a proposed collection of information, raised some public concerns which have been reconsidered by the Office. After further consideration of these concerns, the Office is issuing this notice seeking further public comment on possible revisions to portions of the final rule. In order to facilitate a full exchange of views, the United States Patent and Trademark Office is also conducting a public session and roundtable in connection with this request for comments. Following the public comment period, if the Office determines further action is necessary, a subsequent notice of proposed rule making would be issued to solicit additional comments on specific proposals before any modified final rule would be issued.
Revised Procedure for Public Key Infrastructure Certificates
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice on Legal Framework for Electronic Filing System-Web (EFS-Web) to set forth the current policy and procedure for using EFS- Web and to permit a holder of a public key infrastructure (PKI) certificate to designate a single employee of a contractor who may use the PKI certificate under the direction and control of the holder. The USPTO received many suggestions and inquiries from users of EFS-Web and the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system. In response to the suggestions, the USPTO is expanding the procedure for PKI certificates to permit a holder of a PKI certificate to designate more than one employee to use the PKI certificate under the direction and control of the holder in accordance with the revised PKI subscriber agreement and the rules and policies of the USPTO.
Procedure for Treating Rejected Claims That Are Not Being Appealed
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is considering changes to the procedure for handling notices of appeal and appeal briefs that identify fewer than all of the rejected claims as being appealed. Under the proposed procedure, if appellant files a notice of appeal, or an appeal brief, that clearly identifies fewer than all of the rejected claims as being appealed, the non-appealed rejected claims would be deemed canceled by operation of this action on the part of the appellant as of the date on which such a notice of appeal, or appeal brief, is filed, regardless of whether the appellant also files an amendment canceling the non-appealed rejected claims. The USPTO is requesting comments from the public regarding the proposed procedure set forth in this notice.
Admittance To Practice and Roster of Registered Patent Attorneys and Agents Admitted To Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this continuing information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Patent Cooperation Treaty Task Force; Notice of Public Meeting
This notice announces a public meeting to solicit public opinions on improvement of the USPTO's efficiency, operation and utilization of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
Request for Comments on Enhancement in the Quality of Patents
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has in place procedures for measuring the quality of patent examination, including the decision to grant a patent based on an application and of other Office actions issued during the examination of the application. The USPTO in conjunction with the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) has undertaken a project related to overall patent quality. This notice is one element in that endeavor. As part of this effort to improve the quality of the overall patent examination and prosecution process, to reduce patent application pendency, and to ensure that granted patents are valid and provide clear notice, the USPTO would like to focus, inter alia, on improving the process for obtaining the best prior art, preparation of the initial application, and examination and prosecution of the application. The USPTO is seeking public comment directed to this focus with respect to methods that may be employed by applicants and the USPTO to enhance the quality of issued patents, to identify appropriate indicia of quality, and to establish metrics for the measurement of the indicia. This notice is not directed to patent law statutory change or substantive new rules. It is directed to the shared responsibility of the USPTO and the public for improving quality and reducing pendency within the existing statutory and regulatory framework.
Pilot Program for Green Technologies Including Greenhouse Gas Reduction
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is implementing a pilot program in which an applicant may have an application advanced out of turn (accorded special status) for examination, for applications pertaining to green technologies including greenhouse gas reduction (applications pertaining to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy resources or greenhouse gas emission reduction). Currently, an application pertaining to environmental quality, or energy conservation, development of renewable energy resources or greenhouse gas reduction will not be advanced out of turn for examination unless it meets the requirements of the accelerated examination program. Under the Green Technology Pilot Program, applications pertaining to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy, or greenhouse gas emission reduction, will be advanced out of turn for examination without meeting all of the current requirements of the accelerated examination program (e.g., examination support document). The USPTO will accept only the first 3,000 petitions to make special in previously filed new applications, provided that the petitions meet the requirements set forth in this notice.