Eliminating Unnecessary Regulations
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) hereby amends the Rules of Practice in Patent Cases and Trial Practice Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) by removing provisions in the Code of Federal Regulations that are no longer necessary. This final rule removes the rules governing reservation clauses, petitions from the refusal of a primary examiner to admit an amendment, the publication of amendments to the regulations, and limits that the Director can impose on the number of inter partes reviews and post-grant reviews heard by the PTAB. USPTO has evaluated existing regulations to identify those that should be repealed, replaced, or modified because they are outdated, unnecessary, ineffective, costly, or unduly burdensome to both government and private-sector operations. USPTO carried out this work, in part, through its participation in the Regulatory Reform Task Force (Task Force), which the Department of Commerce (Department or Commerce) established in accordance with Executive Order 13777, ``Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.'' Removal of the regulations identified in this final rule achieves the objective of making USPTO regulations more effective and more streamlined, while enabling the USPTO to fulfill its mission goals.