Changes to Representation of Others Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) proposes to amend the Rules of Practice in Patent Cases and the rules regarding Representation of Others before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This rulemaking proposes to align the USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct more closely with the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct; to improve clarity in existing regulations to facilitate the public's compliance, including revising various deadlines, the procedures concerning the registration exam, provisions related to the revocation of an individual's registration or limited recognition in limited circumstances, and provisions for reinstatement; and to make non-substantive changes, increasing the readability of various provisions.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Responses to Office Action and Voluntary Amendment Forms
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 0651-0050 (Responses to Office Action and Voluntary Amendment Forms). The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the information collection to OMB.
Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, Ninth Edition, Revision of June 2020
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) issued a revision of the ninth edition of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP), published in June 2020, to provide updated information on patent examination policy and procedure (June 2020 revision). The MPEP provides patent examiners and the public with a reference work on the practices and procedures relative to the prosecution of patent applications and other proceedings before the USPTO. The MPEP contains instructions to examiners, as well as other material on the nature of information and interpretation, and outlines the current procedures that examiners are required or authorized to follow in the normal examination of patent applications and during other Office proceedings.
Extension of the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program
On June 29, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) implemented the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program, which permits patent applications pertaining to cancer immunotherapy to be advanced out of turn for examination and reviewed earlier (accorded special status). To date, over 500 petitions requesting participation in the pilot program have been filed, and 167 patents have been granted under the pilot program. In view of the continued interest in the program, the USPTO is extending it until June 30, 2022. All parameters will remain the same as in the original pilot.
Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is initiating the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program to provide for the advancement of applications out of turn in ex parte appeals before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). An appellant who has filed an ex parte appeal and received a notice that the appeal has been docketed may file a petition, accompanied by a petition fee, to expedite the review of his or her appeal. The Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program sets a target of reaching a decision on the ex parte appeal within six months from the date an appeal is entered into the Pilot Program.