Patent and Trademark Office April 2011 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Changes To Implement the Prioritized Examination Track (Track I) of the Enhanced Examination Timing Control Procedures
Document Number: 2011-10376
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-04-29
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
On April 4, 2011, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) published a final rule that revises the rules of practice in patent cases to implement a procedure under which applicants may request prioritized examination at the time of filing of an application upon payment of appropriate fees and compliance with certain requirements (Track I final rule). The prioritized examination procedure is the first track (Track I) of a 3-Track examination process designed to provide applicants with greater control over when their nonprovisional utility and plant applications are examined and to promote greater efficiency in the patent examination process. The Track I final rule states that the effective date is May 4, 2011, and that a request for prioritized examination may be submitted with any original utility or plant application filed on or after May 4, 2011. The Office is hereby notifying the public that the Track I final rule effective date and applicability date have been delayed until further notice.
Streamlined Patent Reexamination Proceedings; Notice of Public Meeting
Document Number: 2011-9805
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2011-04-25
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
This document announces a public meeting to solicit public opinions on a number of changes being considered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to streamline the procedures governing ex parte and inter partes reexamination proceedings. These changes are intended to achieve faster, more efficient resolution of the substantial new question of patentability (SNQ) for which reexamination is ordered. The proposed changes in this document are divided into three categories: changes to both ex parte and inter partes reexaminations, changes specific to ex parte reexamination, and changes specific to inter partes reexamination. After soliciting public opinions regarding this document, the USPTO may seek to adopt one or more of the proposed changes or a modified version thereof, or other changes suggested by the public, through a rule making or through internal operational changes as appropriate.
Public Advisory Committees
Document Number: 2011-9085
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-04-14
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
On November 29, 1999, the President signed into law the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act (the ``Act''), Public Law 106-113, which, among other things, established two Public Advisory Committees to review the policies, goals, performance, budget and user fees of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with respect to patents, in the case of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and with respect to trademarks, in the case of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee, and to advise the Director on these matters (now codified at 35 U.S.C. 5). The USPTO is requesting nominations for three (3) members to each Public Advisory Committee for terms of three years that begin at the expiration of the predecessors' terms, or on October 6, 2011.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2011-8502
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-04-11
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
Revision of Patent Term Extension and Adjustment Provisions Relating to Appellate Review and Information Disclosure Statements
Document Number: 2011-8275
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2011-04-06
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is proposing to revise the patent term adjustment and extension provisions of the rules of practice in patent cases. The patent term adjustment provisions of the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 (AIPA) and the patent term extension provisions of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) each provide for patent term extension or adjustment if the issuance of the patent was delayed due to appellate review by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) or by a Federal court and the patent was issued pursuant to or under a decision in the review reversing an adverse determination of patentability. The Office is proposing to change the rules of practice to indicate that in most circumstances an examiner reopening prosecution of the application after a notice of appeal has been filed will be considered a decision in the review reversing an adverse determination of patentability for purposes of patent term adjustment or extension purposes. Therefore, in such situations, patentees would be entitled to patent term extension or adjustment. In addition, the AIPA provides for a reduction of any patent term adjustment if the applicant failed to engage in reasonable efforts to conclude prosecution of the application. The Office is also proposing to change the rules of practice pertaining to the reduction of patent term adjustment for applicant delays to exclude information disclosure statements resulting from the citation of information by a foreign patent office in a counterpart application that are promptly filed with the Office. For example, under the proposed rule, there would not be a reduction of patent term adjustment in the following situations: When applicant promptly submits a reference in an information disclosure statement after the mailing of a notice of allowance if the reference was cited by the Office in another application, or when applicant promptly submits a copy of an Office communication (e.g., an Office action) in an information disclosure statement after the mailing of a notice of allowance if the Office communication was issued by the Office in another application or by a foreign patent office in a counterpart foreign application.
Changes To Implement the Prioritized Examination Track (Track I) of the Enhanced Examination Timing Control Procedures
Document Number: 2011-7807
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-04-04
Agency: Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is revising the rules of practice in patent cases to implement a procedure under which applicants may request prioritized examination at the time of filing of an application upon payment of appropriate fees and compliance with certain requirements. In June of 2010, the Office requested comments on a proposal to provide applicants with greater control over when their utility and plant applications are examined and to promote greater efficiency in the patent examination process (3- Track). The Office, in addition to requesting written comments, conducted a public meeting to collect input from the public. The vast majority of public comments and input that the Office received were supportive of the prioritized examination track (Track I) portion of the 3-Track proposal. While the Office is in the process of considering and revising the other portions of the 3-Track proposal in view of the public comments and input, the Office wishes to implement the prioritized examination track (Track I) now to provide the procedure for prioritized examination to applicants as quickly as possible. In February of 2011, the Office published a notice of proposed rule making to set forth the proposed procedure for prioritized examination and to seek public comments on the proposed procedure. The Office considered the public comments and revised the proposed procedure in view of the public comments. The Office, in this final rule, is revising the rules of practice to implement the optional procedure for prioritized examination. The aggregate goal for processing applications under prioritized examination is to provide a final disposition within twelve months of prioritized status being granted. The Office is initially limiting requests for prioritized examination to a maximum of 10,000 applications during the remainder of fiscal year 2011.