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Sales, Public Disclosure, and the One-Year Grace Period

The America Invents Act (AIA) changed a number of provisions in the Patent Act (Title 35, U.S.C.). While many of these changes have not yet been subjected to scrutiny through litigation, a large number have been the subject of analysis by the USPTO, by virtue of their implementation into the rules of patent examination. Among […]

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Federal Circuit-Statements in Application Properly Used to Enable Prior Art

One of the basic requirements for the grant of a patent by the USPTO is the invention must be shown to be “new.”In practice, this means that the invention must be sufficiently different from the existing prior art, including patents, publications, and existing products. However, in order for a piece of prior art to preclude […]

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Streamlined, Expedited Patent Appeal Program for Small Entities Announced by USPTO

As of September 18, 2015, small or micro entities with only a single ex parte appeal pending before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) will be able to expedite review of their appeal in exchange for streamlining the process. According to the information provided on the USPTO website, the criteria for qualification for this […]

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Patent Office Extends After Final Consideration Pilot Program

The After Final Consideration Pilot (AFCP 2.0) program provides patent applicants at the USPTO with the opportunity to address issues that may remain in an application after a final rejection has issued. The AFCP 2.0 program is something of an exception to typical procedure, wherein a patent examiner has considerable discretion as to whether to […]

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New Changes Proposed for PTAB Trial Proceedings Rules

USPTO Director Michelle K. Lee discussed proposed rule changes in herblog post for Wednesday, August 19. The first set of rules governing inter partes review, post-grant review, and covered business method patent proceedings was issued in 2012 and a number public comment sessions were held to gather feedback on these rules. In March of 2015, […]

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New Patent Application Alert Service

The USPTO is now offering a Patent Application Alert Service (PAAS) that allows subscribers to stay current with patent application pre-grant publications that may be relevant or of interest. A subscriber will receive a weekly email alert  that is customizable to a search criteria set by the subscriber. Each email will also contain direct links […]

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USPTO Issues Updated Guidance on Patent Eligibility

Patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. ยง 101 has been an area of significant change in recent years.  Several Supreme Court decisions have changed our understanding of what does and does not qualify for patent protection.  These decisions, in turn, have required a change in the procedures implemented by the USPTO during the examination of patents. […]

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Google Patents and Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC)

Users of Google Patents might have noticed a recent update. In addition to a new interface and layout, the most exciting innovation is an improved searching function. As background, patentability requires an invention be novel and non-obvious. To determine whether these legal requirements are satisfied, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) substantively examines pending patent […]

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USPTO Announces Expedited Patent Appeal Program

On June 15, 2015, the USPTO announced in a Federal Register Notice that they will be commencing the Expedited Patent Appeal Pilot Program. This initial program will be available until either 2,000 ex parte patent appeals are expedited under the program, or until June 20, 2016, whichever occurs first. Typically, appeals are taken up by […]

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Michelle Lee Confirmed as USPTO Director

The Senate on Monday confirmed the White House’s nominee for the long-vacant director position at the USPTO. Director Lee had been serving as Deputy Director and acting Director for over a year, pending the nomination process. Director Lee takes over for former-Director Kappos, who left the position in February 2013. The confirmation has been both […]

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