New IDS rules approved by Office of Management and BudgetDecember 11, 2007

Yesterday the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved without change the USPTO's new rules regarding information disclosure statements. The rules had been challenged at the OMB in an effort to prevent their implementation, but that challenge was apparently unsuccessful.

The text of the final rules is not yet available, but the abstract and previous reports indicate that it will increase disclosure requirements when either lengthly references (perhaps over 25 pages) are submitted on an IDS or when more than some number of references (perhaps 20) are submitted. Consistent with the USPTO's current strategy of shifting its work onto applicants, expect this to increase the cost of prosecuting patent applications.

While it is unknown when the final rules will be published in the Federal Register, one prediction is sometime in late January, based on the approximately six weeks between OMB approval of the claim and continuation limit rules and when those rules were published in final form.

Relevant links:

HT: Patently-O.

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