No more first office actions for applications with 25+ claims? (updated 10/19)October 18, 2007

As noted on Patently-O, it appears the USPTO has stopped issuing first office actions on the merits in applications that exceed the 5/25 claim limitations. An example:

PAIR image

This news, combined with the fact that the new rules may be considered by USPTO management as their fix for the Office's examination woes, expect the Office to vigorously defend the new rules in court.

Update (10/17): Looks like this can now be treated as confirmed.

Further update (10/18): The USPTO has apparently backed off, and is reinserting cases into the examiners' dockets:

October 18 screenshot

Gene Quinn at the PLI Patent Law blog suggests that this may be in order to defray an argument by Glaxo in its lawsuit that there is already irreparable harm being suffered by the new rules.

Update (10/19): Looks like this can now be treated as confirmed also. Click through for the memo.

USPTO memo

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