Court Ruling May Lengthen Term of Many U.S. Patents


Overview -

In a major victory for patent holders, a federal court ruled on November 1 that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s interpretation of the statute governing the term of a patent, which the Patent Office has implemented for the past decade, is wrong. The ruling is expected to lengthen the term of many patents that the Patent Office takes more than three years to grant.

The Patent Office Has Been Short-Changing Patentees -

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is required by statute to lengthen the term of a patent whose issuance is delayed for any number of reasons. This process, called “patent term adjustment” or “PTA,” compensates a patentee for the loss of enforceable patent term, which is measured from the filing date of the patent application. One factor in awarding PTA is whether the Patent Office took more than three years to issue a patent.

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