USPTO News Briefs - October 30, 2012

[author: Donald Zuhn]

USPTO Proposes Update to Code of Professional Responsibility

USPTO SealEarlier this month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced its proposal to update the USPTO Code of Professional Responsibility to conform to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct of the American Bar Association (ABA).  The Office's notice of proposed rulemaking, entitled "Changes to Representation of Others Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office," was published in the federal Register on October 18 (77 Fed. Reg. 64190).  The Office noted that versions of the ABA Model Rules have been adopted by 49 states and the District of Columbia, and as a result, the Office's proposed rulemaking codifies many professional responsibility obligations that already apply to the practice of law.  The Office is seeking public comment regarding its proposal -- comments must be submitted by December 17, 2012.  Patent Docs will provide additional analysis regarding the Office's proposal in a subsequent post.  Additional information regarding the proposed USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct can also be found here.

Comment Period for Implementation of First-Inventor-to-File Provisions Reopened

On October 11, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a notice in the Federal Register (77 Fed. Reg. 61735) indicating that the Office was reopening the comment period with respect to its notice of proposed rulemaking for implementing the first-inventor-to-file provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.  The Office's notice of proposed rulemaking, entitled "Changes To Implement the First Inventor To File Provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act," which was published in the Federal Register on July 26 (77 Fed. Reg. 43742), set a response deadline of October 5, 2012.  The extended deadline for submitting comments is November 5, 2012.  Details regarding the submission of comments can be found in the Office's October 11 notice.

USPTO Publishes Final Rule on Derivation Proceedings

Last month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published its final implementing derivation proceedings under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (77 Fed. Reg. 56068).  In an announcement regarding the publication of the final rule, the Office noted that the final rule would take effect on March 13, 2016.  Derivation proceedings are intended to ensure that the first person to file a patent application is actually the true inventor.  If a true inventor is not the first to file, the true inventor may challenge the first applicant's right to a patent by demonstrating that the first application is claiming an invention derived from the true inventor.