The USPTO is developing a new electronic filing and case management system for the new patent trial proceedings that become available on September 16, 2012. According to new 37 CFR § 1.46(b) which takes effect on September 16, 2012, unless “otherwise authorized,” all submissions to the Board “are to be made . . . electronically via the Internet according to the parameters established by the Board.” The new system, called the Patent Review Processing System (PRPS), embodies the new parameters.
Users will have to register in order to use PRPS, e.g., before they can file any papers in a patent trial proceeding. Moreover, registration is only available for practitioners with a USPTO registration number—registered patent agents and registered patent attorneys.
According to information from the USPTO, the electronic filing process will result in a “provisional filing date” for the petition at issue. A Board paralegal will conduct a “reconciliation” process, whereby information entered through the system will be compared with information in the uploaded (PDF) document(s). Any discrepancies will be raised to the presiding judge, who will decide whether a “notice of incomplete petition” should be issued and the provisional filing date revoked.
The USPTO will preview PRPS at its Alexandria campus at 10:00 am on September 6, 2012. The preview also will be webcast. Further details and registration information are available on the USPTO’s AIA Implementation website.