USPTO Enjoined from Enforcing New Rules


On October 31, 2007, Judge James C. Cacheris of the Eastern District of Virginia enjoined the United States Patent and Trademark Office from implementing the revised Final Patent Rules (“Final Rules”), which were set to take effect today.

The Order issued following a complaint and request for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction

filed by GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) early last month. GSK filed its complaint after the Patent Office released the

Final Rules on August 21, 2007. GSK sought to enjoin implementation of the Final Rules pending the outcome

of its case. The American Intellectual Property Law Association and several corporations, including Elan

Pharmaceuticals and Hexas, LLP, filed amicus briefs supporting GSK’s challenge.[1]

After ordering the injunction directly from the bench, Judge Cacheris issued a 39-page written opinion late

yesterday. Applying the traditional four-factor test for preliminary injunctions, the Court considered (i) the

likelihood of success on the merits; (ii) irreparable injury to GSK; (iii) the balance of hardships; and (iv) the

public interest.

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