On October 21, 2013 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a Notice of Final Rulemaking to revise its rules of practice to reflect the Patent Law Treaty and title II of the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012. See 78 Fed. Reg. 62368. This rulemaking especially impacts four practice areas: (i) filing date requirements; (ii) priority and benefit claims; (iii) revival of abandoned application/delayed maintenance fee payments; and (iv) patent term adjustment. The effective date of this final rule is December 18, 2013.
Changes to filing date requirements -
The final rule makes two changes to the requirements for obtaining a filing date for utility nonprovisional applications: (i) a claim will no longer be required on the filing date; and (ii) a specification and drawing will no longer be required on the filing date if the filing refers to a previously filed application. These changes apply only to patent applications filed under 35 U.S.C. § 111 on or after December 18, 2013...
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