Patent Examinations

News & Analysis as of

Update on Patent Eligibility Decisions for First Quarter, 2016

Here are the updated numbers for #Alicestorm in the first quarter of 2016. First, the overall trend of decisions...more

Back to the Future of §101

David Kappos, the former director of the United States Patent & Trademark Office (2009-2013), thinks that “[i]t’s time to abolish §101.” Kappos made these comments at the Federal Circuit Judicial Conference in Washington, DC,...more

U.S. Patent Office Issues New Examples of Patent Eligibility Analysis of Life Sciences Claims

On May 4, 2016, the United States Patent Office published a subject matter eligibility update for determining patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The Update supplements the previous guidelines and includes additional...more

U.S. Patent Office Releases Further Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility

Patentees in the software and life sciences industries are paying close attention to new guidance issued by the U.S. Patent Office on the patent eligibility of technology in those areas. The guidance, released May 5, 2016...more

USPTO Issues Subject Matter Eligibility Update

On May 5, 2016, the USPTO published a Memorandum to the Patent Examining Corps titled “Formulating a Subject Matter Eligibility Rejection and Evaluating the Applicant’s Response to a Subject Matter Eligibility Rejection.” The...more

New (and Improved?) PTO Guidelines on Biotech Patent-Eligibility

The PTO has released a new set of life sciences’ examples to teach Examiners how and when to reject claims and, hopefully, teach the patent bar how to write allowable claims. (A copy if found at the end of this...more

New Examiner Training Materials on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Alice decision on patent subject matter eligibility, patent stakeholders have anticipated a reaction from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in regard to patent...more

USPTO Seeks Topics for Quality Case Study Pilot Program

In a notice published in the Federal Register In a notice published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 79277), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office invites stakeholders to submit patent quality-related...more

Australian & NZ single patent examination: Soon you may not have a choice

A single trans-Tasman patent regime allows counterpart Australian and NZ patent applications to be examined by a single examiner in either country. It now emerges that such combined examination can be made compulsory by the...more

USPTO Launches Public Global Dossier Access

On November 20, 2015, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) launched Dossier Access – a public online interface providing access to the file histories of related applications from participating patent offices around...more

Overview of Comments on the USPTO's July 2015 Update to the Interim Examination Guidance

In late July, the USPTO issued its July 2015 Update to the 2014 Interim Section 101 Patent Eligibility Guidance (IEG). The July 2015 Update addresses a number of the issues and concerns raised in the public comments to the...more

Expanding the PPH in Australia

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has paved the way for the European Patent Office (EPO) to partner with the Australian Patent Office in a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program. The PPH program has been in use...more

USPTO Extends Pilot Programs for Accelerating Examination

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has extended its After Final Consideration Pilot 2.0 and Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement programs through September 30, 2016. The programs are part of the USPTO’s...more

Court Invalidates Patent Claims After Refusing to Correct Alleged "Typos"

On September 10, 2015, Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas invalidated as indefinite two patent claims for a remote tracking system, refusing to accept plaintiff's argument that any indefiniteness was the...more

Improving Patent Quality With International Collaborative Search Pilot Programs

The USPTO has launched two new programs aimed at improving patent quality by joining forces with the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) or the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) at the initial stages of the patent...more

USPTO publishes a midyear supplementary update to interim guidance on subject matter eligibility

On July 30, 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a midyear update to the 2014 Interim Guidance on Subject Matter Eligibility (IEG). While, the IEG sheds a little more light on the topic, the...more

Drew Hirshfeld Appointed as New Commissioner of Patents

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced earlier today that U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has appointed Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy Drew Hirshfeld to be the new Commissioner for Patents...more

New Update on Subject Matter Eligibility to be Published on July 30th

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will publish a Notice on July 30th that the Office is updating their procedures for determining subject matter eligibility. The update will contain three appendices.....more

Expedited Examination Options for Patent Applications Filed in the United States

In the United States, patents are granted and issued through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Each patent application received by the USPTO is examined by a United States patent examiner in the order it...more

Considerations and Implications of Expedited Patent Examination Initiatives in the US

The typical pendency of a patent application in the United States can be between two and five years. In certain situations, a patent applicant may require or want a more expeditious disposition by the USPTO....more

Helping U.S. Patent Applicants Get Speedy Examination

U.S. patent applicants often have an interest in expediting the patent examination process. The desire to speed examination can result from issues related to the availability of an inventor, possible infringing activity by a...more

Challenging “Obvious to Try” during Patent Prosecution

Suppose your client’s patent application is rejected as allegedly obvious under 35 USC §103, and the Examiner cites one or more references and sets forth an “obvious to try” rationale in an Office action. Here are some tools...more

USPTO News Briefs - November 2014 #2

Prioritized Examination Interim Rule Adopted As Final - Last March, we reported on an interim rule implemented by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that expanded the time periods for meeting certain requirements for...more

The Dire Consequences of Misleading Patent Examiners and the Court During Patent Prosecution and Litigation

As the summer winds down, vacations recede in the rear-view mirrors, and the “school” year begins, two recent cases offer a refresher course in the dire consequences awaiting inventors who misrepresent prior art during...more

Examiner and Board Must Be Consistent in Prior Art-Based Rejections of Similarly-Worded Claims

Q.I. Press Controls, B.V. v. Lee - Addressing the issue of whether the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (the Board) erred by rejecting some claims as obvious, but not...more

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