Patent Examinations

News & Analysis as of

USPTO Examination Time Goals -- How Much Time Should Examiners Have To Examine A Patent Application?

As part of its ongoing efforts to improve patent quality, the USPTO is reevaluating its examination time goals and seeking public feedback on how much time examiners should have to examine a patent application. Examination...more

District Court Denies Extra Patent Term Adjustment When National Stage Entry Date Falls On A Holiday

Some patent term adjustment (PTA) cases have broad impact–like Wyeth v. Kappos and Novartis v. Lee–but Acetelion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Lee addresses a more esoteric issue: when does the 14-month clock start to run in a...more

Appeal of Final Refusal Maintaining that Human Jewelry is “Closely Related” to Pet Accessories

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. asked the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) to reconsider its rejection of an application for the mark GEORGE in connection with watches, clocks, jewelry, and imitation jewelry in Class 14 (U.S....more

U-turn on trans-Tasman patent processes

The New Zealand (NZ) government has recently done “a complete U-turn” on planned trans-Tasman processes in the latest round of patent reforms, as a NZ parliament member puts it. In a second reading with 160 for and 14...more

Gerundtology

§112(f) allows a patent applicant to claim an element by the function it performs. Functionally claimed elements using §112(f), however, are limited to what is disclosed in the specification and equivalents. The classic...more

USPTO Issues Notice of Roundtable and Request for Comments on Importing Prior Art Automatically and Streamlining Patent Issuance

Last month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a notice in the Federal Register (81 Fed. Reg. 59197) requesting written comments regarding two issues: (1) how the Office can better leverage other applications...more

Impact of the USPTO Examination Guidelines on Software Patents Post-Alice

The Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014) (“Alice”) has had a significant impact on the patent eligibility of software-implemented inventions under 35 U.S.C. § 101....more

Help The USPTO Leverage Prior Art From Related Patent Applications

The USPTO is seeking input on how it can leverage prior art information available on-line in related patent applications in order to “improve patent examination quality and efficiency” and reduce “applicant’s burden to...more

USPTO Releases Memorandum on Subject Matter Eligibility

On May 4th the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued its latest Guidance on how Examiners are to apply recent U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Circuit precedent related to subject matter eligibility (see "USPTO Issues Update...more

Federal Circuit Saves 10k Patents By Reversing District Court Decision In Immersion Corp V HTC

On Tuesday, June 22, in the case of Immersion Corporation v. HTC, The Federal Circuit on appeal reversed a decision by the Delaware district court, which had held a patent granted on a continuation application to be invalid...more

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

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