News & Analysis as of

Patent Examinations

New USPTO Mega-Sequence Listing Fees

by Brinks Gilson & Lione on

On November 14, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a rule on “Setting and Adjusting Patent Fees During Fiscal Year 2017.” (82 FR 52780) This rule includes fee adjustments that take effect on...more

Patent Quality Chat: How Is A USPTO Examiner’s Work Product Reviewed?

In patent prosecution, the feedback loop between interested parties including patent prosecutors, inventors, and in-house counsel helps to provide the best patent applications and office action responses for a high quality...more

2017 European Patent Office Updates

The European Patent Office recently revised its Examination Guidelines. These Guidelines are primarily directed to the patent examiners and formalities officers of the EPO, but they are also helpful to anyone practicing...more

The Board Gives Section 325(d) Sharp Teeth—Part II – The Petitioner's Criticality to Selecting and Using The Right Prior Art

This is the second of a three-part series discussing developments around Section 325(d). Part one appeared in our October 2017 newsletter and part three will appear in our December 2017 newsletter....more

Patents in the burgeoning cannabis industry

by Farella Braun + Martel LLP on

With cannabis legal in 29 states for medical use and in eight states for recreational use, there is a surge of entrepreneurism and an influx of capital into the rapidly expanding cannabis industry. Although cannabis remains a...more

A Stricter EPO? The EPO Updates its Guidelines for Examination

Effective 1 November 2017, the European Patent Office (EPO) has updated its Guidelines for Examination. While we have already reported the modifications relating to the practice of assignments, here we uncover some of the...more

New PTAB “Informative” Decisions Support Denial Of Institution When Grounds Were Considered Previously

by Brooks Kushman P.C. on

The petitioner challenged multiple claims of U.S. Patent 5,523,791, which discloses technology for superimposing images over scenes displayed on a television. The petition listed three obviousness grounds for unpatentability....more

USPTO Will Continue To Apply Lower In Re Packard Indefiniteness Standard During Examination

by Brooks Kushman P.C. on

The USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board announced that it will continue to reject claims as indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112(b) when they contain words or phrases whose meaning is “unclear,” instead of applying the higher...more

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Announces One-Year Extensions of Two Popular Programs

On September 28, 2017, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that both the After-Final Consideration Pilot 2.0 (AFCP 2.0) and Quick Path Information Disclosure (QPIDS) Pilot programs have been extended to September...more

Calculating Patent Term Adjustment: Part 2

This article is second in a series focusing on various issues related to Patent Term Adjustment for U.S. patent applications. While Part 1 is a general overview of how to calculate patent term adjustment (“PTA”), this...more

Am I Being Clear Enough? – PTAB Reaffirms Lower Pre-Issuance Threshold for Indefiniteness in Ex Parte McAward

On August 25, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued a precedential opinion in Ex Parte McAward, reaffirming the Patent Office’s use of a lower pre-issuance threshold for indefiniteness distinct from the Supreme...more

Updating Interview Scheduling Practices with USPTOs AIR Program

by Womble Bond Dickinson on

Many patent practitioners have experienced the benefits of examiner interviews in achieving compact patent prosecution. Examiner interviews allow practitioners and examiners to discuss subtle but sometimes significant...more

Mere Quantification of the Results of a Known Process is Not Patentable

In Southwire Co. v. Cerro Wire LLC, [2016-2287] (September 8, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s decision in an Inter Partes reexamination that the claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,557,301 on a method of making cable...more

CAFC Vacates USPTO Single Reference Obviousness Rejection For Inadequate Showing Of Expectation of Success

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

In a split decision with Judge Lourie dissenting, the Federal Circuit vacated an obviousness rejection that had been affirmed in an ex parte appeal to the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The decision was rendered in In...more

In Precedential Decision, Board Says Packard, Not Nautilus, Governs Indefiniteness During Pre-Issuance Examination

by Jones Day on

...In a recent (and rare) precedential decision, the Board reaffirmed that the Supreme Court’s decision in Nautilus does not change “the USPTO’s long-standing approach to indefiniteness” in the context of pre-issuance...more

Routine Optimization Cannot Make Invention Obvious Without A Reasonable Expectation for Success

In In re Stepan Co., [2016-1811] (August 25, 2017), the Federal Circuit vacated the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s affirmance of the Examiner’s rejection of claims 1–31 of U.S. Patent Application No. 12/456,567 on herbicidal...more

Failure to Provide Patent Examiner with Copy of PTAB Decision Not Grounds for Inequitable Conduct

In a report and recommendation issued Tuesday, August 15, 2017, a magistrate judge in the Eastern District of Texas stated that failure to provide a patent examiner with a copy of a relevant post-grant review (PGR)...more

4 Top Takeaways: Smart Prosecution for Value

Kilpatrick Townsend Partners Eugenia Garrett-Wackowski, Paul Haughey, Babak Kusha, and Karam Saab recently presented on issues and strategies to consider when writing and prosecuting patent applications to withstand Alice...more

Global Patent Prosecution Newsletter - August 2017

Worldwide Patent Term Extension Provisions - Mechanisms to recover patent term lost during regulatory approval are available in many countries throughout the world. The August 2017 issue of Sterne Kessler’s Global Patent...more

Testing a Patent Claim against an Abstract Idea, in Response to 35 USC §101 Rejection

by Womble Bond Dickinson on

USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) rejection of a patent claim, alleging the claim is not significantly more than an abstract idea under 35 USC §101, is a frequent and often frustrating occurrence during patent...more

3 Tips For Thinking Like An Examiner To Maximize Your Consumer Products Patent's Shelf Life

Due to the relatively short shelf life for some consumer products, it can be important to quickly obtain patent protection for such products. Obtaining patent protection early in the life of such products can help inventors...more

The Goods on IP - July 2017

The July 2017 issue of Sterne Kessler's The Goods on IP discusses thinking like an Examiner to move prosecution forward, the wide variety of consumer product companies using design patents to protect their valuable product...more

Taking Advantage of the Global Supply Chain for Patent Examination

by Ward and Smith, P.A. on

Innovation and Traditional Patent Process - When you develop an innovation, its potential patentability is typically unknown, thus making it difficult to determine whether it is worth the significant expense involved if...more

Hey Boo-Boo, Defining Terms in the Specification is a Pic-i-nic

A definition in the patent’s specification can be critical in defining the scope of the claims. According to the patent statute, the claims and specification are directed to a person of ordinary skill in the art, but it is...more

New Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions in India

by Miles & Stockbridge P.C. on

On July 3, 2017, revised Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions (CRIs) were released. The full text of the guidelines may be found here. ...more

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