Washington - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking public comment on a proposal to streamline the procedures governing ex parte and inter partes patent reexamination proceedings. The new procedures are aimed at reducing the time it takes to resolve disputes between patent owners and the public regarding the validity of issued patents. A public meeting will be held at USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, on June 1, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.
"We recognize that patent reexamination is one of the most important functions of the USPTO, because these patents often have significant commercial value and are usually involved in concurrent litigation," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "By resolving these disputes more quickly, we can make patent reexamination a better mechanism for reviewing patent validity."
The proposed changes include: standardizing the way information is presented in reexamination requests; focusing examiners' attention on the best prior art; reducing the need for late submission of evidence and amendments; clarifying petitions practice; allowing patent owners to waive their optional ex parte statement; consolidating the inter partes action closing prosecution and right of appeal notices; and reducing unnecessary briefings in inter partes appeals.
Public input on additional ways to streamline reexamination proceedings is welcome via written comments as well. Written comments must be submitted by June 29.
Additional details on the program will be available in the April 25, 2011 edition of the Federal Register. Those interested in attending must register by 5:00 p.m. EDT May 11, 2011.
Webcast Viewing Instructions for Public
Click here to sign-in to the webcast session: uspto.connectsolutions.com/r94608688/
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If you need assistance with login or if there is a problem with the webcast, please contact call 571-272-9000.
For non-press inquiries, please contact Kenneth M. Schor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, at (571) 272-7710.
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