On October 20, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a Request for Comments (RFC) about considerations for instituting trials under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). This RFC is available in the Federal Register.
FEDERAL REGISTER LINK : https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/10/20/2020-22946/request…
The USPTO seeks to gather public comment on possible rulemaking with respect to the institution of AIA trials in light of various precedential opinions and the PTAB’s Trial Practice Guide, as well as other approaches suggested to the Office by some stakeholders. In particular, the RFC sets forth questions about how to exercise discretion to institute AIA trials in situations involving serial petitions, parallel petitions, and proceedings in other tribunals relating to the same patent. The USPTO invites the public to provide input on these questions, along with any other suggestions regarding the Office’s approach to exercising discretion.
In seeking public input, the USPTO continues to pursue a careful balance, consistent with Congressional intent, for AIA proceedings to be both a faster and more cost effective alternative to district court litigation and appropriately restrained to prevent abuses and harassment of patent owners to ensure continued investment in innovation.
The USPTO is extending the time to submit comments in response to the RFC from November 19, 2020, to December 3, 2020.