Wednesday, January 18, 2006


(from e-mailed press release)

In an upcoming series of Town Hall Meetings, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will provide background information regarding proposed new rule changes. The first Town Hall Meeting will be held February 1, 2006, in Chicago. The USPTO and Northwestern University will co-sponsor the event at the downtown campus of Northwestern University in the Arthur Rubloff Building, Thorne Auditorium. The meeting will be held from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The proposed rule changes relate to the examination of claims, continuing applications, requests for continued examination and applications containing patentably indistinct claims. The changes will make the patent examination process more effective and efficient by reducing the amount of rework by the USPTO and the time it takes for the patent review process. In addition they will improve the quality of issued patents and ensure that the USPTO continues to promote innovation.

Commissioner for Patents John Doll and James Toupin, the agency's general counsel, will provide an overview of the challenges the USPTO faces and the reasons why the proposed new rules are necessary. A question and answer session will follow immediately after their presentations.

Registration is free and CLE credit may be available.

The Town Hall Meetings are for patent attorneys, patent agents, independent inventors and members of the small business community.

For registration information, please click here or call 571-272-8850.

1 Comentário:

Anonymous said...


I respectfully disagree with your assertion that the proposed rule changes "will" make the patent prosecution process more efficient. I think, instead, that it is "hoped" that the proposed rule changes will make the process more efficient.

To the best of my knowledge, there has been no study done by the USPTO to realistically project what effect these changes will have.

For example, the USPTO projects that if all 2nd continuations/RCEs are eliminated, then about 10,000 fewer applications will be filed per year. That's great, but they have made no projection of how many of the current 50,000 RCE's filed per year will be filed as appeals instead. Practitioners will no longer be willing to file RCEs since it means that they give up their right to file a continuation with broader claims (which is their right under law).

It's hard to believe that appeals will be more efficient than RCEs, particularly with the tendency for examiners to make second office actions final after a narrowing amendment.


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