It's easy to grin, when your ship comes in,
And you've got the stock market beat.
But the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile,
When his shorts are too tight in the seat.
- Judge Smails, CaddyShack (1980)
After yesterday's report on the OMB's approval of the PTO rule changes, more information is slowly leaking out on the changes (see Patently-O post here).
According to the most recent information, two sets of rules have been approved. The rules are rumored to be "softened" versions of the original proposals. According to the IPO, "The rules have not yet been made public, but are understood to contain compromise limitations on continuations and claims that are less severe than those originally published and opposed by IPO and other groups in 2006. "
Recent information reported by Hal Wegner speculates the new rules would include:
The "2+1" Limit on Continuations/RCE’s:
Each applicant gets 2 continuations and 1 RCE per application. The rules will be applied retroactively for cases that have not yet received a first action on the merits.
The "3+1 Transition Rule":
For cases that have not received a first action by the time of the new rules, a "bonus" continuation will be allowed, i.e., a total of one (1) RCE and three (3) continuations.
The "25/5" Claim Limits:
Twenty-five (25) total claims, including up to five (5) independent claims.
The new rules are expected to be published in the next month or two, and be effective around October (give-or-take a month).