Thursday, May 10, 2007

Whispers on the New Continuation Rules . . .

At the Boston AIPLA meeting, a lot of questions were quietly asked about the new continuation rules. According to Hal Wegner, the following information was allegedly leaked from inside the PTO on the new changes:

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.

-None of this has been confirmed, although some "respectable sources" are vouching for this information (and also are saying the continuation rule package is "extremely thick").

If true, why isn't this information being disseminated freely? Good question. Hal notes:

"To the extent that it is not illegal or unethical to divulge information about the new rules, and to the extent that the above information is accurate, then the PTO should immediately publish the full details for everyone and not 'play favorites.' It is unthinkable that formal rulemaking should be violated by selective leaks of information. "

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