One of the crowd pleasers built into the revised S.515 is the ability to effectively cure mistake and/or oversight in original patent prosecution. Such inadvertant issues can currently serve to jeopordize an otherwise valid patent. With the Federal Circuit struggling to get their arms around the never ending saga that is inequitable conduct jurisprudence, Congress appears poised to provide some much needed relief by way of the revised Patent Reform Legislation.
For example, in Section 10 of the Bill, Chapter 25 of title 35, United States Code, would be amended by adding a new section 257 to permit the patent owner to request supplemental examination of a patent to consider, reconsider, or correct information believed to be relevant to its patent. The Director would then have 3 month to determine whether the information presents a substantial new question of patentability (SNQ). If an SNQ is found to exist, the supplemenatl examination would include a full examination of the claims. (not just limited to patents and printed publications as in current reexamination practices). Once the supplemental examination concludes, the issues brought before the Office in the second examination cannot be used to attack the patent Read the rest of this entry »