As discussed earlier this week the House is currently considering H.R. 6621, which proposes some technical corrections to the America Invents Act. One of the stated goals of the technical bill is to eliminate the 9 month dead zone that now applies to newly issued, first to invent patents relative to the availability of Inter Partes Review (IPR). This technical change is proposed in Section 1(d)(1) of the bill.
As a reminder, patents issuing today are not eligible for IPR until 9 months has elapsed from the time of issuance. This is because the first 9 month window after patent issuance is reserved for Post Grant Review (PGR) challenges; yet PGR is not a possibility for such first-to-invent patents. (first-inventor-to-file applications, which are eligible for PGR, will not even be accepted by the PTO until March 16, 2013)
The bill also proposes, in Section 1(d)(2) to address another perceived dead zone that is particular to reissued patents. But, correction of this perceived dead zone, in the manner proposed, may have unintended consequences. Read the rest of this entry »