Winter 2012 – New Rules

Early 2012 is shaping up to be an exciting time for patent law, particularly for those focused on post grant patent practice.

USPTO–As to the new rule packages necessary to implement the new post grant mechanisms of the America Invents Act (AIA), it is rumored that the supplemental examination rules will issue this week. Due to an administrative delay with the Office of Management & Budget (OMB), the more extensive IPR and PGR rule packages are expected to publish next week. Earlier this month, some less extensive rules packages issued on patent reissue oath practice and changes to ex part patent reexamination practice.

CAFC– The court has agreed to reconsider Marine Polymer Technologies, Inc. v. HemCon, Inc. (here) en banc. As a reminder, this case considers whether or not intervening rights are created for a claim that is not literally amended in a post grant proceeding by a change in verbiage, but instead, by Patentee disclaimer. (earlier post here)

The court also has yet to issue a decision in In re Staats, which presents the USPTO theory that continuation filings in a broadening patent reissue must relate to a broadening that was foreseeable as presented in the original oath.

There is much to look forward to in the weeks to come.