The PTO announced final rules to implement post patent provisions in the America Invents Act (AIA): the citation of prior art and written statements and the estoppel attaching to an ex parte reexamination request filed after a final decision in an inter partes review or post grant review. The provisions are effective on September 16, 2012, and will apply to any U.S. patent issuing before, on, and after September 16, 2012. The Federal Register Notice on the final rules is here.
The AIA modified 35 USC 301 to expand the information a third party could submit in the official file of a patent. Currently, a party can only submit prior art. Beginning September 16, a party may also cite any patent owner's statement that was filed in federal court or in the PTO that takes a position with respect to the scope of a patent claim.
The final rules also give details on how the PTO may use a patent owner statement during ex parte reexamination, inter partes reexamination, inter partes review, post grant review, or business method review.
Finally, the final rules require an ex parte reexamination request contain a certification that the statutory estoppel of inter partes review and post grant review do not bar the request for ex parte reexamination. Note due to public comments the PTO decided to allow a real party to not identify itself in a request for ex parte reexamination.
The PTO will discuss the AIA provisions and the final rules in eight road shows in September 2012. See the AIA Roadshow Page for the locations, dates, and details.
Copyright © 2012 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.