Tuesday, December 3, 2013

USPTO - Updated Application Data Sheet Form

The America Invents Act (AIA) presented new AIA forms for US patent applications filed on and after September 16, 2012. Tonight, I will tackle just one and briefly because it is late-- the application data sheet (ADS) required under 37 CFR 1.76. What's an ADS? It is the bibliographic data of a US patent application including inventor, correspondence, application, representative, domestic benefit,  foreign priority and applicant information.

The ADS is lengthy and no fun to complete. But the USPTO promises if I complete an ADS it will reduce data input errors, and I guess transfer responsibility to me. I don't find this compelling, but the USPTO has a way to deal with my reluctance: 37 CFR 1.76(a) states a priority claim in a specification must be also stated in an ADS. Although a priority claim reduces patent term, it also reduces prior art so many applications eligible for continuing application status claim priority.

But the "form fun path" is just starting, since an ADS requires the name of the attorney of record. Initially when I completed an ADA, it appeared an attorney could no longer act in a representative capacity on a continuing application under 37 CFR 1.34. That appears to be no longer the case, but check for yourself as you may need to file a power of attorney form to be the attorney of record. If so, the person signing the power of attorney must prove authorization from the patent application owner. That requires a 37 CFR 3.73 statement of right stating the chain of title and the representative's qualifications.

The USPTO says it provides forms to assist the public, but making an optional form like the ADS mandatory per the new rules can generate unintended consequences -- like Obamacare.

In any event, the USPTO updated the Application Data Sheet (AIA/14) form on November 27, 2013. For assistance e-filing forms contact the Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) at EBC@uspto.gov or call 1-866-217-9197 from 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight (ET) Monday through Friday. Also for more information on USPTO forms generally, send an email to patentpractice@uspto.gov.

Copyright © 2013 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.