United States Patent & Trademark Office Public Discussion

The USPTO is hosting a public discussion on a new proposal to streamline patent re-examination.   The focus of the new changes is to expedite the process used to settle validity disputes between patent owners and the public.  Among the changes are new standards for submitting re-examination requests, bringing focus to the best prior art, reducing need for late submission of evidence and clarifying petition practice, ability to waive ex parte statement, and reducing briefings in inter partes appeals.  Another idea proposed is consolidating the inter partes action, closing prosecution, and right of appeal notices, .

“We recognize that patent reexamination is one of the most important functions of the USPTO, because these patents often have significant commercial value and are usually involved in concurrent litigation,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos.  “By resolving these disputes more quickly, we can make patent reexamination a better mechanism for reviewing patent validity.”

The USPTO is hoping to generate additional ideas for streamlining this process from the general public at the event.  They are of course excepting written comments for those unable to attend.  For those wishing to make the journey, the roundtable will be held on June 1, 2011 at 1:30pm at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA.

Any new changes that allow our Patent office to function more efficiently are very welcomed.  So write them down and send them in, or register for the meeting and let your voices be heard!