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AIPLA Welcomes Newly Released Final AIA Rules


Crucial provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act that go into effect on September 16, 2012, moved another step closer to reality with the August 14th issuance of a voluminous rules package by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  In addition to several individual rules packages released over the last month, these final rules will implement provisions of the patent reform law that improve procedures for obtaining a patent, expand administrative review of issued patents, and increase opportunities for members of the public to participate in the patenting process.
"Generally speaking, we are pleased with the final rules issued by the USPTO today," said Q. Todd Dickinson, Executive Director of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA). "In particular, comments we provided in several areas, such as the oath and declaration and the statute of limitations on disciplinary procedures, clearly resulted in welcome modifications to the proposed rules.  While we continue to have concerns that some of the final rules do not necessarily provide the kind of flexibility and efficiency of process we believe they could, we remain optimistic that the USPTO will make appropriate adjustments as experience with the rules demonstrates their necessity, and we look forward to assisting them in that on-going process." said Dickinson.
Six final rulemaking notices were published in the August 14th issue of the Federal Register addressing the following subject areas:
Inventor's oath or declaration provisions,
Supplemental examination and revise reexamination fees,
Inter partes review and post-grant review proceedings,
Office patent trial practice guide,
Rules of practice for the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and
Post-Grant review for Covered Business Method Patents.
Other recently-issued final rules implement provisions on:
·         Third-party submissions of patents, published applications, or printed publications on pending applications
·         Third-party submissions of patent owners’ statements in court or in the USPTO on patent scope
·         Revisions of statute of limitations on beginning USPTO disciplinary proceedings
AIPLA will host a webinar on August 22 titled, "The Final USPTO AIA Rules: What You Need To Know," featuring Janet Gongola, USPTO Patent Reform Coordinator.  Additional members-only webinars on individual rules packages will be forthcoming over the next few months.
In addition, AIPLA will offer two full days of programming on the AIA rules during its 2012 Annual Meeting, October 25-27 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC.
Lorri Ragan, APR
Director of Marketing and Communications  ​