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On August 14, 2012, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published its final rules for the new post-grant proceedings established last September by the America Invents Act (AIA). Among these expanded options are the establishment of post-grant review proceedings, special transitional post-grant review of business method patents, and supplemental examination. When the final rules take effect on September 16, 2012, it will usher in a new model, as envisioned by the AIA, for challenging patents.
These final rules should encourage many wary companies with good prior art to take the plunge and give inter partes and post-grant reviews a try. The USPTO confirmed that it will abide by the statutory timeline for resolving these cases in 12 months, with extensions of up to six months expected to be "rare." Moreover, the rules suggest that discovery in inter partes review proceedings will be limited, absent agreement of the parties. This should help alleviate the fears of some that the new USPTO trial procedures might end up resembling district court litigation in cost and complexity.
The new options available under the AIA provide strategic opportunities for patentees and third-party challengers alike, and raise a variety of strategic questions for both patentees and those seeking to bring new products to the market. This webinar will discuss these issues and further implications.
For more on patent reform, please visit the MoFo Patent Reform Resource Center for additional information.
CLE credit is pending in CA and NY.