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Archived updates for Tuesday, September 21, 2004

USPTO Final Rule to Support Strategic Plan Implementation

On September 21, 2004, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published its final rule on "Changes To Support Implementation of the United States Patent and Trademark Office 21st Century Strategic Plan," some of which becomes effective today. According to the official notice, "The noteworthy changes in this final rule are:
  • Providing for an alternative signature on a number of submissions

  • Adjusting the fees for a number of patent-related petitions to reflect the actual cost of processing these petitions

  • Codifying the current incorporation by reference practice and also providing the conditions under which a claim for priority or benefit of a prior-filed application would be considered an incorporation by reference of the prior-filed application

  • Expanding the submissions that can be filed on compact disc

  • Eliminating the requirement for copies of U.S. patents or U.S. patent application publications cited in an information disclosure statement for all applications

  • Providing that a request for information may contain interrogatories or requests for stipulations seeking technical factual information actually known by the applicant

  • Providing that supplemental replies will no longer be entered as a matter of right; providing for the treatment of preliminary amendments present as of the filing date of an application as part of the original disclosure, and

  • Eliminating the requirement in a reissue application for the actual physical surrender by applicant of the original Letters Patent."

The changes to 37 CFR 1.4, 1.6, 1.10, 1.27, 1.57(a), 1.78, 1.84, 1.115, 1.137, 1.178, and 1.311, and new 37 CFR 1.57(a)(1) and (a)(2) are effective September 21, 2004.

The changes to 37 CFR 1.12, 1.14, 1.17, 1.19, 1.47, 1.53, 1.57(a)(3), 1.59, 1.84(a)(2), 1.103, 1.136, 1.182, 1.183, 1.291, 1.295, 1.296, 1.377, 1.378, 1.550, 1.741, 1.956, 5.12, 5.15, 5.25, and 41.20 become effective November 22, 2004.

The remaining changes take effect on October 21, 2004.
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