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Archived updates for Wednesday, July 26, 2006

USPTO Presentations to the NAPP Annual Meeting

Thanks to Todd Rands for passing along presentations by USPTO Commissioner John Doll and others that were given at the National Association of Patent Practitioners 10th Anniversary Annual Meeting, July 15-18, 2006 in Alexandria, Virginia:
According to Todd,

They lay out the most recent version of PTO's proposed changes to continuation practice (soon to be announced), priority claims, numbers of claims, etc, along with other new proposals. I know the PTO is still officially "considering" the comments on the previously proposed rules. But with an announcement expected in Sept/Oct, it would seem that this July presentation is the likely route being followed (i.e., not just floating ideas at this point).

The proposal would limit applicants to 1 continuation filing as a matter of right, eliminate divisional applications unless necessitated by restriction, limit priority claims to only a single application, etc. The fact there is a petition process to allow some exceptions to these rules does not add much comfort.

European Patent Attorney Axel Horns adds, "Whilst some of the items are nothing else than a matter of course, others appear to have a taste of shifting problems from the Office to the applicants and their representatives. . . . The U.S. Patent Attorney finds himself in a very difficult situation with his client, the applicant, desiring to get as much patent protection as possible, on the one hand, and the OED threatening with severe disciplinary action, on the other hand."
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