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Archived updates for Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Senate Patent Reform Bill on Application Publication and Third Party Submissions

Kevin E. Noonan at Patent Docs has been posting his analysis of the 106-page draft report of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Patent Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1145) which, would require all applications filed at the USPTO to be published within 18 months of filing, eliminating the current exception for applications containing certifications stating a related application has not been and will not be filed in a foreign country are exempt from this publication.

Section 7 of the proposed legislation would also create a new mechanism under 35 U.S.C. § 122 for third parties to submit timely pre-issuance information relevant to the examination of the application, including a concise statement of the relevance of the submission:

§ 122. Confidential status of applications; publication of patent applications

* * * * * *

(e) PREISSUANCE SUBMISSIONS BY THIRD PARTIES.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Any person may submit for consideration and inclusion in the record of a patent application, any patent, published patent application, or other publication of potential relevance to the examination of the application, if such submission is made in writing before the earlier of—

(A) the date a notice of allowance under section 151 is mailed in the application forpatent; or
(B) either—

(i) 6 months after the date on which the application for patent is published under section 122, or
(ii) the date of the first rejection under section 132 of any claim by the examiner during the examination of the application for patent,whichever occurs later.

(2) OTHER REQUIREMENTS.—Any submission under paragraph (1) shall—

(A) set forth a concise description of the asserted relevance of each submitted document;
(B) be accompanied by such fee as the Director may prescribe; and
(C) include a statement by the person making such submission affirming that the
submission was made in compliance with this section.

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