The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is revising the rules of patent practice to implement the preissuance submissions by third parties provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). This provision provides a mechanism for third parties to contribute to the quality of issued patents by submitting to the Office, for consideration and inclusion in the record of a patent application, any patents, published patent applications, or other printed publications of potential relevance to the examination of the application. A preissuance submission may be made in any non- provisional utility, design, and plant application, as well as in any continuing application. A third-party preissuance submission must include a concise description of the asserted relevance of each document submitted, and must be submitted within a certain statutorily specified time period. The third party must submit a fee as prescribed by the Director, and a statement that the submission complies with the statutory provision. The Office has also revised the rules of patent practice to make related aspects of the existing protest rule more consistent with the new rule implementing the preissuance submissions by third parties provision. Further, the Office is eliminating the provision providing for public use proceedings.
Agency Contact: Nicole Dretar Haines, Legal Advisor ((571) 272-7717), Brian E. Hanlon, Director ((571) 272-5047), or Hiram H. Bernstein, Senior Legal Advisor ((571) 272-7707), Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy.
This rule is final.