Thursday, October 8, 2009

USPTO Withdraws Controversial Rules

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has announced that it will withdraw controversial new rules regarding claiming and continuation applications that have been the subject of a court challenge. Two court challenges were brought by independent inventor Dr. Tafas and by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, which were consolidated as Tafas v. Kappos. The case is currently pending appeal before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Director Kappos decision to withdraw the unpopular rules, proposed by his predecessor, will surely be met with approval from the majority of the patent community. The rules were seen by many as overly restrictive of patent applicants' rights and as exceeding the PTO's rule-making authority. The rules were also viewed by many as ultimately contrary to the purposes of the patent system to foster innovation.

A copy of the USPTO press release may be found here.

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