Agency Seeks Comment|on America Invents Act

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office seeks comment on three changes it plans to make to its rules of practice under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.



     First, the proposed rules would expand the scope of information that can be included in a patent application but place specific limits on the use of statements made by a patent owner about the scope of the patent during ex parte review.
     The second proposed change would allow third parties to comment on patent applications within six months of the filing of an application.
     Finally, the third proposed rule would extend the time limit on disciplinary actions against attorneys that practice before the office to ten years from the date of the incident that is the subject of the action or one year after the conduct is brought to the attention of the agency.
     The proposed rules are just a small part of the Leahy-Smith Act, which transforms the U.S. system of patents from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system, bringing it into conformance with international norms.
     The public has until March 5 to comment on the rules, with full implementation of the act set for Sept. 16.
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