WASHINGTON (CN) – For a fee, third parties will be able to submit their patents and patent applications for inclusion with a patent application under review, according to a new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rule.
Existing practice limits the inclusion of prior art in reviews of applications to ten documents per application, which must be submitted within 2 months of publication of the application.
The new rules require submissions to include a description of asserted relevance of the material to the patent application under review.
The rules are meant to give patent examiners more information to determine if a pending application should be approved or if its scope should be limited.
The new rule is effective Sept. 16.
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