PUBPAT PROVIDES COMMENTS TO USPTO ON INTER PARTES REEXAMINATION AND RULES GOVERNING PRACTITIONERS: Argues All Patents Should be Subject to Adversarial Post Grant Review and All Patent Attorneys Should Have Continuing Education Requirements
On February 20, PUBPAT submitted comments to the Patent Office regarding the equities of inter partes reexamination, an adversarial post grant review process created by Congress in November 1999 through which third parties can ask the Patent Office to revoke an issued patent. Under the law as it currently stands, only those patents issuing from original applications filed after the effective date of the statute can be subject to an inter partes reexamination proceeding.
"Inter partes reexamination proceedings have the potential to become a significant mechanism for dealing with the crisis in patent quality," PUBPAT stated in its comments filed in response to the Patent Office's Request for Comments and Notice of Round Table Meeting Regarding The Equities of Inter Partes Reexamination Proceedings. "However, the potential for inter partes reexaminations to help deal with the patent quality crisis is not being realized."
PUBPAT argued that waiting to implement a mechanism that could help resolve the patent quality crisis will only serve to exacerbate the crisis and the harms it is causing to the public. As such, all enforceable patents, regardless of their original application filing date, should be eligible for inter partes reexamination.
Earlier in the month, on February 10, PUBPAT submitted comments to the Patent Office regarding proposed changes in the rules applicable to registered patent attorneys. The Patent Office proposed adopting mandatory continuing education requirements, updating its ethical rules, and imposing an annual registration fee.
"A uniform continuing education requirement placed on all registered practitioners is in the public interest because registered practitioners are expected to have an understanding of the entirety of current patent law," PUBPAT stated in its comments filed in response to the Proposed Rule Changes to Representation of Others Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. PUBPAT also encouraged the Patent Office to update its ethical rules, as proposed, but argued against the adoption of an annual registration fee.
Both comments can be found at PUBPAT Advocacy to Policy Makers.