USPTO shake-up derailed by injunction
No fair changing the rules during the game
New rules proposed by the US Patent Office have been blocked after pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline won a preliminary injunction against the proposed changes. The firm said it did not believe the US Patent and Trademark Office had the legal authority to redefine procedures like this.
The changes would have limited both the number of claims any one patent could hold, and the number of "continuations", or subsequent, related patent applications that can be made. At the moment there are not limits on either.
The USPTO says the streamlining of the application process is needed to help it clear the backlog of applications it has to deal with, as well as to encourage applicants to be clearer about what they are trying to protect. Other critics of the system, and supporters of the shake-up, say that the lack of limits on continuations has been abused by some filers.
GSK spokeswoman Nancy Pekarek told Reuters that the firm has around 100 pending patent applications which would be affected by the news rules.
Meanwhile the USPTO issued a statement explaining why the changes were needed. "They are part of a package of initiatives designed to improve the quality and efficiency of the patent process and move American innovation and our economy forward," it said.
The new rules were set to come into effect today (Thursday). ®
El RegClub rule #9...
Thou Shalt Not Feed The Patent Trolls.
The people of the US need to start voting "No" for every incumbent judge on their ballots. IMHO every should vote "No" for every incumbent on every ballot in every election. In 10 or 20 years we just might purge our collective Democratic bowels of the poisons push us back and make some real progress.
On the other hand it might not do any good at all. It would still be fun though.
Coat. Hat. Pub.