USPTO Proposed Revisions to Rules on Patent Term Adjustment

Attorney: Yuki Onoe
October 9, 2019

特許期間調整に関する米国特許庁ルールの変更が提案されました

米国の出願審査が特許庁の遅延により極端に遅れた場合、その遅れの日数分だけプラスアルファで特許期間を長くするよう調整されます。一方で、出願人が期限延長を行うなど、自ら遅れの原因を作ってしまった場合、プラスアルファで長くなった日数分から出願人の遅延分が差し引かれることになります。このような特許期間調整(Patent Term Adjustment, PTA)により特許期間が1日でも長くなるとビジネス上大きなメリットとなり得るため、PTAを自ら減らすことのないよう拒絶応答を進めることが大事です。

先週10月4日付のFederal Registerにおいて米国特許庁は、PTAの計算方法に関する特許庁ルールの変更を提案しました。これは、今年1月のSupernus Pharm., Inc. v. Iancu, 913 F.3d 1351 (Fed. Cir. 2019)の判決内容に沿ってルールを変更することを目的としています。

Supernus事件では、出願人の遅延("a failure of the applicant to engage in reasonable efforts to conclude processing or examination of an application")によりPTAが差し引かれる際の日数の数え方が争点になりました。関係するのは37 CFR 1.704(c)(8)で、現行のルールは下記の通りです。<... Read more

Pending Case, Cannabis Companies May Be Able to Prosecute Patent Infringements in Court

Attorney: Daniel J. Pereira, Ph.D.
May 22, 2019

In "United Cannabis v. Pure Hemp Collective," United Cannabis claims that Pure Hemp used a cannabis extract that United Cannabis had a patent on. Lawyers say this case is the first of its kind.... Read more

Tribal Immunity in IPR is Dealt a Death Blow by The Federal Circuit

Attorney: J. Derek Mason, Ph.D., CLP
July 26, 2018

The Federal Circuit issued its decision in Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe et al v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al (18-1638) on July 20, 2018. The central question addressed in the Federal Circuit's decision was whether the principal of sovereign immunity can be asserted by a patent owner to avoid their patent being subjected to the Inter Partes Review (IPR) process. The decision hinged on whether the IPR process is more akin to the civil litigation-like proceedings in adjudications before the Federal Maritime Commission in which state sovereign immunity was held to apply (Fed. Maritime Comm'n v. S.C. State Ports Auth., 535 U.S. 743, 754–56 (2002) ("FMC") or whether IPR is a traditional agency action in which it has been previously held that sovereign immunity does not typically apply (see, for example, Pauma v. NLRB, 888 F.3d 1066 (9th Cir. 2018); Karuk Tribe Hous. Auth., 260 F.3d at 1074; and Fed. Power Comm'n v. Tuscarora Indian Nation, 362 U.S. 99, 122 (1960)). It is important to note, however that there is no blanket rule that immunity does not apply in federal agency proceedings.... Read more

Is Real and Positive Change Coming for Patent Owners?

Attorney: Vincent K. Shier, Ph.D.
June 11, 2018

New USPTO Director Andrei Iancu provided the Intellectual Property Track plenary lecture at the 2018 BIO International Convention last week. As has been a common theme since being sworn in to office in February, Director Iancu's focus was on changes to provide greater certainty and quality for applicants and patent owners. Yes, we have heard this before, but the time is ripe for real change that positively impacts applicants and patent owners.... Read more

The POPR and Expert Declarations

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
June 4, 2018

The PTAB in the past year has loosened rules governing IPR practice. In most cases the changes have been good for the process. However, some of the changes while introducing a greater degree of fairness into the system have created traps for the unwary. One such trap is allowing patentees to submit declarations with the POPR (Patent Owner's Preliminary Response). Contrary to what many practitioners expect, the submission of a declaration actually increases the probability of the petition being instituted. Indeed, it might even guarantee institution.... Read more

Federal Circuit Rules in Favor of Patent Eligibility

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
April 16, 2018

On April 13 the Federal Circuit affirmed the lower court decision in Vanda Pharm. Inc. v. West-Ward Pharm. Int'l. Ltd., appeal Nos. 2016-2707 and 2016-2708. The opinion addresses a number of concerns in ANDA litigation including whether jurisdiction exists under 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(2) for a "late listed" Orange Book patent (it does), the availability of an injunction to prevent inducement of infringement by a label (it is available), and the patent eligibility of a claim to using a drug based upon the results of a diagnostic technique. It is this latter point which is of significant importance. Claim 1 of the patent (USP 8,586,610 (‘610)):... Read more

MPEP § 706.03(y) – Improper Markush Groups Unpatentable

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
April 2, 2018

As others have observed, the January 2018 MPEP revision instructs the examiners to reject Markush claims. It asserts that "this is a rejection on the merits and may be appealed to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board." Page 700-110. In form ¶ 8.40 it asserts as authority In re Harnisch, 631 F.2d 716, 721-2(CCPA 1980) and Ex Parte Hozumi, 3 USPQ2d 1050, 160 (Bd. Pat. App. & Int. 1984). No statutory authority exists since it has been held the restriction statute, 35 USC § 121 does not provide a basis for a substantive rejection of a claim. In re Weber, 580 F.2d 455 (CCPA 1978) and In re Haas, 580 F.2d 461 (CCPA 1978).... Read more