USPTO in Process of Enacting Major Rule Changes that May Significantly Affect Strategic Patent Portfolio Development and Maintenance
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is in the process of enacting a set of rule changes that may significantly affect strategic patent portfolio development and maintenance. The rules were proposed in January 2006 and drew huge public comment. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) concluded its review of the proposed rules on July 9. According to information on the USPTO website, the final rules will be made public in the Federal Register later this summer and become effective at least 60 days after publication and no earlier than October 1, 2007.
While the details of the final rules will be unknown until publication, it is believed that these rules may have an appreciable impact on existing and future patent portfolios. Although the rules will not become effective until at least 60 days after publication, IP managers may want to begin considering the effect of the rules on their portfolios and the potential ramifications of the final rules on patent litigation planning and strategy.
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