On Further Review….

It’s time to look at the fine print. The USPTO has published the preliminary set of rules under the America Invents Act (AIA) concerning Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) practice, inter partes (Latin for “between the parties”) review, and, most importantly, the new post-grant review process.  These are the parts of the new law that can be used, by all of us, to help the patent system work better.

Technology companies, in particular, need to have a close watch on the rules and on the stream of newly issuing patents they will cover.  The rules deal with the kinds of information that must be provided, timelines, and guidelines for initiating the various procedures.  The USPTO will be holding a number of regional road shows to explain.

Now is the time to be putting in place the internal systems and disciplines necessary to monitor new patents as they are issued.  The challenge period is limited and the requirements are stringent.  If used properly, though, it’s possible that the post grant review process will be a timely, cost-effective alternative to litigation. But only if you are paying attention.

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