Changes To Implement the Patent Law Treaty

Patent Attorney Stan ChalvireBy: Stanley Chalvire

On Wednesday, December 18, 2013, new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) final rules addressing the implementation of the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 (PLTIA) took effect, revising the rules of practice pertaining to patent cases.  The final rule was issued on October 21, 2013 pursuant to title II of the PLTIA, which amends U.S. law to implement the provisions of the Patent Law Treaty (PLT). The PLT, an international treaty to which the U.S. is a signatory, aims to harmonize and streamline formal procedures pertaining to the filing and processing of patent applications.

Some of the final rule’s notable changes to U.S. patent law generally pertain to: (i) the restoration of patent rights following the unintentional abandonment of patent applications and the unintentional delay of the payment of certain fees; (ii) the restoration of foreign priority or domestic benefit claims after the expiration of the priority period; and (iii) the extension of the time periods for responding to certain USPTO communications.  A copy of the final rules can be accessed at 78 Fed. Reg. 62368.

For more information or to discuss the PLTIA or how the new rules affect your patents or patent applications, please contact Stan Chalvire.

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