April 04, 2007

As mentioned in a DDIP post back in February (link here), the proposed changes to Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) practice referenced in the USPTO’s earlier notice took effect on April 1. According to the recently released Official Gazette notice (link below), “[i]n that the proposed changes to the U.S. rules of practice will not become effective until after the effective date of the changes to the PCT regulations, the USPTO is hereby giving notice of the interim procedures that it will follow until such time as the proposed changes to title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations becomes final.” Regarding the means for applicants to insert missing portions of international applications without losing the international filing date, the rule changes will be implemented under 35 U.S.C. § 364(a), and “the specific provisions relating to the later submission of drawings currently present in 37 CFR 1.437(a) and (b) are hereby waived, sua sponte, pursuant to 37 CFR 1.183 in favor of the more applicant friendly provisions of amended PCT Rule 20.” Requests for the restoration of the right of priority will be treated under 37 C.F.R. § 1.182 until the proposed changes are finalized. Such requests must be filed within 2 months from the date of expiration of the priority period (under new PCT Rule 2.4), and must be accompanied by a $400 fee, a notice under PCT Rule 26bis, and a statement that the filing delay was unintentional. Regarding the changes to search fees and supplemental search fees, those fees currently in effect shall remain in effect until the final rule(s) become effective.

USPTO Official Gazette Notice: LINK
February 21, 2007 DDIP Post: LINK
February 16, 2007 Federal Register Excerpt: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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