US Patent Office – Proposed Rule Changes

The US Patent and Trademark office is proposing some changes in the way patents will be viewed in the future, with the main change being that multiple patent request will not be accepted in a single claim. In a statement on their website the changes will:

“We believe such a rule change will lead to a more focused examination process that will effectively promote innovation,” noted Commissioner for Patents John Doll.

The proposed rules focus on the current practice of listing multiple inventions in the alternative in a single claim. Such “multi-invention alternative” claims are especially prevalent in the pharmaceutical, chemical, and biotechnology fields. The USPTO is proposing rules that would require applicants to identify, with more specificity, the claimed invention to be examined, thus promoting examination quality.

These proposed rules are in addition to the final rules pertaining to claims and continuations, which are expected to be published in the Federal Register later this month and are part of the USPTO’s ongoing effort to ensure patent quality, foster the examination process, and reduce pendency.

It makes one wonder in an age of technology where everything changes daily, how any one governmental agency can even keep track of all of the patent claims, let alone understand the complexities involved. Even if a patent claim makes it to the court system, will any one judge be able to completely understand the patent and whether it is valid or not without seeking some type of outside assistance?

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

[tags]patent office, technology, claims,courts, [/tags]