Archive for the ‘USPTO Practice and Policy’ Category

USPTO Post-Prosecution Pilot Program Launches

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

A guest post from Edward Sandor, attorney at Schwegman.

iStock_68004151_SMALLThe Post-Prosecution Pilot Program (P3) launched at the USPTO Monday, combining features of the AFCP 2.0 and Pre-Appeal Brief Conference Pilot programs, with the notable addition of Applicant participation in the process.

Once a P3 request is received, the SPE will coordinate a panel experienced in the relevant field of technology to conduct a conference with the Applicant in person, by phone, or via WebEx video conference, where the final rejection will either be upheld, the application allowed, or prosecution reopened.


USPTO will “Fast Track” Cancer Immunotherapy Applications

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

fast-trackOn June 29, 2016, Director Lee promulgated rules to implement a one-year pilot program to effectively grant “Fast Track” status to applications with at least one claim to treating cancer using immunotherapy. (A copy of this document can be found at the end of this post.) I am sure that much will be written about this program, but the requirements for achieving this top-of-the-pile on the Examiners’ desk are much like the current “Fast Track” program. But let’s cut to the chase to see just what type of claim qualifies for the “Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program:

“The applications must contain at least one claim encompassing a method of ameliorating, treating or preventing a malignancy in a human subject where the steps of the method assist or boost the immune system in eradicating cancerous cells. For example, this can include the administration of cells, antibodies, proteins, or nucleic acids that invoke an active (or achieve a passive) immune response to destroy cancerous cells. The Pilot Program also will consider claims drawn to the co-administration of biological adjuvants (e.g., interleukens, cytokines, Bacillus Comette-Guerin, monophosphoryl lipid A, etc.) in combination with conventional therapies for treating cancer such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. Claims to administering any vaccine that works by activating the immune system to prevent or destroy cancer cell growth are included. The Pilot Program will also consider in vivo, ex vivo, and adoptive immunotherapies, including those using autologous and/or heterologous cells or immortalized cell lines.”



Friday, June 27th, 2014

The deadline for Myriad-Mayo comments has been extended by a month.

Info on the USPTO website and can be found here.


Top Ten IP Stories from 2013

Monday, December 16th, 2013

I admit it, I like lists, even completely subjective ones like this one, that is tilted toward patent law and prep/pros. So in no particular order, except for number one, here we go:


  1. Myriad [Add your pun title here!]. No story can top a unanimous Supreme Court opinion (Thomas writing even!) holding that a discrete chemical molecule is really a data storage device made for us all by Mother Nature, and so is a “natural product”. More troubling, I fear, are Judge Lourie’s two opinions below, holding that the broadly-claimed diagnostic methods were patent-ineligible as “abstract ideas.” Combine this with Mayo and PerkinElmer v. Intema and you get caught in a perfect storm that can sink almost any claim to a diagnostic method.
  2. CLS Bank v. Alice. A big story indeed, as commentators tried, with little success, to unravel the threads in multiple opinions issued by the Fed. Cir. judges. Now the Supreme Court will try to define an abstract idea. Is C =pi(D) carved into a brick concrete enough for you?
  3. Inequitable Conduct goes into IP hospice. While we still have a duty of candor and good faith in dealing with the PTO, Rule 1.56(b) is gone. A simple failure to submit even “material” information will seldom, if ever, lead to an IC holding. In 1st Media v Electronic Arts, Sony, a defendant in the suit, petitioned for cert., playing the “rigid test” card, but the Supreme Court stood pat and denied the petition. In Network Signatures v. State Farm, Judge Newman suggested that facially false petitions would not amount to “egregious misconduct” unless they involved statutory standards of patentability, as opposed to formal PTO filings. However, the Supreme Court also denied cert.  in Apotex v. Cephalon, in which the Cephalon attorney and scientist obtained a patent on an invention made by their supplier – both the D.C. and the Fed. Cir found IC. And where are the final PTO rules? (more…)