AIPLA Roadshows


October 05, 2012



The America Invents Act and USPTO Final Rules


October 08, 2012

Summarized by Tatsuo YABE




2012105日に米国弁理士会(最終規則に精通したUSPTOのBahr氏とPTO新設の審判部の行政判事Tierney氏がPresenter)によるAIAと最終規則に関する説明会がありました。 以下にその内容を取りまとめました。 ご参考まで。 尚、以下赤字の部分は今回のRoadshowで始めて聞けた、或いは、重要そうな内容です。 


PGR及びIPRは庁費用がかなり高額(約36000ドルと27000ドル)ですが、PTO審判部の行政判事であるTierney氏によると裁判官の レートは1時間270ドルで、IPRには合計100時間、PGRには合計130時間を見積もってだされた費用とのことです。 尚、これだけ高額なのでもしPGRを開始するに当たりそのThresholdを満たさないと判断された場合には請求人に費用の返還があるものかとたずねたところ、Tierney氏の回答では来春までに決めるとのことでした。 凡そ、60%程度の費用の返還を検討中とのことです。 但し、既に25件(10月5日時点)のIPRが申請されているのに、来春で良いのか・・・と疑問が残ります。










Summary of AIPLA Roadshow in Washington DC: Oct 05, 2012


Inventor’s Oath/Dec: 

Pre-Issuance Submission:


Mr. Bob Bahr, USPTO Office of Patent Legal Administration

Panel Discussion:

Mr. Alan Kasper (Sughrue Mion PLLC: Washington DC)

Ms. Courtenay Brinckerhoff (Forey & Lardner: Washington DC)



Citation of Patent Owner’s Statement of claim scope

Supplemental Examination and corresponding Fees


Mr. Bob Bahr, USPTO Office of Patent Legal Administration

Panel Discussion:

Mr. Alan Kasper (Sughrue Mion PLLC: Washington DC)

Ms. Courtenay Brinckerhoff (Forey & Lardner: Washington DC)


Post Grant Review

Inter Partes Review


Judge Michael Tierney, USPTO Board of Patent Trials and Appeals

Panel Discussion:

Ms. Denise DeFranco, Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner, LLP

Mr. Todd Baker, Oblon Spivak, Alexandria, VA



Covered Business Method Patents


Judge Michael Tierney, USPTO Board of Patent Trials and Appeals

Panel Discussion:

Ms. Denise DeFranco, Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner, LLP

Mr. Todd Baker, Oblon Spivak, Alexandria, VA




1)     Oath/Dec:

-          New oath/Dec applies to any new US Applications (including CA, DIV, CIP) filed on or after Sep 16, 2012.

-          Old Oath/Dec for a national stage filing (371 application) from PCT application filed before Sep 16, 2012.

-          New Oath/Dec for a bypass application from PCT application filed before Sep 16, 2012.

-          If no assignee’s name is mentioned in ADS (Application Data Sheet), then US Pat Application Publication has no assignee information.  It may be beneficial to hide the assignee name in the publication. --> less chance to be attacked by the pre-issuance 3rd party submission. 出願時のADSに譲受人(会社)を記載しないでおくと、特許出願公開公報に会社の名前がプリントされないので、競合他社のAssigneeネームによるキーワードサーチで見つけにくくなるというメリットがある。 競合他社に情報提供されにくくなる。

-          Inventors’ INF and priority INF must be in ADS.  PTO pulls all the INF from ADS.

-          PTO will NOT investigate who the inventor(s) is/are or who the assignee is.  PTO just believes what is mentioned in ADS.

-          Filing US Patent Application with $130 & ADS but no Oath/Dec, no ‘notice of missing part’ is issued. 発明者の宣言書を出願後に提出する場合には出願時に130ドルの支払いが必要です。 出願時に宣言書の提出がなく、130ドル支払いがない場合には、130ドルの支払いがないということに対してNotice of Missing Partsの通知が発行されます。

-          Filing US Patent Application with ADS but no Oath/Dec, ‘notice of missing part’ will issue with respect to $130 (fee for filing oath/dec later).

-          Having both Old/New Languages on new Oath/Dec may be OK.  The important thing is new oath/dec only requires 2 statements but the new rule still requires old statements (ids/reviewed spec) for the inventor to sign the new oath/dec.  PTO does not care whether the inventor knew old statements (ids/reviewed spec) when the inventor signs the new oath/dec.  Only the issue will be surfaced during the court proceeding.

-          One oath/dec can be signed by multiple inventors. PTO’s website form shows one oath/dec per each inventor, but practitioner has freedom to customize the form.

-          If errors in inventorship or assignee or changes, ADS can be revised/corrected with underlines and/or strike through lines.

-          Better to get inventor’s signature in the early stage because if wait till the issuance of allowability, the notice of allowability gives non-extendable 3-M due date for getting the signatures from inventors. 発明者の宣言書を許可可能通知まで待つことは推奨できません。サインを貰うのが余計に困難になる。

-          Power of Attorney (POA) should be given from the party who owns the application in order to avoid the awkward  situation such as the inventor becomes adverse.

-          However, only times that the paper form POA becomes necessary are (i) abandoning the application, (ii) filing a disclaimer.


2)     Pre-issuance Submission:

-          Applies to all application on or after Sep 16, 2012 which satisfies the time constrains (i.e., 6 M from Pub);

-          The due date for submission is such that PTO must receive the submissions by the due date.  Not a mailing date.

-          Submissions are limited to publication but need not be prior art.  Submissions can include counterpart EPO/JPO O.A.  Also submissions can include the case laws.

-          Concise Description of Relevance can be a claim element comparison chart.

-          Concise Description of Relevance should NOT propose rejections or proposed claim amendments.

o    3rd party is not a participant to the examination so that proposed rejection/amendments should not be in the concise description of relevance.


-          If 3rd party’s submission is NOT  in compliance with the rules, then 3rd party will be notified (if email address is provided with the request). 情報提供の仕方に不備がある場合には、情報提供者にメイルで通知される。 不備が解消されるまではファイルに記録されない。 情報提供者は不備を解消し、再度情報提供できる。 尚、不備がある場合には情報提供があったことを出願人に通知されない。

-          If submissions are 3 or less, then no PTO fees.

-          Submissions (documents and concise exp. of relevance) are reviewed by the Examiner in the same manner as IDS.

-          Applicant will be notified through email. (not by snail mail)  電子出願をする出願人には情報提供があったことは電子メイルで通知される。 紙出願をする出願人には通知されない。 但し、紙出願の出願人はPAIRによって確認できる。

-          Applicant need not respond to the submission unless PTO requests to do so.

-          Pros and Cons

o    Only cheap (less costly) and ‘possibly effective’ proceeding to narrow the scope of claims with PTO;

o    Harder to challenge in the later court proceedings once the submissions were reviewed by the Examiner;

o    Give notice to the applicant that the invention is important to the competitors.

§  Since this is Ex-parte proceeding, applicant get around the submitted prior art without substantial amendments but still encompasses the competitor’s products.

o    May strengthen the patent.


3)     Citation of Patent Owner’s Claim Scope Statements: (連邦裁判所の手続きにおいて特許権者がクレームの権利範囲に関して述べたことを特許のファイルに記録を残しておき、後に対特許庁の手続きで禁反言として利用するという手法)

-          Applicable any patent on or after Sep 16, 2012.

o    For instance, Patent owner’s statement in the earlier litigation, such as ‘Markman Hearing’ can be cited in the patent file and used against the patent owner during a subsequent ex-parte re-exam or IPR.

o    Patent owner’s statement of claim scope during the federal court proceedings can be cited in the patent file.  No ITC proceeding. (ITCは連邦裁判所ではない)

o    Only the statements by the patent owner.  (Q arises if a deposition of inventor is deemed a patent owner’s statement.  Answer seems to be no.)

-          Patent Owner’s Statement regarding claim scope during the court proceeding can be put into the patent file to create the clear file-wrapper estoppels.


4)     Ex-Parte Re-exam Estoppel:

-          Prohibit 3rd party requester from filing ex-parte reexam on the same patent after a final decision in PGR or IPR, if, requested by the same 3rd party (or their privies).

o    However, ex-parte reexam can still be requested without identifying a real party in interest. (little bit confusing)


5)     Supplemental Exam:

-          Applies to all patents enforceable on or after Sep 16, 2012. 

-          Sup exam is like an amnesty program so that the patent owner is immunized from allegations of inequitable conduct.

o    The patent shall not be found unenforceable based on the issues resolved by the sup-exam.

§  It should be noted, however, that this (‘amnesty’) applies with respect to the information initially submitted with the sup-exam request but does not apply with respect to the IDS submitted during the ex-parte reexam instituted after sup-exam request.

§  It should also be noted that ‘amnesty’ will not apply with respect to inequitable conduct assertion raised during the civil action (i.e., DJ action) before sup-exam is requested.

§  It should also be noted that ‘amnesty’ will not apply during the infringement litigation or ITC proceeding prior to which the re-exam following the sup-exam is not yet completed.

§  Simply speaking, you as a patent owner must come clean before enforcing your patent (i.e., sending a warning letter or filing a lawsuit).

-          Can be requested only by the patent owner. 3rd party cannot request.

-          Request may be filed at any time during the enforceable time period of the patent (i.e., generally 6 years after expiration of the patent).

-          Each supplemental exam request may have as many as 12 items of information;

o    More than one request for supplemental exam may be filed;

-          If PTO finds SNQ (Substantial New Question of Patentability), then ex-parte reexam will start.

o    PTO has a statutory 3-M deadline to decide if ex-parte reexam is to be instituted.

-          If PTO finds no SNQ, then $16,120 will be refunded.

-          Ex-parte Reexam instituted after Sup-Exam request is different from ordinary ex-parte reexam because the legal grounds of Ex-parte exam in Sup-Exam route includes 101, 102, 103, and 112 whereas that of ordinary ex-parte reexam only include 102 and 103. 補充審査でSNQ(特許性に対する新たな疑義)があると判断され開始される査定系再審査は通常の査定系再審査とは無効理由が101,112条を含むという点で異なる。 しかし補充審査に続く査定系再審査も通常の査定系再審査もCentral Reexam Unit(特許庁の再審査を担当する部門)で審理される。

o    But both reexams are handled by CRU (Central Reexam Unit) of the USPTO.

-          Although the initial decision (‘on whether SNQ was raised’) will issue within 3-M from the sup-exam request (because of statute), the re-exam following the sup-exam request may take more than 1-2 years or so.

-          PTO is authorized to report to US Attorney General in case it finds a material fraud during the sup-exam (or in re-exam following the sup-exam).  However, ‘material fraud’ is deemed a serious inequitable conduct.


6)     Administrative Patent Trials: (PGR,IPR,CBM、真の発明者の決定手続きに共通する規則)

-          According to lead judge Michael Tierney,

o    as of today (Oct 5), PTO has hired 154 administrative judges.  特許庁は既に154人の行政判事(特許訴訟の経験豊かな弁護士)を民間から採用(2012年10月現在)

o    as of today, already 25 IPRs and 10 CBMs were filed (only within 3 weeks).  In comparison to Inter-partes Reexam first introduced in year  2000 (only few cases in the first year), more than expected numbers of IPR and CBM were requested.  9月16日に開始されて3週間しか経過していないのに、既に25件のIPR,10件のCBMが請求されている。 2000年に当事者系再審査制度が始まった初年度には数件しか利用がなかったのに較べて非常に驚くべき数字である。

o    PTAB (Patent Trial Appeal Board) will get things done within 1 year with the exceptional case of 18 months because the statute says so.

o    In case the threshold to institute either one of IPR or PGR (CBM) is not met, then it will likely that 60% of fees paid upfront may be refunded (PTO has not decided yet). 説明会後のレセプションでPTO審判部の行政判事であるTierney氏に聞きました。要は、補充審査では再審査開始のSNQの要件が満たされない場合には再審査費用に相当する部分が返還されるのに、PGRやIPRではその点が最終規則において明瞭ではありません。 Tierney氏によると約60%程度費用を返還するという規則を来春までに作成することを計画中とのことです。

-          PTAB recognizes that there is a dead-zone for PGR proceeding from Sep 16, 2012 to the issuance date of the patent based on AIA application (filed on or after March 16, 2013).

-          PTAB may exceptionally dismiss the request of PGR or IPR if it is clearly impossible to get things done within the  statutory time period (12months).  For instance, more than 100 claims and 10 inventors are in none-English speaking foreign countries (depositions under Hague-Convention would be very complex).

-          Pros and Cons:

o    Benefits to requester:

§  PGR(CBM)/IPR – lower STD of Proof (‘preponderance evidence’) to invalidate the Patent in comparison to ‘Clear and Convincing Evidence STD’ during the litigation;

§  Quick resolution (within 1 year); -- rocket docket!

§  Cheaper proceeding compared to the cost during the litigation;

§  Estoppel attaches soon to the patent owner;

o    Benefits to patent owner;

§  Can amend claims;

§  In IPR, only 102 and 103 attacks based on publications;

§  Less discoveries;


7)     IPR:

-          Effective date: Sep 16, 2012

-          PTO fee - $27,200 (According to the judge Tierney, a total of 100 judges’ hours: $270/hr – hourly rate)


-          Applies to all Patents (Pre-AIA patents and AIA patents) on or after Sep 16, 2012.

-          After passage of 9 M from issuance or after PGR is completed.

-          Petitioner can only raise issues relating to 102 and 103 with publications;

-          Threshold to institute IPR:

o     “reasonable likelihood that petitioner would prevail as to at least one of the challenged claims” which is lower standard than that for the PGR (“more likely than not that at least one of the challenged claims is unpatentable”).


8)     PGR:

-          Effective Date: Sep 16, 2012, however, Only applies to AIA Patents (First Inventor to File Patents);

-          PTO Fee - $35,800  (According to the judge Tierney, a total of 130 judges’ hours: $270/hr – hourly rate)

-          Within 9M from the issuance of AIA patent;

-          Petitioner can raise the issues relating to 101, 102, 103, and 112 (not best mode) with publications and other than publications as evidences.

-          Threshold to institute PGR:

o     “more likely than not that at least one of the challenger claims is unpatentable”, which is higher standard than that for IPR.


9)     CMB (Covered Business Methods Patent):  AIAで規定するビジネスモデル関連特許(CBMと称する)に対しては9月16日よりPGRが開示されている。

-          Effective Date: Sep 16, 2012

-          PTO Fee - $35,800

-          Applies to patent with at least one claim which falls into a category of business method defined in the AIA (method or corresponding apparatus for performing data processing or other operations for financial product or service).

-          Applies to both pre-AIA and AIA patents;

-          Petitioner must be sued or charged (infringement) with such business method patent defined in the AIA.



USPTO Releases Roadshow Video


AIA Header

The USPTO announces the release of a roadshow video featuring the USPTO's discussion of the newly-effective AIA provisions and final rules for inventor's oath/declaration, preissuance submissions, supplemental examination, citation of patent owner claim scope statements, inter partes review, post grant review, covered business method review, and derivation. The video may be viewed in its entirety or one a topic-by-topic basis. The video includes segments from recordings made in Alexandria, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis.

Also, be sure to consult the AIA micro-site for a copy of the roadshow slides, a more detailed, companion reference guide, and highlights of the roadshow question-and-answer sessions.

Finally, don't forget to call 1-855-HELPAIA (1-855-435-7242) or email for answers to your AIA questions.


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