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Patent/PTAB Litigation Changes in Senator Leahy’s “Restoring the America Invents Act”

In 2011, Congress passed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (the “AIA”), implementing the most significant reformation to the U.S. patent system in over fifty years. Among the many changes of the AIA was the creation of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the “PTAB”). The PTAB serves as the judicial body of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “USPTO”) that adjudicates AIA trial proceedings of challenged patents. A decade later, one of the AIA’s namesakes, Senator Patrick Leahy – VT (D), is seeking to recalibrate practices that have evolved due to recent court decisions and PTAB directives that he sees as contrary to goals of the original AIA legislation. As such, Senator Leahy has introduced a new bill entitled the “Restoring the America Invents Act.”

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Changes in EPO Divisional Deadlines


Time to Read: 1 minutes Practices: Intellectual Property

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Today the European Patent Office (EPO) announced that as of April 1, 2014, it will repeal the current 24-month time limit for filing divisional applications. Applicants will once again be able to file divisional applications at any time from a pending EP application. One caveat is that the fees for filing divisionals may increase for any second and subsequent generation divisional applications. These fees have yet to be made public.

Impact on Client Portfolios

Any EP application that is pending (not granted, refused or abandoned) on or after April 1, 2014 can be used as the basis for a divisional application, even if the current two-year limit has expired. We therefore suggest that companies review their EP patent portfolios to identify any pending EP applications on which it may be desirable to file a divisional application, but on which the current two-year time limit has expired, as there may be value in keeping these applications pending until after April 1, 2014.  

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