The Patent and Trademark Office finalized its long-awaited rules intended to lead in patent applicants’ practice of filing multiple continuation patent applications and large number of claims on August 21. Foley Partners Stephen Maebius, co-chair of the Life Sciences Industry Team, and Andrew Rawlins, chair of the Mechanical and Electromechanical Technologies Practice were both asked to comment on the new USPTO Claims and Continuations Rules in a recent issue of BNA Medical Device Law & Industry Report.
Stephen Maebius believes the final rules are a significant improvement over the proposed rules, which would have cut off the number of continuations at one. However, there is still some uncertainty on what condition PTO will allow the filing of additional continuations beyond the 2+1 limit. For the device industry, Andrew Rawlins believes placing a limit on the of continuations patents may get in the way of an applicant’s capability to get broad patent protection on essential technologies. The article in its entirety can be found on page 364 of the publication and is titled, "PTO Issues Final Patent Claim Rules Allowing '2 Plus 1' Continuation Applications.”
Reproduced with permission from Medical Devices Law & Industry Report, Vol. 1, No. 14 (Sept. 12, 2007). Copyright 2007 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) <http://www.bna.com>