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Opinion enjoining continuation and claim limit rules released
October 31, 2007

The court's opinion enjoining the USPTO's new continuation and claim limit rules has been released. We'll have more once we've had a chance to analyze the court's reasoning. Update: click here for our post with more detailed analysis.

The AIPLA, who joined the case as an amicus supporting Glaxo, provides this report regarding the oral argument.

The media has also begun to cover the injunction:

The USPTO has now put the following statement on its homepage:

NOTICE REGARDING CLAIMS AND CONTINUATIONS RULES

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a final rule notice in the Federal Register to revise the rules of practice in patent cases relating to continuing applications and requests for continued examination practices, and for the examination of claims in patent applications. See Changes to Practice for Continued Examination Filings, Patent Applications Containing Patentably Indistinct Claims, and Examination of Claims in Patent Applications, 72 Fed. Reg. 46716 (Aug. 21, 2007) (Claims and Continuations Final Rule). The final rule notice published in the Federal Register indicates that the effective date for the changes to the rules of practice in the Claims and Continuations Final Rule is November 1, 2007.

On October 31, 2007, the United States District Court for the Eastern District Court of Virginia, however, issued a Preliminary Injunction enjoining the USPTO from implementing the changes in the Claims and Continuations Final Rule. Therefore, the changes to the rules of practice in the Claims and Continuations Final Rule will not go into effect on November 1, 2007.

USPTO employees are to continue processing and examining patent applications under the rules and procedures in effect on October 31, 2007, until further notice.

This Web site will be updated and USPTO employees will be notified with further information as it becomes available.

Inquiries regarding this notice should be directed to the appropriate TC representative.

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