The USPTO has released the list of organizations and persons that submitted comments in response to the July 2007 Rules of Practice Before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences in Ex Parte Appeals, Notice of Proposed Rule Making, first published in the Federal Register at 72 Fed. Reg. 41472 and then published in the Official Gazette at 1321 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 95.

The USPTO claims that the proposed rule changes relating to rules of practice before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences in Ex Parte Appeals are needed to permit the Board to handle an increasing number of ex parte appeals in a timely manner, and has set forth five objectives for the proposed rule changes: (1) provide reviewers with a clear and complete statement of an appellant’s position at the time of filing an appeal brief; (2) minimize the pendency of appeals before the Office; (3) minimize the need for lengthy patent term adjustments; (4) provide uniform treatment of requests for an extension of time filed after an appeal brief is filed; and, (5) make the decision-making process more efficient.

Especially thoughtful and detailed comments are provided by the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and by David Boundy of Cantor Fitzgerald L.P.

In looking at the comments, it’s noteworthy that even IBM weighed in against the changes noting:

Even though we agree that the commitment to patent quality is a shared responsibility, we believe that some of the proposed rules are of questionable benefit and impose substantial, unjustified burdens on appellants.

Microsoft reiterated the point stating:

While we appreciate the USPTO’s efforts to make the appeal process more effective and timely, we fail to see a showing by the USPTO in the proposed changes how such objectives are accomplished, and thereby do not support the changes as proposed.

See the comments by Corporations and Associations:

  1. 3M Innovative Properties Company (3M IPC) [PDF]
  2. Alkermes, Inc. [PDF]
  3. Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. [PDF]
  5. Ceres [PDF]
  6. Eastman Kodak Company [PDF]
  7. Eli Lilly and Company [PDF]
  8. IBM Corporation [DOC]
  9. Microsoft Corporation [DOC]
  10. Wyeth [DOC]

See all the comments here.

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