The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued final rules to implement certain sections of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), which was passed in 2011.
The final rules become effective September 16, 2012, and will significantly affect at least the following aspects of U.S. patent practice.
- Inventor oath/declaration: Form, content and deadlines
- Substitute statement: New procedure for missing or uncooperative inventors
- Assignment: Form and content
- Application data sheet: Form and validity
- Preissuance submissions: New procedure
- Supplemental examination: New procedure
- Post-grant review: New procedure
- Inter partes review: New procedure
It is imperative that you understand how these new USPTO procedures will affect your daily work and the steps you must take now to ensure that your company is ready.