USPTO seeking comments on American Invents Act

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has made three proposed changes to the rules of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), which changes the U.S. patent system from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system. (Search AIA at The agency is seeking comments on the changes, notes Travis Stanford of courthouse Public comment is due by March 5 and most of the AIA goes into affect on September 16, 2012.

The three proposed rules USPTO seeks comment on are:

  1. expanding the scope of information that can be included in a patent application, but placing specific limits on the use of statements made by a patent owner about the scope of the patent during ex parte review;
  2. Allowing third parties to comment on patent applications within 6 months of the filing of the application; and
  3. Extending the time limit on disciplinary actions against attorneys that practice before the office to 10 years from the date of the incident that is the subject of the action or one year after the conduct is brought to the attention of the agency.