just_n_examiner (just_n_examiner) wrote,

Things are Looking Up! (Aren't They?)

Well, lots of good things have been happening in the examining world recently.

The CAFC issued its Therasense decision, which will hopefully reduce the number of massive Information Disclosure Statements examiners need to deal with.

The examining corps has apparently accomplished its COPA [Clearing the Oldest Patent Applications] goal of completing first actions on 235,000 COPA applications, which has prompted the Office to issue a memo setting new goals of 245,000 and 255,000 first actions before the end of the fiscal year.

Overtime is back! Examiners are authorized to work 32 hours of overtime per bi-week, effective September 9th.

Patent Number 8,000,000 issued on August 16th.

Then, there was the biggie, the enactment of the America Invents Act (AIA), signed into law by President Obama last Thursday. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends very much on who you talk to, but as with all things, there are likely to be good aspects and bad aspects.

The provision which I've had my eye on is the newly enacted mechanism to legitimize the ongoing fee diversion by congress. It was very disappointing to see it go through, although Director Kappos, in an on-line chat with the corps this morning made the case that it is a good thing, that the fund to hold excess PTO fees can only be used for the PTO, and that the PTO need only make a good case that the money is needed and will be well spent in order to get congress to turn it over. We'll see.

The PTO, by the way, has established a web page with details of the implementation of the AIA by the USPTO, a process which is obviously ongoing and still evolving.
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