New Standards : US PTO Litigation Alert™

New Inter Partes Reexamination Rules

Darrin Auito | September 22, 2011

The USPTO recently announced new rules governing the provisions of the America Invents Act (“AIA”) relating to inter partes reexamination that went into effect on September 16, 2011.

Inter partes reexamination requests submitted:

  • Prior to September 16, 2011:  The SNQ standard is applicable in determining whether the request for inter partes reexamination will be granted.  If reexamination is ordered based on the SNQ standard, then the SNQ standard will apply throughout the reexamination proceeding.
  • On or after September 16, 2011, but before September 16, 2012:  The “reasonable likelihood” standard (i.e., a reasonable likelihood that the requester will prevail with respect to at least one of the claims challenged in the request) is applicable in determining whether the request for inter partes reexamination will be granted.  If reexamination is ordered based on the “reasonable likelihood” standard, then this standard will apply throughout the reexamination proceeding.
  • On or after September 16, 2012:   The Office cannot grant, or even accord a filing date to, the request, because the inter partes reexamination provisions of 35 U.S.C. chapter 31 are not available for any request for inter partes reexamination submitted on or after September 16, 2012.  The Office will only accept petitions to conduct inter partes review.  (*** The Office will implement the new inter partes review proceedings in a separate rule making.)


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