The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently announced plans for a public discussion that will address the issue of streamlining procedures governing patent reexamination.
According to the USPTO, a proposed change to the current system is aimed at reducing the amount of time taken to resolve disputes between patent holders and the public with respect to the validity of issued patents.
David Kappos, under secretary for intellectual property and director of the USPTO, said his agency recognizes that the reexamination of patents is a key function of the USPTO, "because these patents often have significant commercial value and are usually involved in concurrent litigation."
According to Kappos, faster resolution of disputes would help make patent reexamination "a better mechanism for reviewing patent validity."
The proposal for streamlining patent reexamination suggests a number of changes, including standardization of request formatting; reduction of the need for late evidence submission; clarification of petitions practice and reduction of unnecessary briefings.
A public meeting to discuss the proposals will be held at USPTO Headquarters in Virginia in June.