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USPTO Rescinds Controversial Patent Rules and Seeks Dismissal of Tafas v. Kappos

In March 2009, we reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had issued a decision in the case of Tafas v. Doll (formerly, Tafas v. Dudas).

Subsequent to that decision, the Federal Circuit granted a rehearing en banc, and ordered additional briefings in the case, now referred to as Tafas v. Kappos.

In September 2009, the USPTO announced that the new director of the USPTO, David Kappos, signed a Final Rule rescinding the controversial regulations (rules) which were the subject of the Tafas v. Kappos litigation. The director stated:

These regulations have been unpopular from the outset and were not well received by the applicant community. In taking the actions we are announcing today, we hope to engage the applicant community more effectively on improvements that will help make the USPTO more efficient, responsive, and transparent to the public.

On October 8, 2009, the USPTO, joined by one of the two plaintiffs, GlaxoSmithKline, filed a motion to dismiss the appeal and vacate the district court’s decision. Although there are rumors that Mr. Tafas intends to continue with the appeal en banc in order to obtain a decision on the USPTO’s rulemaking authority, patent applicants need no longer be concerned about the restrictions the USPTO had been attempting to promulgate.

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