The Scope and Ramifications of the New Post-Grant and Inter Partes Review Proceedings at the USPTO

Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto's Patent Prosecution Update
December 2011

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) makes numerous changes to U.S. patent law. Among the more significant changes are those directed to procedures for challenging the validity of patents in proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Although leaving ex parte reexamination untouched, the AIA replaces inter partes reexamination with two new proceedings: post-grant review and inter partes review. These new proceedings differ from inter partes reexamination in many respects, and their implementation may significantly change the thoughts of practitioners regarding challenging the validity of a patent before the USPTO.

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