IP: 6 practical ways to improve your patent strategy in 2012

The new year is the perfect time for improvements as another wave of AIA provisions are set to go into effect

The New Year is a traditional time to reflect on how we can improve ourselves and our businesses. It also is a prime time to revamp your organization’s intellectual property strategy of as another wave of provisions in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) come into effect.

Here are six simple and practical resolutions for getting a jump-start on patent reform.

Inter partes review should be a cost-effective alternative or supplement to patent infringement litigation. AIA provided a broad framework for inter partes review, but further details will emerge in the next few months as the USPTO publishes and finalizes its procedural rules.

4. Expedite prosecution of your most important patent applications. Already in effect is an AIA mechanism for patent applicants to speed up the patent process by paying an additional petition fee ($4,800) for prioritized examination. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is chipping away at the backlog of nearly 700,000 patent applications awaiting examination, but non-expedited examination, on average, takes about three years. As of Sept. 16, 2012, the AIA also will prioritize examination of applications important to the national economy or competitiveness.

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Janelle Waack

Janelle Waack is a partner at Novak Druce + Quigg LLP and focuses on interference matters before the United States Patent and Trademark Office Board...

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