David Boundy’s writing often focuses on the intersection between administrative procedure and Patent Office operations. In his new Patently-O Law Journal essay, Boundy explains the role of guidance (the MPEP, memoranda to examiners, checkboxes on forms, etc. — anything the PTO uses to govern the public or its employees outside the Code of Federal Regulations). Boundy explains when the PTO may act by guidance vs. when the PTO must use a full statutory rulemaking procedure.
Boundy walks through how bad PTO guidance practices is leading to lost patent protection, companies not formed, companies that fold because of delays and unpredictability of their patent applications, business opportunities not pursued, and similar economic effects, etc. He estimates the cost as several billion dollars per year.
Boundy’s essay then explains how that law applies to several specific rules that PTO improperly promulgated by guidance that create difficulties for patent applicants.
- Example 1: The secret 2007 restriction memo
- Example 2: Unpublished rules for ADS submission of bibliographic data
- Example 3: MPEP § 2144.03(C) misstatement of the law of intra-agency Official Notice
- Example 4: MPEP § 1207.04 and an examiner’s power to abort an appeal
- Example 5: the PTAB’s Trial Practice Guide (The right way)
Boundy’s essay is directly relevant to the pending en banc petition in Hyatt v. USPTO that challenges the agency’s right to “reopen prosecution” following a second rejection rather than allowing issues to be appealed. Although the Federal Circuit ruled that Hyatt’s petition was time-barred, Boundy explains, inter alia, that PTO procedural failures likely divested the agency from any statute of limitations defense. See, e.g., National Resources Defense Council v. Nat’l Highway Traffic Safety Admin, 894 F.3d 95, 106 (2d Cir. 2018) (a rule does not go effective until published in the Federal Register, and that’s the event that commences the limitations period).
Read it here:
- David A. Boundy, Agency Bad Guidance Practices at the Patent and Trademark Office: a Billion Dollar Problem, 2018 Patently-O Patent Law Journal 20. (Boundy.2018.BadGuidance)
- Colleen Chien and Jiun-Ying Wu, Decoding Patentable Subject Matter, 2018 PatentlyO Patent Law Journal 1.
- Paul M. Janicke, Patent Venue: Half Christmas Pie, And Half Crow, 2017 Patently-O Patent Law Journal 13. (Janicke.2017.ChristmasPie.pdf)
- Paul M. Janicke, The Imminent Outpouring from the Eastern District of Texas, 2017 Patently-O Patent Law Journal 1 (2017) (Janicke.2017.Venue)
- Mark A. Lemley, Erik Oliver, Kent Richardson, James Yoon, & Michael Costa, Patent Purchases and Litigation Outcomes, 2016 Patently-O Patent Law Journal 15 (Lemley.2016.PatentMarket)
- Bernard Chao and Amy Mapes, An Early Look at Mayo’s Impact on Personalized Medicine, 2016 Patently-O Patent Law Journal 10 (Chao.2016.PersonalizedMedicine)
- James E. Daily, An Empirical Analysis of Some Proponents and Opponents of Patent Reform, 2016 Patently-O Patent Law Journal 1. (Daily.2016.Professors)
- Tristan Gray–Le Coz and Charles Duan, Apply It to the USPTO: Review of the Implementation of Alice v. CLS Bank in Patent Examination, 2014 Patently-O Patent Law Journal 1. (GrayLeCozDuan)
- Robert L. Stoll, Maintaining Post-Grant Review Estoppel in the America Invents Act: A Call for Legislative Restraint, 2012 Patently-O Patent Law Journal 1 (Stoll.2012.estoppel.pdf)
- Paul Morgan, The Ambiguity in Section 102(a)(1) of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, 2011 Patently-O Patent Law Journal 29. (Morgan.2011.AIAAmbiguities)
- Joshua D. Sarnoff, Derivation and Prior Art Problems with the New Patent Act, 2011 Patently-O Patent Law Journal 12 (sarnoff.2011.derivation.pdf)
- Bernard Chao, Not So Confidential: A Call for Restraint in Sealing Court Records, 2011 Patently-O Patent Patent Law Journal 6 (chao.sealedrecords.pdf)
- Benjamin Levi and Rodney R. Sweetland, The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Recommendations to the International Trade Commission (ITC): Unsound, Unmeasured, and Unauthoritative, 2011 Patently-O Patent Law Journal 1 (levi.ftcunsound.pdf)
- Kevin Emerson Collins, An Initial Comment on King Pharmaceuticals: The Printed Matter Doctrine as a Structural Doctrine and Its Implications for Prometheus Laboratories, 2010 Patently-O Patent Law Journal 111 (Collins.KingPharma.pdf)
- Robert A. Matthews, Jr., When Multiple Plaintiffs/Relators Sue for the Same Act of Patent False Marking, 2010 Patently-O Patent Law Journal 95 (matthews.falsemarking.pdf)
- Kristen Osenga, The Patent Office’s Fast Track Will Not Take Us in the Right Direction, 2010 Patently-O Patent L.J. 89 (Osenga.pdf)
- Peter S. Menell, The International Trade Commission’s Section 337 Authority, 2010 Patently-O Patent L.J. 79
- Donald S. Chisum, Written Description of the Invention: Ariad (2010) and the Overlooked Invention Priority Principle, 2010 Patently‐O Patent L.J. 72
- Kevin Collins, An Initial Comment on Ariad: Written Description and the Baseline of Patent Protection for After-Arising Technology, 2010 Patently-O Patent L.J. 24
- Etan Chatlynne, Investigating Patent Law’s Presumption of Validity—An Empirical Analysis, 2010 Patently-O Patent L.J. 37
- Michael Kasdan and Joseph Casino, Federal Courts Closely Scrutinizing and Slashing Patent Damage Awards, 2010 Patently-O Patent L.J. 24 (Kasdan.Casino.Damages)
- Dennis Crouch, Broadening Federal Circuit Jurisprudence: Moving Beyond Federal Circuit Patent Cases, 2010 Patently-O Patent L.J. 19 (2010)
- Edward Reines and Nathan Greenblatt, Interlocutory Appeals of Claim Construction in the Patent Reform Act of 2009, Part II, 2010 Patently‐O Patent L.J. 7 (2010) (Reines.2010)
- Gregory P. Landis & Loria B. Yeadon, Selecting the Next Nominee for the Federal Circuit: Patently Obvious to Consider Diversity, 2010 Patently-O Patent L.J. 1 (2010) (Nominee Diversity)
- Paul Cole, Patentability of Computer Software As Such, 2008 Patently-O Patent L.J. 1. (Cole.pdf)
- John F. Duffy, The Death of Google’s Patents, 2008 Patently O-Pat. L.J. ___ (googlepatents101.pdf)
- Mark R. Patterson, Reestablishing the Doctrine of Patent Exhaustion, 2007 Patently-O Patent L.J. 38
- Arti K. Rai, The GSK Case: An Administrative Perspective, 2007 Patently-O Patent L.J. 36
- Joshua D. Sarnoff, BIO v. DC and the New Need to Eliminate Federal Patent Law Preemption of State and Local Price and Product Regulation, 2007 Patently-O Patent L.J. 30 (Download Sarnoff.BIO.pdf)
- John F. Duffy, Are Administrative Patent Judges Unconstitutional?, 2007 Patently-O Patent L.J. 21. (Duffy.BPAI.pdf)
- Joseph Casino and Michael Kasdan, In re Seagate Technology: Willfulness and Waiver, a Summary and a Proposal, 2007 Patently-O Patent L.J. 1 (Casino-Seagate)