The White House has now approved the PTO’s proposed changes to the Information Disclosure Statement Requirements “and other related matters.” The final rules have not been made public, however, the rules are expected to:
- impose a requirement for the personal review of, and to provide information about, certain citations;
- permit only timely IDS submissions;
- only permit the filing of an IDS after the mailing of a notice of allowance if a claim is admitted to be unpatentable and a narrowing amendment is also submitted
- permit third parties to submit prior art up until the mailing of a notice of allowance after application publication;
- no longer permit an IDS to meet the submission requirement for a request for continued examination (RCE);
- permit certain amendments and petitions so applicants will not have to file a continuation application or an RCE for such items; and
- revise the protest rule for dealing with unsolicited information received from third parties.
The continuation rules were finally published about six-weeks after OMB approval. If the PTO follows a similar schedule, expect a notice in later January 2008 regarding additional implementation of IDS requirements.