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Feb 201121
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The Patent Office Issues New Examination Guidelines to Evaluate Whether Inventions are Distinctly Claimed

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued supplementary patent examination guidelines further defining the USPTO’s interpretation of the second paragraph of 35 U.S.C. §112 that requires inventors to distinctly claim their inventions.  These guidelines are supplements to the standards in the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP).  While the supplemental guidelines are not a comprehensive revision of the MPEP, the guidelines anticipate an eventual revision of the MPEP based on a future, final version of these guidelines.  The current provisions in the MPEP remain in effect except as where indicated in the guidelines.

The new supplementary guidelines are published here.   The public has until April 11 to comment on these guidelines.