Challenge to the USPTO’s Proposed Patent Rules Continues

In July, the Federal Circuit granted rehearing en banc in Tafas v. Doll regarding the USPTO’s power to implement new rules on restrictions for continuations and claim limitations.  The original appeal was taken from a summary judgment decision in favor of plaintiffs Tafas, SmithKline Beecham Corp. et al., and the Federal Circuit initially affirmed in part and vacated in part.  Plaintiffs petitioned for the rehearing that was granted.  The parties jointly filed a request to stay the en banc review until 60 days after the U.S. Senate confirms David Kappos as the new director of the Patent Office, giving the new director an opportunity review the rules at issue and make any changes to the Patent Office’s position with respect to the proposed rules.  The court granted the stay and recently issued an order setting briefs due by late October.