Calculating Sec. 154 Patent Term Adjustments

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Presentation on eligibility and common problems in calculating patent term adjustments under 35 USC Section 154.

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Calculating Sec. 154 Patent Term Adjustments

  1. 1. PATENT TERM ADJUSTMENT CALCULATIONS UNDER 35 U.S.C. § 154(b) “ Playing Sudoku With The USPTO” Sudoku ( sūdoku ) is a logic-based, combinatorial number-placement puzzle.
  2. 2. TOPICS <ul><li>Application eligibility </li></ul><ul><li>Grounds for adjustment </li></ul><ul><li>Common adjustments and reductions thereto </li></ul><ul><li>Recommended procedures and examples </li></ul><ul><li>Wyeth v Kappos and 371(b) USPTO errors </li></ul><ul><li>Pre- and post-grant correction application and contents </li></ul><ul><li>Appeal of determinations </li></ul><ul><li>Practice tips and help </li></ul>
  3. 3. APPLICATION ELIGIBILITY <ul><li>Ineligible: Applications filed before June 8, 1995 and all design patents </li></ul><ul><li>Applications filed between and including June 8, 1995 and May 28, 2000 under old 35 U.S.C. § 154(b) [37 CFR § 1.701] </li></ul><ul><li>Applications filed on or after May 29, 2000 under 35 U.S.C. § 154(b) [37 CFR § 1.702-1.705] </li></ul>
  4. 4. Old 35 U.S.C. § 154(b) “Extensions” (not Adjustments) <ul><li>Original patents (i.e. no reissues) </li></ul><ul><li>Maximum extension of 5 years </li></ul><ul><li>Day for day extension only for delays attributable to interferences, secrecy orders, or successful appellate review (BPAI, CAFC, or DC) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Appellate extension only for 3 yrs after filing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Request for correction via 37 CFR § 1.181 within 2 months of Notice of Allowance </li></ul>
  5. 5. NEW 35 U.S.C. § 154(b) “ADJUSTMENTS” <ul><li>Original patents (i.e. no reissues) </li></ul><ul><li>Day for day term adjustment due to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(A) USPTO delay: 14-4-4-4 Rule </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(B) USPTO delay: 3 year Rule </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(C) Interferences, secrecy orders and successful appeals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Adjustments reduced by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Calendar day overlaps of adjustments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Terminal disclaimers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applicant delays in prosecution </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. NEW 35 U.S.C. § 154(b) “ADJUSTMCENTS” Cont’d <ul><li>Request for correction by application and fee </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Before issue fee payment for most A and C circumstances (max 3 months from notice of allowance) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-extendable two months of the issue date for B circumstances and some A circumstances </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Appeal of USPTO patent term adjustment via DC Court within 180 days of issue </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>GROUNDS: 37 CFR § 1.702(a) (14-4-4-4 RULE) USPTO FAILURE TO: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide an exam action on an application within 14 months of the 111a filing date or 371(c) date. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Respond to a reply to an office action response or to a compliant appeal brief within 4 months. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Act on an application within 4 months after the date of a decision by the BPAI in an appeal or interference or a decision by a Federal court in which allowable claims remain in an application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Issue a patent within 4 months after payment of the issue fee. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. (B) GROUNDS: 37 CFR § 1.702(b) (3 YEAR RULE) USPTO FAILURE TO: <ul><li>Issue a patent within 3 years after the filing date of the application [111a or 371(b or f)] not including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time after the filing of an RCE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time consumed in an interference, appellate review by BPAI or Federal courts, or imposition of a secrecy order </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time due to applicants request to delay processing </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. COMMON A AND B DELAYS ELIGIBLE FOR DAY FOR DAY ADJUSTMENT: 37 CFR 1.703 <ul><li>USPTO delays first exam action to after 14 months </li></ul><ul><li>USPTO delays action to a response to after 4 months </li></ul><ul><li>USPTO delays issue to after 4 months from issue fee </li></ul><ul><li>USPTO delays issue of patent beyond 3 years </li></ul><ul><li>Importantly! </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond 4 month periods are not additive to the eligible periods under the 14 month or the 3 yr. rule </li></ul><ul><li>The eligible periods under the 14 month and 3 yr. rule are additive if there is no calendar day overlap (Wyeth vs Kappos) </li></ul>
  10. 10. REDUCTIONS TO ADJUSTMENT 37 USC § 1.704 <ul><li>Any period, on a day for day basis, wherein Applicant delays prosecution </li></ul><ul><li>Many grounds for reductions but most commonly: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not responding to an Office notice/action within 3 months (But you always get 3 months!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supplemental responses and submissions that impede Office actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filing an RCE or Terminal disclaimer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Note! Date calculated from day of USPTO receipt except for Express Mail procedure </li></ul>
  11. 11. STEPS IN PTA VERIFICATION <ul><li>Access a between-date duration calculator </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.timeanddate.com/date/duration.html </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Access Patent Term Adjustment file in PAIR </li></ul><ul><li>Verify the start dates for the 14 month and 3 yr rules </li></ul><ul><li>Calculate your 14 month and 3 yr dates </li></ul><ul><li>Verify calculations for USPTO and your delays </li></ul><ul><li>Sum eligible adjustment periods (14 mon, 3 yr, other) </li></ul><ul><li>Subtract your delay periods and compare answers </li></ul><ul><li>VOILA! </li></ul>
  12. 12. Example For 111a Application PAIR ADJUSTMENT FILE 14 month date is 9-18-2006 3 yr date is 7-18-2008 [Potentially eligible under 35 USC § 154(b)(1)(B)]   Patent Term Adjustments Explanation Of Calculations   - USPTO Adjustment(days):   192 Total PTA (days):   - Post-Issue Petitions (days):   - Applicant Delay (APPL) Delay (days):   - Pre-Issue Petitions (days):   - Three Years:   01-05-2010 Issue Date of Patent:   - USPTO Delay (PTO) Delay (days):   07-18-2005 Filing or 371(c) Date: Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) for Application Number:  11/184,429
  13. 13. PAIR ADJUSTMENT FILE 9-27-2007 is beyond 14 month date of 9-18-2006 so eligible under 35 USC § 154(b)(1)(A) Application Is Now Complete 02-27-2006 Application Dispatched from OIPE 02-27-2006 Case Docketed to Examiner in GAU 03-24-2006 IFW TSS Processing by Tech Center Complete 03-24-2006 Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) Filed 06-22-2007 Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) Filed 06-22-2007 Reference capture on IDS 06-22-2007 Requirement for Restriction / Election 09-26-2007 374 Mail Restriction Requirement 09-27-2007
  14. 14. Potential PTA 35 USC § 154(b)(1)(A) From and including: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 To and including: Thursday, September 27, 2007 It is 374 days from the start date to the end date, end date included
  15. 15. POTENTIAL PTA 35 USC § 154(b)(1)(B) From and including: Saturday, July 19, 2008 To and including: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 It is 536 days from the start date to the end date, end date included No additional USPTO delays were detected under 4 month rule
  16. 16. REDUCTION TO ADJUSTMENTS 1 From and including: Saturday, November 12, 2005 (3 months for reply) To and including: Wednesday, February 15, 2006 It is 96 days from the start date to the end date (end date included) Notice Mailed--Application Incomplete--Filing Date Assigned 08-11-2005 A statement by one or more inventors satisfying the requirement under 35 USC 115, Oath of the Applic 02-15-2006 96 Additional Application Filing Fees 02-15-2006
  17. 17. REDUCTION TO ADJUSTMENTS 2 From and including: Friday, August 8, 2008 (3 months for reply) To and including: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 It is 12 days from the start date to the end date (end date included) Mail Non-Final Rejection 05-07-2008 Request for Extension of Time - Granted 08-19-2008 12 Response after Non-Final Action 08-19-2008
  18. 18. REDUCTION TO ADJUSTMENTS 3 From and including: Sunday, March 1, 2009 (3 months for reply) To and including: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 It is 74 days from the start date to the end date (end date included) Mail Final Rejection (PTOL - 326) 11-28-2008 Workflow - Request for RCE - Begin 05-13-2009 Request for Extension of Time - Granted 05-13-2009 Disposal for a RCE / CPA / R129 05-20-2009 74 Request for Continued Examination (RCE) 05-13-2009
  19. 19. RCE REDUCTION From and including: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 To and including: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 It is 238 days from the start date to the end (end date included) Application Is Considered Ready for Issue 11-17-2009 Dispatch to FDC 11-24-2009 Patent Issue Date Used in PTA Calculation 01-05-2010 74 Request for Continued Examination (RCE) 05-13-2009 Date Forwarded to Examiner 05-20-2009
  20. 20. FINAL PTA CALCULATIONS <ul><li>35 USC § 154(b)(1)(A) Adjustments = 374 days </li></ul><ul><li>35 USC § 154(b)(1)(B) Adjustments </li></ul><ul><li>[536- 238 (RCE days)] = 298 days </li></ul><ul><li>35 USC § 154(b)(2)(C) Reductions </li></ul><ul><li>[96 + 12 + 74] = 182 days </li></ul><ul><li>Total Adjustment </li></ul><ul><li>[(374 + 298) – 182] = 490 days </li></ul><ul><li>USPTO Adjusted only 192 days (Wyeth v Kappos effect) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Wyeth v Kappos Decided by CAFC 1-7-2010 <ul><li>Prior USPTO interpretation of 35 USC 154(b)(2)(A) was that 154(b)(1)(A) and 154(b)(1)(B) delays overlapped so only the longer of the two was eligible for adjustment </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation overruled by both the DC Court and CAFC so (A) periods and (B) periods are now additive to the extent they do not overlap on calendar days </li></ul><ul><li>Interim form PTO/SB/131 was available for corrections solely due to Wyeth v Kappos for patents issued within 180 days prior to March 2, 2010 </li></ul>
  22. 22. 371 Application Example PAIR ADJUSTMENT FILE 14 month date is 8-04-2008 3 yr date is 6-4-2010 Ineligible for PTA? No! For 3 yr date, date is measured from 371 (b or f) date (371(b) date is 30 months after priority date for PCT filing) [This calculation error was just discovered in 2009]   Patent Term Adjustments   160 Total PTA (days):   - Post-Issue Petitions (days):   - Applicant Delay (APPL) Delay (days):   - Pre-Issue Petitions (days):   - Three Years:   01-19-2010 Issue Date of Patent:   - USPTO Delay (PTO) Delay (days):   06-04-2007 Filing or 371(c) Date: Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) for Application Number:  10/583,814
  23. 23. 10/583,814 IMAGE FILE 3 yr date is actually 6-22-2009, Potentially eligible for PTA under 35 USC § 154(b)(1)(B) since issue date was 1-19-2010 1 PROSECUTION Abstract ABST 06-22-2006 21 PROSECUTION Claims CLM 06-22-2006 243 PROSECUTION Specification SPEC 06-22-2006 3 PROSECUTION Transmittal of New Application TRNA 06-22-2006
  24. 24. PAIR PTA FILE: USPTO DELAY Calculations verify that first action from 371(c) date was 191 days after 14 month date A Notice of Allowance was mailed within four months of applicants response so there was no further USPTO delay. Patent issued on 1-19-2010 211 days beyond the 3 yr date 371 Completion Date 06-04-2007   Application Dispatched from OIPE 07-17-2007   PG-Pub Issue Notification 10-19-2007   Email Notification 10-21-2007   Non-Compliant Preliminary Amendment 12-07-2007   Mail Non-Compliant Preliminary Amendment 12-11-2007   IFW TSS Processing by Tech Center Complete 12-07-2007   Email Notification 12-12-2007   Case Docketed to Examiner in GAU 12-19-2007   Preliminary Amendment 12-26-2007   Non-Final Rejection 02-06-2009   191 Mail Non-Final Rejection 02-11-2009
  25. 25. APPLICANT REDUCTIONS FOR DELAY Calculations verify that Applicant delayed 31 days beyond 3 month date in replying to first action.   Email Notification 02-11-2009   Electronic Review 02-11-2009   Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) Filed 06-11-2009   Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) Filed 06-11-2009   Reference capture on IDS 06-11-2009   Request for Extension of Time - Granted 06-11-2009 31   Response after Non-Final Action 06-11-2009     Date Forwarded to Examiner 07-08-2009     Information Disclosure Statement considered 06-11-2009     Examiner's Amendment Communication 09-10-2009     Notice of Allowance Data Verification Completed 09-11-2009     Document Verification 09-11-2009     Mail Notice of Allowance 09-15-2009
  26. 26. FINAL PTA CALCULATIONS <ul><li>35 USC § 154(b)(1)(A) Adjustments = 191 days </li></ul><ul><li>35 USC § 154(b)(1)(B) Adjustments = 211 days </li></ul><ul><li>35 USC § 154(b)(2)(C) Reductions = 31 days </li></ul><ul><li>Total Adjustment </li></ul><ul><li>[(191 + 211) – 31] = 371 days </li></ul><ul><li>USPTO Adjusted only 160 days (Wyeth v Kappos effect and 371(b) error) </li></ul>
  27. 27. PRE-GRANT CORRECTION OF PTA <ul><li>First opportunity is following Notice of Allowance but before issue fee payment (3 month non-extendable) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only applicable for 35 USC § 154(b)(1)A and C, not B </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Requires request (application) and $200 fee </li></ul><ul><li>Do not delay requests for most A and C corrections until after grant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>after issue requests cannot raise new issues or issues that could have been raised in the earlier application for correction (37 CFR 1.705(e)) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Corrections for reductions due to response delays are available under basically “unavoidable” standards </li></ul>
  28. 28. POST-GRANT CORRECTION OF PTA <ul><li>Only for causes that could not have earlier been raised, e.g., 35 USC 154(b)(1)(B) grounds, late issue </li></ul><ul><li>Must file within a non-extendable two months of issue </li></ul><ul><li>Requires request (application) and $200 fee </li></ul><ul><li>*Note that requests for corrections before notice of allowance or B corrections before grant are dismissed. </li></ul>
  29. 29. APPLICATION FOR CORRECTION CONTENT <ul><li>The fee according to 37 CFR 1.18(e) </li></ul><ul><li>A statement of the facts involved, specifying: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Correct patent term adjustment and the 37 CFR 1.702 grounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevant dates for which adjustment period is sought under 37 CFR 1.703(a)-(e) and the adjustment period to which the patent is entitled under 1.703(f) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whether the patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer and any expiration date specified in the terminal disclaimer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dates and circumstances for reduction to adjustments (37 CFR 1.704) or statement that there were no such circumstances </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. PTA CORRECTIONS IN THE USPTO’S FAVOR <ul><li>Duty of candor requires you to notify the USPTO of corrections in their favor </li></ul><ul><li>An application under 37 CFR 1.705 is not required </li></ul><ul><li>MPEP 2733 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Letter citing error + issue fee payment is adequate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternatively, request certificate of correction after issue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Applicable even after the two months from issue when submitted with a letter of candor </li></ul></ul></ul>
  31. 31. APPEAL OF CORRECTIONS <ul><li>Appeal to the DC District Court is available if made within 180 days after the patent grant </li></ul><ul><li>The DC Court has just remanded timely filed Wyeth v Kappos corrections to the USPTO </li></ul><ul><li>Unclear what fate awaits PTA due to Wyeth v Kappos in patents that are beyond 180 days of grant without pending suits </li></ul><ul><li>*Note, recently, some companies have had to file appeals before USPTO decisions to preserve their 180 day rights </li></ul>
  32. 32. PRACTICE TIPS <ul><li>File responses electronically or via Express Mail </li></ul><ul><li>Manage responses to all notices (PTA running?) </li></ul><ul><li>Make telephone invention restrictions if available </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid incomplete applications, submissions after allowance and non-compliant amendments, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid delaying examiner near office actions, e.g., preliminary amendments and IDS submissions </li></ul><ul><li>Manage or avoid PTA truncating RCEs </li></ul><ul><li>Fulfill 371(c) requirements early and expressly request examination in early PCT nationalizations </li></ul>
  33. 33. USPTO HELP <ul><li>OPLA PTA help line 571-272-7702 </li></ul>

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