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DOC/PTO RIN: 0651-AD40 Publication ID: Fall 2019 
Title: ●Changes to Rules of Practice to Reflect Existing Board Practices In Trial Proceedings Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board 

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) proposes changes to the rules of practice in inter partes review, post-grant review, and the transitional program for covered business method patents (collectively post-grant trial) proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) to conform the rules to existing Board practices.  The Supreme Court in SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu, 138 S. Ct. 1348 (2018), overturned the Board’s practice of instituting a post-grant trial on a subset of the claims or grounds in a petition.  The Board has also recently adopted a practice of allowing sur-replies in all post-grant trials.  In light of SAS Institute, and to better ensure the predictability and certainty of post-grant trial proceedings before the Board, the Office proposes changes to the rules of practice governing institution of post-grant trials; the scope of patent owner responses in post-grant trials; and the provision for, and type-volume limits of, sur-replies.

Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Not subject to, not significant 
CFR Citation: 37 CFR 42   
Legal Authority: 35 U.S.C. 2(b)(2), 6,21, 23, 41, 135, 311, 312, 316, and 321-326    Pub. L. 112-29, 125 Stat. 284    Pub. L. 112-274, 126 Stat. 2456   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  12/00/2019 
NPRM Comment Period End  02/00/2020 
Final Action  05/00/2020 
Final Action Effective  06/00/2020 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Scott Weidenfeller
Vice Chief Administrative Patent Judge
Department of Commerce
Patent and Trademark Office
600 Dulany Street,
Alexandria, VA 22313
Phone:571 272-9797
Fax:571 273-9797