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New Standard in Effect for Granting Inter Partes Reexaminations

USPTO ISSUING NEW RULES CONCERNING INTER PARTES REEXAMINATION — On September 16, after the President signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act into law, the USPTO announced new rules governing the provisions of the Act relating to Inter Partes Reexamination that went into effect immediately upon enactment.  For all Inter Partes Reexamination requests filed on or after September 16, 2011, the “reasonable likelihood” standard replaces the substantial new question (“SNQ”) standard for granting requests.  The rules also govern the phase out of Inter Partes Reexamination requests as the new Inter Partes Review process goes into effect on September 16, 2012.  The new rules are being published in the Federal Register (and are available below).

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