35 U.S.C. 316 Conduct of inter partes review Certificate of patentability, unpatentability and claim cancellation
(a) REGULATIONS.--The Director shall prescribe regulations--
(1) providing that the file of any proceeding under this chapter shall be made available to the public, except that any petition or document filed with the intent that it be sealed shall, if accompanied by a motion to seal, be treated as sealed pending the outcome of the ruling on the motion;
(2) setting forth the standards for the showing of sufficient grounds to institute a review under section 314(a);
(3) establishing procedures for the submission of supplemental information after the petition is filed;
(4) establishing and governing inter partes review under this chapter and the relationship of such review to other proceedings under this title;
(5) setting forth standards and procedures for discovery of relevant evidence, including that such discovery shall be limited to--
(A) the deposition of witnesses submitting affidavits or declarations; and
(B) what is otherwise necessary in the interest of justice;
(6) prescribing sanctions for abuse of discovery, abuse of process, or any other improper use of the proceeding, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or an unnecessary increase in the cost of the proceeding;
(7) providing for protective orders governing the exchange and submission of confidential information;
(8) providing for the filing by the patent owner of a response to the petition under section 313 after an inter partes review has been instituted, and requiring that the patent owner file with such response, through affidavits or declarations, any additional factual evidence and expert opinions on which the patent owner relies in support of the response;
(9) setting forth standards and procedures for allowing the patent owner to move to amend the patent under subsection (d) to cancel a challenged claim or propose a reasonable number of substitute claims, and ensuring that any information submitted by the patent owner in support of any amendment entered under subsection (d) is made available to the public as part of the prosecution history of the patent;
(10) providing either party with the right to an oral hearing as part of the proceeding;
(11) requiring that the final determination in an inter partes review be issued not later than 1 year after the date on which the Director notices the institution of a review under this chapter, except that the Director may, for good cause shown, extend the 1–year period by not more than 6 months, and may adjust the time periods in this paragraph in the case of joinder under section 315(c);
(12) setting a time period for requesting joinder under section 315(c); and
(13) providing the petitioner with at least 1 opportunity to file written comments within a time period established by the Director.
(b) CONSIDERATIONS.--In prescribing regulations under this section, the Director shall consider the effect of any such regulation on the economy, the integrity of the patent system, the efficient administration of the Office, and the ability of the Office to timely complete proceedings instituted under this chapter.
(c) PATENT TRIAL AND APPEAL BOARD.--The Patent Trial and Appeal Board shall, in accordance with section 6, conduct each inter partes review instituted under this chapter.
(d) AMENDMENT OF THE PATENT.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--During an inter partes review instituted under this chapter, the patent owner may file 1 motion to amend the patent in 1 or more of the following ways:
(A) Cancel any challenged patent claim.
(B) For each challenged claim, propose a reasonable number of substitute claims.
(2) ADDITIONAL MOTIONS.--Additional motions to amend may be permitted upon the joint request of the petitioner and the patent owner to materially advance the settlement of a proceeding under section 317, or as permitted by regulations prescribed by the Director.
(3) SCOPE OF CLAIMS.--An amendment under this subsection may not enlarge the scope of the claims of the patent or introduce new matter.
(e) EVIDENTIARY STANDARDS.--In an inter partes review instituted under this chapter, the petitioner shall have the burden of proving a proposition of unpatentability by a preponderance of the evidence.
(a) IN GENERAL.- In an inter partes reexamination proceeding under this chapter, when the time for appeal has expired or any appeal proceeding has terminated, the Director shall issue and publish a certificate canceling any claim of the patent finally determined to be unpatentable, confirming any claim of the patent determined to be patentable, and incorporating in the patent any proposed amended or new claim determined to be patentable.
(b) AMENDED OR NEW CLAIM.- Any proposed amended or new claim determined to be patentable and incorporated into a patent following an inter partes reexamination proceeding shall have the same effect as that specified in section 252 of this title for reissued patents on the right of any person who made, purchased, or used within the United States, or imported into the United States, anything patented by such proposed amended or new claim, or who made substantial preparation therefor, prior to issuance of a certificate under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.
Effective Dates for Changes Made to this Section
POST-GRANT REVIEW CHANGES
Section 6 of the America Invents Act
(c) REGULATIONS AND EFFECTIVE DATE.--
(1) REGULATIONS.--The Director shall, not later than the date that is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, issue regulations to carry out chapter 31 of title 35, United States Code, as amended by subsection (a) of this section.
(A) IN GENERAL.--The amendments made by subsection (a) shall take effect upon the expiration of the 1–year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply to any patent issued before, on, or after that effective date.
(B) GRADUATED IMPLEMENTATION.--The Director may impose a limit on the number of inter partes reviews that may be instituted under chapter 31 of title 35, United States Code, during each of the first 4 1–year periods in which the amendments made by subsection (a) are in effect, if such number in each year equals or exceeds the number of inter partes reexaminations that are ordered under chapter 31 of title 35, United States Code, in the last fiscal year ending before the effective date of the amendments made by subsection (a).
REMOVAL OF "OF THIS TITLE"
Section 20 of the America Invents Act
(l) EFFECTIVE DATE.--The amendments made by this section shall take effect upon the expiration of the 1 year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply to proceedings commenced on or after that effective date.