MPEP Section 1721, Treatment of Court and Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences Decisions Affecting Patent and Trademark Office Policy and Practice
This document contains one section of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (the "M.P.E.P."), Eighth Edition, Fifth Revision (August 2006). This page was last updated in July 2007. You may return to the section index to find a particular section. Alternatively, you may search the MPEP use the search box that appears on the bottom of every page of BitLaw--be sure to restrict your search to the MPEP in the pop-up list.
1721 Treatment of Court and Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences Decisions Affecting Patent and Trademark Office Policy and Practice [R-8]
In the event the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (Board) or court decision is one that significantly adds to the body of law by, for example, addressing a new legal or procedural issue, or providing a new interpretation of a prior decision, such a decision may result in an internal United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) memorandum pointing out the significance of the decision to the examination process.
When any examiner or supervisor in the Patent Examining Corps concludes that a recent decision of the Board or a court affects existing USPTO policy or practice, he or she should bring the matter to the attention of his/her TC Director through normal chain-of-command procedures.
When the TC Director believes that guidance to the Corps is warranted as a result of a decision, the TC Director should consult with the *>Associate< Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy and provide a draft of the guidance that is recommended as appropriate under the circumstances. The *>Associate< Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy will then consult appropriate Office officials, as necessary, to formulate a recommendation to the Commissioner for Patents on the policy implications of the opinion.
It may be necessary for the Director, General Counsel, Solicitor, Chief Administrative Patent Judge, Commissioner for Patents, *>Associate< Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, Deputy Commissioner for **>Patents< and TC Director making the recommendation to meet to review and discuss the policy ramifications of the opinion and recommended guidance to enable the Director to decide how the USPTO will proceed.
Communication of the decision on the policy implications of the court or Board decision will normally take place by either notice in the Official Gazette and/or via memorandum to USPTO personnel. Ultimately, the policy implications of the decision will be officially incorporated into the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure and Office of Patent Training curriculum materials during the next update cycle for these reference materials.