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Weekly News Digest

September 4, 2007 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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USPTO Publishes New Patent Application Rules

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has published new rules in the Federal Register (www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/sol/notices/72fr46716.pdf) that it says will allow the agency to make the patent examination process more effective and efficient by encouraging applicants to use greater precision in describing the scope of their inventions. The new rules will take effect on Nov. 1, 2007. The rules are designed to bring closure to the examination process more quickly, while ensuring quality and maintaining the right balance between flexibility for applicants and the rights of the public.

The rules have been modified, relative to the rules that were originally proposed early last year, in response to the extensive comments the USPTO received from the public. Under the new rules, applicants may file two new continuing applications and one request for continued examination as a matter of right. Also, under the new rules, each application may contain up to 25 claims, with no more than five of them independent claims, without any additional effort on the part of the applicant. Beyond these thresholds, however, the new rules require applicants to show why an additional continuation is necessary or to provide supplementary information relevant to the claimed invention to present additional claims. In the coming weeks, the USPTO will be conducting outreach on these new rules to better inform external stakeholders of their content and to answer questions. Source: USPTO



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