USPTO chief David Kappos on implementing the AIA
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USPTO chief David Kappos on implementing the AIA

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USPTO Director David Kappos kicked off the AIPLA’s largest Annual Meeting to date. He told attendees that “tactical thinking” will be key for practitioners in the months leading up to final implementation of the America Invents Act

“You can make choices right now about what and when you file, before or after the cut-off date,” said Kappos during an interview with AIPLA Executive Director Q. Todd Dickinson.

David Kappos-Todd Dickinson

The Dickinson-Kappos conversation-style interview has become an Annual Meeting staple in which Dickinson poses candid questions about the patent system. This year, AIPLA submitted 30 sets of comments to the USPTO on the implementation of the America Invents Act (AIA), which required a “great effort” in order to meet the USPTO’s tight deadlines. Many of the Association’s comments were adopted as part of the final rules packages, but certain “anomalies” remain, said Dickinson yesterday.

When Dickinson asked Kappos whether those would “get straightened out”, Kappos said that “there are some areas where we’ll be bumping up against the statute,” so the law will have to develop on its own.

Despite the Office’s busiest year ever in publishing rules packages on the AIA, Kappos reported that the backlog of patent applications is down to 605,000 and on track to fall below 600,000 within a few weeks. While the number of new applications continues to grow, Kappos said he isn’t worried. “We are a country that cares about IP and it shows in the growth in filing rates,” said the Director.

Asked what lessons he has learned during the AIA implementation process, Kappos told Dickinson: “The most important lesson by far is that no matter how hard you try, no matter how much experience you may have, it’s impossible to get things right without the cooperation of user groups, with AIPLA right at the head of that pack.”


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