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USPTO aims to issue Alice update in November

The USPTO’s Andrew Hirshfeld gave an update on how the Office is assessing claims in light of the Supreme Court’s Alice v CLS Bank decision in a patent prosecution session at the AIPLA Annual Meeting

Hirshfeld admitted many have expressed a desire for more reasoned explanations post-Alice. He said the USPTO is working on new guidelines.

“The best way to characterize this is it is the next iteration,” he said. “Additional comments from the public will be solicited, and we will continue this back and forth. It is an iterative process. People are stopping me in the halls and saying when is the next iteration coming out to answer all these questions. I wish we could do that. The next iteration will certainly answer many of the questions and address feedback we received. However, there will certainly be additional questions that will need to be answered as we continue to move forward.”

He added: “As for timing, I do expect and am hoping the next iteration will be some time around the middle of November. That is if everything goes well in the review process. My goal is middle of November, although it could be possibly slightly later.”

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