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Archive for January 6th, 2009

Patent Law Changes Accelerate Need for Continuing Legal Education

Alexandria, Va. (January 5, 2009)—Recent changes to patent law have created an overwhelming need for patent professionals to keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date.

In October 2008, the Court of Appeals at the Federal Circuit handed down a controversial decision in the In re Bilski case, sending some patent law experts scrambling to understand its potential impact. The decision sought to more concretely define eligibility of business method patents, which some patent law experts believe will have a negative impact on software patents.

Additionally, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is in the process of implementing new rules for processing appeals, which have risen nearly 30% over the past year. The new rules, originally set to take effect on December 10 but recently postponed by the USPTO, seek to streamline the patent process. Some in the industry believe the new rules make obtaining a patent through an appeal more difficult and costly.

“Patent law is constantly evolving,” says Paul Gardner, Academic Director of Patent Resources Group, the nation’s leading patent education firm. “If professionals do not keep up with the changes to the law, they will undermine their success at prosecuting patent applications and litigating patent cases.”

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