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PTO changes on biotech patents

Executive Summary

Patent & Trademark Office will publish examples of patent claim sets as references for avoiding "restriction" requirements in approximately six months. The move is part of a five-point plan to address when and how patent examiners limit or restrict the number of inventions in a single application for biotech, pharmaceutical and organic chemistry patents. PTO says it also will train examiners to analyze and recognize claim sets that should be examined together and will implement "a 'second pair of eyes' to review restriction decisions made by examiners to promote consistency." Biotechnology Industry Organization, which has been pushing for changes in restriction practice, called PTO's announcement a "positive step" but says a legislative change in the PTO's fee structure is still needed...
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