• 35 USC § 316 – Conduct of inter partes review, regulations

    § 316. Conduct of inter partes review

    (a) REGULATIONS.—The Director shall prescribe regulations—

    (1) providing that the file of any proceeding under this chapter shall be made available to the public, except that any petition or document filed with the intent that it be sealed shall, if accompanied by a motion to seal, be treated as sealed pending the outcome of the ruling on the motion;

    (2) setting forth the standards for the showing of sufficient grounds to institute a review under section 314(a);

    (3) establishing procedures for the submission of supplemental information after the petition is filed;

    (4) establishing and governing inter partes review under this chapter and the relationship of such review to other proceedings under this title;

    (5) setting forth standards and procedures for discovery of relevant evidence, including that such discovery shall be limited to—

    (A) the deposition of witnesses submitting affidavits or declarations; and

    (B) what is otherwise necessary in the interest of justice;

    (6) prescribing sanctions for abuse of discovery, abuse of process, or any other improper use of the proceeding, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or an unnecessary increase in the cost of the proceeding;

    (7) providing for protective orders governing the exchange and submission of confidential information;

    (8) providing for the filing by the patent owner of a response to the petition under section 313 after an inter partes review has been instituted, and requiring that the patent owner file with such response, through affidavits or declarations, any additional factual evidence and expert opinions on which the patent owner relies in support of the response;

    (9) setting forth standards and procedures for allowing the patent owner to move to amend the patent under subsection (d) to cancel a challenged claim or propose a reasonable number of substitute claims, and ensuring that any information submitted by the patent owner in support of any amendment entered under subsection (d) is made available to the public as part of the prosecution history of the patent;

    (10) providing either party with the right to an oral hearing as part of the proceeding;

    (11) requiring that the final determination in an inter partes review be issued not later than 1 year after the date on which the Director notices the institution of a review under this chapter, except that the Director may, for good cause shown, extend the 1-year period by not more than 6 months, and may adjust the time periods in this paragraph in the case of joinder under section 315(c);

    (12) setting a time period for requesting joinder under section 315(c); and

    (13) providing the petitioner with at least 1 opportunity to file written comments within a time period established by the Director.

    (b) CONSIDERATIONS. —In prescribing regulations under this section, the Director shall consider the effect of any such regulation on the economy, the integrity of the patent system, the efficient administration of the Office, and the ability of the Office to timely complete proceedings instituted under this chapter.

    (c) PATENT TRIAL AND APPEAL BOARD.—The Patent Trial and Appeal Board shall, in accordance with section 6, conduct each inter partes review instituted under this chapter.

    (d) AMENDMENT OF THE PATENT.—

    (1) IN GENERAL. —During an inter partes review instituted under this chapter, the patent owner may file 1 motion to amend the patent in 1 or more of the following ways:

    (A) Cancel any challenged patent claim.

    (B) For each challenged claim, propose a reasonable number of substitute claims.

    (2) ADDITIONAL MOTIONS. —Additional motions to amend may be permitted upon the joint request of the petitioner and the patent owner to materially advance the settlement of a proceeding under section 317, or as permitted by regulations prescribed by the Director.

    (3) SCOPE OF CLAIMS. —An amendment under this subsection may not enlarge the scope of the claims of the patent or introduce new matter.

    (e) EVIDENTIARY STANDARDS. —In an inter partes review instituted under this chapter, the petitioner shall have the burden of proving a proposition of unpatentability by a preponderance of the evidence.

    Source:

    Pub. L. No. 112-29, § 6(c), 125 Stat. 302-03 (Sept. 16, 2011)

    Effective Date:

    Pub. L. No. 112-29, § 6(c), 125 Stat. 304-05 (Sept. 16, 2011)