Patent office announces final rule on claims

WASHINGTON The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a new rule that will change how many claims patent applications may contain, as well as how many continuing applications applicants may file.

The new rule requires that any third or subsequent continuing application that is a continuing application or a continuation-in-part application, and any second or subsequent request for continued examination in an application family, be filed to obtain consideration of an amendment, argument, or evidence, and be supported by a showing as to why the amendment, argument, or evidence sought to be entered could not have been previously submitted.

The revised rules also require an applicant to file an examination support document that covers all of the claims in an application if the application contains more than five independent claims or more than twenty-five total claims.

The new rule will go into effect on Nov. 1.

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