A Customer Partnership Meeting (CPM) is an effort by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to build communication channels between external stake holders and USPTO representatives in a common platform. The CPM held on 08 May, 2019 was related to Global Biotechnology/ Chemical and Pharmaceuticals [Technology Centre (TC) 1600]. The event was co-ordinated between the Midwest Regional office of the USPTO, Detroit, MI and The USPTO headquarters at Alexandria, VA. It was attended by Our Head of Operations in USA, Soujanya Sikha at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA.
Post the welcome and opening remarks by the respective TC 1600 directors of both the offices, a TC quality action plan depicting the strategic plan of the USPTO and TC 1600 was discussed. The various issues concerning different art units under the umbrella of TC 1600 was also highlighted.
The 2019 revised patent subject matter eligibility guidance which has been effective since January 7, 2019 was discussed. The Federal Register states “2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance applies to all applications, and to all patents resulting from applications, filed before, on, or after January 7, 2019.” This discussion was extended by a panel on 101 rejections in the later part of the day.
A detailed discussion on the written description requirements and its difference with the enablement requirement took place. The discussion was specifically focussed on antibody structures and the requirement for a claimed genus’s written description to be satisfied through sufficient description of a representative number of species was emphsized. There were some relevant examples cited to explain such cases.
Further, the impact of 101 and challenges faced by academia and research institutions were discussed by a representative of Office of Technology and Management, Washington University, St. Louis, MO. The cases of Mayo v Prometheus Laboratories (2012) and Molecular Pathology v Myriad Genetics (2013) were discussed.
A brief background about the CPC classification (jointly maintained by the USPTO and European Patent Office (EPO) and its use in searches was discussed.
The CPM was concluded with remarks from by the respective TC 1600 directors of both the offices.