At issue is a new rule concerning the continuation of patent applications. Current US patent law allows an inventor to file several different types of patent applications to cover new improvements to their inventions, or to cover different aspects of their inventions. One type is a challenge, or continuation. The new rule would reduce the number of times a patent applicant can contest or amend rejected or pending patent claims.
Glaxo claims the new rules are arbitrary and will prevent it from pursuing patent applications and obtaining patents on or more of its inventions, especially since the drugmaker has hundreds of various types of applications in the works. In essence, Glaxo fears the new rules will make it harder to make such filings, therefore threatening its investments.
Want to read the judge's ruling? Take a look - all 39 pages.
A few days ago, by the way, Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senator from New York, wrote a letter to Jon Dudas, a PTO official, suggesting a delay. To bolster his reasoning, Chuck cited the Glaxo litigation. And he argued that Congress is considering a patent reform bill that may address the issues raised in the PTOâ€™s new rules. â€œA delay would allow the courts to assess the merits of the pending suit,â€ he wrote. â€œThe proposed rules may have the unintended consequence of stifling such innovation and I urge you to delay their implementation.â€