Notices of Allowance (NOA) mailed by the USPTO between September 9th and September 15th may list an incorrect issue fee amount that mistakenly incorporated the new fee rule. The new rule is effective October 2nd, 2020 and will only be reflected in Notices of Allowance sent on or after that date. In each affected case, the USPTO will mail a corrected NOA. The corrected NOA will contain the correct issue fee and reset the time period for payment. The USPTO will reach out to those who have already paid the issue fee with further guidance.
The USPTO has announced a Final Rule which sets or adjusts 296 patent fees for large, small, and micro entities. The Final Rule is effective October 2, 2020, except for a surcharge for non-DOCX filings effective January 1, 2022, and is available at https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/performance-and-planning/summary-fy-2020-final-patent-fee-rule .
On July 2, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) launched the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program to speed up patent examination and ex parte appeals. The USPTO expects the average ex parte appeal to be decided within six months from the date a petition to request the fast-track appeal is granted.
On August 4, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed a district court's infringement finding and its rulings regarding owed royalties, concerning the infringement of two patents directed to LTE technology owned by Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1 (IP Bridge). In an apparent issue of first impression, the CAFC held that comparing the asserted claims of a patent against an industry standard to determine whether the claims are essential to the standard, is akin to an infringement analysis, and therefore is a fact issue decidable by a jury, and not a question of law that must be decided by the court.