Reexamining Reexaminations

Mar 2005

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently published its “Report to Congress on Inter Partes Reexamination.” An inter partes reexamination is a procedure for reviewing the validity of issued U.S. patents. The procedure was introduced in November 1999 with the hope of reducing the number of patent litigations, but is seldom utilized. Based on the USPTO report, this article addresses the status of the inter partes reexamination procedure, and considers the changes required to render this procedure more useful.