Effective Date: The changes in this final rule take effect on September 16, 2012. Applicability Date: The changes to 37 CFR 1.9, 1.12, 1.14, 1.17(g), 1.27, 1.32, 1.33, 1.36, 1.41, 1.42, 1.43, 1.45, 1.46, 1.53(f) and (h), 1.55, 1.56, 1.63, 1.64, 1.66, 1.67, 1.76, 1.78, 1.81, 1.105, 1.131, 1.153, 1.162, 1.172, 1.175, 1.211, 1.215, 1.321, 1.421, 1.422, 1.424, 1.431, 1.491, 1.495(a), (c), and (h), 1.497, 3.31, 3.71, 3.73, and 41.9, and the removal of 37 CFR 1.47 and 1.432, apply only to patent applications filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) or 363 on or after September 16, 2012.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is revising the rules of practice to implement the inventor's oath or declaration provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). The AIA permits a person to whom the inventor has assigned, or is under an obligation to assign, the invention, or who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter, to make the application for patent. The AIA also streamlines the requirements for the inventor's oath or declaration, and permits a substitute statement in lieu of an oath or declaration in certain circumstances. The Office is revising the rules of practice relating to the inventor's oath or declaration, including reissue oaths or declarations, and substitute statements signed by a person other than an inventor, and to provide for assignments containing oath or declaration statements. Additionally, the Office is revising the rules of practice relating to the inventor's oath or declaration to allow applicants to postpone filing the inventor's oath or declaration until the application is otherwise in condition for allowance. Finally, to better facilitate processing of patent applications, the Office is revising and clarifying the rules of practice for power of attorney and prosecution of an application by an assignee.