USPTO Proposal Threatens Continuation Application Strategies: What Biopharma Companies Need to Know

May 20, 2024
USPTO rule proposal Continuation applications

USPTO Rule Proposal

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has introduced a rule proposal that could significantly impact the strategies biopharma companies use for continuation applications.


 Continuation Applications

Continuation applications are a crucial part of the patent process. They allow applicants to pursue additional claims or amendments based on the original application.


Implications of the Proposal

The USPTO’s proposal introduces changes that could hinder the effectiveness of continuation applications for biopharma companies.


Limiting the Number of Continuations

One key aspect of the proposal is the limitation on the number of continuation applications a company can file. This restriction could restrict companies’ ability to pursue new claims or amendments.


Time Constraints on Filings

Additionally, the proposal imposes time constraints on the filing of continuation applications. This could force companies to make decisions more quickly, potentially leading to rushed or incomplete applications.


Impact on Biopharma Innovation

These limitations could have significant consequences for biopharma innovation. Continuation applications are often used to refine and strengthen patent claims, allowing companies to protect their intellectual property more effectively.


Risks of Narrower Patent Protection

With fewer opportunities to file continuation applications, biopharma companies may face narrower patent protection. This could leave their innovations more vulnerable to infringement or challenges from competitors.


Challenges in Patent Strategy

Biopharma companies will need to reassess their patent strategies in light of these proposed changes. They may need to prioritize certain claims or amendments to ensure they make the most of their limited continuation opportunities.


Balancing Efficiency and Effectiveness

Finding the right balance between efficiency and effectiveness will be crucial for biopharma companies. They will need to make strategic decisions about when and how to pursue continuation applications to maximize their patent protection.


Advocacy Efforts and Feedback

Many stakeholders in the biopharma industry are likely to advocate against the proposed changes. Providing feedback to the USPTO about the potential impact of the rule proposal will be essential in shaping its final outcome.

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