Real Party in Interest – a rulemaking that went away

Back in January of 2014, the USPTO published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which might have led to rules requiring each patent applicant to go to quite a lot of trouble regarding a disclosure to the USPTO of any “real party in interest” connected with a patent or patent application.  I filed comments explaining why I thought the proposed rules were ill-advised.  My comments concluded with this:

The United States Supreme Court, in the case of Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. et al., 539 US 23 (2003), considered one litigant’s suggestion as to the supposed need to give attribution to everyone who was connected with a literary work. The Court said:
We do not think the Lanham Act requires this search for the source of the Nile and all its tributaries.
I do not think the aims of this rulemaking package justify imposing upon each patent applicant the burden of investigating the source of the Nile and all its tributaries, and repeating that investigation every three months.


I don’t know whether my comments made a difference.  I like to think that maybe they did.  But anyway the practical consequence is that the USPTO seems to have abandoned this rulemaking effort.

Readers of this blog are invited to print out the comments that I filed.  Keep them handy for use when insomnia strikes.

Comments welcome.

2 Replies to “Real Party in Interest – a rulemaking that went away”

  1. Not the least bit boring. How much time do you estimate it took you to organize your arguments and commit them to writing?

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