A two-year battle between the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and biopharma over a much-contested set of patent rules ended yesterday (October 8) when the USPTO linkurl:rescinded the rules altogether.;http://www.uspto.gov/news/09_21.jsp "These regulations have been highly unpopular from the outset and were not well received by the applicant community," said David Kappos, director of the USPTO, in a statement. "In taking the actions we are announcing [October 8], we hope to engage the applicant community more effectively on improvements that will help make the USPTO more efficient, responsive, and transparent to the public." The rules, linkurl:released;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53497/ by the USPTO in 2007 to streamline the patent-approval process, limited the number of times an applicant could file a continuation application, which adds claims to an existing patent. In addition, inventors could include only one request for a continued examination, which they file after the patent office has rejected their patent application. The...

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