April 1, 2008 - A U.S. court has thrown out the new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rules designed to limit the size of patent applications, a ruling that pleased GlaxoSmithKline Plc.
The company, Europe's largest drugmaker, had been concerned that many of their patent applications would exceed the maximum application size and need to be refiled.
As the patent office takes an average of 32 months to approve or reject a patent, having to refile would deal a major blow to Glaxo and other large pharmaceutical companies with large patent portfolios.
Judge James Cacheris of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, issued a temporary injunction against the rules on October 31, the day before they were to have taken effect. Cacheris' more recent ruling found that the rules "exceed the scope of the USPTO's rulemaking authority."
It sure takes an extensive amount of time for a patent to become approved. By the time the patent is approved the company may already be in litigation for patent infringement.