On January 28, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Technical Center 1600 held its Biotechnology/Chemical/Pharmaceutical Customer Partnership Conference. The conference included presentations on restriction practice, IPR/litigation statistics relating to biologic and Orange Book patents, patent term adjustment, written description, and subject matter eligibility. Among the speakers was Kery Fries, Senior Legal Advisor in the Office of Patent Legal Administration, who gave an informative talk on how the Office determines potential extensions and adjustments to patent term with reference to court decisions affecting the same. A panel of supervisory patent examiners and quality assurance specialists conducted a question and answer session on developments in subject matter eligibility (35 U.S.C. § 101). Applicants were encouraged to conduct Examiner interviews early during prosecution to help address subject matter eligibility issues so that examination can move on to prior art review and avoid protracted prosecution. The availability of Supervisory Patent Examiners and Office-designated subject matter eligibility experts for advice or participation in interviews was also highlighted as a means of advancing prosecution. One interesting discussion concerned how the use of conditional language in claims can affect broadest reasonable interpretation and, in turn, subject matter eligibility. Relevant slides will be made available once examiner training is completed on the October 2019 Patent Eligibility Guidance Update.Further information on the conference is available at: https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/events/attend-biotechnology-chemical-and-pharmaceutical-partnership-meeting https://community.aipla.org/communities/community-home/librarydocuments?LibraryKey=da2ebda0-1648-4924-bc20-a0c5a85c5683
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