The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced Final rule changes for America Invents Act (AIA) proceedings on March 31, 2016. A link to the Federal Register with the Final rules is shown below. These include inter partes review (“IPR”), post-grant review (“PGR”) and covered business methods (“CBM”). The new rules will take effect May 2, 2016 and will apply to all AIA petitions filed thereon or after as well as any ongoing AIA proceedings before the USPTO.

The rule changes include provisions for claim construction, motions to amend, preliminary responses, real party in interest, live testimony during oral hearings, sanctions for non-compliance with papers filed with the PTAB, word count limitations in lieu of page limits, and demonstrative exhibits.
The USPTO will also be amending the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Trial Practice Guide to reflect these changes.

Amendments to the Rules of Practice for Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board