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Abstract

Recent concern over the state of patent law doctrine has led Congress to pass legislation reforming patent reexamination procedures. The effects of the new procedures will remain uncertain for several years. However, Dale Carlson, Co-chair of the Patent Practice Group at Wiggin & Dana, and Jason Crain, a Yale Law School graduate, discuss the results of a preliminary study of the likely impact of the new inter partes reexamination procedure. In this presentation, Carlson and Crain examine some of the driving forces behind the reform initiative and compare ex parte reexamination procedures with inter partes reexamination procedures. In particular, they address concerns of biases inherent in the new procedure. Ultimately, Carlson and Crain suggest that the new procedure will provide a viable alternative to patent litigation, particularly for small inventors.

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