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Abstract

The year 2003 provided a great deal of legislative, administrative and judicial activity in the development of patent law. Legislation has been directed to amending the Hatch-Waxman Act and abrogation of State immunity from patent infringement. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has adopted changes pursuant to recent amendments to the Patent Cooperation Treaty and implemented an electronic filing system for patent applications. The Federal Trade Commission has taken an interest in patents, particularly standard setting technologies. In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Festo, the Federal Circuit has provided additional guidance for prosecution history estoppel and the doctrine of equivalents. This article summarizes these and other developments, and provides recommendations to patent practitioners on how to operate with these new and exciting developments.

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