Well, it looks like the PTO will have to find other ways to reduce their backlog, because the new claims and continuations rules have been put on hold. Perhaps in honor of All Hallow’s Eve, Judge Cacheris delivered a trick to the PTO and a treat to Gene Quinn,the PLI , and the amici filed in support of GlaxoSmithKline’s opposition to the rules. A preliminary injunction was issued to stop the new rules from being implemented, and the people rejoiced. In granting the injunction, Judge Cacheris stated that
Allowing the implementation of rules that may or may not remain in effect is likely to cause much greater uncertainty and squelching of innovation than a preliminary injunction giving the Court time to consider the validity of the Final Rules before they go into affect.
Additionally, the court allowed the amicus briefs filed by Elan, Hexas, the Roskamp Institute, Tikvah, and AIPLA. In doing so, the Court limited the scope of the briefs, stating that
the Court will grant each of the three motions for leave to file an amicus curiae brief, but will not consider any legal issues or arguments therein that were not raised by the parties themselves.
Judge Cacheris’ order can be found here (PDF), along with all other documents from the case (courtesy of Gene Quinn). GSK’s arguments against the PTO rule changes were discussed in this In the News post. Additional discussions by the Patent Baristas, Peter Zura at the 271 Patent Blog, Patently-O, and Patent Prospector.