GSK sues U.S. patent office over new rules

WASHINGTON GlaxoSmithKline has sued the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to block them from enforcing new patent rules that that company claims will harm about 100 of its pending applications for new products, according to the Associated Press.

According to the Patent and Trademark Office, the rules, which are scheduled to go into effect on Nov. 1, are intended to streamline the application process by limiting the number of times patent applicants can change existing applications. "These rules better focus examination and will bring closure to the examination process more quickly, while ensuring quality," Jon Dudas, director of the PTO, said in August.

GlaxoSmithKline is arguing that pharmaceutical companies frequently seek to change the scope of patents because, as drugs are tested and researched, additional applications are discovered.

The suit was filed on Oct. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.