The parties in Tafas v. Doll have filed a motion for a stay of the en banc proceedings. The parties are requesting that the proceedings be stayed until 60 days after the Senate confirmation of the new Director of the PTO.
an opportunity to examine the rules at issue in this case and determine what course the USPTO should take in the future with respect to those rules, including whether to rescind the rules.
The motion suggests the legal issues in the case could be significantly altered, or rendered moot, by the decision of the new Director.
These motions are typically granted. Courts generally do not want to expend judicial resources when it may not be necessary. The PTO is not currently enforcing the rules, nor does it plan to do so in the near future.
Given that the order granting the petition for rehearing en banc vacated the disastrous March 20 panel opinion, this may be the best possible outcome. There was no guarantee of a favorable outcome to patent applicants at the Federal Circuit.
Thanks to Hal Wegner for pointing out this motion.