The PTO has published new forms for use for applications filed on or after September 16, 2012. These mainly include new declaration forms, forms for use when an inventor is unavailable for can’t be found, and forms for supplemental examination or third party submissions.
Carl Oppedahl provided an analysis at Patently-O of the new declaration forms.
As Carl notes, for new applications, each inventor will sign a separate declaration, instead of the current practice of having them all sign a single declaration. Even though the rules still require each inventor to have read and understood the application and claims and to understand and acknowledge the duty of disclosure, the new declarations do not include these statements.
No longer will Rule 47 petitions be required for inventors who refuse to sign or who cannot be found. The new procedure will simply permit the applicant to fill out a different form without fees or petitions to cover these inventors.
Carl indicates that the PTO will now use the information from the Application Data Sheet to determine correct inventor information. These forms had previously been optional, but under the new procedure will be mandatory when filing a new application.