On February 6, 2014, the USPTO published in 79 FR 7971

  1. a notice that it will be hosting a roundtable event on March 5, 2014, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and
  2. a request for written comments on the following topics for discussion at the roundtable event.  Registration is required to attend in-person or by webcast.  Requests for participation as a speaker must be made in writing by February 14, 2014.  The USPTO has also published additional information on its website.
The topics for written comments and discussion at the roundtable event include:

  1. Factors in Determining Whether an Amended/Continuation Design Claim Satisfies the Written Description Requirement; and
  2. Establishing Adequate Written Description Support in the Original Disclosure.
Specifically, the USPTO is seeking “comments on the application of the written description requirement where only a subset of elements of the original disclosure are shown using solid lines in an amendment or in a continuation application.” The request for comments derives from discussion during Design Day 2013.  Notably, however, the USPTO indicated that it “is not seeking comments on the issue of the introduction of boundary lines via amendment or in a continuation application, as addressed in In re Owens, 710 F.3d 1362 (Fed. Cir. 2013).”