On May 9, 2018, the USPTO published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (83 Fed. Reg. 21221) regarding the claim construction standard used in AIA trials before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.  The proposed rules would change the claim construction standard from the broadest reasonable interpretation standard to a standard that is the same as that applied in federal district courts and International Trade Commission proceedings.

On March 11, 2018, the United States Patent and Trademark Office unveiled a new cover design for the official physical copy of issued U.S. patents.

On April 24, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued decisions in two patent cases specifically related to inter partes review (IPR) proceedings under the America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011.

On November 1, 2017, the USPTO began the Expanded Collaborative Search Pilot Program (CSP), which is set to run until October 31, 2020.

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The U.S. Supreme Court continues to be active in patent cases.

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The USPTO has issued a revised fee schedule which will go into effect on January 16, 2018.

The new Director of the USPTO, Andrei Iancu, was sworn in on February 23, 2018.  While it awaited new leadership at the USPTO, the patent community may have wondered what direction the USPTO was headed.  Nearly two months into his tenure, it seems clear that that Director Iancu is pro patent and favors a strong patent system the will promote the U.S. economy.