Monday, April 14, 2008

New Pre-First Action Pilot Program Announced at the USPTO

From the PTO:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is initiating a pilot program in which, in certain art areas, applicants who comply with the requirements set forth in this notice will receive the results of a prior art search conducted by the examiner, via a condensed Pre-Interview Communication, and then be permitted to conduct an interview with the examiner to discuss the cited prior art references, before the examiner issues an Office action on the merits that sets forth the rejections.
Eligibility for the program is broken down according to Groups I and II:

Group I:

(1) Filed on or before September 1,2005, and prior to a first action on the merits;

(2) Classified in Class 709 (Electrical Computers and Digital Processing Systems: Multi Computer Data Transferring); and

(3) Assigned to an art unit in either working group 2140 (group art unit 214x) or 2150 (group art unit 215x).

Group II:

(1) Filed on or before November 1,2006, and prior to a first action on the merits;

(2) Classified in Class 707 (Data Processing: Database and File Management Data
Structures); and

(3) Assigned to an art unit in working group 2160 (group art unit 216x).

The pilot program will last until November 1, 2008. Any request for a first action interview filed on or after April 28, 2008, and before November 1, 2008, will be granted if all of the requirements set forth in the Requirements section of this notice are satisfied.

For more details on requirements, click here (link)


Additionally, the PTO has published updated patent examiner training materials regarding the examination of patent applications under the written description requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112, first paragraph. These materials have been updated to reflect developments in case law and technology. To view the training materials, click here (link)

2 Comentários:

Anonymous said...

Anybody with EPO experience care to comment? The EPO just gave up its 1978 system of "First issue the search report then, later, the FAOM". It took 25 years to demonstrate that staged prosecution to be grossly inefficient. Now, for greater efficiency, the EPO issues the FAOM with the search report. Applicants didn't file post search report preliminary amendments at the EPO. Why should they at the USPTO?

Anonymous said...

From the EPO...

Some applicants do amend, the majority don't. In fact, as an examiner, I don't see the true effect as the first action in examination can be an automatic letter saying, in effect, you've already had a communication so we won't bother sending the same again (officially the earlier communication doesn't count as examination so a second letter is needed after entering examination if the applicant hasn't made any amendments after a negative communication). But it's statistically too early to see how many abandon their application once they understand the arguments against them. But, I don't see many taking the opportunity to advance examination by either filing amendments or filing comments about why I was wrong.

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