The USPTO has extended the Full First Action Interview Pilot Program to November 16, 2012. According to the notice available on the USPTO’s website, the USPTO is “analyzing feedback obtained in response to the July 9, 2012 request for comments,” which were due by August 8, 2012.Continue reading this entry
The USPTO has extended the Full First Action Interview Pilot Program to August 16, 2012. According to the Federal Register Notice, the USPTO is “completing a comprehensive review of the program, deciding what, if any, adjustments should be made to the program, and whether the program should be extended further or made permanent.” The USPTO is soliciting public comments on the program, and will consider written comments received by August 8, 2012.Continue reading this entry
The USPTO’s Full First Action Interview Pilot Program expired on May 16, 2012. Although I heard rumors that the program was going to be extended, it has not been extended as of the publication date of this article, and the USPTO’s designated contact person for this program could not indicate whether or when the program might be extended.
As I wrote in this article, the USPTO promoted the program as a way to advance prosecution, enhance interaction between the applicant and the examiner, resolve issues one-on-one with the examiner early in prosecution, and facilitate early allowance. I have several applications in the program, and agree that it is a useful option for applicants.
I hope the USPTO extends (or reinstates) the program, but even if it does not, it should provide an analysis of the program—including metrics reflecting its advantages and drawbacks—and an explanation of why it was not continued.
Update May 23, 2012: According to a note on the USPTO website the program now has been extended/reinstated.
The USPTO has announced a new pilot program to permit Applicants to obtain consideration of certain Information Disclosure Statements (IDSs) after the Issue Fee has been paid without having to reopen prosecution. The “Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement (QPIDS) Pilot Program” takes effect May 16, 2012 and will run through September 30, 2012 unless it is extended.
The First Action Interview Pilot Program permits an applicant to conduct an interview with the examiner before the first Action on the merits is issued. Previous pilot programs were limited to applications with certain filing dates assigned to certain technology centers, but the USPTO now has opened the program to include all utility applications in all technology areas, regardless of filing date. As set forth in the recent press release, the expanded pilot program will run through May 16, 2012.
On December 8, 2010, the USPTO launched an Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program that will permit applicants to delay payment of search and examination fees (only) for up to 12 months for certain original U.S. non-provisional applications. Applicants who use this program will incur a $130 surcharge and, perhaps more importantly for applicants in pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields, will be charged with "applicant delay" under the Patent Term Adjustment rules.