Tag Archives: Backlog

Compact Prosecution 2.0 -- Changing The U.S. Patent Examination Paradigm

William F. Smith of Woodcock Washburn LLP and Joseph Mallon of Knobbe Martens (colleagues on the IPO Patent Office Practice Committee)** have prepared a white paper that encourages us to take a step back from the current U.S. patent examination paradigm, and move forward to “Compact Prosecution 2.0.” Their proposal would eliminate two significant patent … Continue reading this entry

A Look At The USPTO Backlog Statistics

As the USPTO fiscal year comes to an end on September 30, I thought this would be a good time to review the USPTO backlog statistics. The currently available data reflects the backlogs as of the start of August 2013, and reveals a decrease in the backlog of unexamined applications, a slight decrease in the … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Launches New After Final Consideration Pilot Program To Reduce Requests For Continued Examination (RCEs)

In a Federal Register Notice published on May 17, 2013, the USPTO announced After Final Consideration Pilot Program 2.0 (AFCP 2.0) as part of its ongoing efforts to “reduce pendency by reducing the number of Requests for Continued Examination (RCE) and encouraging increased collaboration between the applicant and the examiner to effectively advance the prosecution of … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Reshuffles The RCE Deck

The USPTO still is considering information gathered during its RCE Outreach program, but it has made some internal changes that should lead to more prompt examination after a Request for Examination (RCE) is filed. However, because that the backlog of RCEs awaiting examination has climbed to over 110,000, it could be some time before applicants … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Seeks Comments On Request For Continued Examination (RCE) Practice

The USPTO is seeking public comments on Request for Continued Examination (RCE) practice. In particular, the USPTO is “soliciting public feedback in an effort to better understand the full spectrum of factors that impact the decision to file an RCE.” The USPTO tends to have a negative view of RCEs, so this is an important opportunity … Continue reading this entry

Tour De COPA

Memorial Day Weekend takes on special meaning in the Washington, D.C. area. New flags are placed on the gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery, Rolling Thunder comes to town to remind us of soldiers who are prisoners of war or missing in action, and families and friends honor their loved ones who served this country, visiting the Vietnam … Continue reading this entry

Holding The USPTO Accountable For The RCE Backlog

As I was cleaning up my office a few weeks ago, I came across a December 2009 article I wrote with my colleague Steve Reid for BNA’s Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, entitled “New Patent Office Examination Procedures: Bane or Boon?” The article discusses the then-new changes to the USPTO’s internal procedures for examining applications … Continue reading this entry

The Rhyme & Reason Behind The USPTO's Proposed Patent Fees

On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) will hold its first public hearing on the patent fees that the USPTO proposes to charge in accordance with its new fee-setting authority conferred by the America Invents Act. In advance of this meeting, the USPTO released several documents outlining and explaining the proposed … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Opens Track I Expedited Examination To RCEs

In today’s Federal Register Notice, the USPTO announces the expansion of its Track I program for fee-based expedited examination to include Requests for Continued Examination (RCEs). While this may be good news on a practical level, it exacts a high price to obtain prompt review of an application that already is midstream in the examination process. … Continue reading this entry

Tidbits From IPO PTO Day

I was co-chair of last week’s IPO PTO Day conference, and it was a great event. The program included several speakers from the USPTO, including Commissioner for Patents Bob Stoll, Deputy Commissioner for Patents Peggy Focarino, Chief Administrative Patent Judge James Smith, Vice Chief Administrative Patent Judge James Moore, and Administrative Patent Judge Michael Tierney. … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Says Status Inquiry Triggers Patent Term Adjustment Deduction

Despite statistics on the USPTO’s Patents Dashboard indicating that the average time from a Request for Continued Examination (RCE) to the next Office Action is 3.8 months, I continue to experience much more significant delays of 9-12 months or longer. When I telephone examiners to check on the status of my applications, they are sympathetic … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Backlog Update: One Step Forward, One Step Back

The USPTO has been touting recent data indicating that it continues to make progress in reducing the backlog of new patent applications awaiting examination. At the same time, the number of applications awaiting examination after a Requests for Continued Examination (RCE) has ballooned. I am frustrated by the USPTO’s attitude towards RCEs, and its willingness … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Widens Patent Prosecution Highway

In a press release issued July 1, 2011, the USPTO announced pilot changes to the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) that will make the PPH much more widely available, and hence much more useful, to many applicants. Most welcome is the change that will permit PPH filings based on an indication of allowability from any participating … Continue reading this entry

A Look At The USPTO's March 2011 Statistics

The latest post on “Director’s Forum,” the public blog of USPTO Director Kappos, is a guest post by Bob Stoll, the Commissioner for Patents, announcing the release of March 2011 data on the USPTO’s Patents Dashboard. Now that we are half way through the current fiscal year, I am glad to see that the USPTO appears … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Working To Improve PCT Functions

In a recent blog post, Director Kappos wrote about USPTO efforts to improve its performance as a PCT Receiving Office (RO), International Searching Authority (ISA), and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA). The USPTO has improved some statistical measures of its performance, such as different processing times, but still falls short on the timeliness and quality … Continue reading this entry

USPTO To Open Satellite Office In Detroit

The USPTO has finally made an official announcement of its plans to open a satellite office in Detroit, Michigan. The USPTO hopes to open its "first ever" satellite office in early 2011. As set forth in the press release, "[t]he new office is expected to create more than 100 new jobs in its first year … Continue reading this entry

Can Pharma Patents Benefit From The Peer-To-Patent Program?

Last week the USPTO announced a new peer-to-patent pilot program that will include patent applications in the fields of biotechnology, bioinformatics, telecommunications, and speech recognition, in addition to the software and business methods applications that were included in the original pilot program. The USPTO touts the promise of a stronger patent and offers the incentive … Continue reading this entry

Current Options for Prioritized U.S. Examination

When Director Kappos wrote on his blog about international worksharing programs, he also provided a summary of current options for prioritized U.S. examination. While most are well-known, it is good to keep all options in mind when prompt examination is important, such as when a commercial product is on the market (or will be within the … Continue reading this entry

Sharing Examination Efforts

As I wrote earlier this week, Director Kappos is championing international worksharing as a key mechanism for addressing the growing workload facing patent offices around the world. To make worksharing work, the Office of First Filing (OFF) has to examine the application first. This means that patent offices participating in international worksharing programs will be encouraged to give … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Forges Ahead With International Worksharing

During his first year as Director of the USPTO, David Kappos has championed international worksharing as a key mechanism for addressing the growing workload—and backlog—facing patent offices around the world. Patent Prosecution Highway programs were the first international worksharing initiatives, and a recent announcement on Kappos’ blog indicates that more programs are on the horizon. … Continue reading this entry

Can Rapid Reexamination Incentivize Humanitarian Technologies?

On September 20, 2010, the USPTO issued a “Request for Comments on Incentivizing Humanitarian Technologies and Licensing Through the Intellectual Property System.” The proposal under consideration would offer a “fast-track ex parte reexamination voucher” designed to incentivize technologies “that address humanitarian needs.” At times like these I wish I had more “inside” information so I … Continue reading this entry

More Number Crunching: USPTO Board Statistics

Last week the USPTO unveiled its new “Data Visualization Center” which provides patent application pendency, backlog and examination data in a graphic “dashboard” format. While not as fancy, the Board of Appeals and Interferences also has published graphic data on its workload, with monthly statistics from May 2010 to August 2010. The Board’s data show that its backlog continues to grow … Continue reading this entry

Part I: Proposed Examination Options Jump the Tracks

The USPTO is proposing significant changes to the application queuing system to give applicants greater control over the examination process and promote the USPTO’s worksharing goals. The new system would offer three examination tracks: “prioritized,” “traditional,” and “delayed.” While domestic applicants could opt into any of these tracks, applications that claim priority to a foreign … Continue reading this entry