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Campaign: Q2: Changes in procedure or regulation

EXPAND ON DRAWINGS IN APPLICATION PROCESS

I am currently in the process of filing for a patent with the assistance of an attorney. The adage,"A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words", needs to be applied to the application process. Utilization of videos and photos of the device or item that is being submitted for a patent would speed up the process dramatically. In working with my patent attorney, I supplied her with a detailed video along with photos, with explanation ...more »

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Campaign: Q2: Changes in procedure or regulation

Abandon concept of Non-Final / Final

There is a very simple solution to the RCE problem: abandon the concept of a non-final and final office actions. These are hold-overs from the pre-1995 days when delay of prosecution did not eat into patent term. Just allow the applicant as many responses as they want before they either give up or appeal. Adjust the Examiner count (e.g. 0.5 per action) and the fees per response accordingly, perhaps escalating. Often ...more »

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Campaign: Q2: Changes in procedure or regulation

Award count (0.25) for non-final AOM to suggest allowable matter

Pay the Examiners for more than just FAOMs. Award counts (e.g. of 0.25) for a subsequent non-final AOM which indicates allowable/patentable subject matter. The current system, and the one before it, reward an Examiner for writing one FAOM and then sticking to it at each stage, unless its deficiencies are demonstrated so clearly that the Examiner must write another, substantively different, FAOM, and then only in response ...more »

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Campaign: Q2: Changes in procedure or regulation

Modified Provisional Application, to narrow claims before RCE

Here is an idea for a Pilot that we think both the office and the Patent Bar would accept. We believe a modified provisional application process offers the best alternative to fixing RCE and prolonged prosecution and the backlog. RCE serves a purpose but the RCE backlogs are a symptom of a bigger problem and tinkering with the current process might create more downstream issues. Premise**: Would searching the ...more »

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Campaign: Q3: Interviews

The Pre-Exam Conference, Idea Further Elaborated

A couple points were brought out about a pre-Exam Interview concept, but may be buried in the comments or were in other discussions, so I just wanted to flush out the idea on its own. The idea is edited a bit, and additional points are listed below it: (To review: Before FAOM, if the Examiner feels that the claims are overly broad or contain a 112 error that would hinder prosecution, then the Examiner can call the ...more »

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Campaign: Q3: Interviews

Quasi-Round of Prosecution by Enhanced Interview Procedure

A way to obtain the best of both worlds - a) the granularity of iterative prosecution and b) claim development without sacrificing official "rounds" of prosecution - is to expand the interview process. Currently, the time allotted to examiners for interviews is short (normally one hour including prep time), and the interview practice is very open-ended, but an interview can be enhanced into a quasi-round of prosecution ...more »

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Campaign: Q2: Changes in procedure or regulation

Negaative Count Incentives for Unreasonable Delays

The Patent Office should implement a negative count for applications under RCE that remain too long at the Patent Office without a response. The incentive should be increased according to the length of time spent on the Examiner’s docket. Responses to RCEs should normally be provided within three months. At four months without a response, a negative 0.1 count per case should be attributed to the Examiner. At six ...more »

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Campaign: Q2: Changes in procedure or regulation

End RCE practice-Institute progressively increasing response fee

As noted elsewhere, one Response before Final is too short. Why have a limit? Compact prosecution is a false goal if it results in useless patents. And the current RCE practice assumes that no prosecution needs more than one Reponse if the attorney is being "reasonable;" when in fact a "reasonable" attorney (working with a reasonable examiner) may need different numbers of responses in different cases. Why not substitute ...more »

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Campaign: Q10: Avoiding RCEs

A More Fundamental Shift

In my experience most RCEs are necessitated by the Examiner applying new prior art in a second Office action and making it final. The applicant not having seen the new art then needs to further amend the claims, but the Examiner will not permit the Applicant to do so after final. When I was an Examiner, I was taught to read and understand the specification before scoping out the field of search, and to search the ...more »

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Campaign: Q2: Changes in procedure or regulation

Allow a second Response before Final OA

One response before Final OA is simply too few. Typical scenario: assume attorney does thorough and conscientious job preparing the patent application. When the attorney receives the first OA, usually the rejection makes no sense. The cited art doesn't seem to say what the examiner says it says, or if it does say that, the art's teaching seems to be unrelated to the invention. Attorney files first response ...more »

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Campaign: Q10: Avoiding RCEs

Strategy to Avoid RCEs ?

None, we expect to file RCEs now because we must start with the broadest claims we think the client is entitled to and the Examiners push to final rejection too early to get their disposal credit so we see RCEs as likely if not inevitable. Hence, we have no strategy to avoid RCEs. Our strategies are to get the broadest claims allowed at the lowest total cost for our clients.

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Campaign: Q2: Changes in procedure or regulation

Solutions to the RCE Backlog Problem

The RCE problem is due in the main to Examiners finally rejecting claims that should either: 1) be allowed or 2) be given nonfinal rejections. The current system of measuring performance by which Examiners get a point for a disposal, encourages Examiners to move cases to final rejection or allowance as early in the prosecution of the application as possible. They get credit for allowance, but fewer questions are ...more »

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