obvIPat - Obviously Patentable

The blog for inventors, in-house counsel, & entrepreneurs.

Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Patent It Without The Wait: Part 2

by Bruce Jobse

Notwithstanding Undersecretary of Commerce and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director David Kappos’s recent announcement of a proposed Three Patent Processing Track system for patent examinations, we are continuing with the second part of our two-part post on the USPTO’s current Accelerated Examination (AE) option.

The premise of the AE process is simple.  The inventor and his or her attorney not only prepare the patent application, but also perform a preliminary or self-examination of the application, essentially performing the patent examiner’s role ahead of time.  Such self-examination requires the attorney to go through the same evaluation protocol as the patent examiner, including searching for similar prior patents and analyzing how obvious the invention is in light of similar prior patents from the same or related technical fields.  The results of the self-examination are then presented to the USPTO in the form of a petition at the time of application filing.  The petition is initially examined for compliance to ensure that the patentability search performed by the applicant was of proper scope and that the analysis adequately establishes grounds for patentability under the current patent laws. Read the rest of this entry »


Mourning the First Action Interview Program

by Orlando Lopez

Today we mourn the termination of the First Action Interview Program.  The US Patent and Trademark Office’s First Action Interview Program, the best program from the USPTO that you never heard of, was terminated on April 1, 2010 (no, this is not an April Fool’s joke).

The First Action Interview Program allowed both a search and an interview before you received a formal examination from the Patent Office, which meant that you received an extra bite at the patent examination apple. In reality, this meant that you had an opportunity that the examiner would understand your invention before he/she started with the pesky rejections.  And, in the case where the examiner did understand your invention, the program allowed you to amend your claims before the first examination.  Consequently, you were able to move your patents faster through the Patent Office, saving yourself some time and probably some money.

We hope that this obituary is premature and that Director Kappos will revive the program as part of the quality initiative (for an example of use of the First Action Interview Program see the 12:01 Tuesday Blog of April 9, 2010).