Did The Pilot Light Go Out On The First Action Interview Program?

18 May 2012 PharmaPatents Blog

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.


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