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Posts Tagged: "first action on the merits"

Understanding the Patent Process: Rejections vs. Objections

The refusal to grant claims because the subject matter as claimed is considered unpatentable is called a “rejection.” The term “rejected” is used by the patent examiner when the substance of the patent claims being sought are deemed to be unallowable under 35 U.S.C. 101, 102, 103 and/or 112. If the form of the claim (as distinguished from its substance) is improper, an “objection” is made. An example of a matter of form as to which objection is made is dependency of a claim on a previously rejected claim. You can also get an objection where claims have not been properly grouped together in violation of 37 CFR 75(g).

Making Progress with Difficult Patent Applications

Some patent applications are difficult to get agreement on. The examiner won’t allow and the applicant won’t abandon. The net result is that office actions and responses go back and forth with no apparent resolution in sight. We propose that progress with these difficult patent applications can be tracked by looking at two separate but interrelated metrics, “applicant effectiveness” and “examiner effectiveness”. These two metrics can then be used to diagnose and correct problems in patent prosecution and examination.

USPTO Announces New Patent Examination Quality Initiative

The new procedures measure seven diverse aspects of the examination process to form a more comprehensive composite quality metric. The composite quality metric is designed to reveal the presence of quality issues arising during examination, and to aid in identification of their sources so that problems may be remediated by training, and so that the presence of outstanding quality procedures may be identified and encouraged. The procedures will be implemented for fiscal year 2011.