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Posts Tagged: "post-prosecution pilot program"

Are the Pre-Appeal Conference and P3 Hopelessly Rigged? Practice Tips for the Savvy Practitioner

The unadvertised feature is that the Pre-Appeal Conference board is assembled by an administrative assistant in the technology center, but the P3 board is assembled by the SPE. This is a critical difference. With the P3 program, the Office is trying to address an internally perceived problem that they believe they have with the Pre-Appeal Conference, which is the technical knowledge of the third member of the board. The third member of the Pre-Appeal Conference is the first available examiner from any technology center and with any type of technical background. This person is essentially selected at random, and often has no technical competence in the area. With the P3 program, the third person is picked by the SPE. This gives the SPE the ability to stack the deck in their favor, intentionally or not.

E-Commerce Art Units: Where Patent Applications Go to Die

Upon closer review things are much, much worse than I previously reported. The problem is also far more widespread. Using LexisNexis Patent Advisor®, I looked at the E-commerce Art Units, this time focusing on what has happened over the past 18 months. Focusing on this segment of post-Alice prosecution the allowance picture is utterly atrocious… Only 12 patents were issued by Art Unit 3689 in 2015, while 365 applications went abandoned, which corresponds to an allowance rate of 3.2%. So far in 2016 there have been only 3 patents issued by Art Unit 3689, while 232 patent applications have gone abandoned, which corresponds to an allowance rate of 1.3%.

What the Patent Office Refuses to Understand

This new post-prosecution pilot program feels a lot like rearranging the chairs on the Titanic. Unless and until the Patent Office does something about recalcitrant patent examiners this effort may wind up being much ado about nothing… If you look at Art Unit 3622, which handles applications dealing with incentive programs and coupons, and compare it with Art Unit 3688 and Art Unit 3682, both of which also handle patent applications relating to incentive programs and coupons, you see the same alarming trend. These three Art Units that handle the same type of patent application yet have allowance rates of 9.5%, 29.2% and 63.2%. Something seems seriously wrong and is screaming for investigation.

Patent Office announces Post-Prosecution Pilot Program

The Patent Office hopes that by giving the applicant the opportunity to provide an oral presentation to the panel during a conference with the examiners, as well as providing written explanation, issues can be resolved without need for an appeal. Indeed, the goal for this Post-Prosecution Pilot Program is to hopefully reduce the number of appeals take to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), or at the very least reduce the number of issues that are appealed. It is also believed that the program will impact the number of request for continued examination (RCE) filings as well.