USPTO Update from John Cabeca, Silicon Valley Director
One area the Office is reviewing is in the area of Examiner Time Analysis. The Office hasn’t changed the classification of applications (i.e., complex versus simple) in a substantive way since 1980, although there were some tweaks made in 2009. Unfortunately, in some fields of invention what was once considered complex is now simple, and what was once simple may now be complex. Cabeca gave an example of a trash can, which once upon a time would be considered very simple, but today it might have various electronics associated, lights, lifts, batteries, making it more complicated than a simple receptacle. Cabeca explained that the Office is reviewing this classification of applications, and what time should be given to examiners, but the Office anticipates that a top to bottom reassessment will take the Office up to two years to complete.