USPTO Introduces the Full First Action Interview Pilot Program
- Michele Cimbala
The United States Patent and Trademark Office announced on May 18, 2011 the Full First Action Interview Pilot Program, which is an expansion of the Enhanced First Action Interview Pilot Program. The new program now includes all utility applications in all technology areas and filing dates. As with the previous First Action Interview pilot programs (which included the Original and the Enhanced pilots), the applicant is entitled to a first action interview, upon request, prior to the first Office action on the merits. This pilot will run through May 16, 2012.
For applications in the program, the examiner will conduct a prior art search and provide the applicant with a condensed pre-interview communication citing relevant prior art and identifying proposed rejections or objections. Within 30 days of receipt, the applicant schedules an interview and submits proposed amendments and/or arguments. At the interview, the relevant prior art, proposed rejections, and proposed amendments and arguments will be discussed. If agreement is not reached, the applicant will then receive First Action Interview Office action that includes an interview summary that constitutes a first Office action on the merits under 35 USC 132.
More information about this expanded pilot is available in this notice.