February 03, 2009

In the January 28, 2009 Federal Register, the USPTO announced that it will be hosting a roundtable event to discuss the topic of deferred patent examination. According to the Federal Register (excerpt link below), the roundtable will be held on February 12, 2009, from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA, and will provide a select number of public representatives the opportunity to participate and share their views on examination deferrals. As noted in the excerpt, the roundtable is being conducted "to determine whether the support expressed for deferral of examination is isolated or whether there is general support in the patent community and/or the public sector generally for the adoption of some type of deferral or examination," noting that "many intellectual property (IP) offices that substantively examine patent applications do not perform a substantive examination on every patent application that is filed in the respective office." The USPTO is accepting participation requests through 5 p.m. this Thursday, February 5th.

As a side note, the USPTO actually does have a procedure in place (as noted within the excerpt link below) to defer substantive examination for up to three years from the earliest filing date for which a benefit is claimed under Title 35 of the U.S. Code. Since November 29, 2000, which was also the effective date of the USPTO eighteen month publication rule, less than 200 applications have utilized this deferral procedure (provided under 37 C.F.R. § 1.103(d)).

Federal Register Excerpt (PDF): LINK
37 C.F.R. § 1.103(d): LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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