The US Patent and Trademark Office has announced the Post-Prosecution Pilot Program (to be known as “P3”) starting July 11 and running through January 12, 2017.
Under the P3 program, a panel of patent examiners, including the examiner who examined a particular patent, will hold a conference with the applicant to review the applicant’s response to the rejection of the patent.
The applicant can participate in the conference in-person, by telephone, or via video conferencing.
To participate in P3, the applicant will need to file a request for consideration within two months from the mailing date of a final rejection. This request also has to be filed before the applicant files a notice of appeal.
The applicant will have the option of including in the response a proposed non-broadening amendment to the patent claims.
The P3 program is intended to:
- leverage applicant input obtained through an oral presentation by the applicant to the panel
- provide a written explanation for the panel’s decision
- reduce the number of appeals to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)
To be eligible, an application must be for:
- an original utility non-provisional patent, or
- an international utility application
A continuing application is eligible, but reissue, design, and plant applications are not.
Only one P3 request per rejection will be accepted.
No fee is required.
Participation in P3 is limited to the first 1,600 requests. Each individual technology center will accept no more than 200 requests, so some may close sooner than others. The technology centers are:
A counter showing how close each center is to the 200 mark is here.
The public is invented to comment on the pilot by sending emails to email@example.com by November 14, 2016.