Patent Quality Summit

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Patent Quality Summit Archive
March 25–26, 2015
USPTO Headquarters • Alexandria, VA


Livestream Video Recording 


 

The USPTO outlined a set of proposals for enhancing patent quality and requested public input on such proposals through discussion at a two-day “Quality Summit,” held on March 25 and 26, 2015 at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, and through submission of written comments on or before May 6, 2015. See Request for Comments on Enhancing Patent Quality, 80 FR 6475 (February 5, 2015) [PDF].

The USPTO extended the comment period to ensure that all stakeholders had sufficient opportunity to submit comments on its new Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative (EPQI). A notice extending the comment period published in the Federal Register to provide a new comment deadline of May 20, 2015 ( http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-05-11/pdf/2015-11318.pdf ). The USPTO is considering suggestions for enhancing patent quality based on all comments received on or before that date.

The comments/suggestions are available for public inspection at the Office of the Commissioner for Patents, located in Madison East, Tenth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia, and are available via the USPTO Internet Web site.

To view comments received in response to this FR Notice, please see Comments

The Patent Quality Summit was a two-day event that took place March 25–26, 2015 for the public to provide their thoughts about patent quality to guarantee the most efficient prosecution and processes and to ensure the issuance of the highest quality patents.  A significant portion of the Summit was devoted to brainstorming ideas to enhance patent quality.

The agenda focused on discussing the three pillars for enhancing patent quality and specific proposals related thereto as discussed in the Federal Register Notice (February 5, 2015). These pillars generally highlight (1) excellence in work products, (2) excellence in measuring patent quality, and (3) excellence in customer service and encompass six proposals.

Proposal 1: Applicant Requests for Prosecution Review of Selected Applications – The USPTO proposes a mechanism for an applicant to request OPQA (Office of Patent Quality Assurance) review of the prosecution of a particular application where the applicant identifies an issue that would benefit from further review.
► Proposal 1 Brainstorming questions

Proposal 2: Automated Pre-Examination Search – The USPTO is seeking input on new tools as well as their usefulness in conducting a pre-examination search that will provide a list of possible references for the examiner’s consideration. With these references as a starting point, the examiner is better positioned to begin a substantive examination, which includes their own search of the prior art.
► Proposal 2 Brainstorming questions

Proposal 3: Clarity of Record – The USPTO is seeking the assistance of the public in identifying procedures to enhance the clarity and completeness of the official record during prosecution of an application.
► Proposal 3 Brainstorming questions

Proposal 4: Review of and Improvements to Quality Metrics – The USPTO is considering the Quality Composite Metric it currently uses to evaluate quality - to reassess its effectiveness as well as consider ways to improve it. Moreover, methods for measuring the impact of training provided to examiners will be reevaluated to enhance the effectiveness of examiner training.
► Proposal 4 Brainstorming questions

Proposal 5: Review of Current Compact Prosecution Model and the Effect on Quality – The USPTO requests assistance from the public on determining whether the current compact prosecution model should be modified and seeks ideas for proactive alternatives to RCE (Request for Continued Examination)  filings and appeals to the PTAB (Patent Trial and Appeal Board) .
► Proposal 5 Brainstorming questions

Proposal 6: In-Person Interview Capability with All Examiners – Today, in-person interviews are only available at the USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, VA and fully operational USPTO Satellite Offices (Detroit and Denver). The USPTO proposes that in-person interviews could be conducted at additional locations to those currently available.
► Proposal 6 Brainstorming questions

Patent Quality Pillars and the six proposals for
Enhanced Patent Quality

A summary of the pillars and their proposals is shown below.

►Printable Quality Pillars/Proposals

Patent Quality Pillars

New Quality Proposals

1. Excellence in work products

1. Applicant Requests for Prosecution
    Review of Selected Applications
2. Automated Pre-Examination Search
3. Clarity of the Record

2. Excellence in measuring patent quality

4. Review of and Improvements to Quality Metrics

3. Excellence in customer service

5. Review of Current Compact Prosecution
    Model and the Effect on Quality

6. In-Person Interview Capability with All Examiners

 

DAY 1: March 25, 2015

MORNING SESSION - INTRODUCTION TO THE ENHANCED QUALITY INITIATIVE AND DISCUSSION OF THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY

8:30 to 8:40 am

Welcome.

8:40 to 9:00 am

Opening Remarks.

9:00 to 10:30 am

Perspectives on the Importance of Quality.

Speakers:

  1. Manny Schecter – IBM Corporation

  2. Dennis Crouch – University of Missouri, School of Law

  3. Chris Bullard – Practitioner

  4. Robert Budens – POPA President

  5. Hilda Galvan – Jones Day

  6. Roy Waldron – Pfizer Inc.

  7. Judge Paul Michel - CAFC

► Speaker Information

10:30 to 10:45 am

Break.

10:45 to 12:00 pm

All Audience Discussion of Key Aspects of Quality

12:00 to 1:00 pm

Break for lunch.

AFTERNOON SESSION - PROVIDING THE BEST POSSIBLE WORK PRODUCTS

1:00 to 1:30 pm                                                                             

Pillar 1 (Excellence in work products): Overview of Currently Available Improvements.

1:30 to 1:45 pm

Introduction of Proposal 1 (Applicant Requests Prosecution Review) and Proposal 2 (Automated Pre-Examination Search).

1:45 to 2:30 pm

All Audience Discussion of Proposal 1 (Applicant Requests Prosecution Review) and Proposal 2 (Automated Pre-Examination Search).

2:30 to 2:45 pm

Break.

Virtual attendees only:  Please click the link for your desired brainstorming session below NOW.

2:45 to 4:45 pm

Brainstorming for Proposal 1 (Applicant Requests Prosecution Review) and Proposal 2 (Automated Pre-Examination Search). Small group break-out session to be followed by sharing of ideas with all audience.

Virtual attendees only
Proposal 1:  ►WebEx link (password 12345)
Proposal 2:  WebEx link (password 12345)

• WebEx Instructions

4:45 to 5 pm

Concluding Remarks.

DAY 2: March 26, 2015

MORNING SESSION - ESTABLISHING APPROPRIATE QUALITY METRICS

8:30 to 8:45 am                               

Welcome.

8:45 to 9:15 am

Pillar 1 (Excellence in work products) and Pillar 2 (Excellence in measuring patent quality): Overview of Currently Available
Improvements and the Quality Composite.

9:15 to 9:30 am

Introduction of Proposal 3 (Clarity of the Record) and Proposal 4 (Review of Quality Metrics).

9:30 to 10:15 am

All Audience Discussion of Proposal 3 (Clarity of the Record) and Proposal 4 (Review of Quality Metrics).

10:15 to 10:30 am

Break.

Virtual attendees only:  Please click the link for your desired 
brainstorming session below NOW.

10:30 to 12:30 pm

Brainstorming for Proposal 3 (Clarity of the Record) and Proposal 4 (Review of Quality Metrics).
Small group break-out session to be followed by sharing of ideas with all audience.

Virtual attendees only
Proposal 3:  ►WebEx link (password 12345)
Proposal 4:  ►WebEx link (password 12345)

• WebEx Instructions

12:30 to 1:30 pm

Break for lunch.

AFTERNOON SESSION - IMPROVING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AND PROVIDING EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE

1:30 to 2:00 pm                                                                             

Pillar 3 (Excellence in customer service): Overview of Currently Available Improvements.

2:00 to 2:15 pm

Introduction of Proposal 5 (Compact Prosecution's Effect on Quality) and Proposal 6 (In-Person Interview Capability).

2:15 to 3:00 pm

All Audience Discussion of Proposal 5 (Compact Prosecution's Effect on Quality) and Proposal 6 (In-Person Interview Capability).

3:00 to 3:15 pm

Break.

Virtual attendees only:  Please click the link for your desired brainstorming session below NOW.

3:15 to 5:15 pm

Brainstorming for Proposal 5 (Compact Prosecution's  Effect on Quality) and Proposal 6 (In-Person Interview Capability with All Examiners). Small group break-out session to be followed by sharing of ideas with all audience.

Virtual attendees only
Proposal 5:   ►WebEx link (password 12345)
Proposal 6:   ►WebEx link (password 12345)

• WebEx Instructions

5:15 to 5:30 pm

Concluding Remarks and Next Steps.