Stakeholder Training on Examination Practice and Procedure (STEPP)

Training focuses on how our Examiners review patent applications according to the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP).  The training is broken into three separate modules (Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3): 

  • Day 1 focuses on the role of an examiner and the steps an examiner would take when reading an application for the first time.  Claim interpretation and 35 USC 101 and 112 are emphasized on Day 1.
  • Day 2  uses the information gathered during Day 1 to plan a search, conduct a search, and map prior art to claims using 35 USC 102 and 103.
  • Day 3 focuses on writing of an office action, as well as post-examination options such as the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Central Reexamination Unit (CRU).  Similar to the training of entry level examiners, a sample application will be provided to each trainee and will be the focus of exercises during each module which build upon each other. 

For a detailed schedule please view the Agent/Attorney 3-Day Course Schedule (Please note, the content and schedule of this course is subject to change).

Training delivered through STEPP is designed to provide external stakeholders with a better understanding of how and why an examiner makes decisions while examining a patent application. In person courses are led by USPTO trainers and based on material developed for training employees of the USPTO.  

Currently courses provided through STEPP are free to attend.  CLE credit for Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin has been approved. This course is specifically designed for patent attorneys and patent agents. Registration is now closed.

For more information about STEPP.

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