Prior Art Access Regional Office Focus Sessions and Global Dossier Information Sessions
May 24, 2016
In continuing its efforts to improve patent examination quality and efficiency, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) is exploring how to provide examiners with early access to information (e.g., prior art, search reports, etc.) from applicant’s other applicant’s (e.g., domestic parent and foreign counterpart applications) having the same or substantially the same disclosure. Accordingly, the USPTO is hosting focus sessions to obtain public input on how the Office can better leverage applicant’s other applicants to provide examiners with relevant information as soon as possible. In addition to improving patent examination quality and efficiency, early access to this information by the examiner may reduce applicant’s burden to provide this information to the Office. The focus sessions will not explore whether or not applicants should be relieved of their duty of disclosure for information material to patentability not otherwise of record in the U.S. application.
In particular, recognizing the extensive benefits of work sharing such as reducing duplication of efforts by examiners in different intellectual property offices and increasing the efficiency and quality of patent examination, major intellectual property offices have collaborated to develop platforms such as Global Dossier, WIPO-Case, One Portal Dossier, and the Common Citation Document to share information in patent family members. The USPTO is exploring automated solutions to leverage these platforms to provide examiners with access to this information as early as possible during prosecution of U.S. applications while balancing the goals of examination quality and efficiency. The USPTO would like stakeholders’ input on (1) whether or not this initiative should consider information from applications or sources other than domestic parent and counterpart foreign applications, (2) what would be the most convenient way to bring an application to the Office’s attention that should be monitored during examination of a U.S. application (e.g., automated system, applicant notification to the Office, etc.), (3) which information from the monitored applications should the Office provide to examiners while ensuring that they are not overburdened with immaterial or marginally relevant information, and (4) how should the Office document the information automatically imported into the file wrapper of the U.S. application under examination?
In addition, we will have a discussion on Global Dossier. The USPTO created the Office of International Patent Cooperation (OIPC) in March 2014 to Improve Global Patent Prosecution and Work Sharing. To achieve this, the organization is developing tools and initiatives that modernize existing systems. These benefit the user community by delivering cost savings, reduced prosecution time, increased quality, and the certainty of IP rights. One of these initiatives is Global Dossier. The Global Dossier Initiative is a set of business services being developed by the five IP (IP5) Offices (USPTO, EPO, JPO, KIPO, and SIPO) aimed at modernizing the global patent system and delivering benefits to all stakeholders through a single portal/user interface. Global Dossier makes it easier for patent applicants to quickly and easily view, monitor, and manage intellectual property (IP) protection around the world by providing access to the dossiers of related applications filed at the IP5 offices. Please read more about Global Dossier and the Office of International Patent Cooperation here. The session will provide an overview of Global Dossier, a demo of the tool, and discussion on upcoming features and enhancements.
The sessions will be conducted on the following dates and times:
Rocky Mountain Regional Office
Byron G. Rogers Federal Building, 1961 Stout Street, Denver, CO, 80294
Monday, June 6, 2016
2:00 – 4:00 pm (MDT)
Texas Regional Office
207 South Houston St., Suite 159 Dallas, TX 75202
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
2:00 – 4:00 pm (CST)
Midwest Regional Office
300 River Place South, Suite 2900 Detroit, MI 48207
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
9:00 – 11:00 am (EST)
Silicon Valley Regional Office
26 S. Fourth Street San Jose, CA 95113
Thursday, June 16, 2016
9:00 – 11:00 am (PST)
Focus session participation is limited and requires advance registration. To register, please send an e-mail to PriorArtAccess@USPTO.gov with the date and location you would like to participate. You will receive a registration acknowledgment and additional information.