miniature picture of the Patent Application Timeline imageA centralized listing of major Patent Application Initiatives provides applicants with access to information on several patent initiatives designed to advance and support the examination process. Compare the various patent application initiatives that are available prior to examination, during examination, or after close of prosecution to evaluate and contrast the benefits of participating.


Agency Priorities

Executive Actions

USPTO-led Executive Actions on High Tech Patent Issues

On June 4, 2013, President Obama announced five executive actions "to help bring about greater transparency to the patent system and level the playing field for innovators." Four of these actions were undertaken by the USPTO. On February 20, 2014, the President announced three new initiatives aimed

Attributable Ownership

In June 2013, the White House issued a series of Executive Actions concerning high-tech patent issues. To improve transparency in patent ownership, the USPTO has formulated a rule that will require patent applicants and owners to regularly update ownership information.

Patent Examiner Technical Training Program (PETTP)

The USPTO is expanding its Patent Examiner Technical Training Program (PETTP) and requesting voluntary assistance from Scientists, Engineers, Professors, and Industrial Designers to participate as guest lecturers. Volunteer your time and expertise as a guest lecturer to ensure patent examiners keep

Additional Initiatives

Software Partnership

USPTO has formed a partnership with the software community to enhance the quality of software-related patents (Software Partnership). The Software Partnership is an opportunity to bring stakeholders together through a series of roundtable discussions to share ideas, feedback, experiences, and insights on software-related patents.

Glossary Initiative

Find out more about White House Executive Action No. 2, high-tech patent issues, and the the Glossary Pilot Program.

Prior Art Search

One initiative of the Software Partnership is the investigation and sharing of search strategies, and the improvement of tools and resources to evolve better techniques to identify prior art. Involvement of the scientific community in sharing best practices should help the USPTO identify the most relevant search resources and determine the best prior art for examination.

Site Experience Education (SEE) Program

The SEE Program is designed to provide patent examiners with an opportunity to visit organizations and learn about state of the art technology developments. USPTO Seeking Organizations to Participate in the SEE Program

Patent Examiner Count System

The key objectives of the recently implemented count system are to provide more overall time for examination and to place emphasis on complete and thorough initial examination, encourage quicker resolution of issues, and to reduce unnecessary rework.

Patents Ombudsman Program

The Patents Ombudsman Program enhances the USPTO's ability to assist applicants or their representatives with issues that arise during patent application prosecution.

Biotechnology/Chemical/Pharmaceutical/Customer Partnership Conferences

Biotech/Chem/Pharm Customer Partnership Meeting (16 March 2017) Biotech/Chem/Pharm Customer Partnership Meeting (19 October 2016) Biotech/Chem/Pharm Customer Partnership Meeting (30 June 2016) Biotech/Chem/Pharm Customer Partnership Meeting (26 April 2016) Biotech/Chem/Pharm Customer Partnership

Patent Application Initiatives

Accelerated Examination

Learn more about the established procedures under which the examination of a patent application may be accelerated.

Patents 4 Patients

Also known as the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program, this program provides a fast-track review for cancer immunotherapy-related patent applications without the need for applicant to pay a petition fee. Under this program, patent applications pertaining to cancer immunotherapy are advanced out of turn for examination, resulting in their accelerated review.

After Final Consideration Pilot 2.0

The After Final Consideration Pilot 2.0 (AFCP 2.0) is part of the USPTO's on-going efforts towards compact prosecution and increased collaboration between examiners and stakeholders.

Complex Work Unit Pilot Program

The USPTO's Complex Work Unit (CWU) Pilot Program helps users simplify online access to, and availability of, USPTO information and data for purposes of improved examination of applications, as well as publication of pre-grant publications and patent grants.

Full First Action Interview Pilot Program

Under the Full First Action Interview Pilot Program, an applicant is entitled to a first action interview, upon request, prior to the first Office action on the merits. The examiner will conduct a prior art search and provide applicant with a condensed pre-interview communication citing relevant

Patent Law Treaty

Effective December 18, 2013 The provisions in the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 focus on harmonizing and streamlining many of the formal procedures for filing and processing a patent application.