USPTO Patent Application Initiatives - During Examination

  Petition to Make Special Ombudsman Program General Interview Practice
Description Applications will not be advanced out of turn for examination or for further action except as provided by this part. The Patents Ombudsman Program enhances the USPTO's ability to assist applicants or their representatives with issues that arise during patent application prosecution. The USPTO encourages examiners to
take a proactive approach to examination by reaching out and engaging our stakeholders in an effort to resolve
issues and shorten prosecution.
Program Start Date Circa 12/1959 04/2010  
Currently Active (accepting applications) Yes Yes Yes
Petition / Request Petition Request Request
Surcharge / Fee No No No
Claim number limit(s) No - may file 3 Indep. & no more than 20 claims; or pay additional fees See earlier edits N/A N/A
Shortened Prosecution Time Yes - due to earlier FAOM and placement on special amended docket N/A N/A
Special Status Until final disposition N/A N/A
Examination Support Document No N/A N/A
Shortened / Non extendable Response Times No N/A N/A
Interview Required No N/A Yes
Continuation Applications & RCEs eligible for program Yes Yes Yes
Duration or application limit Unlimited, no expiration. Unlimited, no expiration. No
Status of Program Permanent Permanent Permanent