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Patent Quality

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The Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Quality promotes and supports continuous improvement of patent products, processes and services through collaboration with internal and external stakeholders of the intellectual property community. Patent quality improvement focuses in three areas we call pillars:  Pillar 1 – Excellence in Work Products; Pillar 2 – Excellence in Measuring Patent Quality; and Pillar 3 – Excellence in Customer Service.
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Pilots and Programs

  • Automated Pre-Examination Search Pilot -  Providing relevant prior art through an automated pre-examination search to an examiner for review before the examiner begins examination and conducts a manual search in the application.

  • Clarity and Correctness Data Capture (Master Review Form or MRF) - Developing and implementing a new agency-wide consistent and transparent process and form to capture minable data about the correctness and clarity of examiners’ work products.

  • Clarity of the Record Pilot - Identifying and developing best practices for examiners to enhance the clarity of the prosecution record.

  • Clarity of the Record Training - Educating examiners on the latest legal developments and effective ways to convey their positions and reasons to applicants for purposes of improving the clarity of the prosecution record.

  • Clarity and Reasoning in Office Action Training (ICR Training).

  • Design Patent Publication Quality - Improving the quality of images in published design patents.

  • Interview Specialist - Providing a point of contact to facilitate applicant-examiner interviews by serving as a resource on interview policy and assisting examiners and applicants with interview logistics.

  • Post Grant Outcomes - Identifying prior art raised in post grant proceedings that is relevant to related cases undergoing prosecution and simplifying access to this prior art for examiners in the related cases.

  • Post-Prosecution Pilot (P3)Combining effective features from the Pre-appeal Pilot and After-Final Consideration Pilot 2.0 programs into a single program with additional requested features.

  • Quality Metrics - Developing and implementing new measures for understanding, evaluating, and reporting the correctness and clarity of examiners’ work products.

  • Reevaluation of Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement (QPIDS) - Investigating improvements to the existing program, which provides for submission of an IDS after payment of the issue fee without an RCE, to make the process more efficient.

  • Scientific and Technical Information Center (STIC) Awareness Campaign - Raising examiners' awareness of available search tools and resources to find better prior art in an application.

  • Topic Submission for Case Studies - Using stakeholder suggestions to identify new topics for case studies.

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Patent Quality Chat is designed to provide information on patent quality topics and gather your input on a regular basis via an easy, webinar format.

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Patent Quality Resources are provided where you can learn about Interview Practice, 101 Guidance, FITF training materials, Patents Petitions Timeline, Patents Ombudsman, and more.

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We Want Your Feedback

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