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About vILT

vILT is designed to allow our stakeholders to be briefed on a variety of focused topics related to examination practice and procedure derived from recent training delivered to experienced USPTO examiners. The primary purpose of vILT is to provide a vehicle by which recently delivered examination training is shared with the external stakeholders. The interactive online format of vILT allows participants to remotely attend the training without the need to travel to USPTO locations.

See the full course schedule below for topics, dates, places, times, intended audience, and CLE credit.

Courses provided are free to attend.  In addition, CLE credit may be available for a vILT course in which you participate. However, CLE accreditation will generally only be applied for in the state from which the course is delivered.  Please review the available course schedule and descriptions below for additional information.

vILT is administered by the Office of Patent Training (OPT).
 

How do I participate in the vILT program?  

Those interested in participating in vILT are required to complete the Sign Up Now form located below.

For more information:  

vILT@uspto.gov by email or view our vILT flyer.

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Course Schedule

For additional information on a course listed please read the course description below.  If interested, please complete and submit the Sign Up Now form.  Is there another training on examination practice and procedure that may better meet your needs?   Please complete the needs assessment survey so that we can better try to accommodate you in the future.

Note:  All courses, times, and dates are subject to change and may be cancelled at any time prior to registration opening.

Due to high demand for the vILT Courses, the USPTO is adding additional Wednesday sessions for each vILT Course (see the Course Schedule table below). All registrants will be placed in the Tuesday session until the maximum capacity is reached. Any additional registrants will be placed in the Wednesday session.

FY 2019 Virtual Instructor Led Training (vILT)

Title

Date(s)

Audience

Duration

Registration

CLE Credit Available?

Combined 102/103 Workshop Training

December 4 and **5, 2018

All

1 Hour

October 22 – November 18, 2018

Applying - Virginia

Legal Analysis and Writing Workshop

February 12 and **13, 2019

*Agents and Attorneys

1 Hour

December 17, 2018 – January 27, 2019

Applying - Virginia

Preparing an Effective Examiner's Answer

April 2 and **3, 2019

All

1 Hour

February 11 – March 17, 2019

Applying - Virginia

35 USC 101 - TBD

June 4 and **5, 2019

All

2 Hours

April 22 – May 19, 2019

Applying - Virginia

Unity of Invention - TBD

August 6 and **7, 2019

All

2 Hours

June 24 – July 21, 2019

Applying - Virginia

Note: Each vILT session will begin at 1 p.m. ET on the day of training unless otherwise notified.

*Agents and Attorneys - Those registered to practice law in patent matters before the USPTO
** Additional Wednesday session will be held if the maximum capacity for Tuesday session has been exceeded.

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Course Descriptions

FY 2018 vILT Courses

Claim Interpretation - Preambles

Exemplary view of how an examiner is taught to review and determine whether limitations set forth in the preamble limit the broadest reasonable interpretation of a claim.  View material made public on 2/13/2018.

Claim Interpretation - Product by Process

Exemplary view of how an examiner is taught to review and apply a broadest reasonable interpretation to claimed product by process limitations.  View materials made public on 3/12/2018.

Functional Language Workshop - Claim Interpretation and Definiteness Under 35 U.S.C. 112(b) - Computerized Color Editing

Exercise utilizing a functional language worksheet to determine if the claims of an exemplary computerized color editing system are definite.  Material made public on 9/8/2016 and can be found on the Examination Guidance and Training Materials home page.  This workshop is limited to those who have passed the Patent Bar for the purpose of representing applicants before the USPTO.

*Note: Prerequisite reading is required to effectively participate in this workshop.

Addressing 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or Means-plus-Function Limitations

Review of how to identify claim language that needs to be interpreted under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) and introduction of new form paragraphs that establish § 112(f) claim interpretation in view of the presumptions and address issues that can arise with 35 U.S.C. 112(f) limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(b).  Material made public on 3/27/2018 and can be found on the Examination Guidance and Training Materials page.

Proper Anticipation Rejections: Reminders from Recent Case Law

Review of recent case laws reinforcing good practices in determining whether an anticipation rejection is appropriate.  It also provides reminders about how to explain anticipation rejections in an Office action.  View materials made public on 8/7/2018.

Clear Obviousness Rejections: Important Lessons from Outdry v. Geox

A recent case from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Outdry Technologies Corp. v. Geox S.P.A., is used as a vehicle for discussing good practices for writing clear obviousness rejections. This course emphasizes the importance of proper claim construction and a clear articulation of the obviousness rejection including citation of evidence, reasoned explanation and factual findings.  View materials made public on 9/5/2018.


FY 2019 vILT Courses

Combined 102/103 Workshop Training

Exercise utilizing hypothetical examples to reinforce good practices for identifying and making proper anticipation and obviousness rejections.

Legal Analysis and Writing Workshop

Exercise utilizing hypothetical examples to understand how to read and evaluate Applicant’s arguments based on case law citations.  Material made public in April 2017 and can be found on the Examination Guidance and Training Materials webpage.  This workshop is limited to those who have passed the Patent Bar for the purpose of representing applicants before the USPTO.

*Note: Prerequisite reading is required to effectively participate in this workshop.

Preparing and Effective Examiner's Answer

Exemplary view of how an examiner is taught to improve the quality of Examiner’s Answers through clearer and more effective treatment of appellant’s arguments.

35 USC 101 - TBD

Course description will be provided at a later date.

Unity of Invention - TBD

Course description will be provided at a later date.

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Guidance

Operating Procedures for Interested vILT Participants


Entry into the vILT program is granted based on available resources, training slots available, and appropriateness of the topics suggested. For granted requests, audience size will vary.

Weather-Related Emergencies and Unexpected Closings:

In the event of a weather-related emergency or other unexpected closing, vILT follows the operating status of the USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, VA (normal operating hours are 8:30 am to 5:00 pm ET), as determined by Office of Personnel Management guidance.  As a result, vILT training for a particular day may have a delayed start or be cancelled due to inclement weather.  The USPTO is not responsible for any cost associated with a weather-related or other cancellation or delay.  Furthermore, no makeup session will be scheduled. 

Office Closed
vILT courses will be cancelled if USPTO Headquarters is closed.

Office Open with Delayed Arrival
vILT courses will be cancelled if the delay at USPTO Headquarters extends beyond the scheduled start time (e.g., if there is a 3-hour delay, a course scheduled to start at 11:00 am ET will be cancelled).  Otherwise, vILT courses will run at the scheduled time.

Early Dismissal
vILT courses will be cancelled if the early dismissal occurs during the scheduled course time (e.g., if there is a 3-hour early dismissal, a course running at 2:00 pm ET will be cancelled).

All other operating statuses (e.g., open with option for unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework)
vILT courses will run as scheduled.

For information on the current operating status of the USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, VA, visit the OPM current status web page or call 202-606-1900.

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Sign Up Now

Sign up is now open for the vILT course(s) currently open for registration (see above).  If you are interested in being notified when registration opens for a particular course please email us at vILT@uspto.gov.

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Survey

What would you like to see?


If the training currently provided through vILT does not currently meet your needs please fill out the short survey so that we can better help you in the future.   

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Additional Training and Material

Looking for additional information on examination practice and procedure?  Publicly available material used to train USPTO patent examiners is available on our Examiner Training Materials page and the Examination Guidance and Training Materials page.  If you are looking for our in-person course materials, unfortunately they are workshop specific and are designed for in class use only.  As a result these materials are not currently available online.  However, all of our in-person materials are derived from material found through the two hyperlinks directly above.

Interested in taking part in USPTO led training outside of vILT?  Please visit the USPTO Events page to learn more.

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Patent Examiner Technical Training Program (PETTP)

Are you or your client interested in providing technical training to patent examiners?  The Patent Examiner Technical Training Program offers technologists, scientists, engineers, and other experts from industry and academia an opportunity to voluntarily provide technical training and expertise to patent examiners in-person or virtually from their own location. 

In-person presentations can be made at our Alexandria, Virginia headquarters or at one of our satellite offices in Detroit, Michigan and Denver, Colorado. 

To learn more, visit the Patent Examiner Technical Training Program (PETTP) page.

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Site Experience Education (SEE) Program

Are you or your client interested in hosting patent examiners at your office or facility?  The Site Experience Education program provides commercial, industrial, and academic institutions, within the continental U.S., the opportunity to voluntarily host patent examiner technical site visits.  The USPTO funds all SEE travel costs for patent examiner visits to host organizations. 

To learn more, visit the Site Experience Education (SEE) Program page.

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Stakeholder Training on Examiner Practice and Procedure (STEPP)

Are you or your client interested in participating in person training that focuses on examination practice and procedure?  STEPP training, or Stakeholder Training on Examination Practice and Procedure, is designed to provide external stakeholders with a better understanding of how, and why, an examiner makes decisions while examining a patent application. The STEPP program provides unique day-in-the-life, experiences to those attending training. Two course formats are available: Agent/Attorney and Inventor 3-Day Courses.

To learn more, visit the Stakeholder Training on Examination Practice and Procedure (STEPP) page.

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