Patent Help - Ombudsman Program - Basics

The Ombudsman Pilot Program is not intended to replace the already existing pathways for you to be assisted with your application (i.e., by contacting the examiner and SPE with your patent application questions first). This Pilot Program is for those who have already used those pathways and been unable to get the assistance they need.

During the initial phone call from the Ombudsman, the Ombudsman will ask if you prefer to speak confidentially with him/her. If you do request confidentiality, the Ombudsman will log your complaint into the database and will take no further action on that particular complaint at that time. The database has limited access so your confidentiality will be safeguarded. The Ombudsman Program Director will periodically review reports of the confidential complaints looking for trends or groups of complaints regarding the same or similar issues and will take action based on the trend or group of complaints without revealing the particulars of any individual complaints.

If you do want your specific issue resolved, it will be necessary to reveal information to the supervisory chain handling your application. Be assured, however, that only as much information as needed to understand the issue will be recorded in the database or revealed to the supervisory chain.