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The Business Methods Practice Area is part of Technology Center 3600 that handles Business Methods applications.  The Business Methods Practice Area is comprised of three workgroups that include 3620, 3680, and 3690.  The 3620 and the 3680 workgroups examine applications pertaining to incentive programs, coupons; operations research; electronic shopping; health care; point of sale, inventory, accounting; cost/price, reservations, shipping, and transportation; and business processing.  The 3690 workgroup examines applications pertaining to finance/banking/insurance.  

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  • TC 3600 Business Methods Partnership Meeting (BMPM)

    The Next Business Methods Partnership Meeting is scheduled to take place on March 15th, 2018.  Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and share ideas, experiences, and insights with USPTO management.  
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This section highlights charts and statistics of the Business Methods Practice Area. 

 Text Version of Business Methods Allowance Rate 

Business methods allowance rate graph

The above graph shows allowance rates of the Business Methods Practice Area currently trending towards the allowance rates achieved prior to Bilski v. Kappos (decided June 28, 2010).  The allowance rate was calculated as the number of notices of allowances divided by the number of disposals (including Request for Continued Examination disposals) for each period for fiscal year 2008 through August 2017.

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USPTO outreach opportunities bring together inventors and examiners to promote a deeper understanding of technology and the examining process. Find out more about how you can participate in the patent examining process.

Join our mailing list to stay up to date on Business Methods.

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Examiner decision making process

The final say for the determination of patentability resides with the Primary Examiner (MPEP §1004) with the exception when a Junior Examiner has partial signatory authority (MPEP §1005).  The chart below illustrates decision points and who is the deciding official during the first examination, the second examination, and the appeals process.

Text Version

Examiner decision making process

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Contact us

How to reach us:

  • Tariq Hafiz, Director of TC 3600, Business Methods
  • Email us at
  • Supervisors in Business Methods
    • Workgroup 3620 and Workgroup 3680 - Incentive Programs, Coupons; Operations Research; Electronic Shopping; Health Care; Point of Sale, Inventory, Accounting; Cost/Price, Reservations, Shipping and Transportation; Business Processing
    • Workgroup 3690 - Finance/ Banking/ Insurance
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