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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)

Business Methods Partnership 2019 logo

The next BMPM will jointly be held at the USPTO’s Alexandria, Virginia Headquarters and the Dallas Texas Regional Office on April 2, 2019.  Members of the public are invited to attend in person at either location.  WebEx will also be available to allow individuals to participate remotely (announcement).

Register here to attend the next BMPM


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This section highlights charts and statistics of the Business Methods Practice Area. 

 Text Version of Filing Trends in Business Methods 1997-2017  

Business Methods Serialized Filings and Inventory 1997 – 2018


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Outreach opportunities and presentations

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.

Past Business Methods outreach presentations designed to provide resources and information to our stakeholders.

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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 of 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 subsequent examination, and the appeals process.

Text Version of the Examiner Decision Making Process

High level overview of the examiner decision making process
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Contact Us

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