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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 Method Partnership Meeting 2018 logoThe next BMPM is scheduled to take place on April 2, 2019 at the USPTO’s Alexandria campus.  Registration and agenda information will be forthcoming. 

The last BMPM took place on March 15, 2018.  Attendees had an 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 RCE Filings and Inventory 2011-2017 

RCE Filings and Inventory 2012- 2017

Between May 1, 2016 and December 1, 2017, the total RCE inventory has steadily decreased despite the RCE filings staying somewhat constant. The total RCE inventory with application pendency greater than five years has also decreased during the same time period.

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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.

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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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