Interviews enable Applicants and Examiners to discuss and resolve issues and are an effective tool to advance the prosecution of an application. The USPTO encourages Examiners to take a proactive approach to examination by reaching out and engaging our stakeholders in order to shorten prosecution.
USPTO AIR is a web-based tool that allows Applicants to request and interview with an Examiner for their pending patent application. AIR is a convenient online form for submitting requests for interviews. After the form is submitted, an examiner will respond to you to confirm your request within two business days.
Watch USPTO's Interview Practice short video below for a brief introduction to the USPTO Automated Interview Request (AIR) tool and other available USPTO interview resources.
TC Interview Specialist
Interview Specialists are subject matter experts in each Technology Center (TC) and regional office. They specialize in information pertaining to interview practice and policy. Interview specialists are also available to assist with interviews, including facilitating and assisting with technical issues that may arise (e.g. TEAMS problems, public interview room setup).
If you have questions or comments about interview practice at the USPTO, please contact a TC Interview Specialist, based on the Technology Center that the application is docketed in.
Video conferencing with a patent examiner gives you the ability to have face-to-face meetings, no matter the location of the examiner or attorney. In this short video, attorneys share some advantages of video conferencing interviews. Video conference interviews will not be recorded. The substance of the interview will be documented by the examiner in an interview summary according to standard practice. If you have any issues, questions, or concerns email ExaminerInterviewPractice@uspto.gov or contact your TC Interview Specialist.
Policy and Guidance
Relevant Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) sections:
Interview Practice Guidelines for Applicants [PDF] - Information on interview practice to clarify the policies, procedures, and tools available to enable better communicate with examiners.
Applicant Initiated Interview Request form [PDF] - An applicant initiating an interview request should submit an "Applicant Initiated Interview Request" form (PTOL-413A) prior to the interview in order for the examiner to prepare for the interview and to focus on the issues to be discussed. For additional information review MPEP Chapter 713.01, section IV. Scheduling and Conducting an Interview [Searchable MPEP].
PTO/SB/439 [PDF] – A document to provide authorization to communicate via the internet.
Training and FAQs
Effective Interview Practice [PDF] - Effective Interview Practice discusses the use of an agenda, preparing for the interview, properly recording the interview to clarify the record, and steps that can be taken to properly follow through after the interview.
Interview Best Practices [PDF]- The collaborative effort between AIPLA and the USPTO identifies interview best practices that can be followed by examiners and practitioners. Interview Best Practices identifies accessibility, preparation, substance, and recordation as useful tools and techniques for effective interview practice.
Interview Practice Training Summary [PDF] - Effective Interview Practice addresses why interviews are an important examination tool, identifies a number of key components needed to conduct an effective interview and discusses some frequently asked questions.
Public Interview Room [PDF] - Information on interview practice to clarify the policies, procedures, and tools available to enable better communication with examiners.
Federal Register Notice
USPTO is updating its Internet usage policy by modifying the authorization requirements to now permit oral authorization for video conferencing tools, such as TEAMS, to be provided by the patent applicant/ practitioner to patent examiners before an interview is conducted.