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|Top of Notices (317) December 29, 2020||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1481 CNOG 1984|
|Issue: Fees, Notifications, Applicant Submissions||Referenced Items (317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325)|
(317) Revised Procedure for Recording Search and Information Printed on the Face of Patent under the Heading "Field of Search" The procedure for recording search data in an application file currently set forth in MPEP Sec. 719.05 does not accurately reflect what was searched by the examiner since the current procedure makes no distinction between a classified search and a classified search limited by text query(ies). Furthermore, when an electronic search is performed, the current procedure for recording search data does not require a complete search history (i.e., a printout) identifying all the search logic used in the database query, the name of the file searched, the database service and the date the search was performed, to be included in the application file. Examiners may instead provide such information in the "SEARCH NOTE" box in the application file, which may or may not be as complete as a printout. In most instances the recorded annotations in the "SEARCH NOTE" box are far less complete than the associated search history printout. A proper recordation of the search in an application file will improve the quality of the application file record by accurately reflecting what was searched by the examiner and will permit any person reviewing the application file to reproduce the search performed by the examiner and evaluate the adequacy of the search. A revised procedure for recording search (a summary of which is set forth below) has recently been implemented in the patent examining corps. MPEP Sec. 719.05 will be revised in the next revision of the MPEP to incorporate the revised procedure for recording search. Revised Procedure for Recording Search in the Application File: If a classified search was performed, the class and subclass must be recorded. A classified search is defined as a complete search of all the documents in a particular subclass, whether filed by U.S. or IPC classification and is not limited by any text query or other means. Examiners may not just record a class and subclass when a limited classified search was performed. A limited classified search is defined as a search of a classified patent document database limited by a text query or a set of text queries or other means. If a limited classified search was performed, an appropriate annotation must be included that explains the limitation made in performing the search (e.g., text search only). Any time that a limited electronic search was performed, a complete search history in the form of a printout must be included in the application file. The USPTO believes that this change is necessary for any meaningful quality review of the search, in examiner work products, work-sharing efforts under our Trilateral working group efforts, and any competitive outsourcing of the search. Information to be Printed on the Face of Patent under the Heading "Field of Search:" In view of the revised procedure for recording search, it is not practical to record the various formats of the many types of text or other searches on the face of the printed patent grant. The USPTO will replace the current printed US Classes and subclasses under the heading "Field of Search" on the face of a patent with a section listing the "Classified Field of Search" and the following statement: "See application file for the complete search history." June 21, 2005 JOSEPH J. ROLLA Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy [1296 OG 118]