Earlier today, the USPTO published a Notice and Request for Comment in the Federal Register entitled “Request for Comments and Notice of Roundtable Event on Leveraging Electronic Resources To Retrieve Information From Applicant’s Other Applications and Streamline Patent Issuance.”
Summary: “The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is continuing its efforts to expedite and improve the overall patent process. Accordingly, the USPTO is exploring how to best utilize available electronic resources to provide examiners with information (e.g., prior art, search reports, etc.) from applicant’s other applications as early as possible to increase patent examination quality and efficiency. These other applications, for example, could have the same or substantially the same disclosure (e.g., domestic parent and counterpart foreign applications) as the U.S. application being examined. In addition to improving patent examination quality and efficiency, providing the examiner with this information from applicant’s other applications will reduce applicant’s burden to provide this information to the USPTO.
“Further, the USPTO is seeking to reduce the issuance time of a patent by eliminating potentially unnecessary information from the front page of the patent. In particular, the USPTO is seeking public comment on what information, beyond a copy of the specification and drawing that is required by statute, should be part of the patent considering that complete information concerning U.S. patents and U.S. patent application publications are accessible to the public via the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system.
“To assist the USPTO in determining the best way to address these two topics, the USPTO is hosting a roundtable event to obtain public input. The roundtable will be open for any member of the public and will provide a forum for a discussion of the questions identified in this notice. Written comments in response to these questions set forth in this Notice also are requested.”
The Notice and Request for Comment can be found here.