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New Option for Responding to Final Rejections in the USPTO

Posted on Jul 14, 2016 in Blog

The USPTO has just announced the launch of the Post-Prosecution Pilot (P3) program.  The P3 program combines the best features of two other after final programs offered by the USPTO: (1) the After Final Consideration Pilot (AFCP) 2.0 program and (2) the Pre-Appeal Brief Conference Pilot (PABCP) program.

Like the PABCP program, the P3 program provides applicants with an opportunity to have their applications reviewed by a panel of three examiners (including the examiner of record).  Like the AFCP program, the P3 program permits applicants to make limited amendments to the claims after final rejection.  The P3 progam improves upon the other two programs by permitting the applicant to make an in-person or remote presentation to the panel of three patent examiners.

A request to participate in the P3 must be filed within two months from the mailing date of the final rejection together with a response to the final rejection. The response can optionally include non-broadening amendments to the claims.

The P3 program runs until January 12, 2017. However, each of the USPTO’s eight technology centers will accept no more than 200 compliant requests.  Thus, access to the P3 program may end before January 12, 2017.

– by David Tener

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