The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office seems to find public roundtable discussions to be an effective means to solicit pubic feedback. The next topic it plans to tackle is how to reduce the number of Requests for Continued Examinations (RCEs).
According to the USPTO, it is seeking to better understand the “root causes for filing RCEs.” It plans to use the information gathered during the public events to design additional programs and initiatives aimed at reducing filings and the RCE backlog. As the agency notes, previous programs, which include the Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement (QPIDS) pilot and After Final Consideration Pilot (AFCP), have been successful in reducing the patent backlog; however, work still remains to be done.
The USPTO, in collaboration with Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC), is providing a variety of forums where stakeholders can openly discuss reasons for filing RCEs and share ideas for reducing RCE filings. They include the submission of written comments by email or postal mail, through the web-based portal called IdeaScale®, and through roundtables.
Additional information and a complete listing of roundtable dates and locations can be found on the RCE Outreach website: www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/rce_outreach.jsp.
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