The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office unveiled its Post-Prosecution Pilot (P3) Program on July 11 as a part of its Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative. The P3 Program is designed to give inventors more feedback when their patent application is rejected and reduce the number of appeals to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
Through the Program, applicants will be able to participate in a discussion with a panel of USPTO patent examiners after a final rejection, according to the agency’s Federal Register notice, and the hearing will provide applicants with the opportunity to make a presentation to the examiners. The patent office hopes the combination of these two features will help resolve potential issues before an appeal. It is also believed that the program will reduce the number of requests for continued examination.
“This is a fantastic initiative,” said Sheridan Ross Shareholder Jason Vick. “P3 provides Applicants another opportunity to have arguments considered by a larger audience than just the examiner assigned to the application. And more importantly, P3 provides the feedback applicants need that is not provided by the Pre-Appeal Pilot Program. This initiative could save applicants time, money and the delay of pursuing a full Appeal to PTAB.”
The P3 is one of numerous programs launched as part of the Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative. The USPTO had revealed the initiative last year with the stated goal of improving the overall quality of patents in the U.S.