The USPTO is ending the unpopular “First Action Interview Pilot Program” effective January 15, 2021.
According to the program, an applicant could have requested an interview before receiving a first office action on the merits. The examiner would have performed a search and would have provided the applicant with a short communication including potential rejections.
In response to this, the applicant would have scheduled (within 30 days) an interview with proposed amendments/remarks. In the event an agreement could not be reached, the applicant would have received a first office action on the merits, including a summary of the interview. However, it was not as simple as it sounds.
In fact, one of the reasons why the program never really gained popularity was the complexity of the various scenarios following the interview. More information is available on the USPTO website (www.uspto.gov), under the search terms “Full First Action Interview Pilot Program”.
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