The Post-Prosecution Pilot (“P3”) Program closed today, January 12, at the end of its six-month run. According to the USPTO, all of the technology centers met their limit of 200 requests, except for TC1600 (Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry), which had 141.
As previously discussed on PHOSITA, the P3 Program was an option for patent applicants who receive a rejection in a final Office Action. Like the Pre-Appeal Brief Conference Pilot Program, in P3 the applicant filed a short response (no more than five pages) to be considered by a panel of three examiners. The applicant also could file an optional non-broadening claim amendment. However, unlike other programs, P3 allowed the applicant to make a twenty minute oral presentation to the examiner panel. Also, the panel’s decision included an explanation supporting its decision, rather than the simple check box of the Pre-Appeal Brief Conference decisions.
The USPTO says that it is evaluating the results of the pilot to determine next steps. I would like to see them keep the program, as more information from the Examiner Panel has the potential to be helpful.
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