Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

U.S. Patent Office to Host Roundtable on Deferred Examination.

Posted in Practice Commentary by Jake Ward on January 28, 2009

Per a press release at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website today:

In response to suggestions from stakeholders in the intellectual property (IP) community that the USPTO adopt some form of a deferred examination procedure, the agency will conduct a public roundtable discussion on the topic on Thursday, February 12, 2009, from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the agency’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

The goal of the roundtable is to obtain public input on deferred examination from diverse sources and differing viewpoints. A limited number of representatives will be able to participate in the roundtable discussion to ensure all participants will have a meaningful opportunity to speak. However, anyone who is interested in the topic may attend the event. The public may also access the event via a live webcast.

The related Federal Register Notice further states:

The USPTO is conducting a roundtable to determine whether the support expressed for deferral of examination is isolated or whether there is general support in the patent community and/or the public sector generally for the adoption of some type of deferral of examination. The number of participants in the roundtable is limited to ensure that all who are speaking will have a meaningful chance to do so. The USPTO plans to invite a number of participants from patent user,practitioner, industry, and independent inventor organizations, academia, industry, and government. The USPTO also plans to have a few ‘‘at-large’’ participants based upon requests received in response to this notice to ensure that the USPTO is receiving a balanced array of views on deferral of examination.

The roundtable is open to the public, but participation in the roundtable is by request, as the number of participants in the roundtable is limited. While members of the public who wish to participate in the roundtable must do so by request, members of the public who wish solely to observe need not submit a request. Any member of the public, however, may submit written comments on issues raised at the roundtable or on any pertaining to deferral of examination, for consideration by the USPTO. Persons submitting written comments should note that the USPTO does not plan to provide a ‘‘comment and response’’ analysis of such comments as this notice is not a notice of proposed rule making.

The USPTO plans to make the roundtable available via Web cast. Web cast information will be available on the
USPTO’s Internet Web site before the roundtable. The written comments and list of the roundtable participants and their associations will be posted on the USPTO’s Internet Web site.

The deadline for receipt of requests to participate in the roundtable is 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 5, 2009.  Requests to participate at the roundtable are required and must be  submitted by electronic mail message through the Internet to robert.bahr@uspto.gov.  All requests to participate at the roundtable should indicate the following information: (1) the name of the person desiring to participate and his or her contact information (telephone number and electronic mail address); and (2) the organization(s) he or she represents.

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