Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

Ombudsman Pilot Program of the USPTO

Posted in General Commentary, Practice Commentary by Mike Dockins on August 19, 2010

The USPTO announced an Ombudsman Pilot Program in the Federal Register on April 6, 2010. The Federal Register announcing the Program may be viewed here. The USPTO Ombudsman webpage may be accessed here. The webpage includes information links concerning the Program, as well as the submission form that practitioners submit to initiate an interview with an Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman Pilot Program “is designed to enhance the USPTO’s ability to assist applicants and/or their representatives with issues that arise during patent application prosecution. More specifically, when there is a breakdown in the normal prosecution process, the Ombudsman Pilot Program can assist in getting the process back on track.”

After over four months, the USPTO scheduled a teleconference available to the first fifty (50) practitioners or pro se applicants that have used the Ombudsman Pilot Program. All of the Ombudsmen were present on the teleconference. We were lucky to have been participants on the conference call. Overall, the feedback regarding the Program was positive, and the participants on the call were all pleased with how the Program has worked so far. A few interesting things came from the conference call that we thought we should share: (more…)