What You Can Do to Help the USPTO
Perhaps we could just start with eliminating restriction, election, and final action practices at the USPTO, before we dismantle the duty of disclosure. While the patent bar can no doubt do more to make claims easier to read, much less examine, I'm not sure that practioners have that much control over the volume of continuing applications and supporting references. Besides, isn't the examination process supposed to get just a little bit easier after the third round?
"Out of 375,000 applications we received last year, 100,000 were
[continuations]. When one-quarter of our work is rework, we look at that," said
Dudas, adding that "examiners are concerned about the quality of applications
coming through the door".
The fact that between 20,000 and 30,000 applications every year are second continuations makes the problem worse, said Dudas. As a result, he said, the Office is looking at whether there should be a limit to continuations.