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Archived updates for Monday, March 13, 2006

New USPTO First Action Predictor

Thanks to Carl Oppedahl for writing on the PAIR and EFS Listservs that the March 20, 2006 release of EFS-Web offers a new and different way to predict when a first office action will be sent from the U.S. Patent and trademark Office:
To use it, you login to the EFS-Web Private PAIR (rather than the USPTO-Direct
Private PAIR) and select a pending file. Then click on the "first action
prediction" tab. A new screen will appear, listing the application number, the
art unit, thefiling date, and a "number of months to first office action."
We call this"the EFS-Web method" for predicting a first office action.

He also compared the predictions from the Official Gazette and EFS-Web for three pending applications.

Two of our applications, identical in specification and differing only in the claims, were filed in August of 2002. One went to Art Unit 3624 and theother went to Art Unit 3628. (The one that went to 3624 had been classifiedin 705/037, while the one that went to 3628 went to 705/040.)

For Application 1, filed in August of 2002 and assigned to art unit 3628, the technology group data from the Official Gazette ("OG") predicts a first office action one month from now. EFS-Web predicts a first office action that is 27 months from now, a difference of 26 months.

For Application 2, also filed in August of 2002, assigned to art unit 3624, the OG also predicts a first office action one month from now. EFS-Web predicts a first office action that is 38 months from now, adifference of 37 months.

For Application 3, which entered the US national stage in November of2003 and assigned to art unit 3628, the OG predicts a first office action 28 months from now. EFS-Web predicts a first office action that is 77 months from now, a difference of 49 months.

Oh, and one last problem is evident from the EFS-Web predictor. It apparently takes no account of the "special" or "out of order" status of apending application. Application 3 is entitled to special "out of order"examination because it is the national stage of a PCT which the USPTO already found to be patentable. (See 37 CFR section 1.496, lastsentence.) Despite the fact that USPTO is required to take the application"out of order", the application has gone unexamined for well over two
years now.

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April 07, 2009 3:36 AM  

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