October 17, 2007
Feeling the pressure of pendency no longer, the bowels of the USPTO are tightening for the 5/25 examination limits, with the patent agency prematurely playing loose with its own rules. While the limits are stated to be in effect November 1, de facto implementation is already proceeding, as it appears unexamined patent applications with more claims than allowed under the new rules are being pulled from their dockets, effectively pre-retarded.
Copped from freshly minted Professor Dennis Crouch at Patently-O. Thanks Dennis.
Posted by Patent Hawk at October 17, 2007 1:10 PM | The Patent Office
While I think that Dennis is minted, fresh and freshly minted, I don't think he is minty fresh.
Posted by: Joyce at October 17, 2007 3:02 PM
As soon as word got around the PTO, near the beginning of 2007, that the office was considering 5/25 examination limits, examiners and supervisors alike started postponing undesirable cases. It is well known that applications with a large number of claims are often pushed aside by examiners, in favor of "quick counts". This was no different. I watched as other examiners joked about how all of their 50+ claim cases obviously weren’t getting a first action until the 5/25 examination limits went into effect. You might think that supervisors would rise above this moral dilemma, but can this even be expected when pendency issues force them to think first and only about the number of first actions coming out of their art unit each quarter? Once again, quality and fairness is thrust aside by the always threatening production requirements. It was only a matter of time before PTO upper management jumped on board.
Posted by: Jordan at October 17, 2007 7:12 PM