Friday, September 27, 2013

USPTO - After Final Consideration Pilot Program 2.0 Extends to December 14, 2013

Here's good news from the USPTO: the After Final Consideration Pilot Program 2.0 (AFCP 2.0), scheduled to expire on September 30, 2013, will extend through December 14, 2013. AFCP 2.0 remains as implemented on May 13, 2013.

I was surprised USPTO - the After Final Consideration Pilot Program 2.0 to reduce RCEs had many pages views, but should not have been given applicants seeking broad claims often face a final Office action. Before AFCP, a final Office action triggered not-so-happy choices: (1) file an appeal and wait years for the Board to hear your appeal; (2) file a request for continued examiner (RCE) which has a non-trivial fee and wait months for reexamination; or (3) file a reply without substantive claim amendments and argue the examiner should reconsider his or her decision. When you look at those choices, AFCP 2.0 looks pretty good. As long as you meet the requirements, it gives a framework for after final negotiations that could lead to prompt allowance and save a RCE fee. For details see

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