USPTO Extends & Expands Full First Action Interview Pilot Program

Recently the United States Patent Office announced that it is extending and expanding the Full First Action Interview Pilot Program. The program provides for the Patent Applicant and the Examiner to conduct an interview prior to the issuance of the first Office Action on the merits. The program has been extended until May 16, 2012 and expanded to include all utility art areas (previously only the computers/digital processing systems and data processing art groups).

The Patent Applicant must request participation at the time of filing the application or prior to the first Office Action on the merits. The only significant requirement is that the application must contain three or fewer independent claims and twenty or fewer total claims. There is no fee for participation in the program.

Not unlike other interviews, the Full First Action Interview serves to assist the Examiner in obtaining a better understanding of the invention, help establish the relevant state of the art and discuss relevant prior art teachings with a focus on claimed features that establish patentability over the prior art and discuss proposed claimed amendments.

The Full First Action Interview may result in a Notice of Allowability or, if an agreement is not reached as to allowability, the Applicant can choose for the Examiner to (1) generate a first Office Action with a shortened thirty 30 response period or (2) convert the Pre-Interview correspondence from the Examiner and the amendments proposed during the Interview into the into, what is in effect, the first Office Action and the response to the First Office Action (i.e., the next Office Action issued may be a final Office Action).

Of note, 1145 applicants have participated in the program to date and 33.5% of the interviews have resulted in a first action allowance. With such a high allowance rate, Applicants may want to strongly consider participation in the program as a means of potentially acquiring rights in a more timely fashion. All Patent Applicants that apply to participate in the program prior to the May 16, 2012 will be afforded the opportunity for participate in the Full First Action Interview when the application is subsequently examined in the normal course of matters (i.e., participation in the program does not mean that examination is otherwise expedited).

Jim Edwards

About Jim Edwards

A licensed patent attorney with the Moore & Van Allen intellectual property group, Jim Edwards concentrates his practice on patent preparation and prosecution in the electronic and computer technology arts. The sophisticated services he provides his clients includes obtaining patent protection in the U.S. and foreign patent offices, infringement and invalidity investigations, conducting due diligence investigations related to corporate transactions and re-examination proceedings in the U.S. patent office, among others.


No comments yet.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Welcome to the MVA IP Law Blog!

Moore & Van Allen’s IP Law Blog covers hot topics in U.S. and international intellectual property law and provides insight into critical litigation, legislative, regulatory and policy developments. In today’s highly competitive and rapidly developing business climate, technological advancements and the protection of intellectual property rights are paramount concerns common to companies, universities, and individuals operating in nearly every industry.

Connect to Recent Authors

  • Matt Witsil:  View Matt Witsil's Bio View Matt Witsil's LinkedIn profile
  • Emmett Weindruch: View Emmett Weindruch's Bio View Emmett Weindruch's LinkedIn profile
  • Todd Taylor:  View Todd Taylor's Bio View Todd Taylor's LinkedIn profile
  • John Slaughter:  View John Slaughter's Bio View John Slaughter's LinkedIn profile
  • Nick Russell:  View Nick Russell's Bio
  • Ellen Rubel:  View Ellen Rubel's Bio View Ellen Rubel's LinkedIn profile
  • Esther Queen:  View Esther Queen's Bio View Esther Queen's LinkedIn profile
  • Steve Phillips:  View Steve Phillip's Bio View Steve Phillip's LinkedIn profile
  • Chuck Moore:  View Chuck Moore's Bio View Chuck Moore's LinkedIn profile
  • Mark Wilson:  View Mark Wilson's Bio View Mark Wilson's LinkedIn profile
  • Chris Knors:  View Chris Knors' Bio View Chris Knors' LinkedIn profile
  • Jeff Gray:  View Jeff Gray's Bio View Jeff Gray's LinkedIn profile
  • Andy Gerschutz:  View Andy Gerschutz's Bio View Andy Gerschutz's LinkedIn profile
  • Jim Edwards:  View Jim Edwards' Bio View Jim Edwards' LinkedIn profile

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Follow MVA


    Blog Topics


    Our IP Practice

    Moore & Van Allen is located in the Research Triangle and Charlotte, North Carolina – two emerging hubs in the areas of biotech and energy. Moore & Van Allen’s intellectual property lawyers are highly-skilled and innovative in their approach to assisting clients in using patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and technology to achieve their business objectives.

    Our “business focused” team combines legal know-how with the technical proficiency and industry experience necessary to navigate our clients through matters in areas as diverse as nuclear power, navigation systems, microprocessor design, pollution control, pharmaceuticals, semi-conductor manufacturing, food processing, telecommunications, internet applications, computer software, business methods and consumer products.

    We offer a full range of patent, trademark, and copyright services, and our team is equipped with IP litigators with substantial state, federal, and international experience. To benefit and best serve our clients, we leverage our ongoing working relationships with highly qualified intellectual property practitioners and agents in virtually every country in the world. Read More About Our Practice and Meet the MVA IP Team.


    No Attorney-Client Relationship Created by Use of this Website: Neither your receipt of information from this website, nor your use of this website to contact Moore & Van Allen or one of its attorneys creates an attorney-client relationship between you and Moore & Van Allen. As a matter of policy, Moore & Van Allen does not accept a new client without first investigating for possible conflicts of interests and obtaining a signed engagement letter. (Moore & Van Allen may, for example, already represent another party involved in your matter.) Accordingly, you should not use this website to provide confidential information about a legal matter of yours to Moore & Van Allen.

    No Legal Advice Intended: This website includes information about legal issues and legal developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems. (Read All)