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USPTO seeks public feedback regarding patent examination times

The Patent application process can be cumbersome. There often is a considerable amount of time between when you submit an application and when you receive an approval or denial from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Much of this time is taken up by the Patent examiner's review of the application.

In an effort to improve the examination process, the USPTO is reassessing current goal markers for Patent examiners. As part of this process, the office is seeking feedback from the public over the next two months.

In a Federal Register notice, the USPTO says it "plans to use the public feedback as an input to help ensure that the Office’s examination time goals accurately reflect the amount of time needed by examiners to conduct quality examination in a manner that responds to stakeholders’ interests."

The notice also includes a list of questions about the Patent examination process. Stakeholders can answer any or all of the questions, or submit thoughts on related topics. The USPTO is requesting all feedback be submitted by December 27, 2016. Feedback can be sent to ExternalExaminationTimeStudy@USPTO.gov and will be included as public record on the USPTO's website.

In addition to written feedback, stakeholders are also welcome to participate in online discussions via a Web-based collaboration tool. In-person roundtable discussions will also take place in the coming months in Alexandria, Virginia; Detroit, Michigan; Denver, Colorado; Dallas, Texas; and San Jose, California.

Background on the USPTO's Patent examination process is included on the Federal Register Notice, as are the full list of provides feedback questions and instructions for signing up for the five roundtables.

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