PTO Asks for Feedback on Patent Examination Timing

Aiden Scott

This week the Patent and Trademark Office is asking for community feedback regarding the amount of time it spends reviewing patent applications. The request for feedback is part of an ongoing effort by the Patent and Trademark office to “reevaluate its examination time goals.” Since examination goals were originally created, they have only been adjusted twice, but due significant “changes in the law, review process, and technology.” they are up for only their third adjustment. These goals vary by the type of technology that is being examined, and demonstrate the average amount of time an examiner will spend when evaluating an application. By taking both written and electronically submitted comments, the office hopes to ensure that its examination times “respond to stakeholder interests.” Specifically the office is attempting to balance between the interests of speed, and that of a thorough examination that will result in less secondary responses from applicants and additional review by examiners.