New Pilot Project: Pre-First Action Interview as of Right

USPTOThe USPTO announced that it is launching a program to allow an Examiner interview before first action. Here’s the process. First the applicant requests a first-action interview. The examiner conducts a prior art search and provides the applicant a pre-interview communication. This is a condensed preview of objections or rejections proposed against the claims. Then, within 30 days, the applicant must either elect (1) not to have a first action interview with the Examiner, or (2) to schedule the interview and file a proposed amendment and/or remarks.

The pilot only applies to applications classified in Class 709 (electrical computers and digital processing systems: multi-computer data transferring) and applications in Class 707 (data processing: database and file management or data structures.

In all other cases, MPEP 713.02 applies to allow pre-examination …

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Manufacturing on Demand: Resources for Inventors and Small Business

Ponoko logoA relatively new service called Ponoko provides manufacturing on demand. The user uploads a design and can order that as few as one copy be created and delivered. Ponoko laser cuts the design out of any of the following materials: Acrylic, PETG, Styrene, Hardboard, MDF, Plywood, Veneer MDF, and Whiteboard. The product is shipped as a package of interlocking pieces that are assembled on delivery.

Ponoko may be a resource for inventors. However, an inventor should not disclose an invention before a patent application is filed, or in the absences of an application, a confidentiality agreement from those to whom the invention is disclosed. The Ponoko website does to address whether a submitters design will remain confidential. In fact, Ponoko allows a user to post their design on the Ponoko …

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