Request for Comments on Preparation of Patent Applications
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking to improve the quality of issued patents. In this notice, the USPTO is focusing on potential practices that applicants can employ at the drafting stage of a patent application in order to facilitate examination and bring more certainty to the scope of issued patents. To that end, the USPTO is requesting input from interested members of the public on the specific practices set forth in the ``Topics for Public Comment'' section below. While this notice is directed to potential practices that applicants can employ, the USPTO also plans to issue a separate notice building on internal initiatives and further identifying potential practices the Office can employ to also facilitate examination and bring more certainty to the scope of issued patents. The USPTO intends to publish the separate notice subsequent to its review of comments received responsive to the present notice. On January 3, 2013, the USPTO published a notice announcing the formation of a partnership with the software community to enhance the quality of software-related patents (Software Partnership). See Request for Comments and Notice of Roundtable Events for Partnership for Enhancement of Quality of Software-Related Patents, 78 FR 292 (Jan. 3, 2013). The Software Partnership notice seeks public comment on specific topics related to enhancing the quality of software-related patents, and announces two roundtable events, which will not only offer participants an opportunity to provide oral comments on the topics presented in the Software Partnership notice but also on the topics set forth in the present notice, to the extent they apply to software- related patents. Comment Deadline: To be assured of consideration, written comments must be received on or before March 15, 2013. No public hearing will be held.