Patent office action- What is it, and how do I respond?
You have just received an Office action from the USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office). Not to worry. You can reply appropriately after you understand what an office action genuinely entails. Please continue reading to learn more about office actions, when to use them, and how to respond to them.
Patent office action
What precisely is an office action, first of all? A patent examiner issues an office action. The patent examiner is writing to you, and for your application to be processed, they need your signed answer. You must respond to the demands in your Office Action as soon as possible.
Types of Official Letters in the Patent Game
Office actions come in various forms, such as limitation demands, non-final Office Actions, and final Office Actions. You could also get other formal letters besides office action, including a notice of allowance or a notice of allowability. When the patent examiner concludes that all outstanding claims in your patent application are qualified for a patent, they issue a notice of allowability. The Notice of Allowance fee will be enclosed with the letter and must be paid before the patent can be awarded. Notification of an inappropriate oath or declaration or issues with the drawings is another form of an official letter. You can typically react without difficulty when a notification like this is given to point out one or more issues with the patent application or the applicants’ (your) correspondence. If the issues are not rectified in the two months following receipt of this sort of warning, the application may be deemed abandoned. So don’t wait!
What Are the Deadlines for Patent Office Actions?
Most office actions need a response within three months. Extension costs will probably be needed if they are not responded to by then. Unless otherwise noted, there are no extensions beyond 6 months. The application will be reported as abandoned if the applicant doesn’t respond on time.
How Should I Respond to an Office Action on my Patent?
Do not personalize it. Just as you assert, the examiner is not rejecting your innovation. A numbered list of words describing which elements of the invention you assert is your own are included after each patent. The most valuable component of a patent is a claim. It is the area of the patent that violators have violated. The inventor owns precisely what is described.
A negotiation is included in the patent procedure. Most attorneys provide an initial set of more extensive claims than the inventor requires. The first set of claims will almost always be rejected by the examiner, who will then engage with the inventor to reach a compromise. In the same way that you never submit a patent with the full set of claims, neither should you pay the sticker price for a car. It would help if you bargained and the tactic you started when you submitted your patent is continued in your response to the Office action.
In the case of your diaper invention, you read through your original claims and realize that you did not specify that the invention was for cloth diaper covers. Your request is for a diaper with wings that extend past the legs. The examiner emphasizes that a comparable invention was earlier developed using disposable diapers. If you restrict your claims to cloth diapers, you might be able to avoid the Office action. There is a really good way to find out.
In the Office action, examiners leave their contact details. Send an email to the examiner requesting an interview time. Interviews provide inventors and their attorneys the chance to question the examiner. Since the patent office is quite busy, schedule the interview for a few weeks from now. Ask the interviewer questions during the interview. Resist the desire to preach or complain. It would help if you learned the examiner’s thoughts and the justification for the Office’s decision. Perhaps she made a mistake, or you neglected to explain a key aspect of your idea adequately.
The ability of the interviewer to be flexible can be tested during an interview. Do you think you can overcome diaper rejection if you restrict your claims to cloth diapers? If you restrict the claims to cloth diaper covers made of water-resistant fabrics, the examiner could accept them. Drafting your office action response and a new series of claims may begin.
According to the United States Patent Office, every design patent, utility patent, and another piece of intellectual property provided in your government’s name must be worthy of an issued patent. Start early:
- Understand what makes your invention new.
- Submit the patent with the references you uncover.
- Work with the examiner to acquire the claims you need that the patent office can accept.
Every inventor has to put in the labor to obtain such rights.