USPTO Starts New Pilot Program for Filing Information Disclosure Statements (IDS) After Payment of Issue Fee

May 16, 2012
News | Patents | USPTO

The USPTO is implementing a pilot program (QPIDS program) intended to reduce pendency and applicant costs when an information disclosure statement (IDS) is filed after payment of the issue fee. This pilot program will permit an examiner to consider an IDS after payment of the issue fee – in certain circumstances (see below) — without necessarily needing to reopen prosecution. Previously, such an IDS submitted after payment of the issue fee required the filing of a petition to withdraw from issue and a request for continued examination (RCE). Under this pilot program, such an IDS will only require a conditional petition to withdraw from issue and file an RCE. If the examiner determines that no item in the IDS necessitates reopening prosecution, the Office will issue a corrected notice of allowability and the conditional Petition/RCE will not take effect (although the Petition fee will still be charged). If the examiner determines that an item in the IDS does necessitate reopening prosecution, the Petition/RCE will be processed and prosecution reopened. The IDS still must meet the requirements for an IDS filed after a Notice of Allowance, i.e., it must contain a certification under 37 C.F.R. §1.97(e) that the information was cited by another patent office in a corresponding application within the past three months or only became known to those having a duty to disclose within the past three months and include the IDS fee. Effective Date: May 16, 2012.

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