May 11, 2012
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced a new program, the Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement (QPIDS) Pilot Program, created with the intent to reduce pendency and applicant costs when an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) is submitted after payment of the issue fee.
There will be no additional fee required to participate in the QPIDS pilot program. It will apply to utility or reissue applications, and will allow an applicant to submit an IDS after payment of the issue fee with a “conditional” Request for Continued Examination (RCE). When the USPTO receives a QPIDS submission, the examiner will consider the IDS without the need to reopen prosecution. If the examiner determines that no item of information in the IDS necessitates reopening prosecution, the RCE will not be activated and the USPTO will issue a corrected notice of allowability. Alternatively, when the examiner determines that prosecution does need to be reopened, the RCE will automatically be activated as of the date of the filing of the QPIDS submission.
The QPIDS pilot program will be in effect from May 16, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2012. If deemed successful, the USPTO may extend these dates. Further details can be found on the Federal Register website.
If you have questions regarding this pilot program, please contact Fitch Even partner Steven M. Freeland.