Patent Office Extends First Action Interview Pilot Program Into New Art Units

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced yesterday that it is expanding its initial First Action Interview Pilot Program.  This program entitles an applicant to an interview with the patent examiner assigned to their case prior to the issuance of a first office action on the merits. The expansion will allow the program to reach additional technology areas for a set six-month period beginning on October 1, 2009.  For a list of the eligible art units, see the Enhanced First Action Interview Pilot Program.