USPTO Extends After Final Consideration Pilot Program

The USPTO has announced that it will extend the After Final Consideration Pilot 2.0 (AFCP) Program through September 30, 2015. The program was previously scheduled to expire on September 30, 2014. The PTO further announced that Examiners will begin sending out a specialized AFCP 2.0 form (PTO-2323) which is designed to clearly indicate how the AFCP submission was treated by the Examiner and contain an interview summary if applicable.

The AFCP program allows Examiners additional time to search and consider applications after a final rejection has been issued. Applicants must meet certain requirements when filing a response to final in order for the response to be eligible for AFCP consideration. AFCP 2.0 requires that Examiners use the additional time to schedule and conduct an interview to discuss the response if it does not place the case in condition for allowance.

The AFCP program is designed to reduce the time and costs spent prosecuting patent applications. The attorneys at Woodard, Emhardt, Moriarty, McNett, & Henry LLP have developed strategies for utilizing the AFCP program in a variety of situations to benefits to our clients.