The PTO’s accelerated examination program (formerly petition to make special) requires that the applicant conduct a prior art search and provide an extensive discussion of how the submitted prior art relates to each claim. As mentioned in earlier Patently-O posts, I expected that the program somewhat of a prototype — if all goes well, the PTO may require a preliminary search and discussion of prior art findings for all cases.
The future is here: The recently amended Senate Bill includes orders for the PTO Director to require search reports and patentability analyses for all filed applications (except for those filed by “micro-entities”). Failure to submit a report would result in abandonment. A new 35 U.S.C. Section 123 would read as follows:
“The Director shall, by regulation, require that applicants submit a search report and other information and analysis relevant to patentability. An application shall be regarded as abandoned if the applicant fails to submit the required search report, information, and analysis in the manner and within the time period prescribed by the Director. Applicants from micro-entities, as defined in section 124 of this title, shall not be subject to the requirements of any regulations promulgated pursuant to this section.”
In the past, IPO President Marc Adler has suggested on his blog that patentees should conduct pre-filing searches. [LINK]. Of course. Mr. Adler’s comments suggest only a voluntary system.
- Look for a salary increase for quality patent searchers.
- This amendment is found in the 2nd Manager’s Amendment.