As part of requests for either reexamination or accelerated examination, the submitter must include particular references to the relevant portions of cited prior art. The Peer-to-Patent project also plans to include a pin-cite approach to give the Examiner a genuine clue as to why particular references were cited. [A pin-cite is a law-school term for a citation to the location of the information within a document. In patent-lingo, this might be: Column 5, lines 12-55]
This leads to a question of whether pin-cite references are helpful to examiners, and whether they would lead to greater patent accuracy. Theoretically, a pin-cite should help ensure that the Examiner browses the most relevant portion of the cited art. In addition, the pin-cites may reduce the amount of time that the Examiner uses to pinpoint relevant portions — freeing up time for a more in-depth analysis or for a broader search strategy.
If these projects are successful, you can expect that the pin-cites will be required IDS practice within a few years.
- Do (will) pin cites help the examiners and lead to a higher quality examination of patent applications?
- Do any Examiners regularly request such information from the applicant? Under Star Fruits, an Examiner would certainly be within the law to require further information regarding the cited art. E.g., “For each pending claim, please identify relevant portions of each reference cited by the applicant.”
- As an applicant, how would you respond to such a request?