Thursday, May 16, 2013

Doesn't Like His Patent Examiner

Dear Rich: I'm having a hard time with a patent examiner. I've tried to be reasonable but it seems like the examiner is just rejecting various claims because he can. What do I do if I'm stuck with a bum examiner? Most applicants or their attorneys bite the bullet and try to deal with the examiner as best they can. You can find advice on responding to unfavorable office actions in David Pressman's Patent It Yourself (Whatever you do, you don't fire off angry missives about the examiner's mental state because those can quickly go viral in the patent world.) If you get a final adverse ruling, you can appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). You can browse past hearings or documents at the PTAB's site. If you're not happy with the PTAB's decision,  you can appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit located in Washington, D.C. By the way, a new site Reed Tech Patent Advisor advertises that, for a fee, it can provide you with a background analysis of any USPTO patent examiner including all kinds of info -- for example, the average time the examiner takes to issue a patent.

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