The Post-Prosecution Pilot program at the USPTO (“P3”) is almost gone.
It will be recalled that USPTO announced the P3 program in July of 2016. USPTO envisioned P3 as a sort of blend of AFCP and the pre-appeal-brief-conference program. The idea of P3 is that you have a finally rejected case and you hope to make some progress without having to file an appeal. With P3, you file a request form and a response of no more than five pages, and you file all of this within two months of the final rejection.
P3 is not available in design, plant, reissue, or reexam cases.
One way to think of P3 from the applicant’s point of view is that it is a way to drag in some second or third person in addition to the Examiner. In our office, when we used P3, it was sometimes because we felt the Examiner had not been paying close enough attention to our arguments, and we hoped that the potential embarrassment to the Examiner of having a third party see that the Examiner had not been paying close enough attention, might prompt the Examiner to pay attention now.
What prompts this blog posting is that in the EFS-Web listserv, alert listserv member Ronni Jillions reminds listserv members that P3 is almost gone. When USPTO announced P3 back in July, USPTO said that each technology center would only accept 200 P3 requests. And indeed as of now, that limit has been reached in all technology centers but one.
Which technology center still accepts P3 requests? Tech Center 1600 — “Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry”.
But if you are thinking of filing a P3 request in Tech Center 1600, don’t delay. The program ends January 11, 2017.
Meanwhile what should you do if you were thinking of doing a P3 request and you are in one of the Tech Centers that is not 1600? Well, the After Final Consideration Pilot (AFCP) program and pre-appeal-brief-conference program are still available. And there is still the old-fashioned idea of interviewing the Examiner. You might also try the Ombudsman program.