The USPTO encourages Applicants to engage with Patent Examiners using Interview Practice. According to the USPTO website, “Interviews provide an opportunity to discuss the application with the examiner and can be useful to clarify positions, resolve issues, and provide a better understanding of the application to both parties.”1
In an effort to meet the demands of time and technology, interviews can be held in person, over the phone or using video conferencing. In fact, it seems that sometimes the most difficult part of scheduling an interview is playing phone tag with an examiner. To help avoid the pitfalls of seemingly endless back and forth phone calls, the USPTO offers Applicants a web tool: the Automated Interview Request (AIR) form.
With just a few short responses, Applicants can request an interview in mere minutes. Once submitted, a confirmation email is sent to the user and a copy of the request will appear in the Image File Wrapper in PAIR. Within two business days, the Examiner will contact the Applicant by email to finalize the date and time.
Use of the AIR form requires that an Internet Communications Authorization form (PTO/SB439) is on file and the Patent Office warns several times that internet communications are not secure. However, the benefits often outweigh these concerns and the ability to enter proposed dates and times, topics of discussion, and request the type of interview offers convenience to Applicants and Examiners alike.
In an age where technology brings services and products from our screens to our doorsteps, the USPTO is taking a step in the right direction by offering this time saving tool.
For more information about Interview Practice, please visit the USPTO website.
1.) USPTO, “Interview Practice FAQs.”