Thursday, January 10, 2013, 9:01 AM

Examiner interviews during patent prosecution

When is it worthwhile to request and conduct an Examiner interview?  Many patent practitioners shy away from talking directly with Examiners, perhaps out of concern they might say something impulsively that can be used against the client.  Some practitioners prefer to hold Examiner interviews frequently, in the hopes that issues can be clarified and explored directly with the Examiner.

 I find these interviews useful in cases where an Office action appears way "off the mark", which hints the Examiner may not understand a cited reference or the present claims in an application.  Another benefit of the interviews is gauging the mindset of the Examiner, which can give rise to insights as to what type of approach in terms of arguments or claim amendments might work better than a seemingly dead-ended path.

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