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A Look at the USPTO's Interview Program

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What value can a verbal conversation provide in patent procurement? The USPTO initiated the First Action Interview (FAI) Program to encourage interviews before a first office action, and has reported that the program's first-action allowance rate averages more than twice that of all noncontinuing applications.

This pre-action interview opportunity seems to offer a number of different benefits to applicants based on enhanced one-on-one interaction with the patent examiner.

This article analyzes data across a five-year period to empirically determine whether FAI applications experience shorter prosecution pendency, reduced number of office actions or higher issuance rates.