Posted Saturday, February 14, 2009 by Jim Ruttler
The Patent Office is presently holding roundtable discussions on the possibility of adopting deferred examination to reduce the burdens on examination. Currently, once a non-provisional application is filed it is docketed for examination and reviewed by an examiner without further request. This can be a waste of resources because on some occassions the applicant has lost interest in the invention by the time examination begins. Under a deferred examination system, an applicant would need to request that examination begin after the application is filed thereby making the default non-examination rather than examination. Presumably, this would permit examiners to focus their efforts on examining only those inventions that continue to be important to applicants.