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1 TC1600-Quality Assurance Bennett Celsa QAS Joseph Woitach SPE June 4, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "1 TC1600-Quality Assurance Bennett Celsa QAS Joseph Woitach SPE June 4, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 TC1600-Quality Assurance Bennett Celsa QAS Joseph Woitach SPE June 4, 2013

2 Overview Two Parts: i. New Corps Wide Quality Metrics (effective FY 2012) ; ii. TC 1600 Implementation: Quality Plan (FY 2012-2013). 2

3 Corps Wide Quality Metrics USPTO and Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) 2011 Initiative. Sources: current practices, key USPTO statistics, blogs, PPAC outreach, applicant and practitioner surveys, foreign offices, past USPTO studies, non-USPTO studies, and public comments (e.g. roundtables). new Composite Quality Metric : effective FY 2012. (main web site); (main web site); 3

4 Seven Corps Wide Quality Metrics These metrics, combine to present a balanced view of quality issues at the USPTO: 4

5 1 st Four Corps-Wide Quality Metrics First Four Metrics : Final Disposition Compliance Rate; In-Process Compliance Rate; First Action on the Merits Search Review; Complete First Action on the Merits Review; are based upon data from reviews of specific applications; and are measured by the Office of Patent Quality Assurance (OPQA) at the USPTO. 5

6 6 th /7 th Metrics (Surveys) The last two metrics (External/Internal Surveys) External Quality Survey (applicant/practitioner experiences); and Internal Quality Survey (examiner experiences) are formed from surveys performed by an independent party.  supplemented by TC specific information obtained from Ombudsman program, Biotechnology/Chemical/Pharmaceutical Customer Partnership (BCP) Meetings, Art Unit meetings etc. 6

7 5 th Corps Wide Metric (QIR) The fifth metric (QIR) relies upon objective statistical data taken from the USPTO PALM (Palm Application Locating and Monitoring system) database. The QIR averages five factors, which are based on: Actions per Disposal RCEs of Total Disposals Re-openings After-final Non-FAOM Non-final Actions Restrictions After-first Action Analysis of PALM data for these five factors can reveal the presence of statistical trends arising during examination where: training is needed; and the presence of outstanding quality procedures identified and encouraged. 7

8 Goal of QIR Initiatives USPTO’s on-going efforts toward compact prosecution and pendency reduction. 8

9 QIR#2 RCE-Pilot Initiatives (Corps) Decrease RCEs of Total Disposals: i. After Final Consideration Pilot 2.0 (AFCP 2.0): authorizes non- production time for examiners to consider responses filed after a final rejection;  until September 30, 2013. ii. Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement (QPIDS): eliminates the requirement for processing of a request for continued examination (RCE) with an information disclosure statement (IDS) filed after payment of the issue fee in order for the IDS to be considered by the examiner; if the examiner determines that no item of information in the IDS necessitates reopening prosecution, the USPTO will issue a corrected notice of allowability;  until September 30, 2013. 9

10 QIR#2 RCE Initiatives (USPTO/Public) RCE Outreach Program: USPTO/Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) collaboration; Purpose: learn more about the root causes for RCE filings and related pressure points experienced by our stakeholder community; and ii.enable applicants to use RCE practice when needed and avoid it when equal or better options may be available. 10

11 TC 1600: FY 2012 Quality Plan (Strategy) FY 2012 Quality Plan Strategy: addressed 5 QIR factors, based on: 1. Actions per Disposal; 2. RCEs of Total Disposals; 3. Re-openings After-final; 4. Non-FAOM Non-final Actions; and 5. Restrictions After-first Action Course of Action: formed Teams (SPE’s and QAS’s): 1. “Communication Team”; and 2. “QIR Factor Teams”.  Mined QIR data for each of the above Factors to determine trends useful for developing training on enhanced efficiencies (quality) and best practices. 11

12 TC 1600: FY 2012 Quality Plan (Course of Action) TC1600 Quality Plan- Course of Action: i. Communication Team: Educational: formed first to introduce QIR factors to TC1600; ii. QIR Teams: Practical: addressed the individual QIR components; identified three main areas needing improvement: actions/disposal (QIR 1), disposals not RCE (QIR 2),  restrictions after first action (QIR 5): FY12 focus 12

13 TC 1600: FY 2012 Quality Plan (Implementation) TC 1600: FY 2012 Quality Plan: Implementation: Communication team (4 SPE’s): TC 1600 Awareness: May FY12: SPE introduction QIR introduction and restriction strategy to SPE’s via management meeting; June FY12: Examiner introduction: SPE’s communicate QIR information and restriction strategy to examiners at Art Unit meetings. 13

14 TC 1600: FY 2012-13 Quality Plan: Implementation: Restriction (QIR #5) Restriction Team- FY12 Focused Targeted Metric: identified examiners with excessive numbers of such restrictions, and reviewed selected cases; training and quality plans were formulated for examiners including emphasis on telephonic election. % of Total Restrictions Not Made on 2 nd or Subsequent Action:  Improved: 94.8% (EOY11) to 96.1%(EOY12) to 97.7% (FY13 midyr). --(This continued a positive trend that was realized following earlier compact prosecution efforts). 14

15 TC 1600: FY 2013 Quality Plan: Implementation Established the basis for our FY 13 main focus: QIR #1: actions/disposal and QIR #2: RCEs of total disposals. 15

16 TC 1600: FY 2013 Quality Plan: QIR#1(actions/disposal) QIR #1 (actions/disposal): Examiners with above average actions/disposal were identified and information communicated to SPEs; Workgroup Manager/Examiner informational and training sessions have been held; % Employees Averaging <3 Actions per Disposal:  I mproved from 70.6% (EOY12) to 75.4% (FY 13 midyr). 16

17 TC 1600: FY 2013 Quality Plan: QIR#2 (RCEs) QIR #2: RCE filings Interviews after final and during prosecution have been encouraged; Patterns in repeated filings of RCEs are being investigated; Examiners with a disproportionate number of disposals for RCE are being identified and docket management issues addressed. % Disposals Not RCE:  Decreased slightly:76.8% (EOY12) to 76.5% (FY13 midyr). 17

18 TC 1600: FY 2013 Quality Plan: QIR#3 (AF Re-openings) QIR #3: AF Re-Openings; Art Unit Meetings: QIR awareness and Mentoring; After-Final Consideration Pilot (AFCP) ; part of the USPTO’s on-going efforts towards compact prosecution and increased collaboration between examiners and stakeholders; AFCP authorizes extra time for examiners to consider responses filed after a final rejection. % Finals Not Reopened:  Improved: 97.5%(EOY12) to 98.2% (FY13 midyr). ns 18

19 TC 1600: FY 2013 Quality Plan: QIR#4 (multiple non-finals) QIR #4: Non-FAOM Non-final Actions: Art Unit Meetings: QIR awareness and Mentoring; Compact Prosecution Training: i.Workshops: Applicant’s Reply Workshop (FY 12); Enhancing Efficiency in Examination (FY13) ii.Refresher Training. % Total Actions: Not 2 nd+ Non-Finals  Improved:97.1% (EOY12) to 97.6%(FY13 midyr). 19

20 20 Questions Bennett Celsa (Quality Assurance Specialist) (571) 272-0807 Joseph Woitach (Supervisory Patent Examiner) (571) 272-0739 Technology Center 1600 USPTO

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