Since the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has extended the After Final Consideration Pilot Program 2.0 for an additional year, applicants poised to respond to a final rejection may be asking whether taking part in the program would increase chances of an allowance.
Under the program, applicants must respond to a final rejection with a request for consideration along with an amendment that amends at least one independent claim in a manner that does not broaden the claim.
But is AFCP 2.0 worth the effort? If an AFCP 2.0 request results in an allowance, the applicant may have been spared from paying a request for continued examination fee that may have otherwise been required for the examiner to consider particular claim amendments. Additionally, the amendment would be considered more quickly than one accompanied by an RCE. These potential benefits suggest that this program would be of interest to applicants.
Kate Gaudry, Ph.D., of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP addresses possible advantages and disadvantages of the AFCP 2.0 system in her article, “The After Final Consideration Program: Allowance Prospects,” first published in Law360. Gaudry explores factors that affect prosecution options under the program by examining empirical statistics of to-date AFCP 2.0 outcomes.
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