Automated Interview Request (AIR)
The USPTO AIR is a new online interview scheduling tool that allows Applicants to request an interview with an Examiner for their pending patent application.
IntroductionOral discussions between an applicant and an examiner are often indispensable to advance the prosecution of a patent application. Generally, interviews that improve the mutual understanding of specific issues in an application should be promoted. Both parties should consider the advantages of conducting an examiner interview to advance the prosecution of a patent application. Positions presented during an interview should be advanced with decorum and courtesy(2). Internet e-mail, instant message system, or video conferencing shall NOT be used to conduct an exchange or communications similar to those exchanged during telephone or personal interviews unless a written authorization from the applicants or an attorney/agent of record has been given to use Internet communications. An interview should normally be arranged for in advance, as by letter, facsimile, electronic mail, or telephone call, in order to insure that the primary examiner and/or the examiner in charge of the application will be available. When applicant is initiating a request for an interview, an "Applicant Initiated Interview Request" form (PTOL-413A) should be submitted to the examiner prior to the interview in order to permit the examiner to prepare in advance for the interview and to focus on the issues to be discussed(3).
Automated Interview RequestThe USPTO AIR is a new online interview scheduling tool that allows Applicants to request an interview with an Examiner for their pending patent application. By submitting this type of interview request, the pending patent application will be in compliance with the written authorization requirement for Internet communication in accordance with MPEP ?502.03(4). This authorization will be in effect until the Applicant provides a written withdrawal of authorization to the Examiner of record. The USPTO is using Cisco WebEx Meeting Server (CWMS) to conduct video conferences with external stakeholders(5). Interview Specialists are subject matter experts in each Technology Center (TC) on interview practice and policy to assist both applicants and examiners in interviews, as needed, including facilitating interviews by assisting with technical issues which may arise (e.g. WebEx problems, public interview room setup) or helping to ensure that the interview goes smoothly. Applicants who are interested in more detailed WebEx training may request a one-on-one WebEx training session with an interview specialist(6).