TAKEAWAY: USPTO Director Vidal recently announced a new training program being developed to give patent examiners greater understanding of the role examination records play in the life of a patent after issuance.

During the Patent Public Advisory Committee on May 10, 2022, newly-appointed USPTO Director Kathi Vidal announced a new training initiative in the works for patent examiners in collaboration with the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO).

The training initiative is intended to give examiners insight into how different stakeholders use examination records after a patent issues, including perspectives from inventors, patent counsel, plaintiffs, and judges, as well as views from outside the U.S. Patent practitioners from AIPLA and IPO will work with the USPTO to create training based on their real-life experience using prosecution records in licensing, technology transfer, and litigation.

Vidal explained that the training is part of a larger initiative to provide a “closed loop feedback system throughout the life of a patent.” One of the goals of the initiative is to facilitate communication among examiners, judges on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and patent practitioners, and to promote understanding and more robust and reliable patents.

This program echoes the USPTO’s efforts to encourage examiner interviews as an effective means for facilitating communication with applicants throughout prosecution. Interviews can help to ensure accurate prosecution records and potentially shorten the time to grant. Applicants can seek tips on interview practice at the USPTO website.