Patent examination and patent prosecution are often regarded as adversarial processes: the practitioner pushes for an allowance with broad patent scope; the examiner pushes out rejections and seeks narrow claims. The process has often been described as a zero-sum struggle over the outcome.
However, today’s patent system is deeply affected by the attention of other parties: competitors and accused infringers; the federal courts, including the Supreme Court; and the public and Congress. Their attention and input require careful consideration of additional factors beyond the outcome, including the enforceability of the patent, the reliability of the patent system, and public perception. These factors have fundamentally altered the relationship between examiners and practitioners: we are not adversaries, but collaborators with the objective of issuing the right patent for each invention.
Continue reading The New Practitioner/Examiner Relationship: Collaboration For Valid Patents