On September 23, 2019, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that the After Final Consideration Pilot 2.0 (AFCP 2.0) has been extended through September 30, 2020.
AFCP 2.0 is part of the USPTO’s on-going efforts towards compact prosecution and increased collaboration between examiners and stakeholders.
AFCP 2.0 is designed to enhance communication with applicants as part of the USPTO’s on-going efforts towards compact prosecution and increased collaboration between examiners and stakeholders.
To be eligible, the response must include an amendment to at least one independent claim that does not broaden the scope in any aspect. There are no additional fees to request consideration of an amendment after final rejection under AFCP 2.0.
In accordance with the program, Examiners will be allotted a set amount of time under to consider the response, and to conduct a search if necessary. If the examiner’s consideration of a proper AFCP 2.0 request and response does not result in a determination that all pending claims are in condition for allowance, the examiner will request an interview with the applicant to discuss the response.
Applicants can benefit from the additional search and consideration afforded by the program, even when the results do not lead to allowance.