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USPTO establishes new pre-application assessment program to help American inventors

Pre-prosecution pilot allows qualifying inventors to assess the strengths and weaknesses of potential patent applications

December 21, 2023

Today, the USPTO announced a new pre-application review program called the “Pre-Prosecution Pilot” as part of its continuing commitment to expand access to the innovation ecosystem and support underresourced inventors. 

The pilot program is designed to support first-time, prospective inventors by providing assistance in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a potential patent application. USPTO examiners will help first-time prospective patent applicants assess if their invention is novel in the art by providing search assistance using public patent tools. 

Any assessment may not be considered an official ruling of patentability by the USPTO, but may help potential applicants avoid common mistakes that may slow down or invalidate the patent review process. 

“Inventors and entrepreneurs are the life blood of the American economy. From individual inventors working in their garages to major corporations, the USPTO is committed to fostering more innovation for and from all,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “This new pilot program is another tool in our toolbox to provide a more welcoming and encouraging innovation ecosystem for independent inventors as they seek to protect and bring to market their ideas.” 

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