PTO Commentaries: Excellence in Work Products

American Chemical Society (ACS)

Summary: The American Chemical Society (ACS) supports Proposal 1 under Pillar 1 since it helps bring issues to the Office of Patent Quality Assurance as they arise during examination. It supports Proposal 5 under Pillar 3 because it allows applicants to resolve or reduce issues before costly appeal or prosecution through Requests for Continued Examination. ACS also supports Proposal 6 under Pillar 3 because it expands opportunities for in-person examiner interviews. ACS points out some problems specific to patent applicaitons in chemistry; for instance, examiners sometimes ignore the sequence of reactions or level of detail while reviewing prior art for the nonobviousness test, leading to improper rejections. In order to ensure consistency, fairness, and quality of examinations, ACS suggests supervising examiners, providing them technical instructions, giving them additional time to review every application, and using their existing performace data to track them.