408 Interviews With Patent Practitioner of Record [R-10.2019]

The Office encourages the use of interviews to expedite prosecution. When the examiner believes the progress of the application would be advanced by an interview, the examiner may contact the patent practitioner of record in the application (in accordance with MPEP § 713) and suggest a telephonic, personal, or video conference interview.

Registered attorneys or agents not of record in a patent application (i.e., there is no power of attorney present in the file that appoints the patent practitioner(s)) and acting in a representative capacity under 37 CFR 1.34 should not be contacted for restriction requirements or approval of examiner’s amendments. In addition, non-registered representatives of the practitioner of record should not be contacted for such actions, even if apparently authorized by the attorney or agent of record. Office employees are forbidden from holding either oral or written communication with an unregistered, suspended or excluded attorney or agent regarding an application unless it is one in which said attorney or agent is the applicant. See MPEP §§ 105 and 713.05. See MPEP § 812.01 for telephone restriction practice. See MPEP § 405 for interviews with a patent practitioner not of record. See also MPEP §§ 101-104 for information regarding access to application information by persons other than a patent practitioner of record.

When applicant is initiating a request for an interview, an “Applicant Initiated Interview Request” form (PTOL-413A) should be submitted to the examiner prior to the interview in order to permit the examiner to prepare in advance for the interview and to focus on the issues to be discussed. This form should identify the participants of the interview, the proposed date of the interview, whether the interview will be personal, telephonic, or video conference, and should include a brief description of the issues to be discussed. See MPEP §§ 713.01 and 713.05.