The Patent Application Locating and Monitoring (PALM) system is used to support the reexamination process. The sections below delineate PALM related activities.
- (A) Reexamination File Data on PALM – The routine PALM retrieval transactions are used to obtain data on reexamination files. From the USPTO intranet site, Office staff can click on “PALM” and then “General Information” which opens the PALM INTRANET General Information Display. From here, enter the patent number in the box labeled Patent #. Then click on “Search” and when the “Patent Number Information” appears, click on “Continuity Data” to obtain the reexamination number.
- (B) Reexamination e-File – The papers of a reexamination proceeding may be viewed on IFW. PALM provides information for the reexamination proceeding as to the patent owner and requester, contents, status, and related Office proceedings (applications, patents and reexamination proceedings). Some of the data entry for reexamination in PALM is different from that of a regular patent application. There are also differences in the status codes – all reexamination proceedings generally have status codes in the “400” or “800” range.
- (C) Patent File Location Control for Patents Not Available on IFW, i.e., Available Only in Paper File – The movement of paper patent files related to requests for reexamination throughout the Office is monitored by the PALM system. If the patent file is in paper form, the paper file should be ordered and scanned into the Image File Wrapper (IFW) for access throughout the prosecution of the reexamination proceeding.
- (D) Reporting Events to PALM – The PALM system is used to monitor major events that take place in processing reexamination proceedings. All major examination events are reported. The mailing of examiner’s actions is reported, as well as owner’s responses and third party requester comments. The CRU technical support staff is responsible for reporting these events using the reexamination icon and window initiated in the PALM EXPO program. Examples of the events that will be reported (in the PALM system or in the tracking system of the Office of Petitions) are as follows:
- (1) Determination Mailed-Denial of request for reexamination;
- (2) Determination Mailed-Grant of request for reexamination;
- (3) Petition for reconsideration of determination received;
- (4) Decision on petition mailed-Denied;
- (5) Decision on petition mailed-Granted;
- (6) Mailing of all examiner actions;
- (7) Patent owner responses to Office Actions
- (8) Third party requester comments after a patent owner response.
Each of these events, as well as additional events reported by the Central Reexamination Unit (CRU) Technical Support Staff (TSS) will be permanently recorded and displayed in the “Contents” portion of PALM. In addition, status representative of these events will also be displayed.
- (E) Status Reports – Various weekly reports can be generated for the event reporting discussed above. The primary purpose of these computer outputs is to assure that reexaminations are, in fact, processed with “special dispatch” .