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PATENT EXAMINATION AND EXAMINER INTERVIEWS
S. Sean Tu
Examiner interviews are one of the most powerful tools to help both inventors and examiners understand and overcome specific issues during prosecution. Direct discussions between an applicant and an examiner can help bridge the gap between misunderstandings of prior art, the invention, or statements in the specification. When used correctly, examiner interviews can dramatically decrease the time in prosecution and help applicants quickly reach a final disposition. This paper reviews approximately 1.1 million patent applications corresponding to every patent application with an examiner interview between 2007 and June 2020 to determine the effectiveness of examiner interviews. This study establishes that examiner interviews dramatically decrease the number of Office Actions needed to reach a final disposition (allowance or abandonment).