USPTO Software Partnership Meeting on Prior Art Searching Techniques and Tools on December 5, 2013

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
November 1, 2013

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will hold the next Software Partnership meeting on December 5, 2013, from 1-4:30 pm ET at its headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The focus of the meeting will be on “ways to improve the USPTO’s prior art searching techniques and tools.” Members of the public are invited to attend. The deadline for requests to attend in person is November 27, 2013. The meeting also will be online via WebEx.

The meeting will be organized around three main segments. First, the USPTO will provide a presentation on searching techniques and tools currently used by examiners to find and evaluate prior art for software-related patents. Then, selected participants will provide presentations. Lastly, a questions and comments session will allow stakeholders to provide input on possible approaches and projects identified during the discussion and to provide additional suggestions and observations. The USPTO intends the meeting to be of particular interest to software experts with a background in search technologies and patent practitioners who conduct searches for prior art.

The USPTO is particularly interested in public input on the following topics:

  • Prior art search techniques
    • Search strategies
    • Examiner search training and guidance
    • Enhanced search tools such as semantic query analysis and improved database indexing
  • Prior art databases and resources
  • Additional best practices for searching

In April, the ACM U.S. Public Policy Council was among the stakeholders to submit comments to the USPTO expressing an interest in discussing further how to improve finding and assessing relevant prior art as part of the Software Partnership activities.

For more information about the Software Partnership meeting on December 5, 2013, and how to request to participate, see the Software Partnership page on the USPTO website.