Posts Tagged: "SAWS"

Alice Experts and the Return of Second Pair of Eyes to the PTO

In every art unit examiners confirm that there is an examiner within the Art Unit who is the Alice expert and that examiners have said that even if they are ready to allow a case, nothing can be allowed without the approval of that Alice expert. This sounds quite similar to second pair of eyes review, which wreaked enormous havoc on the patent system over a decade ago. Second pair of eyes review was one of the primary reasons why patent pendency got out of control and the backlog of patent applications grew to well over 1 million unexamined patent applications. It seems to have returned under the guise of Alice.

SAWS Retired by USPTO

The USPTO has put SAWS to rest, literally. The USPTO has posted a message on the agency’s website explaining that after conducting an internal review of the SAWS program the agency has ”decided to retire this program.” Furthermore, the USPTO explained that ”[a]ny applications currently in this program will now proceed through prosecution absent any additional SAWS-related processing.”

PTO Should Release SAWS Numbers Given Impact on Examination Process

SAWS is not a minor agency-internal policy that has no impact on applicants. Accordingly, the agency should have gone through official rulemaking (e.g., notice-and-comment) processes. Currently, the program structure does not give any clear indication as to which applications will be designated as SAWS applications and does not provide applicants with notice of such designations. Both of these issues violate procedural due process. Had the agency complied with rulemaking requirements, commenters would have likely identified such issues and the USPTO may have been able to address them.

An Ex-insider’s Perspective of the USPTO Special Applications Warning System (SAWS)

This was the SAWS program; an oversight procedure for bringing information to the attention of management. It was designed, by intention, to cast a broad and sweeping net. It was designed to permit resources to be brought to bear on high profile or complex legal, ethical, or controversial subject matter… The SAWS program is not a system of stalling patents. While the Bereznak Article asserts “(a)ny application that is categorized in SAWS … is placed in a special type of patent purgatory.” This is just not true.

Secret Examination Procedures at the USPTO: My Experience with SAWS

The patent examiner stated that, when he had tried to allow the patent application, the USPTO system returned a thread – “SAWS case – cannot be allowed.” The application was indeed rejected… The USPTO explained that our counsel’s law firm (a respected IP law firm) had never heard of the Sensitive Application Warning System (SAWS) because the firm, and indeed the public at large, is not supposed to know of this policy. The Office explained that the Sensitive Application Warning System is an internal USPTO policy, that the policy has nothing to do with the public, and that Gofigure was not supposed to have been informed about its designation in this internal USPTO program.

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