Interviews enable Applicants and Examiners to discuss and resolve issues and are an effective tool to advance the prosecution of an application. The USPTO encourages Examiners to take a proactive approach to examination by reaching out and engaging our stakeholders in order to shorten prosecution.
A new web-based tool that allows Applicants to schedule an interview with an Examiner for their pending patent application.
Watch USPTO's Interview Practice short video below for a brief introduction to the USPTO Automated Interview Request (AIR) tool and other available USPTO interview resources. AIR is a convenient online form for submitting requests for interviews. After the form is submitted, an examiner will email you to confirm your request within two business days.
TC Interview Specialist
Interview Specialists are subject matter experts in each Technology Center (TC) and regional office, on interview practice and policy to assist interviews, including facilitating and assisting with technical issues that may arise (e.g. WebEx problems, public interview room setup).
If you have questions or comments about interview practice at the USPTO, please contact a TC Interview Specialist, based on the Technology Center that the application is docketed in.
Video conferencing with a patent examiner gives you the ability to have face-to-face meetings, no matter the location of the examiner or attorney. Visit Video Conferencing and Collaboration for instructions on how to join a USPTO-hosted video conference, and information and links on how to use WebEx collaboration tools, including audio/video conferencing and file sharing. In this short video, attorneys share some advantages of video conferencing interviews. Video conference interviews will not be recorded. The substance of the interview will be documented by the examiner in an interview summary according to standard practice.
Policy and Guidance
Relevant Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) sections:
Interview Practice Guidelines for Applicants [PDF] - Information on interview practice to clarify the policies, procedures, and tools available to enable better communicate with examiners.
Applicant Initiated Interview Request form [PDF] - An applicant initiating an interview request should submit an "Applicant Initiated Interview Request" form (PTOL-413A) prior to the interview in order for the examiner to prepare for the interview and to focus on the issues to be discussed. For additional information review MPEP Chapter 713.01, section IV. Scheduling and Conducting an Interview [Searchable MPEP].
PTO/SB/439 [PDF] – A document to provide authorization to communicate via the internet.
Training and FAQs
Effective Interview Practice [PDF] - Effective Interview Practice discusses the use of an agenda, preparing for the interview, properly recording the interview to clarify the record, and steps that can be taken to properly follow through after the interview.
Interview Best Practices [PDF]- The collaborative effort between AIPLA and the USPTO identifies interview best practices that can be followed by examiners and practitioners. Interview Best Practices identifies accessibility, preparation, substance, and recordation as useful tools and techniques for effective interview practice.
Interview Practice Training Summary [PDF] - Effective Interview Practice addresses why interviews are an important examination tool, identifies a number of key components needed to conduct an effective interview and discusses some frequently asked questions.
Public Interview Room [PDF] - Information on interview practice to clarify the policies, procedures, and tools available to enable better communication with examiners.
Federal Register Notice
USPTO is updating its Internet usage policy by modifying the authorization requirements to now permit oral authorization for video conferencing tools, such as WebEx, to be provided by the patent applicant/ practitioner to patent examiners before an interview is conducted.