We had two lectures today, both from representatives of the BPAI (Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences).
The first lecture dealt with interferences. The easiest way to sum it up would be “find someone who knows what they’re doing.” Basically, interferences fall into that territory where two applications or an application and a patent are claiming the same invention, but the prior application/patent cannot be used as art against the other. They are very rare. They are complicated. I won’t even begin to pretend to understand what goes on, there. The three most important things I pulled from the lecture are: the application must otherwise be in condition for allowance, get help from an interference specialist in your TC, and the BPAI takes care of the dirty work.
The second lecture concerned how to create better office actions, with a focus on making prosecution understandable to whoever might be reading the file file wrapper, including BPAI judges.
We also had a small “ice cream social” this afternoon, which was nice.