The USPTO has instituted a new program, the Glossary Pilot Program, which began June 2, 2014. The program will allow applicants for computer-related inventions to petition to make special entry into the Glossary Pilot Program with the filing of an application. Applications accepted into this pilot program will receive expedited processing and be placed on an examiner’s special docket prior to the first office action, with special status up to the issuance of the first Office action.
This program is set to run for six (6) moths through December 31, 2014, but may be cut off once the USPTO accepts 200 grantable petitions. The program is intended to encourage the use of a glossary that provides clear definitions for some terms used in the claims in order to help the reader understand the disclosed invention with a higher level of clarity.
In order to qualify for the Glossary Pilot Program, all of the conditions set forth in the Federal Register Notice, must be met. Specifically:
(1) The application must be an original, non-reissue, non-provisional utility application that does not claim benefit of a prior filed non-provisional U.S. application, unless the application is a continuation-in-part application filed for the purposes of providing a glossary.
(2) The application and petition must use Form PTO/SB/436 and must be filed after June 2, 2014 and before the pilot deadline expires.
(3) The claimed invention must be classified in one of the Art Areas related to computer-related and business method inventions, including those involving Computer Architecture Software and Information Security (Technology Center 2100); Computer Networks, Multiplex, Cable and Cryptography/Security (Technology Center 2400); Communications (Technology Center 2600); and Transportation, Electronic Commerce, Construction, Agriculture, Licensing and Review (Technology Center 3600). The complete list of qualifying Art Areas is available here.
(4) The glossary must be placed at the beginning of the detailed description portion of the original specification of the application, identified with a heading, and presented on filing of the application. Definitions for key terminology found in the claims, terms with special definitions, abbreviations, relative terms, terms of degree and functional terminology should be provided, but cannot rely on other parts of the application for completeness, cannot consist of what the term does not mean, cannot be open-ended, cannot consist solely of examples and synonyms, and cannot be disavowed elsewhere in the specifications.
(5) Filing must be done via EFS-Web.
(6) The application must contain at least one claim, but no more than four independent claims, and no more than 30 claims total.
Status of the petition will be available via Private PAIR. If a dismissal decision is received, the applicant can file a petition if it is believed that the dismissal is not proper. Also, any preliminary amendment filed after the application has entered the pilot program but before the issuance of the first Office Action will be entered unless the amendment causes the application to be non-compliant with the requirements of the program. More information can be found at the USPTO's website.