Patent Examination and Examiner Interviews

24 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2020

See all articles by Shine (Sean) Tu

Shine (Sean) Tu

West Virginia University College of Law

Date Written: November 5, 2020


Examiner interviews are one of the most powerful tools to help both inventors and examiners understand and overcome specific issues during prosecution. Direct discussions between an applicant and an examiner can help bridge the gap between misunderstandings of prior art, the invention or statements in the specification. When used correctly, examiner interviews can dramatically decrease the time in prosecution and help applicants quickly reach a final disposition. This study reviews approximately 1.1 million patent applications corresponding to every patent application with an examiner interview between 2007 to June 2020 to determine the effectiveness of examiner interviews. This study establishes that examiner interviews dramatically decrease the number of Office Actions needed to reach a final disposition (allowance or abandonment).

Keywords: patents, patent examiner, patent examination, prior art, examiner interview, patent prosecution, PTO

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Tu, Shine (Sean), Patent Examination and Examiner Interviews (November 5, 2020). WVU College of Law Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Shine (Sean) Tu (Contact Author)

West Virginia University College of Law ( email )

101 Law School Drive
Morgantown, WV West Virginia 26506
United States

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