The wait time for an action from the USPTO after the filing of a Request for Continued Examination (RCE) has become quite lengthy, sometimes to 2 years. The number of applications waiting for an action after RCE has been steadily increasing. The USPTO’s latest attempt to reduce this backlog is in its After Final Consideration Pilot 2.0 (AFCP), which began on May 19, 2013. The AFCP 2.0 authorizes additional time for examiners to search and/or consider response after final rejection.
If you are considering filing a response to a final office action that you believe may lead to an allowance with only limited searching and/or consideration by the examiner, then you should consider requesting consideration under the AFCP. Considering the recent increase in RCE fees, this option may save you money as well as time. Certain requirements to qualify for the pilot apply, so please confer with your patent attorney.
“Learn more.(AFCP 2.0)”:http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/afcp.jsp