Blog September 16, 2016
The Patent Office's SAWS Program — Retired
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On March 2, 2015, the Patent Office announced on its website that it has decided to "retire" the Sensitive Application Warning System (SAWS) system. In its announcement, the Patent Office noted that the decision to cancel the program was justified by changes in the rules governing publication of applications: "today, unlike when the SAWS program was created [in 1994], most applications are published eighteen months after submission, exposing them to public scrutiny and the potential for third-party submissions of prior art."
The announcement also noted that applications that are currently flagged in the SAWS program "will now proceed through prosecution absent any additional SAWS-related processing."
This move by the Patent Office comes on the heels of much recent criticism of the SAWS program, and particularly its secretive nature and how applicants were kept in the dark about the program and the status of applications flagged in the SAWS system.
The opinions expressed are those of the authors on the date noted above and do not necessarily reflect the views of Fish & Richardson P.C., any other of its lawyers, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This post is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed.
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