The U.S. Patent Office announced that the After-Final Consideration Pilot 2.0 (AFCP 2.0) will be extended another year. Originally implemented in May 2013, the program allows for amendments and responses for the examiner’s consideration to be submitted after a Final Office Action has been sent. Prior to the implementation, applicants were limited to filing appeals or Requests for Continued Examination, both likely to be more costly options.
Of the thousands of AFCP requests submitted, approximately 25% have resulted in allowance, which, when combined with the usually lower cost of filing compared to alternatives, represents an intriguing option for those facing Final Rejections. More information on the program is available at the PTO website here.