Access to Relevant Prior Art Initiative: This is an effort underway at the USPTO to increase patent examination quality and efficiency through the development of an automated tool for USPTO examiners in their examination system, which imports relevant prior art and other pertinent information into pending U.S. patent applications as early as possible. The information is imported from sources such as related U.S. applications, counterpart foreign applications, and related international applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). This initiative is envisioned to potentially reduce the burden on applicants with complying with the duty of disclosure. On January 1, 2019, the initiative released to the following eight art units: 1616, 1731, 2431, 2675, 2879, 2922, 3635, and 3753; on November 1, 2018, the initiative released to Art Unit 2131 in Technology Center 2100. A link to the initiative can be found here.
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