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What happens after the patent application is filed with the USPTO?
A review of formal requirements by the Office of Initial Patent Examination
After filing a patent application with the USPTO, the Office of Initial Patent Examination (OIPE) will review the patent application to determine whether the application fulfills formalities such as providing an application data sheet (ADS), declaration(s), power of attorney, and other required documents. The OIPE will also review the patent application to determine whether the drawings conform to USPTO standards. The OIPE determines whether the patent application meets, in general terms, the formal requirements of the patent application.
If the OIPE finds any deficiencies, it will request that the applicant correct them. After the patent application passes OIPE examination, it is assigned to a patent examiner whose background is related to the invention’s subject matter. The patent examiner will review the patent application and search the prior art to determine whether the invention meets the substantive patent requirements and then allow or reject the application. For more information about rejections, see the section below on dealing with rejections, namely, FAQ #17-21.