Effective June 2, 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will commence a six-month Glossary Pilot Program to promote clarity in patent claims, particularly for software-related inventions (falling under technologies examined by USPTO Technology Centers 2100, 2400, 2600, and 3600/Business Methods). Possible benefits of the program could include quicker and more consistent examination, with hopes for higher quality patent claims. Possible concerns about the initiative might include a potential for inadvertent over-narrowing of certain defined terms.
The program requires an applicant to include a glossary section in the patent application specification to define terms used in the patent claims. Applications accepted into the pilot program will receive expedited processing and be placed on an examiner’s special docket prior to the first office action.
The March 27, 2014 Federal Register details for the Glossary Pilot Program can be found here.
A link to the USPTO press release about the program is provided here.