The Full First Action Interview Pilot Program, an expansion of the Enhanced First Action Interview Pilot Program for patents, will run through May 16, 2012. It will include all utility applications in all technology areas and filing dates. Under the program applicants may request a first action interview prior to the first Office action on the merits.
The program is an expansion of the Enhanced First Action Interview Pilot Program which listed as benefits: 1) the ability to advance prosecution of an application; (2) enhanced interaction between the applicant and the examiner; (3) the opportunity to resolve patentability issues one-on-one with the examiner at the beginning of the prosecution process and; (4) the opportunity to facilitate early allowance.
The USPTO revealed that "approximately 34 percent of the applications in the First Action Interview Pilot Programs were allowed on the first action on the merits, as compared to approximately 11 percent on average across all technologies for new non-continuing applications."
For more information about the expanded pilot project see http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/faipp_full_preog.pdf.