The time is upon us when young patent professionals, many of them fresh out of law school (or out of engineering school) begin their professional lives as patent prosecutors. These new members to our profession quite naturally look to senior patent professionals for practical guidance. The guidance often is in the form of adages that form the Conventional Wisdom of patent prosecution. Much of this Conventional Wisdom, as it turns out, is often not very practical and some of it is not all that wise. In most cases, the Conventional Wisdom is not exactly wrong; it’s just that there may be other ways of doing things that may be more practical or effective for a particular practitioner. I’m going to talk about some pieces of Conventional Wisdom that I received that turned out to be, well, not-all-that-helpful advice. I will share what advice I would offer in its place.

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