5 Written questions
5 Matching questions
- When should the examiner's response arrive and what should it include?
- Amendments filed on or after the date of the appeal brief: (less leeway)
- Amendments after the notice of appeal, but before the appeal brief is submitted may contain:
- Decision by Board
- 1207: The Examiner's Answer to an Appeal Brief: What are the three options an examiner has after reading the appeal brief:
- a 1.REOPEN THE PROSECUTION and enter in a new ground for rejection (as long as this is approved by his supervising examiner).
2. WITHDRAW THE FINAL REJECTION and allowing the claims (when the appeal overcomes the grounds for rejection). or;
3. MAINTAIN THE APPEAL by drafting an examiner's answer that will go along with the appeal brief to the board. After 20040913 this brief may also contain new grounds for a rejection too.
- b 1. claim cancellations
2. any corrections to comply with formal requirements (spelling, punctuation ...)
3. present the previously rejected claims in a form that is better for appeal; or
4. Actually amend the spec or claims, however there has to be a good showing and cause given for why this was necessary and also not done earlier.
- c The examiner's answer should come within 2 months of the receipt of the brief by the examiner and should contain:
responses to arguments in the brief and point out errors in the brief.
If the appeal is persuasive the examiner should also expressly withdraw his rejection on grounds where the appeal was persuasive.
- d Closes prosecution for rejected claims
Can enter a new ground of rejection for any claim
- e 1. cancel claims (remaining claims could be allowed)
2. rewrite dependent claims into independent form (if a broader independent claim is shot down, the dependent claim with all of the limitations of its parent + extra limitations might still be allowable and needs to become an independent claim if the parent is no more).
5 Multiple choice questions
- TIME: the request is 2 months from the examiner's initial or supplemental answer (just like other time limits in an appeal), however it can only be extended for good cause (37 CFR 1.136(b)) not automatically.
- 1) After 2 months from the time of the examiner's answer/supplemental answer if the applicant does not file a reply brief to that answer; or
2) If the applicant did file a reply brief, after the examiner notifies the applicant that the reply brief has been entered & considered and that the appeal will go to the board.
- 1) Can request rehearing on paper within 2 months from Boards decision
2) Good cause extension of time available
3) Court action must start within 2 months (at least 60 days) from decision
- Appeal procedure within the Office and to the courts has long been provided by stature (35 USC 134)
- it is not a matter of right to have new amendments added on to the application during the appeal process. The amendment process during appeals is under 37 CFR 41.33, and not under the (more permissive) 37 CFR 1.116.
5 True/False questions
Option 2: Going to the DC Circuit Court: → If all claims were previously rejected then this court's decision is final on the patent one way or another.
If however some claims were previously allowed, then only the claims that were rejected are at an end, the allowed claims can continue to issuance.
Remand: The court can remand back to prosecution just as the Board can, although the examiner cannot request a re-hearing. The court will give the merits it wants the examiner to consider.
What do appeal matters concern and who deals with them? → Appeal matters dealing with substantive issues (rejections); actions on the merits that are made to the Board of Patent Appeals & Interferences
1215: Withdrawing or Dismissing an Appeal: → 1215.01: Withdrawing an appeal: As long as the withdrawal will not actually cause the app to be abandoned, an atty who is not of record (or the atty of record or the applicant) can withdraw an appeal under 37 CFR 1.34.
Another way to withdraw from appeal is to file an RCE (37 CFR 1.114) along with the 37 CFR 1.117(e) fee and re-open the app for prosecution under the RCE.
Remember: If the board has a rejection on new grounds in its ruling, or if the examiner files a supplemental answer (after the initial answer) that includes new grounds of rejection, then the applicant has the right to re-open prosecution on the new rejection by filing the standard 37 CFR 1.111 response along with affidavits/evidence under 37 CFR 1.130/1.131/1.132.
Appeals → Remember, appeals are only for decisions by the USPTO on the actual merits of the patent, other decisions are protested via petition instead. Remember, any petition not filed within 2 months of the underlying action may be dismissed by the USPTO under 37 CFR 1.181(f).
Option 1: Directly to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals: → What's the big difference? In the Circuit Court it is actually possible to introduce new evidence while the court of appeals does not allow this. However, the plaintiff will have to show good cause why this evidence was not actually given to the Board or examiner earlier in the process. (Note: new evidence that was previously withheld due to fraud or gross negligence is not allowed).
The circuit court can issue the same decisions as the appellate court above.