What is an Ex parte Quayle Office Action?
An Ex parte Quayle Office Action, or “Quayle Action” for short, is issued when there are minor issues to be resolved in a patent application that is otherwise in condition for allowance. Prosecution on the merits is closed, meaning that substantive examination has concluded. There are no prior art rejections in a Quayle Action. Instead, the examiner is prepared to allow the patent application once those minor non-substantive issues are resolved.
So the good news is that you won’t have to respond to more prior art rejections. The bad news is that you still have at least one more Office Action to deal with.
Though it can be a minor inconvenience, a Quayle Action should not be cause for major concern in most cases. Once the applicant corrects the formal matters raised by the examiner, the patent application should proceed to allowance. Though it’s rare, you might encounter multiple Quayle Actions in a patent application. If and when that happens, a call to the supervisory examiner may be in order.
What issues are typically raised in a Quayle Action?
Here are some common formal matters that may get raised in a Quayle Action:
- drawing corrections
- indefinite claim language under Section 112
- specification corrections
Quayle Actions may arise in either utility or design applications.
What is the deadline to respond to a Quayle Action?
Typically, a patent applicant will have two months to respond. The sooner you resolve the formal matters, the sooner your patent application will be allowed. If corrections to the drawings are required, factor in the time to get corrected drawings from your illustrator.