Smarter Office Action Response: File a CIP and skip OA?

What is a smarter way to respond to multiple Office Actions? If you haven’t figured it out already, you’ll soon learn that your utility nonprovisional patent will encounter rejections. Multiple Office Actions are common in utility patent applications. While it’s normal to respond to the first non-final Office Action, what do you do when you […]

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To file an RCE or not?

When does an RCE matter? RCE stands for Request for Continued Examination. To file an RCE or not to file – this is a question that often arises in the context of responding to a final Office Action (FOA) in a utility patent application. An RCE would not be involved in design patent applications or […]

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What is an Advisory Action (AA)?

What is an Advisory Action? In response to a Final Office Action, an applicant has the option file an after-final response without a Request for Continued Examination. Such an after-final response, however, is a gamble. Unless allowable subject matter has been indicated, most examiners will not accept the amendments and arguments in reply to a […]

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What is an After-Final Response?

What is an after-final response? An after-final response refers to a reply to a Final Office Action that is filed without a Request for Continued Examination (RCE). After-final responses should be used judiciously depending upon the specific circumstances of a particular patent application. It’s a judgment call that depends on whether the examiner will be […]

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Is a Final Office Action really “final”?

How final is a Final Office Action? Don’t freak out if you’ve received a Final Office Action (FOA) in your patent application. It is not the end of the road. If a Final Office Action has been issued, analyze the rejection from two distinct angles: Substance of the rejections; and Procedure for responding. By dividing […]

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What is a Request for Continued Examination (RCE) and when do you need it?

What is a Request for Continued Examination (RCE)? We’ve discussed how a patent Final Office Action is not really “final” in the sense that the applicant will still have opportunities to file further responses. Since a Final Office Action limits the available options for a response, an applicant may have to resort to a Request for […]

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What is the After Final Consideration Pilot (AFCP request)?

What is an AFCP request? The After Final Consideration Pilot (AFCP) Program 2.0 is a continuing effort by the USPTO to streamline responses to Final Office Action rejections. AFCP 2.0 authorizes additional time for the examiner to search prior art and consider an after-final response. An AFCP request might make under certain circumstances. Much will […]

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What is a Patent Office Action?

What is a patent Office Action? After waiting one to two years (or longer) from the filing date of your utility nonprovisional patent application, you will eventually receive a letter called an “Office Action” from the patent examiner assigned to your application. The average wait time for the first patent Office Action varies between 15 […]

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