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? An Advisory Action may be issued only in the context of responding to a Final Office Action. It usually comes up when an applicant files an after-final response (i.e., without a Request for Continued Examination). Why do examiners issue Advisory Actions? If such an after-final response does not place the […]

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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. Think of an after-final response as an alternative to an RCE that […]

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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 does not mean the end of the road for your patent. If a Final Office Action has been issued, I recommend that you sit down with your patent attorney or agent and […]

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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 patentĀ 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 non-provisional patent application, you will eventually receive a letter called an “Office Action” from the patent examiner assigned to your application. As of November 2019, the average wait time for the first patent Office […]

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