(a) If prosecution in an application is closed, an applicant may request continued examination of the application by filing a submission and the fee set forth in § 1.17(e) prior to the earliest of:
(1) Payment of the issue fee, unless a petition under § 1.313 is granted;
(2) Abandonment of the application; or
(3) The filing of a notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit under 35 U.S.C. 141, or the commencement of a civil action under 35 U.S.C. 145 or 146, unless the appeal or civil action is terminated.
(b) Prosecution in an application is closed as used in this section means that the application is under appeal, or that the last Office action is a final action ( § 1.113 ), a notice of allowance ( § 1.311 ), or an action that otherwise closes prosecution in the application.
(c) A submission as used in this section includes, but is not limited to, an information disclosure statement, an amendment to the written description, claims, or drawings, new arguments, or new evidence in support of patentability. If reply to an Office action under 35 U.S.C. 132 is outstanding, the submission must meet the reply requirements of § 1.111.
(d) If an applicant timely files a submission and fee set forth in § 1.17(e), the Office will withdraw the finality of any Office action and the submission will be entered and considered. If an applicant files a request for continued examination under this section after appeal, but prior to a decision on the appeal, it will be treated as a request to withdraw the appeal and to reopen prosecution of the application before the examiner. An appeal brief ( § 41.37 of this title) or a reply brief ( § 41.41 of this title ), or related papers, will not be considered a submission under this section.
(e) The provisions of this section do not apply to:
(1) A provisional application;
(2) An application for a utility or plant patent filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) before June 8, 1995;
(3) An international application filed under 35 U.S.C. 363 before June 8, 1995;
(4) An application for a design patent; or
(5) A patent under reexamination.
[65 FR 50104, Aug. 16, 2000, as amended at 69 FR 49999, Aug. 12, 2004; 72 FR 46841, Aug. 21, 2007; 74 FR 52691, Oct. 14, 2009]
Title 37 published on 2012-07-01
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