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Response After Final

Jim Ruttler, Patent Attorney

Posted Friday, July 31, 2009 by Jim Ruttler

As set forth in a previous entry, there are three ways to respond to a final office action: file a Request for Continued Examination (RCE), file a Notice of Appeal (NOA), or file a continuation application. However, each of these options involves additional expense, so it is desirable to maximize the opportunities to converse with the examiner prior to incurring the additional expense. One way to do this is to file a response to the final office action and follow up this response with a phone call to the examiner. Doing so can result in the examiner reversing his or her position and allowing some claimed subject matter. And, even if the examiner finds the response unpersuasive, you will have benefited from additional consideration by the examiner and there will still be the opportunity to file the RCE, NOA, or continuation application. However, you’ll need to be aware that filing a response to final does not toll the deadlines for filing an RCE, NOA, or continuation application.

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