37 CFR 1.550
Conduct of ex parte reexamination proceedings.
This document contains one section of Chapter 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This page was last updated in November, 2005. You may return to the main 37 CFR Index, or to the index for one of the follow parts:
part 1 (patents);
part 2 (trademarks);
part 3 (assignments);
part 10 (representation); or
part 200+ (copyrights).
(a)All ex parte reexamination proceedings, including any appeals to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, will be conducted with special dispatch within the Office. After issuance of the ex parte reexamination order and expiration of the time for submitting any responses, the examination will be conducted in accordance with § § 1.104 through 1.116 and will result in the issuance of an ex parte reexamination certificate under § 1.570.
(b)The patent owner in an ex parte reexamination proceeding will be given at least thirty days to respond to any Office action. In response to any rejection, such response may include further statements and/or proposed amendments or new claims to place the patent in a condition where all claims, if amended as proposed, would be patentable.
(c)The time for taking any action by a patent owner in an ex parte reexamination proceeding will be extended only for sufficient cause and for a reasonable time specified. Any request for such extension must be filed on or before the day on which action by the patent owner is due, but in no case will the mere filing of a request effect any extension. Any request for such extension must be accompanied by the petition fee set forth in § 1.17(g). See § 1.304(a) for extensions of time for filing a notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit or for commencing a civil action.
(d)If the patent owner fails to file a timely and appropriate response to any Office action or any written statement of an interview required under § 1.560(b), the ex parte reexamination proceeding will be terminated, and the Director will proceed to issue a certificate under § 1.570 in accordance with the last action of the Office.
(e)If a response by the patent owner is not timely filed in the Office,
(1)The delay in filing such response may be excused if it is shown to the satisfaction of the Director that the delay was unavoidable; a petition to accept an unavoidably delayed response must be filed in compliance with § 1.137(a); or
(2)The response may nevertheless be accepted if the delay was unintentional; a petition to accept an unintentionally delayed response must be filed in compliance with § 1.137(b).
(f)The reexamination requester will be sent copies of Office actions issued during the ex parte reexamination proceeding. After filing of a request for ex parte reexamination by a third party requester, any document filed by either the patent owner or the third party requester must be served on the other party in the reexamination proceeding in the manner provided by § 1.248. The document must reflect service or the document may be refused consideration by the Office.
(g)The active participation of the ex parte reexamination requester ends with the reply pursuant to § 1.535, and no further submissions on behalf of the reexamination requester will be acknowledged or considered. Further, no submissions on behalf of any third parties will be acknowledged or considered unless such submissions are:
(1)in accordance with § 1.510 or § 1.535; or
(2)entered in the patent file prior to the date of the order for ex parte reexamination pursuant to § 1.525.