41.37 Appeal brief.
- (a) Timing. Appellant must file a brief under this section within two months from the date of filing the notice of appeal under § 41.31. The appeal brief fee in an application or ex parte reexamination proceeding is $0.00, but if the appeal results in an examiner's answer, the appeal forwarding fee set forth in § 41.20(b)(4) must be paid within the time period specified in § 41.45 to avoid dismissal of an appeal.
- (b) Failure to file a brief. On failure to file the brief within the period specified in paragraph (a) of this section, the appeal will stand dismissed.
Content of appeal brief.
Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph,
the brief shall contain the following items under appropriate
headings and in the order indicated in paragraphs (c)(1)(i)
through (v) of this section, except that a brief filed by an
appellant who is not represented by a registered practitioner
need only substantially comply with paragraphs (c)(1)(i),
(c)(1)(ii), (c)(1)(iv), and (c)(1)(v) of this section:
- (i) Real party in interest. A statement identifying by name the real party in interest at the time the appeal brief is filed, except that such statement is not required if the named inventor or inventors are themselves the real party in interest. If an appeal brief does not contain a statement of the real party in interest, the Office may assume that the named inventor or inventors are the real party in interest.
- (ii) Related appeals, interferences, and trials. A statement identifying by application, patent, appeal, interference, or trial number all other prior and pending appeals, interferences, trials before the Board, or judicial proceedings (collectively, "related cases") which satisfy all of the following conditions: involve an application or patent owned by the appellant or assignee, are known to appellant, the appellant’s legal representative, or assignee, and may be related to, directly affect or be directly affected by or have a bearing on the Board’s decision in the pending appeal, except that such statement is not required if there are no such related cases. If an appeal brief does not contain a statement of related cases, the Office may assume that there are no such related cases.
- (iii) Summary of claimed subject matter. A concise explanation of the subject matter defined in each of the rejected independent claims, which shall refer to the specification in the Record by page and line number or by paragraph number, and to the drawing, if any, by reference characters. For each rejected independent claim, and for each dependent claim argued separately under the provisions of paragraph (c)(1)(iv) of this section, if the claim contains a means plus function or step plus function recitation as permitted by 35 U.S.C. 112(f), then the concise explanation must identify the structure, material, or acts described in the specification in the Record as corresponding to each claimed function with reference to the specification in the Record by page and line number or by paragraph number, and to the drawing, if any, by reference characters. Reference to the patent application publication does not satisfy the requirements of this paragraph.
- (iv) Argument. The arguments of appellant with respect to each ground of rejection, and the basis therefor, with citations of the statutes, regulations, authorities, and parts of the Record relied on. The arguments shall explain why the examiner erred as to each ground of rejection contested by appellant. Except as provided for in §§ 41.41, 41.47 and 41.52, any arguments or authorities not included in the appeal brief will be refused consideration by the Board for purposes of the present appeal. Each ground of rejection contested by appellant must be argued under a separate heading, and each heading shall reasonably identify the ground of rejection being contested (e.g., by claim number, statutory basis, and applied reference, if any). For each ground of rejection applying to two or more claims, the claims may be argued separately (claims are considered by appellant as separately patentable), as a group (all claims subject to the ground of rejection stand or fall together), or as a subgroup (a subset of the claims subject to the ground of rejection stand or fall together). When multiple claims subject to the same ground of rejection are argued as a group or subgroup by appellant, the Board may select a single claim from the group or subgroup and may decide the appeal as to the ground of rejection with respect to the group or subgroup on the basis of the selected claim alone. Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph, the failure of appellant to separately argue claims which appellant has grouped together shall constitute a waiver of any argument that the Board must consider the patentability of any grouped claim separately. Under each heading identifying the ground of rejection being contested, any claim(s) argued separately or as a subgroup shall be argued under a separate subheading that identifies the claim(s) by number. A statement which merely points out what a claim recites will not be considered an argument for separate patentability of the claim.
- (v) Claims appendix. An appendix containing a copy of the claims involved in the appeal.
- (2) A brief shall not include any new or non-admitted amendment, or any new or non-admitted affidavit or other Evidence. See § 1.116 of this title for treatment of amendments, affidavits or other evidence filed after final action but before or on the same date of filing an appeal and § 41.33 for treatment of amendments, affidavits or other Evidence filed after the date of filing the appeal. Review of an examiner's refusal to admit an amendment or Evidence is by petition to the Director. See § 1.181 of this title.
- (1) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, the brief shall contain the following items under appropriate headings and in the order indicated in paragraphs (c)(1)(i) through (v) of this section, except that a brief filed by an appellant who is not represented by a registered practitioner need only substantially comply with paragraphs (c)(1)(i), (c)(1)(ii), (c)(1)(iv), and (c)(1)(v) of this section:
- (d) Notice of non-compliance. If a brief is filed which does not comply with all the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section, appellant will be notified of the reasons for non-compliance and given a time period within which to file an amended brief. If appellant does not, within the set time period, file an amended brief that overcomes all the reasons for non-compliance stated in the notification, the appeal will stand dismissed. Review of a determination of non-compliance is by petition to the Chief Administrative Patent Judge. See § 41.3.
- (e) Extensions of time. The time periods set forth in this section are extendable under the provisions of § 1.136 of this title for patent applications and § 1.550(c) of this title for ex parte reexamination proceedings.
[Added, 69 FR 49959, Aug. 12, 2004, effective Sept. 13, 2004; headings of paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) revised, para. (c) revised; para. (d) second sentence revised and new third and fourth sentences added, 76 FR 72270, Nov. 22, 2011, effective Jan. 23, 2012; paras. (c)(1)(ii)-(iii) revised, 77 FR 46615, Aug. 6, 2012, effective Sept. 16, 2012; paras. (a) and (b) revised, 78 FR 4212, Jan. 18, 2013, effective Mar. 19, 2013; paras. (a) and (b) revised, 78 FR 17102, Mar. 20, 2013, effective Mar. 20, 2013]