5.3 Prosecution of application under secrecy orders; withholding patent.
Unless specifically ordered otherwise, action on the application by the Office and prosecution by the applicant will proceed during the time an application is under secrecy order to the point indicated in this section:
- (a) National applications under secrecy order which come to a final rejection must be appealed or otherwise prosecuted to avoid abandonment. Appeals in such cases must be completed by the applicant but unless otherwise specifically ordered by the Commissioner for Patents will not be set for hearing until the secrecy order is removed.
- (b) An interference or derivation will not be instituted involving a national application under secrecy order. An applicant whose application is under secrecy order may suggest an interference (§ 41.202(a) of this title), but the Office will not act on the request while the application remains under a secrecy order.
- (c) When the national application is found to be in condition for allowance except for the secrecy order the applicant and the agency which caused the secrecy order to be issued will be notified. This notice (which is not a notice of allowance under § 1.311 of this chapter) does not require reply by the applicant and places the national application in a condition of suspension until the secrecy order is removed. When the secrecy order is removed the Patent and Trademark Office will issue a notice of allowance under § 1.311 of this chapter, or take such other action as may then be warranted.
- (d) International applications and international design applications under secrecy order will not be mailed, delivered, or otherwise transmitted to the international authorities or the applicant. International applications under secrecy order will be processed up to the point where, if it were not for the secrecy order, record and search copies would be transmitted to the international authorities or the applicant.