2251 Reply by Third Party Requester [R-08.2012]
37 C.F.R. 1.535 Reply by third party requester in ex parte reexamination.
A reply to the patent owner’s statement under § 1.530 may be filed by the ex parte reexamination requester within two months from the date of service of the patent owner’s statement. Any reply by the ex parte requester must be served upon the patent owner in accordance with § 1.248. If the patent owner does not file a statement under § 1.530, no reply or other submission from the ex parte reexamination requester will be considered.
If the patent owner files a statement in a timely manner, the third party requester is given a period of 2 months from the date of service to reply. Since the statute, 35 U.S.C. 304, provides this time period, there will be no extensions of time granted.
The reply need not be limited to the issues raised in the statement. The reply may include additional prior art patents and printed publications and may raise any issue appropriate for reexamination.
If no statement is filed by the patent owner, no reply is permitted from the third party requester.
The third party requester must serve a copy of the reply on the patent owner. See MPEP § 2266.03 for further discussion as to the third party requester providing service on the patent owner.
The third party requester is not permitted to file any further papers after his or her reply to the patent owner’s statement. Any further papers will not be considered and will be returned to the requester. The patent owner cannot file papers on behalf of the third party requester and thereby circumvent the rules.