MPEP 704.14(a)
Format of the Requirement

This is the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 08.2017, Last Revised in January 2018

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704.14(a)    Format of the Requirement [R-07.2015]

The requirement must clearly indicate that a requirement under 37 CFR 1.105 is being made, the basis for the requirement, and what information is being required. Requirements should specify the particular art area involved, and the particular claimed subject matter within such art area, in which the information is required in order to avoid overly burdening the applicant and to avoid inviting large volumes of information that are not relevant to the need for the information. The requirement should also clearly indicate the form the required information is expected to take. That is, whether the requirement is for citations and copies of individual art references, for the identification of whole collections of art, for answers to questions, or for another specified form.

A requirement for information under 37 CFR 1.105 is generally prepared as a separate document that may be attached to an Office action on the merits or mailed as a stand alone action. The rule permits a requirement to be included within an Office action, but creating a separate document is preferable because the existence of the requirement is immediately brought to the attention of the recipient and it is more readily routed by the applicant to the parties best able to respond.

The requirement should state why the requirement has been made and how the information is necessary to the examination.

Interrogatories may be used to ask specific questions seeking applicant’s factual knowledge. Such a requirement for information may include an inquiry as to the existence of a particular document or other piece of information and a requirement that such information be supplied if it is known to exist and is readily available. A stipulation may be used as to facts with which applicant may agree or disagree in order to clarify the record about uncontroverted matters.

   FORM PARAGRAPHS

The following form paragraphs should be used when preparing a requirement for information:

¶ 7.104.02    Requirement for Information, Rescission of Statement Under 37 CFR 1.55 or 1.78

Applicant submitted a rescission of the prior-filed 1.55 /1.78 statement which indicated that the application contains, or contained at any time, a claim to a claimed invention that has an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013. In order for the examiner to properly consider patentability of the claimed invention, additional information regarding this issue is required as follows: [1]

Applicant is reminded that failure to fully reply to this requirement for information will result in a holding of abandonment.

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

2. This form paragraph should only be used in an application filed on or after March 16, 2013, where the applicant rescinded a statement pursuant to 37 CFR 1.55 or 1.78 and clarification on the reasoning why pre-AIA law applies is needed.

3. Information sought should be restricted to that which is reasonably necessary for the examiner to render a decision on patentability.

4. In bracket 1, insert the information that is sought from the applicant.

5. A two month time period should be set by the examiner for reply to the requirement unless it is part of an Office action having a shortened statutory period (SSP), in which case the period for reply will apply also to the requirement.

¶ 7.105    Requirement for Information, Heading

Applicant and the assignee of this application are required under 37 CFR 1.105 to provide the following information that the examiner has determined is reasonably necessary to the examination of this application.

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph should appear at the beginning of any requirement for information under 37 CFR 1.105, and should be followed by an explanation of why the required information is necessary for examination. Form paragraph 7.104.aia, 7.104.fti, 7.104.02 or 7.106 – 7.121 may be used as appropriate.

2. The requirement for information should conclude with form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

The following form paragraphs should be used as appropriate where the information required pertains to stipulations of facts or interrogatories of facts known to the applicant:

¶ 7.105.01    Stipulations of Facts Known to Applicant

In response to this requirement, please agree or disagree to the stipulation of each of the following assertions of facts:

[1].

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 –7.126 as appropriate.

2. In bracket 1, specify each factual assertion, in the form of a separate, numbered sentence, that the applicant is to either agree or disagree to so stipulate. It is suggested that at the end of each assertion, the parenthetical phrase "(agree/disagree)" be appended to facilitate a reply by way of applicant marking up a copy of the requested stipulations.

¶ 7.105.02    Interrogatories of Facts Known to Applicant

In response to this requirement, please provide answers to each of the following interrogatories eliciting factual information:

[1].

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 –7.126 as appropriate.

2. In bracket 1, specify each interrogatory question, in the form of a separate, numbered sentence, that the applicant is to answer. The scope of each query must be clearly set forth and the content of the expected reply is to be characterized as factual information.

The following form paragraphs should be used as appropriate where the information required pertains to a search for prior art, or to citations and/or copies of publications:

¶ 7.106    Domain of Search

The information is required to extend the domain of search for prior art. Limited amounts of art related to the claimed subject matter are available within the Office, and are generally found in class [1] and subclasses [2], which describe [3]. A broader range of art to search is necessary to establish the level of knowledge of those of ordinary skill in the claimed subject matter art of [4].

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

2. In bracket 4, insert a description of the art claimed but not found in the classification system.

¶ 7.107    Level of Skill and Knowledge in the Art

The information is required to document the level of skill and knowledge in the art of [1].

Examiner Note:

This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

¶ 7.108    Background Description

The information is required to complete the background description in the disclosure by documenting [1].

Examiner Note:

This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

¶ 7.109    Products and Services Embodying Invention

The information is required to identify products and services embodying the disclosed subject matter of [1] and identify the properties of similar products and services found in the prior art.

Examiner Note:

This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

¶ 7.110    Art Suggested as Relevant

The information is required to enter in the record the art suggested by the applicant as relevant to this examination in [1].

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

2. In bracket 1, describe where in the application file applicant suggests that the art is relevant, e.g., the specification and the relevant page thereof, or a paper received in the Office on a specified date and the relevant page thereof.

¶ 7.111    List of Keywords

In response to this requirement, please provide a list of keywords that are particularly helpful in locating publications related to the disclosed art of [1].

Examiner Note:

This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

¶ 7.112    Citations for Electronically Searchable Databases or Other Indexed Collections

In response to this requirement, please provide a list of citations to electronically searchable databases or other indexed collections containing publications that document the knowledge within the disclosed art of [1].

Examiner Note:

This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

¶ 7.113    Copy of Art Referred to in the Disclosure, But Not Submitted

In response to this requirement, please provide a copy of each of the following items of art referred to in the [1].

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

2. In bracket 1, describe where in the application file applicant refers to art that has not been previously submitted, e.g., the specification and the relevant page thereof, or a paper received in the Office on a specified date and the relevant page thereof.

¶ 7.114    Copies of Publications Authored by Inventor(s)

In response to this requirement, please provide copies of each publication which any of the applicants authored or co-authored and which describe the disclosed subject matter of [1].

Examiner Note:

This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

¶ 7.115    Art Relied Upon for Description of Prior Art

In response to this requirement, please provide the title, citation and copy of each publication that is a source used for the description of the prior art in the disclosure. For each publication, please provide a concise explanation of that publication’s contribution to the description of the prior art.

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

2. This requirement is limited in that only those documents actually relied on, rather than documents believed to be relevant, are required.

¶ 7.116    Art Relied Upon for Development of Invention

In response to this requirement, please provide the title, citation and copy of each publication that any of the applicants relied upon to develop the disclosed subject matter that describes the applicant’s invention, particularly as to developing [1]. For each publication, please provide a concise explanation of the reliance placed on that publication in the development of the disclosed subject matter.

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

2. This requirement is limited in that only those documents actually relied on, rather than documents believed to be relevant, are required.

3. In bracket 1, insert a description of the most important inventive elements.

¶ 7.117    Art Relied Upon for Drafting Claimed Subject Matter

In response to this requirement, please provide the title, citation and copy of each publication that was relied upon to draft the claimed subject matter. For each publication, please provide a concise explanation of the reliance placed on that publication in distinguishing the claimed subject matter from the prior art.

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

2. This requirement is limited in that only those documents actually relied on, rather than documents believed to be relevant, are required.

¶ 7.118    Results of Applicant’s Prior Art Search

In response to this requirement, please state whether any search of prior art was performed. If a search was performed, please state the citation for each prior art collection searched. If any art retrieved from the search was considered material to demonstrating the knowledge of a person having ordinary skill in the art to the disclosed [1], please provide the citation for each piece of art considered and a copy of the art.

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

2. In bracket 1, describe the subject matter for which art is required.

¶ 7.119    Names of Products or Services Incorporating Claimed Invention

In response to this requirement, please provide the names of any products or services that have incorporated the claimed subject matter.

Examiner Note:

This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

¶ 7.120    Names of Products or Services Incorporating Disclosed Prior Art

In response to this requirement, please provide the names of any products or services that have incorporated the disclosed prior art [1].

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

2. In bracket 1, specify the attributes of the prior art that most closely approximate the claimed subject matter to narrow the focus of the reply.

¶ 7.121    Details of Improvement Over the Prior Art

In response to this requirement, please state the specific improvements of the subject matter in claims [1] over the disclosed prior art and indicate the specific elements in the claimed subject matter that provide those improvements. For those claims expressed as means or steps plus function, please provide the specific page and line numbers within the disclosure which describe the claimed structure and acts.

Examiner Note:

This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

The following form paragraphs should appear at the end of the requirement for information, as appropriate:

¶ 7.122    Submission of Only Pertinent Pages Where Document is Large

In responding to those requirements that require copies of documents, where the document is a bound text or a single article over 50 pages, the requirement may be met by providing copies of those pages that provide the particular subject matter indicated in the requirement, or where such subject matter is not indicated, the subject matter found in applicant’s disclosure.

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraphs 7.122 – 7.126 as appropriate.

2. Use this form paragraph where the scope of the requirement for information specifically includes copies of publications.

¶ 7.123    Waiver of Fee and Statement Requirements for Certain Information Disclosures

The fee and certification requirements of 37 CFR 1.97 are waived for those documents submitted in reply to this requirement. This waiver extends only to those documents within the scope of the requirement under 37 CFR 1.105 that are included in the applicant’s first complete communication responding to this requirement. Any supplemental replies subsequent to the first communication responding to this requirement and any information disclosures beyond the scope of this requirement under 37 CFR 1.105 are subject to the fee and certification requirements of 37 CFR 1.97 where appropriate.

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraph 7.124 and either form paragraph 7.125 or 7.126 as appropriate.

2. Use this form paragraph where the scope of the requirement for information specifically includes citations to and/or copies of publications.

¶ 7.124    Contents of Good Faith Reply

The applicant is reminded that the reply to this requirement must be made with candor and good faith under 37 CFR 1.56. Where the applicant does not have or cannot readily obtain an item of required information, a statement that the item is unknown or cannot be readily obtained may be accepted as a complete reply to the requirement for that item.

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should be followed by form paragraph 7.125 or 7.126 as appropriate.

2. This form paragraph should appear in the conclusion of any requirement for information.

¶ 7.125    Conclusion of Requirement That Accompanies Office Action

This requirement is an attachment of the enclosed Office action. A complete reply to the enclosed Office action must include a complete reply to this requirement. The time period for reply to this requirement coincides with the time period for reply to the enclosed Office action.

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should appear at the conclusion of any requirement for information that accompanies an Office action. If the requirement for information is mailed without any other Office action, use form paragraph 7.126 instead.

2. Form paragraph 7.127 should appear at the end of any Office action that includes an attached requirement for information.

¶ 7.126    Conclusion Of Requirement Mailed Without Any Other Office Action

This requirement is subject to the provisions of 37 CFR 1.134, 1.135 and 1.136 and has a shortened statutory period of [1] months. EXTENSIONS OF THIS TIME PERIOD MAY BE GRANTED UNDER 37 CFR 1.136(a).

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.105, and should appear at the conclusion of any requirement for information mailed without any other Office action. If the requirement for information is mailed with an Office action, use form paragraph 7.125 instead.

2. The period for reply is ordinarily set for 2 months.

¶ 7.127    Conclusion of Office Action That Includes Requirement

This Office action has an attached requirement for information under 37 CFR 1.105. A complete reply to this Office action must include a complete reply to the attached requirement for information. The time period for reply to the attached requirement coincides with the time period for reply to this Office action.

Examiner Note:

This form paragraph should appear at the end of any Office action that includes an attached requirement for information.