Applications Up for Third Action and 5-Year Applications
Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 10.2019, Last Revised in June 2020
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707.02 Applications Up for Third Action and 5-Year Applications [R-07.2015]
The supervisory patent examiners should impress upon their assistants that the shortest path to the final disposition of an application is by finding the best references on the first search and carefully applying them.
The supervisory patent examiners are expected to personally check on the pendency of every application which is up for the third or subsequent Office action with a view to finally concluding its prosecution.
Any application that has been pending five years or more should be carefully studied by the supervisory patent examiner and every effort should be made to terminate its prosecution. In order to accomplish this result, the application is to be considered "special" by the examiner.