803.01 Review by Examiner with at Least Partial Signatory Authority [R-07.2015]
Since requirements for restriction under 35 U.S.C. 121 are discretionary with the Director, it becomes very important that the practice under this section be carefully administered. Notwithstanding the fact that this section of the statute apparently protects the applicant against the dangers that previously might have resulted from compliance with an improper requirement for restriction, IT STILL REMAINS IMPORTANT FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE PUBLIC INTEREST THAT NO REQUIREMENT BE MADE WHICH MIGHT RESULT IN THE ISSUANCE OF TWO PATENTS FOR THE SAME INVENTION. See MPEP § 804.01. Therefore, to guard against this possibility, only an examiner with permanent full signatory authority or temporary full signatory authority may sign final Office actions containing a final requirement for restriction. An examiner with permanent partial signatory authority or temporary partial signatory authority may sign non-final Office actions containing a final requirement for restriction.