TMEP 711: Deadline for Response to Office Action

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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711    Deadline for Response to Office Action

The statutory period for response to an examining attorney’s Office action is six months from the Office action's date of issuance. 15 U.S.C. §1062(b); 37 C.F.R. §2.62(a).  The examining attorney has no discretion to shorten or extend this period.  Thus, the applicant must file a response within six months unless the examining attorney has issued a supplemental action resetting the period for response.  See TMEP §711.02 regarding supplemental Office actions.

In a §66(a) application, a response to an Office action must be sent to the USPTO, not the IB, and is due in the USPTO within six months of the date on which the USPTO sends the action to the IB, not the date on which the IB processes the refusal.  See TMEP §1904.02(h) for further information about Office actions and responses in §66(a) applications.

To expedite processing, the USPTO recommends that responses to Office actions be filed through TEAS, at

Filing an amendment to allege use does not stay or extend the deadline for filing a response to an outstanding Office action, appeal to the Board, or petition to the Director. 37 C.F.R. §2.63(d); TMEP §1104.

See TMEP §310 for information about computing the response period, TMEP §§305.02 and 306.05 for certificate of mailing and certificate of facsimile transmission procedures to avoid lateness, and TMEP §§718.02 and 718.03–718.03(a) regarding abandonment for failure to respond or incomplete response to an Office action.