716.03 Applicant’s Arguments Against Suspension
If an examining attorney suspends action on an application, and the applicant believes the suspension is improper, the applicant may file a request to remove the application from suspension. The applicant should state the reasons for the belief that the suspension is improper and attach any relevant evidence.
If persuaded by the request, the examining attorney should remove the application from suspension, resume examination of the application, and take appropriate action.
If not persuaded by the request, the examining attorney must issue a new suspension action that addresses the applicant’s arguments and explains the reasons why the request is not granted. The applicant’s recourse is to file a petition to the Director to review the examining attorney’s action continuing the suspension. The Director will reverse the examining attorney’s action only where there has been clear error or an abuse of discretion. See TMEP Chapter 1700 for information about petitions.
If an applicant argues preemptively against suspension based on a conflicting mark in a prior-filed application, and the examining attorney finds the arguments unpersuasive, the examining attorney must include a statement to that effect in the suspension notice. The recommended practice is to briefly address the merits of the unpersuasive arguments prior to an initial suspension.