TMEP 717: Reissuing an Office Action

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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717    Reissuing an Office Action

Sometimes, an Office action must be reissued because the action has been returned as undeliverable or because the applicant notifies the USPTO that the applicant did not receive the Office action. In these situations, the USPTO will not extend the deadline for response, unless the Office action was sent to the wrong address due to a USPTO error.

If there was a USPTO error, the USPTO will issue an Office action notifying the applicant that it may view and print the Office action via the TSDR portal on the USPTO website at http://tsdr.uspto.gov/. The applicant will be given a new response period.

If there was no USPTO error, the USPTO will issue an Office action notifying the applicant that it may view and print the original Office action via the TSDR portal on the USPTO website, but that the deadline for applicant’s response will not be extended.

A “USPTO error in sending the Office action to the wrong address” means that the USPTO either entered the correspondence address incorrectly or failed to enter a proper notice of change of address filed before the date on which the action was issued. The transmittal of a response on letterhead bearing a new address is not a proper notice of change of address. The applicant must specifically instruct the USPTO to change the correspondence address. 37 C.F.R. §2.18(b). Applicants and attorneys have a duty to maintain a current and accurate correspondence address. This also applies to e-mail addresses, if the applicant has authorized the USPTO to send correspondence by e-mail. 37 C.F.R. §2.18(b)(1). See TMEP §§609.02–609.02(f).

See TMEP §717.01 regarding Office actions returned as undeliverable, and TMEP §717.02 regarding non-receipt of Office actions.