718.03(a) Holding of Abandonment for Failure to Respond Completely
Generally, an examining attorney should not hold an application abandoned when an applicant timely files a properly signed but incomplete response to a nonfinal action (i.e., the response does not address one or more of the requirements or refusals made in the Office action) or a TEAS response to a nonfinal action consisting of only a signature or missing significant data or attachments. See TMEP §718.03.
The examining attorney may hold an application abandoned after final action if (1) the applicant files a properly signed but incomplete response that does not meet the criteria in 37 C.F.R. §2.65(a)(2) for granting additional time to comply and the time for responding to the final action has expired (see TMEP §715.03(a)(ii)(D)) or (2) the applicant fails to respond to a notice of incomplete response within the time granted under 37 C.F.R. §2.65(a)(2). In such cases, the examining attorney should issue an “Abandoned Due to Incomplete Response” action stating that the application is abandoned due to an incomplete response and explaining why.
See TMEP §718.02(a) for more information about processing an incomplete response to a partial nonfinal or final refusal or requirement.
The applicant may contact the managing attorney or senior attorney and request review of the examining attorney’s action. If the managing attorney or senior attorney believes that the holding of abandonment was improper, he or she will direct the examining attorney to reverse the holding of abandonment. Otherwise, the applicant’s recourse is to file a petition requesting that the Director exercise supervisory authority under 37 C.F.R. §2.146(a)(3) and reverse the holding of abandonment. See TMEP §1713.01.
See TMEP §715.03(a)(2) regarding action on an incomplete response to a final action before the response period has expired when no notice of appeal has been filed.