2275 Examiner’s Answer [R-3]** >
37 C.F.R. 41.39 Examiner’s answer.
- (1) The primary examiner may, within such time as may be directed by the Director, furnish a written answer to the appeal brief including such explanation of the invention claimed and of the references relied upon and grounds of rejection as may be necessary, supplying a copy to appellant. If the primary examiner determines that the appeal does not comply with the provisions of §§ 41.31 and 41.37 or does not relate to an appealable action, the primary examiner shall make such determination of record.
- (b) If an examiner’s answer contains a rejection designated as a new ground of rejection, appellant must within two months from
the date of the examiner’s answer exercise one of the following two options to avoid sua sponte dismissal of the appeal as
to the claims subject to the new ground of rejection:
- (1) Reopen prosecution. Request that prosecution be reopened before the primary examiner by filing a reply under § 1.111 of this title with or without amendment or submission of affidavits (§§ 1.130, 1.131 or 1.132 of this title) or other evidence. Any amendment or submission of affidavits or other evidence must be relevant to the new ground of rejection. A request that complies with this paragraph will be entered and the application or the patent under ex parte reexamination will be reconsidered by the examiner under the provisions of § 1.112 of this title. Any request that prosecution be reopened under this paragraph will be treated as a request to withdraw the appeal.
- (2) Maintain appeal. Request that the appeal be maintained by filing a reply brief as set forth in § 41.41. Such a reply brief must address each new ground of rejection as set forth in § 41.37(c)(1)(vii) and should follow the other requirements of a brief as set forth in § 41.37(c). A reply brief may not be accompanied by any amendment, affidavit (§§ 1.130, 1.131 or 1.132 of this title) or other evidence. If a reply brief filed pursuant to this section is accompanied by any amendment, affidavit or other evidence, it shall be treated as a request that prosecution be reopened before the primary examiner under paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
- (c) Extensions of time under § 1.136 (a) of this title for patent applications are not applicable to the time period set forth in this section. See § 1.136 (b) of this title for extensions of time to reply for patent applications and § 1.550 (c) of this title for extensions of time to reply for ex parte reexamination proceedings. <
MPEP § 1207 through § 1207.05 relate to preparation of examiner’s answers in appeals. The procedures covered in these sections apply to appeals in both patent applications and patents undergoing ex parte reexamination proceedings, except as provided for in this Chapter.
Where appellant files a timely reply brief to an examiner’s answer or a supplemental examiner’s answer, the examiner may * (A) acknowledge receipt and entry of the reply brief, * (B) ** reopen prosecution to respond to the reply brief > , or (C) furnish a supplemental examiner’s answer responding to any new issue raised in the reply brief (see MPEP § 1207.05 for information on supplemental examiner’s answer). See 37 CFR 41.43(a) < . A supplemental examiner’s answer ** > responding to a reply brief may not include a new ground of rejection. See 37 CFR 41.43(a)(2). A supplemental examiner’s answer, other than to respond to any new issue raised in the reply brief, is not permitted unless the reexamination proceeding < has been remanded by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences for such purposes.