2641 Time for Deciding Request [R-11.2013]
The determination of whether or not to reexamine must be made (completed and mailed) not later than three (3) months after the filing date of a request. See 35 U.S.C. 312(a) and 37 CFR 1.923. If the 3-month period ends on a Saturday, Sunday or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia, then the determination must be mailed by the preceding business day.
Generally, the Central Reexamination Unit (CRU) forwards the inter partes reexamination case to the examiner within two (2) weeks of the filing date of the request.
- (A) The examiner has one (1) week
from his/her receipt of the reexamination to prepare for an initial consultation
conference with a Reexamination Legal Advisor (RLA).
After the consultation with the RLA, the examiner has two (2) weeks from the date of the consultation conference to prepare the decision on the request and an Office action (if reexamination is granted), and forwards the reexamination to the CRU Supervisory Patent Reexamination Specialist (SPRS).
The decision and the action will be reviewed by the CRU SPRS and the reexamination file along with the decision and action will be forwarded (hand carried) to the RLA.
- (B) At the very latest, the decision and action prepared by the examiner must be hand carried by the SPRS to the RLA within nine (9) weeks from the filing date of the request (unless otherwise authorized by the CRU Director or a RLA).
- (C) It should be noted that the first Office action ordinarily accompanies an order for reexamination; however, if the issuance of the first Office action would delay the order to the extent that a critical deadline will not be met, the order will be mailed and the first action will follow in due course, as per the guidance set forth in MPEP § 2660.