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|Top of Notices (318) December 31, 2013||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1397 CNOG 1658|
|Accelerated Examination, 18 Month Publication||Referenced Items (317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324)|
(318) Patent Application Publications May Now Include Amendments As a consequence of the use of Image File Wrappers (IFW), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) has begun to publish patent applications with amendments that expedite the publication process. For example, the patent application publication may be based upon amendments to the specification that are reflected in a substitute specification, an amendment to the abstract, amendments to the claims that are reflected in a complete claim listing, and amendments to the drawings that are reflected in replacement drawing sheets, provided that such substitute specification or amendment is submitted in sufficient time to be entered into the application file wrapper before technical preparations for publication of the application have begun. Technical preparations for publication of an application generally begin between fourteen and nine weeks prior to the projected date of publication (the projected publication date is indicated on the filing receipt for the patent application). Accordingly, the provisions 37 CFR 1.215(a) are waived to the extent that they are inconsistent with this change in practice. 37 CFR 1.215(a) will be revised consistent with this change in practice, when the rule changes proposed in Changes To Support Implementation of the United States Patent and Trademark Office 21st Century Strategic Plan, 68 Fed. Reg. 53816 (Sept. 12, 2003), 1275 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office Notices 23 (Oct 7, 2003) are made final. Although the Office has begun to include amendments in patent application publications, applicants desiring to ensure that a patent application publication reflects an amendment should submit the application, as amended, through the Electronic Filing System (EFS). See 37 CFR 1.215(c). See also Helpful Hints Regarding Publication of Patent Applications, 1249 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office Notices 83 (August 21, 2001). In addition, if the application is not maintained in an IFW, and the amended application is not submitted through EFS, a petition under 37 CFR 1.182 will continue to be necessary for certain drawings to be included in the patent application publication. See Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, Section 507 (8th ed. 2001, rev. 1, Feb. 2003). General questions regarding publication of patent applications should be directed to the Customer Service Center, Office of Patent Publication, by telephone at (703) 305-8283. Questions regarding the Electronic Filing System should be directed to (703) 305-3028. Questions of a legal nature should be directed to the Office of Patent Legal Administration at (703) 308-6906. March 16, 2004 STEPHEN G. KUNIN Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy [1281 OG 53]