Although detailed (30 pages of fine print), the final rules simplify the current process and level the playing field in favor of appellants. More specifically, the current rules are amended to:
- Remove certain requirements for the appeal brief;
- Provide the Board take jurisdiction earlier in the process;
- No longer require the examiner acknowledge receipt of the reply brief;
- Allow one to seek review of an undesignated new ground of rejection in the examiner's answer or the Board's decision;
- Presume an appeal is taken for all rejected claims; and
- Clarify a rejection in examiner's answer that relies on evidence not presented in the last Office action is a new ground of rejection.
It's usually best to work with examiners, but if a case is ready for appeal, don't let the backlog cause you to "shrivel up"as the PTO may intercept and allow a case after review of the appeal brief without waiting for the Board to decide. See e.g., US Application No. 10/683,204 using PAIR.
Copyright © 2012 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.