When an application is in condition for allowance, an interference search must be made by performing a text search of the “US-PGPUB” database in EAST or WEST directed to the comprehensive inventive features in the broadest claim. If the application contains a claim directed to a nucleotide or peptide sequence, the examiner must submit a request to STIC to perform an interference search of the sequence. The text search may make use of the “.CLM.” search symbol in order to limit the text search to the claims of the database references. If the search results identify any potential interfering subject matter, the examiner will review the application(s) with the potential interfering subject matter to determine whether interfering subject matter exists. If interfering subject matter does exist, the examiner will follow the guidance set forth in MPEP Chapter 2300. If there is no interfering subject matter then the examiner should prepare the application for issuance. A printout of only the database(s) searched, the query(ies) used in the interference search, and the date the interference search was performed must be made of record in the application file. The results of the interference search must not be placed in the application file. Completion of the interference search should be recorded in the “Interference Searched” section of the OACS “Search Notes” page with notation such as “PGPUB text search – March 1, 2005, see interference search printout” coupled with the examiner’s initials.
An interference search may be required in TC Working Group 3640. Inspection of pertinent prints, drawings, brief cards, and applications in TC Working Group 3640 will be done on request by an examiner in TC Working Group 3640.