All reissue applications assigned to the Technology Centers (TCs) are monitored and reviewed by the appropriate Training Quality Assurance Specialist (TQAS) (which includes TC TQASs, paralegals or other technical support who might be assigned as backup) at several stages during the prosecution. The review by the Office of the TC TQASs is made to check that practice and procedure unique to reissue has been carried out for the reissue application. In addition, a patentability review is made in a sample of reissue applications by the TC TQAS in the manner previously carried out by the former Office of Patent Quality Review. In order to ensure that TQASs are aware of the reissue applications in their TCs, a pair of terminal-specific PALM flags have been created which must be set by the TQAS before certain PALM transactions can be completed. First, when a new reissue application enters the TC, a TQAS must set a PALM “flag” by entering the reissue application number in an Office-wide computer grouping before a docketing transaction will be accepted. By having to set this first flag, the TQAS is made aware of the assignment of the reissue application to the TC and can take steps, as may be appropriate, to instruct the examiner on reissue-specific procedures before the examination process begins, as well as throughout the examination of the reissue application. Second, the TQAS must remove the above-described PALM “flag” before a Notice of Allowance can be generated or the PALM transaction for an issue revision can be entered, thereby ensuring that the TQAS is made aware of when the reissue application is being allowed so that the TQAS may be able to conduct a final review of the reissue application, if appropriate.
Similarly, all reissue applications assigned to the Central Reexamination Unit (CRU) are monitored and reviewed by the Supervisory Patent Reexamination Specialists (SPRS).