37 CFR 1.291 does not permit protestor, or any other member of the public, to contact or receive information from the Office as to the disposition or status of the protest, or the application to which it is directed, or to participate in any Office proceedings relating to the protest. The Office does not serve copies of Office actions or other documents mailed by the Office on protestors, and does not require applicants to serve copies of papers filed with the Office on protestors. Furthermore, a protestor is not permitted to participate in interviews, appeal a decision by the examiner adverse to the protestor to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, or participate in an appeal by applicant. The disposition of the protest will be an ex parte matter between the Office and the applicant. Where protestor has access to an application, for example, a reissue application which is open to the public and may be inspected under 37 CFR 1.11, the proceedings may thereby be monitored.
Under 37 CFR 1.291( f), applicant may be required by the Office to reply to a protest. Any reply thereto would be ex parte and would not be served on the protestor.