707.13 Returned Office Action [R-07.2022]
Office actions are sometimes returned to the Office because the United States Postal Service has not been able to deliver them. Upon receipt of the returned Office action, the Technology Center (TC) technical support staff will check the application file record to ensure that the Office action was mailed to the correct correspondence address. If the Office action was not mailed to the correct correspondence address, it should be stamped “remailed” with the remailing date and mailed to the correct correspondence address. The period running against the application begins with the date of remailing. If the Office action was mailed to the correct correspondence address, a letter along with a copy of the Office action may be sent to the applicant, or the first named inventor if more than one inventor is the applicant, informing the applicant of the returned action. If the original correspondence address was the same address as the first named inventor, the Office action may be sent to the second named inventor where one exists. The time period for reply to the Office action may be restarted, if appropriate, to run from the mailing date of the letter informing applicant of the returned action. For discussion of when it is appropriate to reset or restart a reply period, see MPEP § 710.06.
A copy of the letter and a copy of the envelope should be added to the electronic file. If the period dating from the remailing elapses with no communication from applicant, the application is abandoned.