Where an amendment, even though prepared by applicant prior to allowance, does not reach the Office until after the notice of allowance has been mailed, such amendment has the status of one filed under 37 CFR 1.312. Its entry is a matter of grace. For discussion of amendments filed under 37 CFR 1.312, see MPEP § 714.16 to § 714.16(e).
If the amendment is filed in the Office prior to the mailing of the notice of allowance, but is received by the examiner after the mailing of the notice of allowance, it may also not be approved for entry. If the amendment is a supplemental reply filed when action is not suspended, such an amendment will not be approved for entry because supplemental replies are not entered as matter of right. See 37 CFR 1.111(a)(2) and MPEP § 714.03(a). If the amendment is a preliminary amendment, such an amendment may be disapproved under 37 CFR 1.115(b). See MPEP § 714.01(e). If the amendment is approved for entry, the examiner may enter the amendment and provide a supplemental notice of allowance, or withdraw the application from issue and provide an Office action.
The application will not be withdrawn from issue for the entry of an amendment that would reopen the prosecution if the Office action next preceding the notice of allowance closed the application to further amendment, i.e., by indicating the patentability of all of the claims, or by allowing some and finally rejecting the remainder.
After an applicant has been notified that the claims are all allowable, further prosecution of the merits of the application is a matter of grace and not of right. Ex parte Quayle, 25 USPQ 74, 1935 C.D. 11, 453 OG 213 (Comm’r Pat. 1935).