To avoid confusion of the record the general rule prevails that an amendment should not be entered in part. At times, the strict observance of its letter may sometimes work more harm than would result from its infraction, especially if the amendment in question is received at or near the end of the period for reply. Thus:
- (A) An “amendment” presenting an unacceptable substitute specification along with amendatory matter, as amendments to claims or new claims, should be entered in part, rather than refused entry in toto. The substitute specification should be denied entry and so marked, while the rest of the paper should be entered. The application as thus amended is acted on when reached in its turn, the applicant being advised that the substitute specification has not been entered.
- See 37 CFR 1.125 and MPEP § 608.01(q) for information regarding the submission of a substitute specification.
- Under current practice, substitute specifications may be voluntarily filed by the applicant if he or she desires. A proper substitute specification will normally be accepted by the Office even if it has not been required by the examiner. However, entry of a substitute specification filed after the notice of allowance has been mailed (37 CFR 1.312) is not a matter of right.
- (B) An amendment under 37 CFR 1.312, which in part is approved and in other part disapproved, is entered only as to the approved part. See MPEP § 714.16(e).
- (C) In an application in which prosecution on the merits is closed, i.e., after the issuance of an Ex Parte Quayle action, where an amendment is presented curing the noted formal defect and adding one or more claims some or all of which are in the opinion of the examiner not patentable, or will require a further search, the amendment in such a case will be entered only as to the formal matter. Applicant has no right to have new claims considered or entered at this point in the prosecution.
- (D) In an amendment accompanying a motion granted only in part, the amendment is entered only to the extent that the motion was granted.
NOTE. The examiner writes “Enter” with the Stamper tool in Adobe Acrobat in the left margin opposite the enterable portions.