Affidavits or declarations under 37 CFR 1.131(a) must be timely presented in order to be admitted. Affidavits and declarations submitted under 37 CFR 1.131(a) and other evidence traversing rejections are considered timely if submitted:
- (A) prior to a final rejection;
- (B) before appeal in an application not having a final rejection;
- (C) after final rejection, but before or on the same date of filing an appeal, upon a showing of good and sufficient reasons why the affidavit or other evidence is necessary and was not earlier presented in compliance with 37 CFR 1.116(e); or
- (D) after the prosecution is closed (e.g., after a final rejection, after appeal, or after allowance) if applicant files the affidavit or other evidence with a request for continued examination (RCE) under 37 CFR 1.114 in a utility or plant application filed on or after June 8, 1995; or a continued prosecution application (CPA) under 37 CFR 1.53(d) in a design application.
All admitted affidavits and declarations are acknowledged and commented upon by the examiner in his or her next succeeding action.
Review of an examiner’s refusal to enter an affidavit as untimely is by petition and not by appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. In re Deters, 515 F.2d 1152, 185 USPQ 644 (CCPA 1975); Ex parte Hale, 49 USPQ 209 (Bd. App. 1941). See MPEP § 715.08 regarding review of questions of propriety of 37 CFR 1.131(a) affidavits and declarations.