909.02(d) Transfer Procedure [R-07.2022]


Technology Center (TC) 2900 has developed internal procedures for transferring applications between examiners/art units and resolving application assignment disputes.

When an examiner believes an application, either new or amended, does not belong in their customarily assigned art area, they may request transfer of the application from their docket (the “originating” examiner docket) to another examiner’s docket or art unit (the “receiving” examiner or art unit docket). The originating examiner should determine the proposed classification of the application in question. If the classification is not easily determined, the examiner may need to perform a cursory search or place a call to the applicant to better understand the art area where the application should be placed.

To initiate the application transfer the examiner should send an email to the examiner who customarily examines the art of the proposed classification change (receiving examiner) and provide a full explanation of the reasons for the proposed classification.

If the receiving examiner has the authority to accept any application submitted to them that they believe is properly classifiable in a class in their customarily assigned art area, they classify and assign the application.

The decision as to the classification resolution and assignment of an application is customarily made by agreement between the examiners involved in the transfer. However, if no agreement can be reached between the examiners, the transfer request may be forwarded to the supervisors of the originating and receiving examiners for decision. If no agreement can be reached between the supervisors, the transfer request should be forwarded to the TC 2900 docketing POC for a final decision.

If an examiner encounters an assigned application that appears to be improper for their docket based on a factor other than the classification of the application (e.g. could be considered a utility application), the examiner should send an email to the TC 2900 docketing POC for evaluation of the application. If the application is deemed improper for that examiner’s docket, the application will be removed from the examiner’s docket, and will be appropriately reassigned by the TC 2900 docketing POC. In the event the application is deemed proper after reevaluation from the TC 2900 docketing POC, the case will be returned to the originating examiner’s docket and will be examined as a design application.


All plant patent applications under 35 U.S.C. 161 are assigned and examined in Art Unit (AU) 1661. If an application is accidently routed to the AU which is not a plant application, the application will be manually rerouted to OPAP for routing to the appropriate AU.