1441 Two-Month Delay Period [R-08.2012]
37 CFR 1.176 provides that reissue applications will be acted on by the examiner in advance of other applications, i.e., “special.” Generally, a reissue application will not be acted on sooner than 2 months after announcement of the filing of the reissue has appeared in the Official Gazette. The 2-month delay is provided in order that members of the public may have time to review the reissue application and submit pertinent information to the Office before the examiner’s action. The pertinent information is submitted in the form of a protest under 37 CFR 1.291(a). For a discussion as to protests under 37 CFR 1.291(a) in reissue applications, see MPEP § 1441.01. As set forth in MPEP § 1901.04, the public should be aware that such submissions should be made as early as possible, because under certain circumstances, the 2-month delay period will not be employed. For example, the Office may act on a continuation or a divisional reissue application before the expiration of the 2-month period after announcement. Additionally, the Office will entertain a petition under 37 CFR 1.182 which is accompanied by the required petition fee (37 CFR 1.17(f)) to act on a reissue application without delaying for 2 months. Accordingly, protestors to reissue applications (see MPEP § 1441.01) cannot automatically assume that a full 2-month delay period will always be available. Appropriate reasons for requesting that the 2-month delay period not be employed include that litigation involving a patent has been stayed to permit the filing of an application for the reissue of the patent. Where the basis for the petition is ongoing litigation, the petition must clearly identify the litigation, and detail the specifics of the litigation that call for prompt action on the reissue application before the expiration of the 2-month delay period. Such petitions are decided by the Office of Patent Legal Administration.