704.12(c) Treatment of an Incomplete Reply [R-10.2019]

704.12(c) Treatment of an Incomplete Reply [R-10.2019]

An incomplete reply to a 37 CFR 1.105 requirement in a pending application or reexamination proceeding is handled in the same manner as an amendment not fully responsive to a non-final Office action. See 37 CFR 1.135(c) and MPEP § 714.03. Where the reply is a bona fide reply, form paragraph 7.95 may be used. Note that a 37 CFR 1.105 requirement, even absent an action on the merits, is an Office action.

¶ 7.95 Bona Fide, Non-Responsive Amendments

The reply filed on [1] is not fully responsive to the prior Office action because of the following omission(s) or matter(s): [2]. See 37 CFR 1.111. Since the above-mentioned reply appears to be bona fide, applicant is given a shortened statutory period of TWO (2) MONTHS from the mailing date of this notice within which to supply the omission or correction in order to avoid abandonment. EXTENSIONS OF THIS TIME PERIOD MAY BE GRANTED UNDER 37 CFR 1.136(a) but in no case can any extension carry the date for reply to this letter beyond the maximum period of SIX MONTHS set by statute (35 U.S.C. 133).

Examiner Note:

This practice does not apply where there has been a deliberate omission of some necessary part of a complete reply, or where the application is subject to a final Office action. Under such cases, the examiner has no authority to grant an extension if the period for reply has expired. See form paragraph 7.91.