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RCE Request for Continued Examination:

A request filed in an application in which prosecution is closed (e.g., the application is under final rejection or a notice of allowance) that is filed to reopen prosecution and continue examination of the application; requires the filing of a submission and payment of a fee.


An original copy of an international application filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty maintained by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Reexamination Proceeding:

At any time during the enforceability of the patent, any person may request reexamination by the Office of any claim of a patent on the basis of prior patents or printed publications cited under 37 CFR 1.501. In order for the request for reexamination to be granted, a substantial new question of patentability must be present with regard to at least one patent claim. The request must be in writing and must be accompanied by payment of a reexamination request filing fee as set forth in 37 CFR 1.20(c).


When advised of the abandonment of his or her application, applicant may either ask for reconsideration of such holding, if he or she disagrees with it on the basis that there is no abandonment in fact; or petition for revival under 37 CFR 1.137.

Reduction To Practice:

Reduction to practice may be an actual reduction or a constructive reduction to practice that occurs when a patent application on the claimed invention is filed. The actual reduction of practice occurs prior to filing the application when the inventor is in a position to build a physical embodiment of an invention. The filing of a patent application serves as conception and constructive reduction to practice of the subject matter described in the application. Thus the inventor need not provide evidence of either conception or actual reduction to practice when relying on the content of the patent application.


Any person may, at any time during the period of enforceability of a patent, file a request for an ex partereexamination by the Office of any claim of the patent on the basis of prior art patents or printed publications cited under § 1.501. The request must be accompanied by the fee for requesting reexamination set in § 1.20(c)(1).

Registered Patent Agent:

One who is not an attorney but is authorized to act for or in place of the applicant (s) before the Office, that is, an individual who is registered to practice before the Office.


Prior art.


An application for a patent to take the place of an unexpired patent that is defective in one or more particulars.


The rejoining (returning to active consideration) of claims previously withdrawn from consideration to due to an election requirement.


The examiner reads the application to make a determination if the claims should be accepted or rejected. I n order to make this decision the examiner should understand the claimed invention and then make a prior art search for the claimed invention. With the results of the prior art search, including any references provided by the applicant, the patent application should be reviewed and analyzed in conjunction with the state of the prior art to determine whether the claims define a useful, novel, nonobvious, and enabled invention that has been clearly described in the specification. The goal of examination is to clearly articulate any rejection early in the prosecution process so that the applicant has the opportunity to provide evidence of patentability and otherwise reply completely at the earliest opportunity. The examiner then reviews all the evidence, including arguments and evidence responsive to any rejection, before issuing the next Office action. Where the examiner determines that information reasonably necessary for the examination should be required from the applicant, such a requirement should generally be made either prior to or with the first Office action on the merits.

Request (PCT):

Form PCT/RO/101, filed with an international application in a receiving Office, which includes an indication of applicant(s) and a designation of one or more Contracting States.


If two or more independent and distinct inventions are claimed in one application, the examiner may require the applicant to elect (designate) a single invention to which the claims will be restricted (limited to). This requirement is known as a requirement for restriction (also known as a requirement for division). Such requirement will normally be made before any action on the merits; however, it may be made at any time before final action (final rejection). (See 37 CFR § 1.141 and § 1.142) If restriction is required, the subject matter of the original patent claims will be held to be constructively elected unless a disclaimer of all the patent claims is filed in the reissue application, which disclaimer cannot be withdrawn by applicant.

Reverse Engineering:

The art of extracting know-how or knowledge from an article of manufacture or a composition of matter to determine of how to make or use it.