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Interrogation using Examination Report by the Examining Division

Previously, the JPO issued interrogations (i.e., questionnaires from appeal examiners containing an examination report prepared by the Examining Division) in almost all cases in which an amendment had been filed with a Notice of Appeal. From April 1, 2014, however, the JPO decided not to issue interrogations except for medical-related technology and biotechnology inventions. From February 1, 2015, the JPO further decided not to issue interrogations in all cases unless any special reasons exist. Issuance of a Notice of Completion of Pretrial Reexamination means that the examiner in the Examining Division made an adverse determination (i.e., an examination report) after consideration of the amendment and the appeal brief. Thus, once the notice as above is issued, the appeal case will be sent to the appeal examiners for appeal examination.

If the appeal examiners agree to the adverse determination made by the Examining Division, they may issue a Decision of Rejection by the Board of Appeal. Thus, we recommend (i) obtaining a copy of the examination report prepared by the examiner of the Examining Division; (ii) analyzing the examination report; and (iii) filing a statement arguing the reason(s) why the application should be patentable and/or conducting an interview with the appeal examiners before commencement of examination, if necessary.

If you have any inquiries concerning this matter, please feel free to contact us.

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