Q) PCT (MPEP 1800/600, Amending the Abstract)

by patentbar on May 5, 2007 · 23 comments

in Exam Questions

Test takers report question about amending the abstract. Specifically, one test taker reported a question about the International Searching Authority writing someone’s abstract and what could be done to amend it when the applicant didn’t think it was well written. [See PCT – Amendment of Abstract – MPEP 1844.01]

Answer: The International Searching Authority shall establish an Abstract (if missing), and the applicant may within one month from the date of mailing of the international search report, submit comments on the abstract established by the International Searching Authority.

PCT RULE 38 – Missing or Defective Abstract

PCT RULE 38.1. – Lack of Abstract

If the international application does not contain an abstract and the receiving Office has notified the International Searching Authority that it has invited the applicant to correct such defect, the International Searching Authority shall proceed with the international search unless and until it receives notification that the said application is considered withdrawn.

AND

PCT RULE 38.2. – Establishment of Abstract

(a) If the international application does not contain an abstract and the International Searching Authority has not received a notification from the receiving Office to the effect that the applicant has been invited to furnish an abstract, or if the said Authority finds that the abstract does not comply with Rule 8, it shall itself establish an abstract. Such abstract shall be established in the language in which the international application is to be published or, if a translation into another language was transmitted under Rule 23.1(b) and the International Searching Authority so wishes, in the language of that translation.

(b) The applicant may, within one month from the date of mailing of the international search report, submit comments on the abstract established by the International Searching Authority. Where that Authority amends the abstract established by it, it shall notify the amendment to the International Bureau.

“In general, the examiner will have to establish a new abstract if the applicant did not provide an abstract or if the abstract does not comply with PCT Rule 8.”

The answer is different if it does not specifically hinge on a PCT Rules (red herring – International Searching Authority) from MPEP 1800. Generally, USPTO procedure is that the examiner will not supply an abstract if one is absent, but the examiner may revise an abstract if the application is otherwise in a condition of allowance. [See MPEP 608.01(b)]

In 608.01(b) Abstract of the Disclosure

The Office of Initial Patent Examination (OIPE) will review all applications filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) for compliance with 37 CFR 1.72 and will require an abstract, if one has not been filed. In all other applications which lack an abstract, the exam­iner in the first Office action should require the submission of an abstract directed to the technical disclosure in the specification. See Form Paragraph 6.12 (below). Applicants may use either “Abstract” or “Abstract of the Disclosure” as a heading.

Regarding an improper abstract, if the application is otherwise in condition for allowance, the examiner should make any necessary revisions:

In 608.01(b) “Upon passing the application to issue, the examiner should make certain that the abstract is an adequate and clear statement of the contents of the disclosure and generally in line with the guidelines. If the application is otherwise in condition for allowance except that the abstract does not comply with the guidelines, the examiner generally should make any necessary revisions by a formal examiner’s amendment after obtaining applicant’s authorization (see MPEP § 1302.04 rather than issuing an Ex parte Quayle action requiring applicant to make the necessary revisions.”

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 More on the abstractNo Gravatar May 17, 2008 at 3:04 am

Also see MPEP 1826 (“The Abstract”):

Where the receiving Office finds that the abstract is missing, it invites the applicant to furnish it within a time limit fixed in the invitation. The international application is considered withdrawn if no abstract is furnished to the receiving Office within the time limit fixed. Where the receiving Office has not invited the applicant to furnish an abstract, the International Searching Authority establishes one. The same applies where the abstract does not comply with the requirements outlined in the preceding paragraphs. Where the abstract is established by the International Searching Authority, the applicant may submit comments on it within 1 month from the date of mailing of the international search report, (PCT Rule 38.2(b)).

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2 mmmNo Gravatar May 17, 2008 at 4:54 am

This question is from a previous exam:

Which of the following statements is most correct with respect to the abstract in an international (PCT) patent application?

(A) If an abstract is missing from the international application as filed, the receiving office will invite the applicant to furnish an abstract within a time limit fixed in the invitation, and if no abstract is furnished to the receiving office within that time limit, the international application will be considered withdrawn.

(B) The abstract should be primarily related to what is new in the art to which the invention pertains and may (but need not) include statements concerning the merits or value of the invention.

(C) Where the application is filed with an abstract that does not comply with the requirements of PCT Rule 8, the International Searching Authority will establish an abstract that does comply.

(D) (A) and (B) are both correct, but (C) is incorrect.

(E) (A) and (C) are both correct, but (B) is incorrect.

The answer is (E). MPEP 1826, PCT Rule 38 (38.1 and 38.2).

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3 ytham05No Gravatar August 1, 2008 at 11:00 pm

As to (B), MPEP 608.01(b) states “[t]he abstract should not refer to purported merits or speculative applications of the invention and should not compare the invention with the prior art.”

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4 SamNo Gravatar March 21, 2009 at 7:11 pm

So, it sounds like your screwed if the RO invites an abstract, but not if they don’t. Does anyone agree?

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5 matt30No Gravatar May 10, 2009 at 11:05 am

I got a different version of the question yesterday. It asked “what is the right of the applicant after ISA rewrites the abstract of International appl.?”
The answer I chose was something like this: Applicant may file amendment or comments to the change within 30 days of mailing of ISA documents to the applicant, in return the ISA may or may not enter the amendment.
During the exam, I could not find in MPEP anything supporting “ISA has a choice to decline any amendment”. However, the other selections did not provide the 30 day from the mailing of ISA doc.s part so I think this is the right answer

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6 InessaNo Gravatar March 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I got this today today and chose the same answer as matt30

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7 BigbadvoododaddyNo Gravatar July 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm

CORRECTION TO MATT30 :
The ISA indeed has the right to decide whether or not to accept the applicants modifications.

Rule 38.3, MPEP 1844.01

So I guess if you have both options as a possible answer both are CORRECT.

8 balokNo Gravatar August 27, 2009 at 5:55 pm

matt30’s answer is pretty much taken word for word from the PCT rules:

§ 38.3 Modification of Abstract

The applicant may, until the expiration of one month from the date of mailing of the international search report, submit to the International Searching Authority:

(i) proposed modifications of the abstract; or

(ii) where the abstract has been established by the Authority, proposed modifications of, or comments on, that abstract, or both modifications and comments; and the Authority shall decide whether to modify the abstract accordingly. Where the Authority modifies the abstract, it shall notify the modification to the International Bureau.

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9 ADNo Gravatar December 11, 2009 at 10:32 am

The question I had on a Dec 2009 (test just taken) was that the practitioner was “dis-satisfied” with the abstract established by the ISA:

And following the question had “what can the practitioner do”

The answer amongst the selections included the phrasing: “within 1 month” the practitioner can submit comments on the abstract.

The other answer that I almost selected dealt with amendments under Article 19 (or something like that) which allows amendments to be entered for the specification.

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10 RodneyNo Gravatar January 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm

I got this question today on my exam. It asked what applicant could do about the supplied abstract. My answer was submit a reply within 1 month.

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11 VeNo Gravatar January 27, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Got this one today. The abstract was supplied by the ISA and the applicant didn’t think it properly conveyed the disclosure. The question asked what could the applicant do: I chose “reply within 1 month”

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12 OxfordNo Gravatar February 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Same as Ve above. Applicant can comment on the supplied abstract within one month of receipt of the abstract from ISA.

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13 BrandonNo Gravatar February 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Same as Oxford and Ve. Though, my answer also included the phrase “and ISA may or may not amend the abstract”. That made me nervous b/c I couldn’t find direct support for that statement, but could kind of infer it from the MPEP sections discussed above. Anyways, I chose “applicant can comment w/in 1 month, and ISA may or may not amend”, and passed.

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14 BigbadvoododaddyNo Gravatar July 2, 2011 at 2:41 pm

May or may not accept the modifications are found in rule 38.3 of PCT,
MPEP section 1844.01 – hence that choice is also CORRECT

15 AngelaNo Gravatar February 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Many ppl have reported that PCT is heavily tested. But I didn’t see much questions from old exams. I am wondering what kind of questions on PCT are tested during the exam. Any information would be very helpful.

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16 SoonrealsoonNo Gravatar February 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Angela,

I wouldn’t say PCT is heavily tested as 700 or 2100. It’s just about the same emphasis as 1200. Anyways.
I took it a week ago. Know these,

-Important dates : priority deadline, national stage..etc
-Many questions on US/RO: know things like if US is the only RO one of the inventor must be citizen/resident. If you claim priority on national app. then no need for certified copy. etc
-Requirements for filing date, IA filing, national stage, priority claim.
: know what happens in case of omission. or translation
-Japan 45 days crap: not really PCT material, since its on 700
-know AIPA prior art date.
-I saw Paris convention problem.. cant remember exactly but…i managed to search it.

my tip is that many of the problems are written as if it’s a PCT problem, but some of them are, in the end, just another form/power’o’attorney etc problem.
I wouldn’t spend too much time reading the whole 1800 chapter, just read through PCT rules (not that long). That way you can search when you can’t remember. Definitely, read all PCT problems in this website and study them.(not just knowing the answer)

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17 AngelaNo Gravatar February 16, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Soonrealsoon,

Thank you so much for the information! This is extremely helpful since I had no idea how to study PCT before today. I will read PCT rules as well.

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18 maggieNo Gravatar August 29, 2011 at 11:05 am

Great idea to read PCT RULES

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19 maggieNo Gravatar August 29, 2011 at 11:13 am

Some PCT Q’s I got 8/24/2011
(1) PCT Amendment Q: 3 months after Chapter I what can you modify options – Answer spec claims drawings?
(2) PCT National Stage Q: Date to enter national stage –> answer choices  20 months, 26 months, 30 months and 36 months.30 months from priority dates
(3) PCT What is need to enter National Stage at 30 months deadline–> Money and Copy of Patent.
(4) Can USPTO be the Receiving office for a PCT (corporation) was a US national/applicant. 2 Mexican inventors, 1 US national, application in Spanish lang. -answer I choose was the receiving office because it will give a fling date from USPTO then be forward to IB after for lang problem. 
(5) PCT perfecting foreign priority with dates — answer options choose correct date (latest 4 months from PCT filing  OR 16 months from priority filing date)

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20 DannyNo Gravatar September 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Where do i find these PCT rules? the whole 1800 talks about PCT? anyone else have suggestions on brushing up on PCT and appeals considering that ppl say these have become much more tested now.

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21 maggieNo Gravatar September 14, 2011 at 12:24 am

Google for “MPEP consolidated rules” you will get a PDF doc they are in there.

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22 MaggieNo Gravatar October 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Sorry Appendix T is the one that is most comprehensive for PCT Rules

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23 maggieNo Gravatar November 15, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Reported New Abstract Q on Exam:

What is the right of the applicant after ISA rewrites the abstract of International appl.?”
Answer agreed on: Applicant may file amendment or comments to the change within 30 days of mailing of ISA documents to the applicant, in return the ISA may or may not enter the amendment.

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