Question #37 from the April 2003 (AM) exam is in the Prometric database.
37. Applicant properly appealed the primary examinerâ€™s final rejection of the claims to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (Board). Claims 1 to 10 were pending in the application. The examiner did not reject the subject matter of claims 7 to 10, but objected to these claims as being dependent on a rejected base claim. Claim 1 was the sole independent claim and the remaining claims, 2 through 10, were either directly or indirectly dependent thereon. After a thorough review of Appellantâ€™s brief and the examinerâ€™s answer, the Board affirmed the rejection of claims 1 to 6. In accordance with the USPTO rules and the procedures set forth in the MPEP, which of the following is the appropriate action for the examiner to take upon return of the application to his jurisdiction when the time for appellant to take further action under 37 CFR 1.197 has expired?
(A) Abandon the application since the Board affirmed the rejection of independent claim 1.
(B) Convert the dependent claims 7 to 10 into independent form by examinerâ€™s amendment, cancel claims 1 to 6, and allow the application.
(C) Mail an Office action to applicant setting a 1-month time limit in which the applicant may rewrite dependent claims 7 to 10 in independent form. If no timely reply is received, the examiner should amend the objected to claims, 7 to 10, and allow the application.
(D) Mail an Office action to applicant with a new rejection of claims 7 to 10 based on the Boardâ€™s decision.
(E) No action should be taken by the examiner since the Board affirmed the rejection of independent claim 1, the application was abandoned on the date the Board decision was mailed.
ANSWER: (A) is the most correct answer. MPEP Â§ 1214.06, under the heading â€śExaminer Sustained in Whole or in Part.â€ť Under the heading â€śNo Claims Stand Allowedâ€ť it states â€śClaims indicated as allowable prior to appeal except for their dependency from rejected claims will be treated as if they were rejected.â€ť (B) and (C) are not the most correct answers. These options would apply to applications where the Board reversed the rejection of the dependent claims and affirmed the rejection of the independent claim. (D) is not correct. The Board does not render a decision on objected to claims. See 37 CFR Â§ 1.191(c). (E) is not correct because the mailing of a Board decision does not abandoned an application. See 37 CFR Â§ 1.197(a).