Protests are made by member of public who thinks granting patent would be improper. Protests may be filed against a pending application or reissue and must specifically 1) identify application # or serial #, 2) contain a listing a evidence, 3) explain relevance of each evidence, 4) include a copy of each evidence (in English), and 5) provide certificate of service or duplicate copies to PTO.
- Must be prior to first of either: 1) mailing of Notice of Allowance or 2) 18 month publication date
- Within 2 months of announcement of filing of reissue application in OG (extension of time available)
- If after final Notice of Allowance or publication, service to applicant is all that can be done; PTO discards it
- One chance to submit protest
- Cannot participate in prosecution process after filing protest
- Cannot file additional papers unless they could not have been filed earlier
- Applicant typically has 1 month to reply if requested by examiner