MPEP Q & A 121: Times When a Request for Continuing Examination May be Proper

Times When a Request for Continuing Examination May be Proper


List 2 times when a request for continuing examination may be proper.


A request for continued examination may be proper when:

  • An Office action is a final rejection.
  • A Notice of Allowance has issued.
  • An Office action under Ex Parte Quayle (this is a legal proceeding, the details of which are not discussed in the MPEP) has occurred.
  • An application is under appeal by the Board of Appeals and Interferences.

Chapter Details:

The answer to this question can be found in chapter 700 of the MPEP. This chapter covers Examination of applications.

The answer is from the 9th Edition, Revision 07.2015. Depending on future changes to the MPEP, the question and answer may be applicable in later Editions or revisions.

Section Summary:

This question and answer comes from section 706.07(h) of the MPEP.  The following is a brief summary of section 706.07(h).

706.07(h) Request for Continued Examination (RCE) Practice

Filing a request for continued examination (RCE) provides a means for the applicant to continue with the prosecution of his or her application if prosecution becomes closed. Choosing an RCE is an alternative to filing a continuing application under 37 C.F.R. 1.53(b) or a CPA under 37 C.F.R. 1.53(d). This section covers RCE practice in detail.