Over the past year, the USPTO has been a stickler for proper amendment practice. However, the Office has now waived certain requirements of 37 CFR 1.121(c) and may accept non-compliant amendments under 37 CFR 1.121(c) where the non-compliance is limited to:
1) The inclusion of text of a canceled claim, or a not entered claim, and
2) Use of certain variations of status identifiers in a claim listing.
Reasons for the waiver: Although the revised amendment practice has been in effect for over 18 months, the Office is apparently still receiving a large number of non-compliant amendments. Correction of the non-compliant items causes extra work for applicants, examiners and the Office’s Technical Support Staff, delays prosecution and increases pendency of applications. Upon review, the Office determined that some of the requirements of 37 CFR 1.121 are not essential and that waiver of certain provisions of 37 CFR 1.121 will still allow an examiner to clearly understand exactly what amendments have been made in an Image File Wrapper application. The Office will propose changes to 37 CFR 1.121 consistent with this notice in a rule making in due course.