37 CFR 41.47: Oral hearing

Taken from the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 07.2022, Published February 2023

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41.47    Oral hearing.

  • (a) An oral hearing should be requested only in those circumstances in which appellant considers such a hearing necessary or desirable for a proper presentation of the appeal. An appeal decided on the briefs without an oral hearing will receive the same consideration by the Board as appeals decided after an oral hearing.
  • (b) If appellant desires an oral hearing, appellant must file, as a separate paper captioned "REQUEST FOR ORAL HEARING," a written request for such hearing accompanied by the fee set forth in § 41.20(b)(3) within two months from the date of the examiner’s answer or on the date of filing of a reply brief, whichever is earlier.
  • (c) If no request and fee for oral hearing have been timely filed by appellant as required by paragraph (b) of this section, the appeal will be assigned for consideration and decision on the briefs without an oral hearing.
  • (d) If appellant has complied with all the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, a date for the oral hearing will be set, and due notice thereof given to appellant. If an oral hearing is held, an oral argument may be presented by, or on behalf of, the primary examiner if considered desirable by either the primary examiner or the Board. A hearing will be held as stated in the notice, and oral argument will ordinarily be limited to twenty minutes for appellant and fifteen minutes for the primary examiner unless otherwise ordered.
  • (e)
    • (1) Appellant will argue first and may reserve time for rebuttal. At the oral hearing, appellant may only rely on Evidence that has been previously entered and considered by the primary examiner and present argument that has been relied upon in the brief or reply brief except as permitted by paragraph (e)(2) of this section. The primary examiner may only rely on argument and Evidence relied upon in an answer except as permitted by paragraph (e)(2) of this section.
    • (2) Upon a showing of good cause, appellant and/or the primary examiner may rely on a new argument based upon a recent relevant decision of either the Board or a Federal Court.
  • (f) Notwithstanding the submission of a request for oral hearing complying with this rule, if the Board decides that a hearing is not necessary, the Board will so notify appellant.
  • (g) Extensions of time under § 1.136(a) of this title for patent applications are not applicable to the time periods set forth in this section. See § 1.136(b) of this title for extensions of time to reply for patent applications and § 1.550(c) of this title for extensions of time to reply for ex parte reexamination proceedings.
[Added, 69 FR 49959, Aug. 12, 2004, effective Sept. 13, 2004; para. (b) revised and (e)(1) second and third sentences revised, 76 FR 72270, Nov. 22, 2011, effective Jan. 23, 2012]