2307.03 Suspension of Related Examinations [R-08.2017]
Although the examiner may not act in a patent or an application directly involved in an interference as set forth in 37 CFR 41.103, examination may continue in related cases, including any benefit files. Once examination is completed, the examiner should consult with an Interference Practice Specialist (IPS) to determine whether and how further action should proceed. The IPS may consult with the Board to determine whether the application claims would be barred in the event the applicant loses the interference.
Suspension may be necessary if the claims would be barred by a loss in the interference. Steps should be considered to minimize the effect of any patent term adjustment that would result from the suspension. For instance, the examiner could require restriction in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 121, of the application to only the claims that do not interfere so that they can be issued. The applicant may then file a divisional application with the interfering claims, which may be suspended.