WHIPgroup was again successful in using the Pre-Appeal program to overcome a final rejection. The examiner issued a Final Office Action with patentable subject matter and prior art rejections. The invention concerns a system for dispensing consumable products such as soap, stir sticks, and breakfast cereal, and can activate an alarm when consumption exceeds an authorized quantity. WHIPgroup overcame the patentable subject matter rejections by arguing that the programmed controller is a new machine eligible for patent protection. WHIPgroup also argued the prior failed to track how much product is left or an authorized quantity, and as a result did not address the problem of an unauthorized (e.g., counterfeit) product being used. A Pre-Appeal Panel was persuaded by WHIPgroup’s arguments and the rejections were withdrawn without the need for filing an Appeal Brief.
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