WHIPgroup successfully used the Pre-Appeal procedure to obtain allowance without the need for filing an RCE or Appeal Brief. The invention relates to a covering for a dilation tool that can be used in endoscopic surgery. The claims were rejected as obvious over three prior art references. Upon receiving the Final Office Action, WHIPgroup filed a Pre-Appeal Brief arguing that the references discouraged the hypothetical combination, which would require improper redesign and hindsight. After reviewing the Pre-Appeal Brief, the Examiner informed WHIPgroup that three of the independent claims were in condition for allowance, and that the remaining two independent claims would be allowable with an Examiner’s Amendment. The case has received a Notice Allowance and is expected to issue as a patent shortly.
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