Specifically, participating examiners may invite the applicant of an eligible application to participate in the pilot program, and the applicant may elect to accept or decline participation. To be eligible, the claims must raise both subject matter eligibility rejections and non-subject matter eligibility rejections, and the first Office Action on the merits must make both types of rejections.
For participating applications, the applicant must still file a reply to every Office Action, but the applicant has the choice to defer presenting arguments, evidence, or amendments in response to the subject matter eligibility rejection(s) until the earlier of final disposition of the application or the withdrawal or obviation of all other rejections. The applicant can no longer defer responding to any outstanding subject matter eligibility rejection(s) upon final disposition (e.g., after the mailing of a final Office action, filing of a notice of appeal, or filing of an RCE) or the withdrawal or obviation of all other outstanding rejections.
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