After a 2.5 year wait the patent office has finally responded to my patent application with an election restriction.
While writing the application with my lawyer, it was obvious from the beginning that there are three different inventions playing on the same physical principals. This is especially true when the prior art is taken into consideration.
I have always wanted to proceed with claims 15 to 20 first. Filing a traverse isn't a good strategic choice, so this should be a very simple reply.
It would be fantastic if someone could just briefly tell me how to respond myself to this election restriction. There doesn't seem to be a return letter form in the email. A simple 'I choose invention 3 with claims 15-20' shouldn't cost 875$!!!!
EXCERPT FROM MY OFFICE ACTION LETTER:
- Restriction for examination purposes as indicated is proper because all these inventions listed in this action are independent or distinct for the reasons given above and there would be a serious search and/or examination burden if restriction were not required because one or more of the following reasons apply: (a) the inventions have acquired a separate status in the art in view of their different classification; (b) the inventions have acquired a separate status in the art due to their recognized divergent subject matter; (c) the inventions require a different field of search (e.g., searching different classes/subclasses or electronic resources, or employing different search strategies or search queries); Application/Control Number: 13/585,682 Art Unit: 4166 Page 3 (d) the prior art applicable to one invention would not likely be applicable to another invention; (e) the inventions are likely to raise different non-prior art issues under 35 U.S.C. 101 and-or 35 U.S.C. 112, first paragraph.
Applicant is advised that the reply to this requirement to be complete must include (i) an election of an invention to be examined even though the requirement may be traversed (37 CFR 1.143) and (ii) identification of the claims encompassing the elected invention. The election of an invention may be made with or without traverse. To reserve a right to petition, the election must be made with traverse. If the reply does not distinctly and specifically point out supposed errors in the restriction requirement, the election shall be treated as an election without traverse.
..so how do I reply? Submit some online form? Send them a letter? Or call the patent examiner with the phone # listed?