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Date Published

A letter from an applicant or its patent attorney stating that an application will not be further processed, or that the applicant no longer intends to proceed with the application, is not a proper request to withdraw the application. Where the Office receives such a letter, the application will remain in force until it lapses, for example through the failure to pay a continuation fee. Until the application lapses, miscellaneous official actions not requiring any prescribed fee, such as publication under sec 54(3), the issue of a further report where amendments have been filed or acceptance where a clear report has been issued, will continue to take place. However, examiners should not issue a first examination report on such cases, or issue a first report pursuant to a voluntary request to amend under sec 104, before the continuation fee becomes due, even though a request for examination or a sec 104 request to amend has been filed. Instead, the supervising examiner is to write to the applicant acknowledging receipt of the letter and stating that no action will be taken in relation to the examination or amendment request unless and until the continuation fee is paid. If the continuation fee is paid on or before it is due, normal processing of the application is resumed, otherwise the application will lapse.

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