This week, I interviewed an Examiner and filed a response to a non-final Office Action. The next day, I found out that another person in my office filed his own response to the same non-final Office Action. My first reaction was, "Ugh. Why." Then I was like, "Ok, what do I do about this."
As I do every time I don't know what to do, I skimmed through the MPEP. But MPEP didn't really have what I needed, so I called the Examiner. He told me to call customer service at USPTO. Normally, I don't like calling customer service because I'm never really sure if they're giving me the right answer. But the Examiner did tell me to call so I did. (For once, I didn't have to wait like 30 minutes, so I didn't really mind.) Funny though, because when I spoke to a customer service representative, he told me that I should call the Examiner. (Good ol' talk to this guy, no, talk to that guy game).
Well, calling the Examiner back wasn't a bad idea because he's the one examining this application, so I was happy to go with whatever he wanted to do. So here's the rule when there is no rule:
Ask the Examiner and if whatever he or she says sounds reasonable to you, go with it.
And just for good measure, here's another rule: Write down (make it look all official) whatever you discussed with the Examiner and submit it as a transmittal letter. This is good to do so that the Examiner can't come back later and say, "Hey, we never discussed this, or whatever." Also, it makes you look like you know what you're doing. Sort of. Fake it 'til you make it. Don't worry. Everyone does it.
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