We focus on drafting and filing Responses to Office Actions for utility patent applications. The refusal to grant claims because the subject matter as claimed is considered unpatentable is called a “rejection.” If the form of the claim (as distinguished from its substance) is improper, an “objection” is made.
An Office Action from the United States Patent and Trademark Office may state that claims of a patent application are rejected (not patentable) for various reasons. Typical rejections include the following:
An example of a matter of form as to which objection is made is dependency of a claim on a rejected claim, if the dependent claim is otherwise allowable. See MPEP § 608.01(n). The practical difference between a rejection and an objection is that a rejection, involving the merits of the claim, is subject to review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, while an objection, if persisted, may be reviewed only by way of petition to the Director of the USPTO.