Patent-Application Amendment After Allowance Law and Legal Definition

A patent application modification can be made before or after the first examination by the examiner. An amendment to the patent application after allowance refers to the modification or amendment submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) after the PTO has mailed notice of a patent application's approval. An amendment of a patent application after allowance is also termed as 312 amendment or Rule 312 amendment. Prosecution of the application shall be closed on the merits after a notice of allowance has been mailed. Also, the entry of any amendment shall be within the discretion of the patent examiner.

Modifications after allowance usually address matters relating to an amendment to the specification or claims, a change in the drawings or the list of inventors, and the submission of prior art. Generally, the PTO approves modifications which merely correct formal matters in the specification or drawings, change the claims without changing their scope, or cancel a claim. However, modifications or amendments that are of greater significance require approval of the supervisory examiner under policies established by the group director.