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Rowan Prosecution Custom Template Capabilities
Rowan Prosecution Custom Template Capabilities

Details on what customizations can be applied to the Office action response shell using Rowan Prosecution (formerly SmartShell)

Dave Billmaier avatar
Written by Dave Billmaier
Updated over a week ago

Rowan prosecution comes pre-populated with several default templates that can be applied to the Office action response shell. 

However, Rowan prosecution also has the capability of managing and applying custom templates.  These templates can be configured to match your preferred:

  • fonts

  • section heading styles

  • headers, footers, and page layouts

  • boilerplate language, including separate boilerplate to be included with particular rejection or objection types

  • claims formatting, including indentation

  • and more...

Below is a detailed list of the customization capabilities and fields...

Claims Formatting

  • Font style, line spacing, indentation (including first-line vs. hanging indent, and further indentation for sub-elements in a claim), etc. are all customizable.

  • Claims formatting programmed into the template will override the format of the prior claims that are uploaded.

Rejection/Objection Statements

The issue types identified by Rowan prosecution are:

  • drawings

  • title

  • abstract

  • specification

  • 101

  • 102

  • 103

  • 112*

  • allowance

  • claims general (Rowan prosecution identifies that it’s about claims, but isn’t sure what about the claims is being objected)

  • double patenting

  • restriction

  • unknown (Rowan prosecution thinks it’s an issue, but doesn’t know what is being objected)

*112 rejections can be grouped into a single section, OR
112 rejections can be separated into 112(a) and 112(b).  In this case any other 112 subsections would go into the “unknown” or “other issues” section.

The template can have as many separate argument sections as you want, each with its own heading and boilerplate text. Each section can contain one or more issue types. If no relevant issue type appears in the Office Action, then the entire section will be omitted from the output shell.

You can choose whether (or how much) boilerplate language will be repeated if there are multiple issue statements of the same type. For instance, you might want:


<rejection1 text>
<rejection2 text>

<boilerplate text>

Or you might want:


<rejection1 text>

<boilerplate text>

<rejection2 text>

<boilerplate text>

This is fully customizable.

Optional ADVANCED setup with issue-statement parsing (works best for 102 and 103 rejections): 

Rowan prosecution can pull out certain information from rejections:

  • List of the claims that are rejected / objected to

  • Authority under which these claims were rejected (normalised to, e.g., “35 U.S.C. § 102”)

  • Long form citations: list of the cited art, copied verbatim from the issue statement, e.g., “Smith US12345 in view of Jones US23456”

  • Short form citations: list of what we think are the short-forms of each citation, e.g., “Smith in view of Jones”

This can allow you to create your own headings/sentences/paragraphs, like:

Rejection of Claims <claim numbers> under <authority>
Claims <claim numbers> were rejected under <authority> as being obvious over <long citations>. However, for the following reasons Applicant respectfully submits that <short citations> fails to teach or even suggest each element claimed in Claims <claim numbers>. <additional boilerplate language> Therefore, Applicant respectfully submits that Claims <claim numbers> are allowable over <short citations>.

which would come out looking like:

Rejection of Claims 1-5 under 35 U.S.C. § 103

Claims 1-5 were rejected under 35 U.S.C. § 103 as being obvious over Smith US12345 in view of Jones US23456. However, for the following reasons Applicant respectfully submits that Smith in view of Jones fails to teach or even suggest each element claimed in Claims 1-5.

<additional boilerplate language>

Therefore, Applicant respectfully submits that Claims 1-5 are allowable over Smith in view of Jones.

This can be used in various ways to provide issue summaries and shortened forms of the issue statements where needed. Claim numbers and rejection authority strings can be extracted from all rejection statements; citations can be extracted from 102 and 103 rejections. For objection statements (like objections to the claims/drawings/specification), and for some detailed rejections like double patenting rejections, we still recommend using the full quotation of the Examiner’s objection statement.

The full set of issue statements can be repeated as many times as you like within a single template document. This allows flexibility for, e.g., an Issue Summary section plus a section with boilerplate language included, or for you to insert your own client letter into the template to be run together with the shell. Each such section is fully customizable as described above.

There will always be a catch-all section in every issue section, which usually we call “Other Issues” but which can have whatever header you want. Any issues whose types are not specified in the other sections will appear there. This occurs in each issue section, even if there is more than one issue section in your template.

Response Sections

Certain sections can be automatically formatted as hidden text if there are no relevant issues. These can be:

  • drawings

  • specification

  • abstract

  • claims

  • As a special case, if there are abstract issues, then we will also keep all specification sections.

This feature is optional.

Additional Formatting Capabilities

Rowan prosecution templates are created from Word .docx files, and can carry through nearly all capabilities of the underlying file. Formatting, text styles, highlighting, headers & footers, page numbering, bookmarks, cross-reference fields, etc., are all fully supported.

Basic Fields

  • Rowan prosecution can fill in the following fields in a template:

  • appNum (string)

  • title (string)

  • firstApplicant (string)

  • numApplicants (number)

  • firstInventor (string)

  • numInventors (number)

  • artUnit (string)

  • confirmationNum (string)

  • docketNum (string)

  • filingDate (date)

  • sspMonths (number)

  • sspDate (date)

  • dropDeadDate (date)

  • examiner (string)

  • examinerLastName (string)

  • customerNum (string)

  • notificationDate (date)

  • finality (string: ‘non-final’, ‘final’ or ‘n/a’)

  • pendingClaims (string)

  • numPendingClaims (number)

  • independentClaims (string)

  • numIndependentClaims (number)

  • canceledClaims (string)

  • numCanceledClaims (number)

  • allowedClaims (string)

  • numAllowedClaims (number)

  • conditionallyAllowedClaims (string)

  • numConditionallyAllowedClaims (number)

  • withdrawnClaims (string)

  • numWithdrawnClaims (number)

  • rejectedClaims (string)

  • numRejectedClaims (number)

Rowan prosecution can perform simple logic with IF statements. For example:

  • Text that changes depending on whether the OA is final or non-final

  • Text (like “et al.”) that only appears if the number of inventors is plural

  • Provide correct grammar in certain sentences like “Claims 1 and 5 are independent claims” vs. “Claim 1 is an independent claim.”


  • Fields can have formatting applied to them:


    • all lowercase

    • Each Word Capitalized

    • First word capitalized, all others lowercase

  • Date formatting

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