Shell Office Action Response – Time Saving Support


An office action is a formal written communication that outlines the concerns or rejections raised by the examiner regarding your application. Responding to an office action effectively is crucial to the success of your application. To streamline this process, many professionals use a shell office action response.
A shell office action response is a partially completed response to a USPTO office action that sets forth the general structure of the response but lacks legal and technical input including specific arguments or amendments. This article delves into the key components of creating an effective office action response shell.

Understanding Shell Office Action Responses

A shell office action response is essentially a framework or template that outlines the general response to a USPTO office action. It typically includes:

Introduction: A general statement of the response’s purpose and a summary of the office action being addressed.

Placeholder Sections: Spaces reserved for detailed arguments, amendments, or evidence, to be filled in later.

Best Practices for Using Shell Office Action Responses

  • Customization: Customize the shell response to address the specific issues raised in the office action. Avoid using a one-size-fits-all approach. Request the attorney to provide specific response shells (Restriction Requirement, non-Final & Final office actions)
  • Thorough Review: Conduct a meticulous review to ensure that all placeholder sections are completed, and that the response is free from errors or irrelevant content.
  • Compliance with USPTO Guidelines: Ensure that the shell response, as well as the final response, complies with all USPTO rules and guidelines.

Shell Office Action Response Package

The response filed by the applicant to an Office Action includes amended claims, newly added claims and arguments or remarks traversing rejections or objections made in an Office Action.

  • Response Shell – an office action response shell with your application information, caption, response, last submitted claim set, place holders for amendments to Specification and Drawings, and rejection bases
  • Office Action – an OCRed version of your office action, allowing you to quickly search the document for rejections, cited art and other key phrases
  • Cited Art – Downloaded PDFs of the art cited in your office action

Shell Office Action Advantages

An office action response shell offers several advantages:

  1. Efficiency and Consistency: A well-prepared response shell provides a structured template that can save time by outlining the required sections and content for addressing an office action.
  2. Time Savings: By leveraging an office action response shell, you can eliminate the need to start each response from scratch, fill in the bibliographic data, which significantly reduces the time and effort to prepare a comprehensive response to an office action.
  3. Uniformity: When multiple team members are involved in drafting responses, a shell ensures that the tone, structure, and content remain consistent across different submissions.


Shell office action responses are a valuable tool in the patent prosecution process at the USPTO, offering benefits in terms of efficiency and consistency. However, their use requires careful customization and review to effectively address the specific issues raised in an office action.

Legal professionals should approach the use of shell office action responses with a balance of efficiency and attention to detail, leveraging them as a starting point rather than a final solution.

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