706.07(a) discusses the fact that an action cannot be made final if a new ground of rejection is not necessitated by amendment and/or Applicant's IDS. However, it provides no information pertaining to what actually constitutes a new ground of rejection. The MPEP Appeal section; however, 1207.03(a), provides substantive guidance on what constitutes a 'new rejection' in an Examiner's Answer which appears also to be applicable to determining when a ground of rejection is 'new' pertaining to Office actions during prosecution (pre-appeal). I believe it would be greatly helpful to examiners if 706.07(a) were amended to provide a detailed explanation of what constitutes a new ground of rejection. In lieu of a detailed explanation, if applicable, 706.07(a) could possibly refer examiners to section 1207.03(a) for guidance on determining when a rejection is a 'new ground' of rejection.
Idea No. 156