Customizing Office Action Response Shells

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Pro+ and Lite+ versions of ClaimMaster make it easy to convert your existing Office Actions responses into reusable Office Action response shell templates.  You can create as many templates as you’d like. For example, you can set up different Office Action response templates for different clients.

For example, let’s say you have a previous Office Action response that you’d like to convert into a shell template that can be re-used for all subsequent Office Action responses. You can use the following steps to turn your existing document into a new ClaimMaster shell template.

  1. Open Previous Office Action Response

    Open the Word document containing the response that will be used as the baseline document for generating the shell.

  2. Launch Template Wizard Tool

    From the ClaimMaster tab, click on the USPTO Office Actions, Shells, and Forms menu, then select Template wizard for Word shells

    template wizard start

    As a result, the following Template Wizard will open up on the right side of your screen.

    shell wizard window

  3. Select the Baseline Document To Use for the OA Shell

    At the top of the Template Wizard, you will have two buttons allowing you to convert either the currently open document or another document to a shell template. Since our open document is the desired OA response, click on the Convert the currently open Word document … button, although you can also select another document at this stage.

    oa shell document selection

  4. Name Your New Shell

    A window will open asking you to specify a new shell template name. Enter your new shell name (e.g., “OA Response (Non-Final) for Acme Corp.”) and specify the location of the original document, as shown below, then click the Save button.

    Shell location

    ClaimMaster will then save the specified Word document as a Word template and will also add it to the internal software list of available shell templates to use for OA responses and other documents. For example, when you open Shell Generation or Office Action Response tools., the newly configured template will be visible in the list of available templates.

    template list

  5. Customize the Content of the New Shell Template

    Now that you have a new shell template open, you should make adjustments to its content. We recommend that you remove any content specific to the past matter (e.g,, claims, prior arguments, etc. if your shell is an OA response), but keep or insert any boilerplate language that you’d like to keep reusing in the subsequent shells of this type. For example, you can add various sections for amendments to claims/specifications/drawings, as well as any standard case law for responding to 101/102/103 rejections that you’d like to reuse in your responses.

  6. Auto-Detect Basic Replacement Fields

    When ClaimMaster generates a shell document based on the specified template, it recreates the entire document with its contents and then proceed to replace any inserted replacement fields with their actual values obtained from the internal ClaimMaster database or from PAIR or PEDs. Replacement fields are just specific text keywords in brackets that will be replaced with data during shell generation. For the list and explanation of replacement fields, please read the Online Manual.

    At a minimum, consider inserting replacement fields for the document header (e.g., (e.g., Title, Examiner Name, Art Unit, Application No., etc.). The Shell Wizard can auto-detect and insert such replacement fields as part of the shell creation process. ClaimMaster will use bibliographic information obtained from PEDs or PAIR to detect these fields’s locations in your existing documents, making shell creation fast and intuitive. To auto-detect fields, press the “Detect the replacement fields…” button:


    As a result, ClaimMaster will attempt to detect and insert and appropriate replacement fields in your document, as shown below:
    office action wizard

  7. Insert Additional Replacement Fields

    In addition, there are many other replacement fields related to the OA content (e.g., list of 102 or 103 rejections), claims, attorney/firm data, and other information that could be inserted into each shell template.

    In the open Template Wizard, you’ll see a list of the available replacement fields with their corresponding explanations.  To insert the field into the document, simply select any one of the fields and then click the purple Insert the selected field/gallery button to insert the field in the open shell document at the current cursor location in the shell document. Alternatively, you can just type the fields directly into the document

    replacement fields

    When you are done making all of the required edits to the shell document, make sure to save and close it. You can now access the shell from the Shell Generation or the Office Action Response tools.

For more information on this feature, check out the Online Manual.