If the PTO has any issues with the application then an official issues. The applicant then has six months to submit a response to the application for further review. This process can occur several times before the application is either approved or definitively denied.
The applicant then has six months to submit a response to the application for further review.
Once the applicant has responded, the PTO examines the response to see if the issues it raised in the office action have been satisfactorily resolved.
If the PTO accepts the submitted response, then the application proceeds to publication. Otherwise, the application is rejected and the applicant has an additional opportunity to respond. After the first office action, the PTO can also issue a final denial of the application, in which case the applicant would have to appeal to the TTAB.
If the PTO is not satisfied with a response to an office action, it can either send it back to the applicant for an additional response or it can issue a final denial to the application.
Appeals are possible to the District Court, but they are rarely done, and even more rarely are they successful.
If the PTO issues a final denial of an application, the applicant can appeal to the TTAB.
If the PTO issues a final denial after an office action, the applicant can appeal the denial to the TTAB
If the appeal to the TTAB is successful, the application proceeds to publication.