|← MPEP 2186||↑ MPEP 2100|
Unreasonable and undue delay in prosecution will lead to rejection of claims under a theory that the applicant has forfeited his right to a patent under the doctrine of prosecution history laches. In re Bogese, 303 F.3d 1362, 1369, 64 USPQ2d 1448, 1453 (Fed. Cir. 2002) (Applicant "filed twelve continuation applications over an eight-year period and did not substantively advance prosecution when required and given an opportunity to do so by the PTO.").
While there are no firm guidelines for determining when laches is triggered, it applies only in egregious cases of unreasonable and unexplained delay in prosecution. For example, where there are "multiple examples of repetitive filings that demonstrate a pattern of unjustified delayed prosecution," laches may be triggered. Symbol Tech. Inc. v. Lemelson Med., Educ., & Research Found., 422 F.3d 1378, 1385, 76 USPQ2d 1354, 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2005).