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The best strategy is to file 1.116 amendments as soon as possible and have interviews, then file additional 1.116 amendments and, when appropriate, 1.132 declarations.
The change in order of examination of RCEs did not affect after final practice. Most attorneys request interviews after final rejections, file requests for reconsideration, possibly submit a 1.131 or 1.132 declaration, and if those fail, there are no alternatives but to file an RCE.
I think everyone favors filing an amendment or request for reconsideration after final to filing an RCE.
I think the PTO has directed examiner's to be fair and reasonable in allowing interviews after final rejections but they have made it almost impossible to reach an agreement on an amendment to overcome the rejection(s) because the examiners always say the amendment requires a further search or raises a new issue so you have to file an RCE to get the amendment entered (even if the examiner agrees that it overcomes the ...more »