But this ignores a peculiar feature of U.S. patent law: The Patent Office cannot actually reject any patent application. Oh, a patent examiner can issue a “rejection” letter, but the applicant can keep an application alive simply by filing a response. In turn, the patent examiner can then issue a “final rejection.” But this, too, is doublespeak: All the patent applicant has to do is file a “continuation” under one of several possible procedures in order to keep the patent application pending for as long as 20 years.
No way we could have foreseen that being a problem later on. No way I say.