When a Notice of Allowance (NOA) is received by the Applicant, it means that a patent application will no longer be reviewed by the examiner and it is entitled to the patent under the law. In other words, an application is about to be issued after the prosecution phase.
However, the NOA may have errors or data missing, failing to correct them at this critical stage may impact the quality and the enforceability of the patent. Depending on the severity of the issue, an RCE may need to be filed to make necessary corrections or even defer or withdraw patent from being issued by filing a petition. Once the patent is issued the chances of correcting these errors get drastically reduced.
Once the NOA has been issued by the patent office, an applicant will have three months to pay the issue fee during which the application should be reviewed thoroughly to ensure correct.
Collating a series of checkpoints at the NOA stage with reference to various critical fields in the Image File Wrapper (IFW) before paying the issue fee, is very important.