An applicant may file a request for a decision according to the state of the file at any stage during examination proceedings, provided that at least one communication in examination has been sent (see also C-V, 15.4). The request should be explicit and unambiguous, preferably using the wording "according to the state of the file" or "on the file as it stands".
If the request is not clear in this respect, the examiner should solve the ambiguity with an enquiry to the applicant.
A request for a decision according to the state of the file does not imply the withdrawal of a pending request for oral proceedings. Consequently, when filing a request for such a decision, it is recommended that the applicant also withdraws any pending request for oral proceedings (conditional or otherwise). If the applicant does not do so, the examiner will request him to clarify in writing that he withdraws his request for oral proceedings before a decision according to the state of the file can be issued.