Request for Continued Examination. First established by the AIPA, RCEs enable a patent applicant to extend his or her efforts to obtain the patent after final rejection of the application by the examiner. By paying a fee and filing an RCE, an applicant can start over. There is no limit to the number of RCEs that an applicant can file. Like continuations, RCEs have been criticized for allowing applicants to wear down examiners, and for creating backlog at the USPTO. Notably, the patent bar resisted efforts by the USPTO to reform continuation and RCE abuse between 2007 and 2009.