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Patent Legal Administration

Patent Legal Administration services range from the drafting of regulations and development of policies for the examination of patent applications through the implementation of these new regulations and practices.  Rule packages, Official Gazette notices, collection and review of public comments, examiner training, forms, and public guidance are among the services provided in this area.   The Office of Patent Legal Administration (OPLA) operates within the Office of Patent Examination Policy.

To see a more comprehensive listing of services learn more about the organization and operation of OPLA please see the OPLA page.


There are currently no announcements or upcoming events for patent legal administration.

 <  See Patent Examination Policy Announcements.

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faqCan OPLA give me legal advice on the matter about which I am calling, or help me with my prosecution strategy?

No.  OPLA staff cannot advise the public about how to proceed on specific matters.  However, OPLA can explain general patent application procedures and discuss patent rules and policy. 

faqI have a question about patent application procedure. How can I get it answered?

Before calling OPLA, we recommend searching the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP).   Searching the Federal Register and Official Gazette is also useful.    If you still have a question after these preliminary searches please call OPLA at 571-272-7701.

To better assist you please call the following numbers if your question concerns:

AIA 1-855-HELP-AIA or email at
PCT 571-272-4300
Petitions 571-272-3282
E-Filing (Electronic Business Center) 1-866-217-9197 (toll free)
571-272-4100 (local)
Independent Inventor 1-800-786-9199 (toll free)
571-272-1000 (local)

faqIf I have general questions on how to file a patent application what number do I call?

For general questions on how to file a patent application, types of patent applications, forms and other general questions please call the Information Assistance Center (IAC)  at:

  • 800-PTO-9199 (800-786-9199) or 571-272-1000
  • TTY customers can dial 571-272-9950 for customer assistance.

faqI am an independent inventor where can I get more information on patents?

Visit our “Office of Innovation Development” website for detailed information:

faqWhen should I use the Patent Ombudsman Program?

The Patents Ombudsman Program is designed to enhance the USPTO’s ability to assist applicants with issues that arise during the patent application process. More specifically, when there is a breakdown in the normal prosecution process, the Ombudsman Program can assist in getting the process back on track. To request assistance from the Ombudsman Program, go to:

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OPLA staff answers questions drawn to more in depth queries and may be reached from Monday to Friday 8:30-5:00 Eastern time:

By Phone:

  • 571-272-7701 - General policy and procedures inquires
  • 571-272-7702 - Patent Term Adjustment inquiries
  • 571-272-7703 - Reexamination and reissue inquiries
  • 571-272-7704 - Special Issues inquiries

By E-mail:

  << PEP Contacts

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United States Patent and Trademark Office
This page is owned by Office of Patent Legal Administration.
Last Modified: 12/3/2013 7:03:52 PM