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18 - Acceptance of Delayed Payment of a Maintenance Fee After Expiration of the Patent Based on Unavoidable Delay

Deciding Office: The Office of Petitions

The criteria for a Petition related to Acceptance of Delayed Payment of a Maintenance Fee After Expiration of the Patent Based on Unavoidable Delay is set forth in 37 CFR 1.378(b).

In general, these are the steps to follow for filing a for a Petition related to Acceptance of Delayed Payment of a Maintenance Fee After Expiration of the Patent Based on Unavoidable Delay:

  • A Petition related to Acceptance of Delayed Payment of a Maintenance Fee After Expiration of the Patent Based on Unavoidable Delay under 37 CFR 1.378(b) must include: (1) a showing that the delay was unavoidable since reasonable care was taken to ensure that the maintenance fee would be paid timely and that the petition was filed promptly after the patentee was notified of, or otherwise became aware of, the expiration of the patent; (2) payment of the appropriate maintenance fee set forth under 37 CFR 1.20(e)-(g); and (3) payment of the surcharge set forth in 37 CFR 1.20(i)(2).

Fees:

  • For the proper petition fee required for a Petition related to Acceptance of Delayed Payment of a Maintenance Fee After Expiration of the Patent Based on Unavoidable Delay, please consult the Current USPTO Fee Schedule on the Fee Information Page for codes:
    • Due at 3.5 years, 1551/2551/3551 (Large Entity/Small Entity/Micro Entity);
    • Due at 7.5 years, 1552/2552/3552 (Large Entity/Small Entity/Micro Entity);
    • Due at 11.5 years, 1553/2553/3553(Large Entity/Small Entity/Micro Entity);
    • Surcharge after expiration - Late payment is unavoidable, 1557/2557/3557 (Large Entity/Small Entity/Micro Entity) under the Patent Petition Fees.

How to File:

For the relevant patent laws and rules applicable to for Petitions related to Acceptance of Delayed Payment of a Maintenance Fee After Expiration of the Patent Based on Unavoidable Delay, please see:

  • 37 CFR 1.17, Patent application and reexamination processing fees
  • 37 CFR 1.378, Acceptance of delayed payment of maintenance fee in expired patent to reinstate patent.; 
  • MPEP Chapter 2500, Maintenance Fees; and
  • MPEP § 2590, Acceptance of Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in Expired Patent to Reinstate Patent.

Forms:

The following form is available:  Petition Form PTO/SB/65.


For further assistance, please contact the Petitions Help Desk between 8:30 AM - 5 PM (EDT).

United States Patent and Trademark Office
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Last Modified: 10/23/2013 11:37:06 AM