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21 Filing Dates of Patent Applications

Deciding Office: The Office of Petitions

The criteria for Petitions Related to General Filing Date Matters are set forth in 37 CFR 1.53, MPEP § 506.02 and in 37 CFR 1.57, MPEP § 201.17

In general, these are the steps to follow for filing a Petition Related to General Filing Date Matters:

  • Petitioner should provide any arguments that he or she has that the items noted were not missing or that a filing date should be assigned in the absence of such items if they are believed to be unnecessary.

Fees:

  • For fees due, please consult the Current USPTO Fee Schedule on the Fee Information Page for codes 1462/262/3462 (Large Entity/Small Entity/Micro Entity) under the Patent Petition Fees;
  • If petitioner alleges that no defect exists, a request for refund of the petition fee may be included in the petition.

How to File:


The criteria for Petitions Concerning Application Filing Date Matters Arising from document that was delivered by the “Express Mail Post Office to Addressee” service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) are set forth in 37 CFR 1.10, MPEP § 506.02.

In general, these are the steps to follow for filing a Petition Concerning Application Filing Date Matters Arising from document that was delivered by the “Express Mail Post Office to Addressee” service of the United States Postal Service (USPS), under the provisions of 37 CFR 1.10:

  • Petitioner should note that under the provisions of 37 CFR 1.10(f) the Office may require additional evidence to determine whether the correspondence was deposited as “Express Mail” with the USPS on the date in question.

Fees:

  • There is no petition fee associated with the petitions filed under 37 CFR 1.10.

How to File:


37 CFR 1.10(c) applies where there is a discrepancy between the filing date accorded by the Office and the “date-in” entered by the USPS on the “Express Mail” mailing label or other official USPS notation

Such a petition should:

  • (A) be filed promptly after the person becomes aware that the Office has accorded, or will accord, a filing date other than the USPS deposit date;
  • (B) include a showing that the number of the “Express Mail” mailing label was placed on each piece of correspondence prior to the original mailing; and
  • (C) include a true copy of the “Express Mail” mailing label showing the “date-in” or other official notation by the USPS.

37 CFR 1.10(d) applies where the “date-in” is incorrectly entered by the USPS;

Such a petition should:

  • (A) be filed promptly after the person becomes aware that the Office has accorded, or will accord, a filing date based upon an incorrect entry by the USPS;
  • (B) include a showing that the number of the “Express Mail” mailing label was placed on each piece of correspondence prior to the original mailing; and
  • (C) include a showing that the correspondence was deposited as “Express Mail” prior to the last scheduled pickup on the requested filing date.

37 CFR 1.10(e) applies where correspondence deposited with the USPS as “Express Mail” is not received by the Office;

Such a petition should:

  • (A) be filed promptly after the person becomes aware that the Office has no evidence of receipt of the correspondence;
  • (B) include a showing that the number of the “Express Mail” mailing label was placed on each piece of correspondence prior to the original mailing;
  • (C) include a true copy of the originally deposited correspondence showing the number of the “Express Mail” mailing label thereon, a copy of any returned postcard receipt, a copy of the “Express Mail” mailing label showing the “date-in” or other official notation entered by the USPS; and
  • (D) include a statement, signed by the person who deposited the documents as “Express Mail” with the USPS, setting forth the date and time of deposit, and declaring that the copies of the correspondence, “Express Mail” mailing label, and returned postcard receipt accompanying the petition are true copies of the correspondence, mailing label and returned postcard receipt originally mailed or received.

37 CFR 1.10(g) applies where correspondence deposited with the USPS as "Express Mail" was returned by the USPS due to an interruption or emergency in "Express Mail" service.

Such a petition must:

  • (A) be filed promptly after the person becomes aware of the return of the correspondence;
  • (B) include a showing that the number of the "Express Mail" mailing label was placed on the paper(s) or fee(s) that constitute the correspondence prior to the original mailing by "Express Mail;"
  • (C) include the original correspondence or a copy of the original correspondence showing the number of the "Express Mail" mailing label thereon and a copy of the "Express Mail" mailing label showing the "date-in;" and
  • (D) include a statement which establishes, to the satisfaction of the Director, the original deposit of the correspondence and that the correspondence or the copy of the correspondence is the original correspondence or a true copy of the correspondence originally deposited with the USPS on the requested filing date.

Petition For Correspondence Refused Due To Postal Interruption Or Emergency

37 CFR 1.10(h) provides that any person who attempts to mail correspondence addressed as set out in 37 CFR 1.1(a) to the Office with sufficient postage utilizing the "Express Mail Post Office to Addressee" service of the USPS, but has the correspondence refused by an employee of the USPS due to an interruption or emergency in "Express Mail" service, may petition the Director to consider the correspondence as filed on a particular date in the Office.

Such a petition must:

  • (A) be filed promptly after the person becomes aware of the refusal of the correspondence;
  • (B) include a showing that the number of the "Express Mail" mailing label was placed on the paper(s) or fee(s) that constitute the correspondence prior to the attempted mailing by "Express Mail;"
  • (C) include the original correspondence or a copy of the original correspondence showing the number of the "Express Mail" mailing label thereon; and
  • (D) include a statement by the person who originally attempted to deposit the correspondence with the USPS which establishes, to the satisfaction of the Director, the original attempt to deposit the correspondence and that the correspondence or copy of the correspondence is the original correspondence or a true copy of the correspondence originally attempted to be deposited with the USPS on the requested filing date.

Petition For Correspondence Unable To Be Deposited Due To A Director-Designated Postal Interruption Or Emergency

37 CFR 1.10(i) provides that any person attempting to file correspondence by "Express Mail" that was unable to be deposited with the USPS due to an interruption or emergency in "Express Mail" service which has been so designated by the Director may petition the Director to consider such correspondence as filed on a particular date in the Office.

Such a petition must:

  • (A) be filed in a manner designated by the Director promptly after the person becomes aware of the designated interruption or emergency in "Express Mail" service;
  • (B) include the original correspondence or a copy of the original correspondence; and
  • (C) include a statement which establishes, to the satisfaction of the Director, that the correspondence would have been deposited with the USPS but for the designated interruption or emergency in "Express Mail" service, and that the correspondence or copy of the correspondence is the original correspondence or a true copy of the correspondence originally attempted to be deposited with the USPS on the requested filing date.

This procedure applies only when the Director designates an interruption or emergency in "Express Mail" service. In the notice designating the interruption or emergency the Director will provide guidance on the manner in which petitions under 37 CFR 1.10(i) should be filed. The notice will be placed on the USPTO Web site and published in the Official Gazette.

For the relevant patent laws and rules applicable to Filing Dates of Patent Applications, please see:

  • 37 CFR 1.53, Application number, filing date, and completion of application;
  • 37 CFR 1.10, Filing of Correspondence by "Express Mail"
  • MPEP § 506.02, Review of Refusal To Accord Filing Date;
  • MPEP § 513, Deposit as Express Mail with U.S. Postal Service;

Forms:

No form available.  Submit a signed request that includes information listed in Requirements of a Petition.


For additional information please see:

  • 37 CFR 1.53, Application number, filing date, and completion of application;
  • 37 CFR 1.57,Incorporation by reference;
  • 37 CFR 1.10, Filing of Correspondence by "Express Mail"
  • MPEP § 201.17, Incorporation by Reference Under 37 CFR 1.57(a);
  • MPEP § 506, Completeness of Original Application;
  • MPEP § 506.02, Review of Refusal To Accord Filing Date;
  • MPEP § 513, Deposit as Express Mail with U.S. Postal Service;
  • MPEP § 601.01(d), Application Filed Without All Pages of Specification ;
  • MPEP § 601.01(e), Nonprovisional Application Filed Without at Least One Claim;
  • MPEP § 601.01(f), Application Filed Without Drawings; and
  • MPEP § 601.01(g), Applications Filed Without All Figures of Drawings 

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 11:35:27 AM