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    Original Ninth Edition,

    March 2014

    USPTO Seal on the Title Page


    United States Patent and Trademark Office


    The paperbound format of the Manual was discontinued by the government printing office effective December 13, 2012. The Manual is available electronically in html and PDF renderings on the USPTO Web site at The Office also provides a search engine for searching the full text of the Manual at

    Most hyperlinks from the Manual to internal and external Web sites are active. For particularly long Web site addresses (URLs), an extra space has been added to the rendered text for readability (especially in the PDF rendering). Clicking on a hyperlink will direct the user to the referenced Web site because the reference link data in the source document includes the URL without the extra space; however, copying text that includes the extra space and thereafter pasting it in a browser will result in an error.

    Previous editions and revisions of the Manual are available from the MPEP Archives page on the USPTO Web site at


    Revision Date Indicator. Each section within an MPEP Chapter includes a revision date indicator, e.g., [R-11.2013]. The numbers within the bracket indicate the date the revision cycle for that section was completed, which would be November 2013 in the example above. Note that the publication date of the Manual as indicated on the title page and on the bottom of the PDF renderings may be later than the date the revision cycle was completed because of the time required for clearance processes.

    Express Mail. Effective July 28, 2013, the United States Postal Service (USPS) changed the name of “Express Mail” to “Priority Mail Express.” All characteristics of the “Priority Mail Express” service are the same as those of the former “Express Mail” service (although the mailing labels differ). References to “Express Mail” or “Express Mail from the USPS in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10 throughout this Manual should be construed as applicable to the “Priority Mail Express” service of the USPS on or after July 28, 2013.

    "Pre-AIA." Where the phrase "pre-AIA" is associated with a law or rule, it means that version which was in force before the date of the change necessitated by the AIA.

    Five Asterisks. The use of five asterisks in the body of the laws, rules, treaties, and administrative instructions indicates a portion of the law, rule, treaty, or administrative instruction which was not reproduced.

    First EditionNovember 1949
    Second EditionNovember 1953
    Third EditionNovember 1961
    Fourth EditionJune 1979
    Fifth EditionAugust 1983
    Sixth EditionJanuary 1995
    Seventh EditionJuly 1998
    Eighth EditionAugust 2001
    Ninth EditionMarch 2014[R-11.2013]
United States Patent and Trademark Office
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Last Modified: 03/27/2014 10:10:32