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1124    Notice of Foreign Filing [R-08.2012]

35 U.S.C. 122   Confidential status of applications; publication of patent applications.

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  • (b) PUBLICATION.—

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  • (2) EXCEPTIONS.—

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  • (B)
    • (iii) An applicant who has made a request under clause (i) but who subsequently files, in a foreign country or under a multilateral international agreement specified in clause (i), an application directed to the invention disclosed in the application filed in the Patent and Trademark Office, shall notify the Director of such filing not later than 45 days after the date of the filing of such foreign or international application. A failure of the applicant to provide such notice within the prescribed period shall result in the application being regarded as abandoned, unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Director that the delay in submitting the notice was unintentional.
    • (iv) If an applicant rescinds a request made under clause (i) or notifies the Director that an application was filed in a foreign country or under a multilateral international agreement specified in clause (i), the application shall be published in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (1) on or as soon as is practical after the date that is specified in clause (i).

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37 C.F.R. 1.213   Nonpublication request.

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  • (c) If an applicant who has submitted a nonpublication request under paragraph (a) of this section subsequently files an application directed to the invention disclosed in the application in which the nonpublication request was submitted in another country, or under a multilateral international agreement, that requires publication of applications eighteen months after filing, the applicant must notify the Office of such filing within forty-five days after the date of the filing of such foreign or international application. The failure to timely notify the Office of the filing of such foreign or international application shall result in abandonment of the application in which the nonpublication request was submitted (35 U.S.C. 122(b)(2)(B)(iii)).

Applicants must timely file a notice of foreign filing to avoid abandonment of a U.S. application if:

  • (A) applicant filed a nonpublication request in the U.S. application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) (see MPEP § 1122);
  • (B) applicant subsequently filed a foreign or international application directed to the invention disclosed in the U.S. application in a foreign country, or under a multilateral international agreement, that requires publication of applications 18 months after filing (foreign filing or counterpart application); and
  • (C) applicant did not rescind the nonpublication request before filing the foreign or international application (see MPEP § 1123).

The notice of foreign filing must be filed not later than 45 days after the filing date of the counterpart application. The requirement for notice of foreign filing is set forth in 35 U.S.C. 122(b)(2)(B)(iii) which provides that an applicant who has made a nonpublication request under 35 U.S.C. 122(b)(2)(B)(i) in a U.S. application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) , but who subsequently files an application in a foreign country or under a multilateral international agreement that requires eighteen-month publication, must notify the USPTO of the foreign filing not later than forty-five days after the date of such foreign filing. Form PTO/SB/36 (revision April 2001 or later) may be used to both rescind a nonpublication request and provide notice of foreign filing. The form is reproduced in MPEP § 1135. 35 U.S.C. 122(b)(2)(B)(iii) further provides that failure of the applicant to provide the required notice within this forty-five (45) day period shall result in abandonment of the application. Accordingly, if at the time the foreign filing is made, the applicant still has an operative nonpublication request (i.e., the applicant has not rescinded the nonpublication request), a notice of foreign filing must be made within 45 days of the foreign filing or the U.S. application with the nonpublication request will become abandoned.

Since the notice of foreign filing is required by the statute, the benefit of a certificate of mailing or transmission under 37 CFR 1.8 will be given to a notice of foreign filing. See 37 CFR 1.8(a). Form PTO/SB/36 includes a certificate of mailing. If the end of the 45 day period falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia, a notice of foreign filing filed on the next succeeding secular or business day is timely. See 35 U.S.C. 21(b).

After either a rescission of a nonpublication request or a notice of foreign filing is received by the Office, the Office will enter the rescission or notice of foreign filing into the Office Pre-Examination System to schedule the application for publication. A notice (e.g., a “Notice Regarding Rescission Of Nonpublication Request and Notice of Foreign Filing”) should be sent to inform the applicant of the projected publication date. The application will be published promptly after the expiration of a period of 18 months from the earliest filing date for which a benefit is sought under title 35, United States Code, or as soon as practicable after mailing this notice. See 35 U.S.C. 122(b)(2)(B)(iv).

  ABANDONMENT FOR FAILURE TO PROVIDE TIMELY NOTICE

37 C.F.R. 1.137   Revival of abandoned application, terminated reexamination proceeding, or lapsed patent

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  • (b) Unintentional. If the delay in reply by applicant or patent owner was unintentional, a petition may be filed pursuant to this paragraph to revive an abandoned application, a reexamination proceeding terminated under §§ 1.550(d) or 1.957(b) or (c), or a lapsed patent. A grantable petition pursuant to this paragraph must be accompanied by:
  • (c) Reply. In a nonprovisional application abandoned for failure to prosecute, the required reply may be met by the filing of a continuing application. In a nonprovisional utility or plant application filed on or after June 8, 1995, and abandoned for failure to prosecute, the required reply may also be met by the filing of a request for continued examination in compliance with § 1.114. In an application or patent, abandoned or lapsed for failure to pay the issue fee or any portion thereof, the required reply must include payment of the issue fee or any outstanding balance. In an application, abandoned for failure to pay the publication fee, the required reply must include payment of the publication fee.

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  • (f) Abandonment for failure to notify the Office of a foreign filing: A nonprovisional application abandoned pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 122(b)(2)(B)(iii) for failure to timely notify the Office of the filing of an application in a foreign country or under a multinational treaty that requires publication of applications eighteen months after filing, may be revived only pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section. The reply requirement of paragraph (c) of this section is met by the notification of such filing in a foreign country or under a multinational treaty, but the filing of a petition under this section will not operate to stay any period for reply that may be running against the application.

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35 U.S.C. 122(b)(2)(B)(iii) provides that failure of the applicant to provide the required notice of foreign filing within 45 days of the subsequent filing of a counterpart application shall result in abandonment of the application. When an application is abandoned by the operation of 35 U.S.C. 122(b)(2)(B)(iii), applicant’s sole remedy to restore the application to pending status is by filing a petition under 37 CFR 1.137(b) to revive the abandoned application on the basis of unintentional delay, and not on the basis of unavoidable delay. See 37 CFR 1.137(f). By statute, such a petition to revive requires payment of the petition fee specified in 37 CFR 1.17(m) (35 U.S.C. 41(a)(7)), and that the delay in submitting the notice of foreign filing was unintentional. Form PTO/SB/64a may be used for such a petition to revive. See also MPEP § 711.03(c). In addition, if, after filing a counterpart application, an applicant merely rescinds a nonpublication request but does not file a notice of foreign filing within forty-five days of the subsequent filing of a counterpart application, applicant must file a petition under 37 CFR 1.137(b) to revive the abandoned U.S. application (37 CFR 1.137(f)).

Abandonment occurs by operation of the statute, and the Office is unlikely to recognize when applicant has filed a counterpart application in a foreign country or under a multilateral agreement contrary to their certification to the Office. The Office would not be able to change the status of the application from pending to abandoned in the PALM system and send applicant a notice of abandonment. As a result, if applicant failed to file a notice of foreign filing when it was required, prosecution of the application will continue and the application may issue as a patent, even though the application has become abandoned by operation of the statute. Applicants who determine that a required notice of foreign filing was not timely provided should promptly file a petition to revive under 37 CFR 1.137(b). See 37 CFR 1.137(f). The reply requirement of 37 CFR 1.137(c) is met by the notification of the filing in a foreign country or under a multinational treaty, but the filing of a petition to revive will not operate to stay any period for reply that may be running against the application.

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Last Modified: 03/27/2014 10:10:32