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1128    Availability of Published Applications [R-07.2015]

37 CFR 1.14  Patent applications preserved in confidence.

  • (a) Confidentiality of patent application information. Patent applications that have not been published under 35 U.S.C. 122(b) are generally preserved in confidence pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 122(a). Information concerning the filing, pendency, or subject matter of an application for patent, including status information, and access to the application, will only be given to the public as set forth in § 1.11 or in this section.
    • (1) Records associated with patent applications (see paragraph (g) for international applications and paragraph (j) for international design applications) may be available in the following situations:
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      • (ii) Published abandoned applications. The file of an abandoned published application is available to the public as set forth in § 1.11(a). A copy of the application-as-filed, the file contents of the published application, or a specific document in the file of the published application may be provided to any person upon request, and payment of the appropriate fee set forth in § 1.19(b).
      • (iii) Published pending applications. A copy of the application-as-filed, the file contents of the application, or a specific document in the file of a pending published application may be provided to any person upon request, and payment of the appropriate fee set forth in § 1.19(b). If a redacted copy of the application was used for the patent application publication, the copy of the specification, drawings, and papers may be limited to a redacted copy. The Office will not provide access to the paper file of a pending application that has been published, except as provided in paragraph (c) or (i) of this section.

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  • (b) Electronic access to an application. Where a copy of the application file or access to the application may be made available pursuant to this section, the Office may at its discretion provide access to only an electronic copy of the specification, drawings, and file contents of the application.
I.ELECTRONIC ACCESS

Patent application publications are available electronically on the USPTO website (www.uspto.gov). Any member of the public may obtain status information concerning any published application via the Office’s Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system. See MPEP § 1730. Published applications that have been scanned into the Image File Wrapper (IFW) system may be available electronically via PAIR. See 37 CFR 1.14(b). Note that if a published patent application is pending and it is not maintained in the IFW system, the paper application file itself will not be available to the public for inspection. Only copies of the application file may be obtained pursuant to 37 CFR 1.14(a)(1)(iii). See MPEP § 103 for additional information pertaining to access to patent application files.

II.COPIES OF PUBLISHED APPLICATIONS

Any member of the public may submit a request under 37 CFR 1.14(a)(1)(ii) or (iii) and the fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.19(b) to the Office of Public Records or electronically on the USPTO website (www.uspto.gov) for:

  • (A) a copy of the complete file wrapper and contents of, or a copy of a specific paper in, any published application, provided that no redacted copy was timely submitted for publication; or
  • (B) an appropriately redacted copy of the file wrapper and contents of, or a copy of a specific paper in, any published application for which a redacted copy was timely submitted for publication.
III.STATUS INFORMATION

Any member of the public may obtain status information concerning any published application via the Office’s PAIR system or contact the File Information Unit (FIU). See MPEP § 1730. Status information is defined to include identification of whether the application has been published under 35 U.S.C. 122(b), as well as whether the application is pending, abandoned, or patented, and the application number. Status information may also be provided when the application is referred to by its application number in a U.S. patent application publication as well as a U.S. patent, an international publication of an international application under PCT Article 21(2), or a publication of an international registration under Hague Agreement Article 10(3) of an international design application designating the United States. The public may obtain continuity data for applications that have been published as a U.S. patent application publication or as a U.S. patent. See also MPEP § 102.

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Last Modified: 11/04/2015 11:01:43