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2532    Duplicate Payments [R-08.2012]

In the event a maintenance fee is submitted (hereafter, duplicate payment) in the required amount (including any necessary surcharge) within the payment window for the patent identified for payment, but the same maintenance fee for that patent was already paid by a previous fee submitter (hereafter, first fee submitter), the Office intends to treat the duplicate from the second fee submitter as follows:

  • (A) If the duplicate payment does not comply with 37 CFR 1.366(c) by not containing both the patent number and the corroborating application number, the Office will return the duplicate payment to the second fee submitter with an indication that the maintenance fee for the patent was already paid.
  • (B) If the duplicate payment does comply with 37 CFR 1.366(c) by containing both the patent number and the corroborating application number, the Office will verify that the first payment was properly processed.
    • (1) If the first payment was properly processed, the Office will return the duplicate payment to the second fee submitter. In this event the returned payment will be accompanied by identification of the first fee submitter.
    • (2) If a review of the Office record of the first maintenance fee payment reveals that the first payment was not properly processed (e.g., did not comply with 37 CFR 1.366(c) or was not specially accepted in accordance with MPEP § 2530), the Office will attempt to determine whether the first payment should have been applied to a patent other than the patent identified under 37 CFR 1.366(c) by the second fee submitter. Based on this determination the Office will: (a) attempt to apply the duplicate payment (and retract the first payment); or (b) return the duplicate payment to the second fee submitter with identification of the first fee submitter.

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Last Modified: 03/27/2014 10:10:34