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2668    Petition for Entry of Late Papers for Revival of Reexamination Proceeding [R-11.2013]

35 U.S.C. 41   Patent fees; patent and trademark search systems.

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  • (7) On filing each petition for the revival of an unintentionally abandoned application for a patent, for the unintentionally delayed payment of the fee for issuing each patent, or for an unintentionally delayed response by the patent owner in any reexamination proceeding, $1,620, unless the petition is filed under section section 133 or 151, in which case the fee shall be $540.

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35 U.S.C. 133   Time for prosecuting application.

Upon failure of the applicant to prosecute the application within six months after any action therein, of which notice has been given or mailed to the applicant, or within such shorter time, not less than thirty days, as fixed by the Director in such action, the application shall be regarded as abandoned by the parties thereto, unless it be shown to the satisfaction of the Director that such delay was unavoidable.

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

  • (a) Unavoidable. If the delay in reply by applicant or patent owner was unavoidable, a petition may be filed pursuant to this paragraph to revive an abandoned application, a reexamination prosecution terminated under §§ 1.550(d) or 1.957(b) or limited under § 1.957(c), or a lapsed patent. A grantable petition pursuant to this paragraph must be accompanied by:
    • (1) The reply required to the outstanding Office action or notice, unless previously filed;
    • (2) The petition fee as set forth in § 1.17(l);
    • (3) A showing to the satisfaction of the Director that the entire delay in filing the required reply from the due date for the reply until the filing of a grantable petition pursuant to this paragraph was unavoidable; and
    • (4) Any terminal disclaimer (and fee as set forth in § 1.20(d)) required pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section.
  • (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 prosecution terminated under §§ 1.550(d) or 1.957(b) or limited under § 1.957(c), or a lapsed patent. A grantable petition pursuant to this paragraph must be accompanied by:
    • (1) The reply required to the outstanding Office action or notice, unless previously filed;
    • (2) The petition fee as set forth in § 1.17(m);
    • (3) A statement that the entire delay in filing the required reply from the due date for the reply until the filing of a grantable petition pursuant to this paragraph was unintentional. The Director may require additional information where there is a question whether the delay was unintentional; and
    • (4) Any terminal disclaimer (and fee as set forth in § 1.20(d)) required pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section.

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  • (e) Request for reconsideration. Any request for reconsideration or review of a decision refusing to revive an abandoned application, a terminated or limited reexamination prosecution, or lapsed patent upon petition filed pursuant to this section, to be considered timely, must be filed within two months of the decision refusing to revive or within such time as set in the decision. Unless a decision indicates otherwise, this time period may be extended under:
    • (1) The provisions of § 1.136 for an abandoned application or lapsed patent;
    • (2) The provisions of § 1.550(c) for a terminated ex parte reexamination prosecution, where the ex parte reexamination was filed under § 1.510; or
    • (3) The provisions of § 1.956 for a terminated inter partes reexamination prosecution or an inter partes reexamination limited as to further prosecution, where the inter partes reexamination was filed under § 1.913.

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If the patent owner in an inter partes reexamination proceeding fails to file a timely and appropriate response to any Office action and no claims are allowable, then pursuant to 37 CFR 1.957(b), the prosecution of the reexamination proceeding is terminated, and a certificate under 37 CFR 1.997 is issued canceling all claims of the patent.

An inter partes reexamination prosecution terminated under 37 CFR 1.957(b) can be revived if the delay in response by the patent owner was unavoidable in accordance with 37 CFR 1.137(a), or unintentional in accordance with 37 CFR 1.137(b).

If the patent owner in an inter partes reexamination proceeding fails to file a timely and appropriate response to any Office action and at least one claim is allowable, then pursuant to 37 CFR 1.957(c), the proceeding continues but is limited to the claim(s) found allowable at the time of the failure to respond (i.e., in the Office action).

Rejected claims terminated under 37 CFR 1.957(c) can be revived if the delay in response by the patent owner was unavoidable in accordance with 37 CFR 1.137(a), or unintentional in accordance with 37 CFR 1.137(b).

All petitions in reexamination proceedings to accept late papers and revive will be decided in the Office of Patent Legal Administration (OPLA).

I.   PETITION BASED ON UNAVOIDABLE DELAY

The unavoidable delay provisions of 35 U.S.C. 133 are imported into, and are applicable to, reexamination proceedings by 35 U.S.C. 305 and 314. See In re Katrapat, 6 USPQ2d 1863 (Comm’r Pat. 1988). Accordingly, the Office will consider, in appropriate circumstances, a petition showing unavoidable delay under 37 CFR 1.137(a) where untimely papers are filed by the patent owner subsequent to the order for reexamination. Any such petition must provide an adequate showing of the cause of unavoidable delay, including the details of the circumstances surrounding the unavoidable delay and evidence to support the showing. Additionally, the petition must be accompanied by a proposed response to continue prosecution (unless it has been previously filed) and by the petition fee required by 37 CFR 1.17(l).

II.   PETITION BASED ON UNINTENTIONAL DELAY

The unintentional delay fee provisions of 35 U.S.C. 41(a)(7) are imported into, and are applicable to, any reexamination proceeding by Sec. 4605(a) of the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999. Accordingly, the Office will consider, in appropriate circumstances, a petition showing unintentional delay under 37 CFR 1.137(b) where untimely papers are filed by the patent owner subsequent to the order for reexamination. Any such petition must provide a verified statement that the delay was unintentional, a proposed response to continue prosecution (unless it has been previously filed), and the petition fee required by 37 CFR 1.17(m).

III.   RENEWED PETITION

Reconsideration may be requested of a decision dismissing or denying a petition under 37 CFR 1.137(a) or (b) to revive a terminated reexamination prosecution. The request for reconsideration must be submitted within one (1) month from the mail date of the decision for which reconsideration is requested. An extension of time may be requested only under 37 CFR 1.956; extensions of time under 37 CFR 1.136 are not available in reexamination proceedings. Any reconsideration request which is submitted should include a cover letter entitled “Renewed Petition under 37 CFR 1.137(a)” (for an “unavoidable” petition) or “Renewed Petition under 37 CFR 1.137(b)” (for an “unintentional” petition).

IV.   PETITION REQUIREMENTS

See also MPEP § 711.03(c), subsection III, for a detailed discussion of the requirements of petitions filed under 37 CFR 1.137(a) and 37 CFR 1.137(b).

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Last Modified: 03/27/2014 10:10:35