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506    Completeness of Original Application [R-11.2013]

37 C.F.R. 1.53   Application number, filing date, and completion of application.

  • (a) Application number. Any papers received in the Patent and Trademark Office which purport to be an application for a patent will be assigned an application number for identification purposes.
  • (b) Application filing requirements - Nonprovisional application. The filing date of an application for patent filed under this section, except for a provisional application under paragraph (c) of this section or a continued prosecution application under paragraph (d) of this section, is the date on which a specification as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112 containing a description pursuant to § 1.71 and at least one claim pursuant to § 1.75, and any drawing required by § 1.81(a) are filed in the Patent and Trademark Office. No new matter may be introduced into an application after its filing date. A continuing application, which may be a continuation, divisional, or continuation-in-part application, may be filed under the conditions specified in 35 U.S.C. 120, 121 or 365(c) and § 1.78(c) and (d)
    • (1) A continuation or divisional application that names as inventors the same or fewer than all of the inventors named in the prior application may be filed under this paragraph or paragraph (d) of this section.
    • (2) A continuation-in-part application (which may disclose and claim subject matter not disclosed in the prior application) or a continuation or divisional application naming an inventor not named in the prior application must be filed under this paragraph.
  • (c) Application filing requirements - Provisional application. The filing date of a provisional application is the date on which a specification as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112(a), and any drawing required by § 1.81(a) are filed in the Patent and Trademark Office. No amendment, other than to make the provisional application comply with the patent statute and all applicable regulations, may be made to the provisional application after the filing date of the provisional application.
    • (1) A provisional application must also include the cover sheet required by § 1.51(c)(1), which may be an application data sheet (§ 1.76), or a cover letter identifying the application as a provisional application. Otherwise, the application will be treated as an application filed under paragraph (b) of this section.
    • (2) An application for patent filed under paragraph (b) of this section may be converted to a provisional application and be accorded the original filing date of the application filed under paragraph (b) of this section. The grant of such a request for conversion will not entitle applicant to a refund of the fees that were properly paid in the application filed under paragraph (b) of this section. Such a request for conversion must be accompanied by the processing fee set forth in § 1.17(q) and be filed prior to the earliest of:
      • (i) Abandonment of the application filed under paragraph (b) of this section;
      • (ii) Payment of the issue fee on the application filed under paragraph (b) of this section; or
      • (iii) Expiration of twelve months after the filing date of the application filed under paragraph (b) of this section.
      • (iv) The filing of a request for a statutory invention registration under § 1.293 in the application filed under paragraph (b) of this section.
    • (3) A provisional application filed under paragraph (c) of this section may be converted to a nonprovisional application filed under paragraph (b) of this section and accorded the original filing date of the provisional application. The conversion of a provisional application to a nonprovisional application will not result in either the refund of any fee properly paid in the provisional application or the application of any such fee to the filing fee, or any other fee, for the nonprovisional application. Conversion of a provisional application to a nonprovisional application under this paragraph will result in the term of any patent to issue from the application being measured from at least the filing date of the provisional application for which conversion is requested. Thus, applicants should consider avoiding this adverse patent term impact by filing a nonprovisional application claiming the benefit of the provisional application under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) (rather than converting the provisional application into a nonprovisional application pursuant to this paragraph). A request to convert a provisional application to a nonprovisional application must be accompanied by the fee set forth in § 1.17(i) and an amendment including at least one claim as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112(b), unless the provisional application under paragraph (c) of this section otherwise contains at least one claim as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112(b). The nonprovisional application resulting from conversion of a provisional application must also include the filing fee, search fee, and examination fee for a nonprovisional application, the inventor’s oath or declaration, and the surcharge required by § 1.16(f) if either the basic filing fee for a nonprovisional application or the inventor's oath or declaration was not present on the filing date accorded the resulting nonprovisional application (i.e., the filing date of the original provisional application). A request to convert a provisional application to a nonprovisional application must also be filed prior to the earliest of:
      • (i) andonment of the provisional application filed under paragraph (c) of this section; or
      • (ii) Expiration of twelve months after the filing date of the provisional application filed under paragraph (c) of this section.
    • (4) A provisional application is not entitled to the right of priority under 35 U.S.C. 119 or 365(a) or § 1.55, or to the benefit of an earlier filing date under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121 or 365(c) or § 1.78 of any other application. No claim for priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) or § 1.78(a) may be made in a design application based on a provisional application. The requirements of §§ 1.821 through 1.825 regarding application disclosures containing nucleotide and/or amino acid sequences are not mandatory for provisional applications.
  • (d) Application filing requirements - Continued prosecution (nonprovisional) application.
    • (1) A continuation or divisional application (but not a continuation-in-part) of a prior nonprovisional application may be filed as a continued prosecution application under this paragraph, provided that:
      • (i) The application is for a design patent;
      • (ii) The prior nonprovisional application is a design application that is complete as defined by § 1.51(b); and
      • (iii) The application under this paragraph is filed before the earliest of:
        • (A) Payment of the issue fee on the prior application, unless a petition under § 1.313(c) is granted in the prior application;
        • (B) Abandonment of the prior application; or
        • (C) Termination of proceedings on the prior application.
    • (2) The filing date of a continued prosecution application is the date on which a request on a separate paper for an application under this paragraph is filed. An application filed under this paragraph:
      • (i) Must identify the prior application;
      • (ii) Discloses and claims only subject matter disclosed in the prior application;
      • (iii) Names as inventors the same inventors named in the prior application on the date the application under this paragraph was filed, except as provided in paragraph (d)(4) of this section;
      • (iv) Includes the request for an application under this paragraph, will utilize the file jacket and contents of the prior application, including the specification, drawings and the inventor's oath or declaration from the prior application, to constitute the new application, and will be assigned the application number of the prior application for identification purposes; and
      • (v) Is a request to expressly abandon the prior application as of the filing date of the request for an application under this paragraph.
    • (3) The filing fee, search fee, and examination fee for a continued prosecution application filed under this paragraph are the basic filing fee as set forth in § 1.16(b), the search fee as set forth in § 1.16(l) , and the examination fee as set forth in § 1.16(p).
    • (4) An application filed under this paragraph may be filed by fewer than all the inventors named in the prior application, provided that the request for an application under this paragraph when filed is accompanied by a statement requesting deletion of the name or names of the person or persons who are not inventors of the invention being claimed in the new application. No person may be named as an inventor in an application filed under this paragraph who was not named as an inventor in the prior application on the date the application under this paragraph was filed, except by way of correction of inventorship under § 1.48.
    • (5) Any new change must be made in the form of an amendment to the prior application as it existed prior to the filing of an application under this paragraph. No amendment in an application under this paragraph (a continued prosecution application) may introduce new matter or matter that would have been new matter in the prior application. Any new specification filed with the request for an application under this paragraph will not be considered part of the original application papers, but will be treated as a substitute specification in accordance with § 1.125.
    • (6) The filing of a continued prosecution application under this paragraph will be construed to include a waiver of confidentiality by the applicant under 35 U.S.C. 122 to the extent that any member of the public, who is entitled under the provisions of § 1.14 to access to, copies of, or information concerning either the prior application or any continuing application filed under the provisions of this paragraph, may be given similar access to, copies of, or similar information concerning the other application or applications in the file jacket.
    • (7) A request for an application under this paragraph is the specific reference required by 35 U.S.C. 120 to every application assigned the application number identified in such request. No amendment in an application under this paragraph may delete this specific reference to any prior application.
    • (8) In addition to identifying the application number of the prior application, applicant should furnish in the request for an application under this paragraph the following information relating to the prior application to the best of his or her ability:
      • (i) Title of invention;
      • (ii) Name of applicant(s); and
      • (iii) Correspondence address.
    • (9) See § 1.103(b) for requesting a limited suspension of action in an application filed under this paragraph.
  • (e) Failure to meet filing date requirements.
    • (1) If an application deposited under paragraph (b), (c), or (d) of this section does not meet the requirements of such paragraph to be entitled to a filing date, applicant will be so notified, if a correspondence address has been provided, and given a period of time within which to correct the filing error. If, however, a request for an application under paragraph (d) of this section does not meet the requirements of that paragraph because the application in which the request was filed is not a design application, and if the application in which the request was filed was itself filed on or after June 8, 1995, the request for an application under paragraph (d) of this section will be treated as a request for continued examination under § 1.114.
    • (2) Any request for review of a notification pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section, or a notification that the original application papers lack a portion of the specification or drawing(s), must be by way of a petition pursuant to this paragraph accompanied by the fee set forth in § 1.17(f). In the absence of a timely (§ 1.181(f)) petition pursuant to this paragraph, the filing date of an application in which the applicant was notified of a filing error pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section will be the date the filing error is corrected.
    • (3) If an applicant is notified of a filing error pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section, but fails to correct the filing error within the given time period or otherwise timely (§ 1.181(f)) take action pursuant to this paragraph, proceedings in the application will be considered terminated. Where proceedings in an application are terminated pursuant to this paragraph, the application may be disposed of, and any filing fees, less the handling fee set forth in § 1.21(n), will be refunded.
  • (f) Completion of application subsequent to filing—Nonprovisional (including continued prosecution or reissue) application.
    • (1) If an application which has been accorded a filing date pursuant to paragraph (b) or (d) of this section does not include the basic filing fee, the search fee, or the examination fee, or if an application which has been accorded a filing date pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section does not include the inventor's oath or declaration (§ 1.63, § 1.64, § 1.162 or § 1.175), and the applicant has provided a correspondence address (§ 1.33(a)), the applicant will be notified and given a period of time within which to pay the basic filing fee, search fee, and examination fee, and pay the surcharge if required by § 1.16(f) to avoid abandonment.
    • (2) If an application which has been accorded a filing date pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section does not include the basic filing fee, the search fee, the examination fee, or the inventor's oath or declaration, and the applicant has not provided a correspondence address (§ 1.33(a)), the applicant has two months from the filing date of the application within which to pay the basic filing fee, search fee, and examination fee, and pay the surcharge required by § 1.16(f) to avoid abandonment.
    • (3) The inventor's oath or declaration in an application under § 1.53(b) must also be filed within the period specified in paragraph (f)(1) or (f)(2) of this section, except that the filing of the inventor's oath or declaration may be postponed until the application is otherwise in condition for allowance under the conditions specified in paragraphs (f)(3)(i) and (f)(3)(ii) of this section.
      • (i) The application must be an original (non-reissue) application that contains an application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76 identifying:
        • (A) Each inventor by his or her legal name;
        • (B) A mailing address where the inventor customarily receives mail, and residence, if an inventor lives at a location which is different from where the inventor customarily receives mail, for each inventor.
      • (ii) The applicant must file an oath or declaration in compliance with § 1.63, or a substitute statement in compliance with § 1.64, executed by or with respect to each actual inventor no later than the expiration of the time period set in the "Notice of Allowability" to avoid abandonment, when the applicant is notified in a "Notice of Allowability" that an application is otherwise in condition for allowance. The time period set in a "Notice of Allowability" is not extendable. See § 1.136(c). The Office may dispense with the notice provided for in paragraph (f)(1) of this section if an oath or declaration under § 1.63, or a substitute statement under § 1.64, executed by or with respect to each actual inventor has been filed before the application is in condition for allowance.
    • (4) If the excess claims fees required by § 1.16(h) and (i) and multiple dependent claim fee required by § 1.16(j) are not paid on filing or on later presentation of the claims for which the excess claims or multiple dependent claim fees are due, the fees required by § 1.16(h), (i) and (j) must be paid or the claims canceled by amendment prior to the expiration of the time period set for reply by the Office in any notice of fee deficiency. If the application size fee required by § 1.16(s) (if any) is not paid on filing or on later presentation of the amendment necessitating a fee or additional fee under § 1.16(s), the fee required by § 1.16(s) must be paid prior to the expiration of the time period set for reply by the Office in any notice of fee deficiency in order to avoid abandonment.
    • (5) This paragraph applies to continuation or divisional applications under paragraphs (b) or (d) of this section and to continuation-in-part applications under paragraph (b) of this section. See § 1.63(d) concerning the submission of a copy of the inventor's oath or declaration from the prior application for a continuing application under paragraph (b) of this section.
    • (6) If applicant does not pay the basic filing fee during the pendency of the application, the Office may dispose of the application.
  • (g) Completion of application subsequent to filing—Provisional application.
    • (1) If a provisional application which has been accorded a filing date pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section does not include the cover sheet required by § 1.51(c)(1) or the basic filing fee (§  1.16(d)), and applicant has provided a correspondence address (§ 1.33(a)), applicant will be notified and given a period of time within which to pay the basic filing fee, file a cover sheet (§ 1.51(c)(1)), and pay the surcharge required by § 1.16(g) to avoid abandonment.
    • (2) IIf a provisional application which has been accorded a filing date pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section does not include the cover sheet required by § 1.51(c)(1) or the basic filing fee (§  1.16(d)), and applicant has not provided a correspondence address (§ 1.33(a)), applicant has two months from the filing date of the application within which to pay the basic filing fee, file a cover sheet (§ 1.51(c)(1)), and pay the surcharge required by § 1.16(g) to avoid abandonment.
    • (3) If the application size fee required by § 1.16(s) (if any) is not paid on filing, the fee required by § 1.16(s) must be paid prior to the expiration of the time period set for reply by the Office in any notice of fee deficiency in order to avoid abandonment.
    • (4) If applicant does not pay the basic filing fee during the pendency of the application, the Office may dispose of the application.
  • (h) Subsequent treatment of application - Nonprovisional (including continued prosecution) application. An application for a patent filed under paragraphs (b) or (d) of this section will not be placed on the files for examination until all its required parts, complying with the rules relating thereto, are received, except that the inventor's oath or declaration may be filed when the application is otherwise in condition for allowance pursuant to paragraph (f)(3) of this section andminor informalities may be waived subject to subsequent correction whenever required.
  • (i) Subsequent treatment of application - Provisional application. A provisional application for a patent filed under paragraph (c) of this section will not be placed on the files for examination and will become abandoned no later than twelve months after its filing date pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 111(b)(1).

I.   INCOMPLETE NONPROVISIONAL APPLICATIONS FILED UNDER 37 CFR 1.53(b)

If the nonprovisional application papers filed under 37 CFR 1.53(b) do not include at least a specification containing a description and at least one claim and a drawing, if necessary under 35 U.S.C. 113 (first sentence), or if the submitted application papers are too informal to be given a filing date, the case is held in the Office of Patent Application Processing (OPAP) as an incomplete application and the applicant is informed of the shortcomings of the papers. No filing date is granted until the incompleteness is corrected.

A Notice of Incomplete Application is prepared and mailed by OPAP when nonprovisional application papers filed under 37 CFR 1.53(b) are deemed incomplete under 35 U.S.C. 111(a).

Such incompleteness may consist of the omission of any one of the following parts of an application. The component parts of a nonprovisional application filed under 37 CFR 1.53(b) necessary to obtain a filing date are:

A specification as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112 and 37 CFR 1.71.

A claim as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112 and 37 CFR 1.75.

A drawing, if necessary under 35 U.S.C. 113 (first sentence) and 37 CFR 1.81(a).

See 37 CFR 1.53(b).

Even though an application purports to include the component parts necessary to obtain a filing date, the application will still be held to be incomplete and a filing date will be refused if the component parts fail to satisfy the requirements set forth above.

For example, if the documents purporting to be a specification are so obviously informal and incoherent that they clearly do not constitute a specification as required by 35 U.S.C. 112 and 37 CFR 1.71, the application is not acceptable for examination and it will not be accorded a filing date until corrections are made. The filing date of the application will be the date the corrections are made.

Filing dates are accorded to nonprovisional applications filed under 37 CFR 1.53(b) submitted without the names of all the inventors, the required fees (basic filing fee, and search and examination fees (for applications filed on or after December 8, 2004)) and/or the inventor's oath or declaration. In such cases, a notice is mailed by OPAP requiring the appropriate fees, and for applications filed before September 16, 2012, the oath or declaration (which must include the names of all the inventors), accompanied by a surcharge (37 CFR 1.16(f)).

For applications filed on or after September 16, 2012 (except reissue applications), applicant may postpone filing the inventor’s oath or declaration until the application is in condition for allowance if an application data sheet (ADS) in compliance with 37 CFR 1.76 is filed identifying: (1) each inventor by his or her legal name; and (2) for each inventor, a mailing address where the inventor customarily receives mails, and residence, if the inventor lives at a location which is different from where the inventor customarily receives mail. See 37 CFR 1.53(f)(3). Applicant must file the inventor’s oath or declaration no later than the date on which the issue fee is paid. See 35 U.S.C. 115(f).

The Office has modified the missing parts practice for applications (other than reissue applications) filed on or after September 16, 2012. If an application under 37 CFR 1.53(b) filed on or after September 16, 2012, contains the applicable filing fees (basic filing fee, search fee, examination fee, any applicable excess claims fee, and any applicable application size fee), the surcharge required by 37 CFR 1.16(f), and a signed ADS providing the required inventor information, but does not include the inventor’s oath or declaration, the Office will not issue a Notice to File Missing Parts requiring the applicant to file the inventor’s oath or declaration. Instead, the Office may send an informational notice notifying the applicant that the inventor’s oath or declaration has not been received or that there are deficiencies in an inventor’s oath or declaration that was filed. If an application under 37 CFR 1.53(b) filed on or after September 16, 2012, that does not contain the inventor’s oath or declaration also does not contain the applicable filing fees, or the surcharge required by 37 CFR 1.16(f), or a signed ADS providing the inventor information, the Office will issue a Notice to File Missing Parts giving the applicant a time period (usually two months) within which to file the missing filing fees, the surcharge required by 37 CFR 1.16(f), and a signed ADS providing the inventor information (or the inventor’s oath or declaration) to avoid abandonment. If an application is in condition for allowance and the required inventor’s oath or declaration (an oath or declaration under 37 CFR 1.63, or a substitute statement under 37 CFR 1.64, executed by or with respect to each actual inventor) has not yet been filed, the Office will issue a notice with the Notice of Allowability requiring the inventor’s oath or declaration to be filed no later than the date on which the issue fee is paid.

For applications which have been accorded a filing date under 37 CFR 1.53(b), if any of the basic filing fee, the search fee, or the examination fee are paid on a date later than the filing date of the application, the surcharge under 37 CFR 1.16(f) is required. In addition to the basic filing fee, the search fee, and the examination fee, 37 CFR 1.16(s) sets forth the application size fee for any application (including any reissue applications) filed under 35 U.S.C. 111, the specification and drawings of which, excluding a sequence listing or computer program listing filed in an electronic medium (see 37 CFR 1.52(f)), exceed 100 sheets of paper. The application size fee applies for each additional 50 sheets or fraction thereof over 100 sheets of paper. Any sequence listing in an electronic medium in compliance with 37 CFR 1.52(e) and 37 CFR 1.821(c) or (e), and any computer program listing filed in an electronic medium in compliance with 37 CFR 1.52(e) and 1.96, will be excluded when determining the application size fee required by 37 CFR 1.16(s). The application size fee required by 37 CFR 1.16(s) must be paid prior to the expiration of the time period set for reply by the Office in any notice of fee deficiency in order to avoid abandonment (37 CFR 1.53(f)(3)). See MPEP § 607 for additional information regarding fees. In addition to the basic filing fee, the search fee, the examination fee, and the application size fee required under 37 CFR 1.16, the prescribed filing fee (37 CFR 1.51(b)(4)) may include additional fees for filing more than 3 independent claims (37 CFR 1.16(h)), for filing a total of more than 20 claims (37 CFR 1.16(i)), or for filing a multiple dependent claim (37 CFR 1.16(j)). In those cases where the basic filing fee, the search fee, the examination fee, and the application size fee are paid, but additional fees are required, under 37 CFR 1.16, a notice is mailed by OPAP or the Technology Center (TC), requiring that the balance of the prescribed fee be paid.

A nonprovisional application filed under 37 CFR 1.53(b) may be filed with a preliminary amendment which is limited to the cancellation of claims. Any preliminary amendment, regardless of when it is filed, must be in compliance with 37 CFR 1.121, e.g., it must include a complete listing of all of the claims. Therefore, the Office strongly recommends that applicants file their applications with a specification containing only the desired set of claims, rather than filing the application with a preliminary amendment canceling claims. If such a preliminary amendment canceling claims is filed, it will diminish the number of claims to be considered for calculation of the filing fee. Any other changes to the application should be the subject of a separate amendment which may be entered after the filing fee has been calculated and the filing date granted. If a preliminary amendment which cancels claims does not accompany the application at the time the application is filed, and there is a fee deficiency, the notification of insufficient fee will inform the inventor, attorney, or agent of the possibility of correcting the insufficient payment by either (1) paying the additional required fee amount, or (2) filing an amendment which cancels claims so that the remaining claims are covered by the fee submitted upon filing. However, no refund will be made once the fee for claims is properly paid, even though claims are later canceled, unless a petition for express abandonment under 37 CFR 1.138(d) is granted. See MPEP § 711.01.

A filing date is normally granted before a review of the subject matter claimed in a nonprovisional application. If a nonprovisional application filed under 37 CFR 1.53(b) appears sufficient, the application is forwarded to the examiner for consideration during the regular course of examination.

II.   INCOMPLETE PROVISIONAL APPLICATIONS

If the provisional application papers do not include at least a specification containing a description and a drawing, if necessary under 35 U.S.C. 113 (first sentence) or if the submitted application papers are too informal to be given a filing date, the case is held in OPAP as an incomplete application and the applicant is informed of the shortcomings of the papers. No filing date is granted until the incompleteness is corrected.

Such incompleteness may consist of the omission of any one of the following parts of an application. The component parts of a provisional application necessary to obtain a filing date are:

A specification as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112(a) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112, first paragraph, and 37 CFR 1.71.

A drawing, if necessary under 35 U.S.C. 113 (first sentence) and 37 CFR 1.81(a).

Even though an application purports to include the component parts necessary to obtain a filing date, the application will still be held to be incomplete and a filing date will be refused if the component parts fail to satisfy the requirements set forth above. For example, if the documents purporting to be a specification are so obviously informal and incoherent that they would clearly not constitute a specification as required by35 U.S.C. 112(a) or 35 U.S.C. 112, first paragraph, and 37 CFR 1.71, the application would not be acceptable and would not be accorded a filing date until corrections are made. The filing date of the application would be the date the corrections were made. A provisional application will not be examined. However, a provisional application which does not include a cover sheet (37 CFR 1.51(c)(1)), which may be an application data sheet (37 CFR 1.76) or a cover letter, identifying the application as a provisional application, will be treated as a nonprovisional application filed under 37 CFR 1.53(b). See 37 CFR 1.53(c)(1).

NOTE: No amendment, other than to make the provisional application comply with the patent statute and all applicable regulations, may be made to the provisional application after the filing date of the provisional application. See 37 CFR 1.53(c).

III.   INFORMAL APPLICATIONS

An application is informal if it is typed on both sides of the paper, or is not permanent, legible, or reproducible. If such informalities are timely corrected, the application is given the filing date on which the original informal papers were filed.

OPAP accords a filing date, as of the date indicated by the “Office Date” stamp (see MPEP § 505), to application papers which include a specification containing a description and at least one claim (nonprovisional applications filed under 37 CFR 1.53(b)), and a drawing, if necessary under 35 U.S.C. 113 (first sentence) but are informal because they do not comply with the rules or notices. In such applications, OPAP will send a Notice (e.g., Notice to File Corrected Application Papers) requiring correction of the informality. Failure to correct the informality within the specified time results in abandonment of the application.

506.01   [Reserved]

506.02   Review of Refusal To Accord Filing Date [R-11.2013]

The filing date of the provisional or nonprovisional application is the date of receipt in the Office of the application which includes a specification containing description pursuant to 37 CFR 1.71 and at least one claim (required for nonprovisional applications only) pursuant to 37 CFR 1.75, and any drawings required by 37 CFR 1.81(a). See 37 CFR 1.53(b) and (c).

If any of these items are missing, applicant will be notified to file them and the filing date will be the date of receipt of the missing part(s). If the oath or declaration for a nonprovisional application was executed and filed with the application, a supplemental oath or declaration by the inventor is required in some circumstances if the nonprovisional application was filed before September 16, 2012, e.g., where the missing item is the claim, specification, or a drawing. The supplemental declaration must identify the missing item and indicate, as appropriate, that it accurately claims, describes, or illustrates applicant’s invention. See MPEP § 601.01(d)-(g) where the application is filed without all the pages of the specification, without at least one claim (nonprovisional application), without drawings, or without all the figures of the drawings. For applications filed on or after September 16, 2012, the Office will not require a person who has executed an oath or declaration in compliance with 35 U.S.C. 115 and 37 CFR 1.63 or 1.162 for an application to provide an additional inventor’s oath or declaration for the application (37 CFR 1.67(c)). An error in or failure to identify inventorship does not raise a filing date issue.

Any review of the refusal to grant a filing date as of the date of deposit of the application would be by way of petition, accompanied by the petition fee (37 CFR 1.17(f)). Petitioner should provide any arguments that he or she has that the items noted were not missing or that a filing date should be assigned in the absence of such items if they are believed to be unnecessary. If petitioner alleges that no defect exists, a request for refund of the petition fee may be included in the petition.

For applications properly filed under 37 CFR 1.10, the filing date is the date that the application was deposited as “Express Mail” (Priority Mail Express) in the U.S. Postal Service. For example, if a new patent application is deposited in “Express Mail” in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10 on a Saturday and the United States Postal Service gives it a date of deposit of Saturday, the Office will accord and stamp the correspondence with the Saturday date. 37 CFR 1.6(a)(2). If the proper procedures were not followed, the application will receive a filing date as of the date it was received in the Office. Any review of these matters would be by way of petition, accompanied by the petition fee (37 CFR 1.17(f)), providing whatever arguments and evidence petitioner has that the application is entitled to a filing date as of the date it was deposited as “Express Mail” (Priority Mail Express). See MPEP § 513.

Petitions relating to the filing date accorded to patent applications under 37 CFR 1.53 are decided in the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy (See MPEP § 1002.02(b)).

Any petition under this section should be marked to the attention of the Office of Petitions.

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