The Office of Petitions (OPET), which is part of the Office of Patent Examination Policy, reviews and decides petitions, requests, and related inquiries, regarding the filing of patent applications, revival of abandoned applications, reinstatement of expired patents, withdrawal of patent applications from issue, small entity entitlement, review of previous decisions of the Technology Centers, suspension of regulations, questions not specifically provided for by regulations, and other petitionable matters.
OPET receives tens of thousands of petitions per year and decides over 40 different types of petitions. OPET maintains a Petitions Helpdesk available to assist internal and external customers with petitions-related matters. OPET staff provide lectures and presentations to various stakeholders regarding petitions practice.
OPET also manages the Inventors Assistance Center (IAC). The IAC provides patent information and services to the public. The IAC is staffed by former Supervisory Patent Examiners and Primary Examiners who answer general questions concerning patent examining policy and procedure.
Please see Petitions for more information about petitions practice.