How do I file a notice of appeal?

An applicant must follow the requirements set forth in 37 CFR § 41.31 which require that a notice be filed within the time allowed for response from the examiner's last office action, and also pay a fee. See Section 1204 of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure. The notice of appeal and appropriate fee may be filed up to 6 months from the date of the Office action from which the appeal was taken, so long as an appropriate petition and fee for an extension of time under 37 CFR 1.136(a) is filed either prior to or with the notice of appeal. A sample form can be found at http://www.uspto.gov/web/forms/sb0031.pdf. If certificate of mailing procedures under 37 CFR § 1.8 are used, see MPEP 512. The actual receipt date of the Notice of Appeal will also be the date which is entered on Office records and from which any subsequent periods are calculated. For example, 37 CFR § 41.37 gives an appellant 2 months from the receipt date of the notice of appeal to file an appeal brief. If the last day to reply to a final Office action was January 10, 2011, and applicant deposited a Notice of Appeal with fee in the U.S. mail on January 10, 2011, and so certified using a certificate of mailing, that appeal is timely even if it is not received in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office until January 16, 2011. Since the date of receipt of the notice of appeal is January 16, 2011, this date will be used to calculate the time at which the brief is due, and thus the brief will be due on March 16, 2011. This is 2 months after the date of receipt of the notice of appeal.