Petitions

Petitions 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 are administered by the Office of Petitions within the Office of Patent Examination Policy.

To learn more about the organization and operation of the Office of Petitions, please see the Office of Petitions page.

 

Patents Petitions Timeline

Petitions timeline

Access the Patents Petitions Timeline page to determine what types of petitions can be filed with the Office during each stage of the patent prosecution. The Patents Petitions Timeline provides applicants access to petitions that can be submitted during each stage of patent prosecution process and information related to each specific petition and deciding office.  Also, the timeline provides information on both the historical grant rates and the pendency of decided petitions.

Resource information and reference materials

Videos: 

Types of petitions handled by the Office of Petitions:

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  • What is a petition?

A petition is a signed, written request presented to the Office.

  • Are all matters relating to a patent application petitionable?

No.  Ordinarily, an objection is petitionable, and a rejection is appealable, but when the objection is "determinative of the rejection" the matter may be addressed by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.  See MPEP § 1201 for additional information.  

  • Are all petitions handled by the Office of Petitions?

No. Petitions are decided in accordance with the delegation of authority as indicated in MPEP § 1002. The Patents Petitions Timeline provides applicants access to petitions that can be submitted during each stage of patent prosecution process and information related to each specific petition and deciding office.

  • What are the ways available to file petitions?

See Where to file petitions, requests, and related inquiries.

  • How long will it take before my petition is decided?

The Patents Petitions Timeline provides information on both the historical grant rates and the pendency of decided petitions.

  • What is an ePetition

An e-Petition is an electronically filed petition, submitted via EFS-Web that automates the petition process and allows petitioners to directly input the requisite information into a secure Web interface and immediately receive an ePetition decision if all requirements are met.

For more information about ePetitions, please see ePetition Resource Page.

  • What information should be included in a petition that is not filed electronically?

See Requirements of a petition. 

  • Does filing a petition pause/stop the time period for a reply required in an application?

Except for a petition filed under 37 CFR 41.40 to designate a new ground of rejection in an examiner’s answer, the mere filing of a petition will not stay any period for reply that may be running against the application, nor act as a stay of other proceedings.     See 37 CFR 1.181(f).

Announcements and upcoming events

There are currently no announcements or upcoming events for petitions.

< See Patent Examination Policy announcements.

Contact us

  • Petitions Help Desk: 
    571-272-3282
  • Inventors Assistance Center (IAC):
    800-786-9199, 571-272-1000
    571-272-9950 for TTY customer