21 - Filing dates of patent applications

Deciding Office:  Office of Petitions

The criteria for petitions related to general filing date matters are set forth in 37 CFR 1.53, MPEP § 506.02 and in 37 CFR 1.57, MPEP § 217.

In general, these are the steps for filing a petition related to general filing date matters:

  • Petitioner should provide any arguments 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.

Fees:

For fees due, please consult the current USPTO Fee Schedule  for codes 1462/262/3462 (Large Entity/Small Entity/Micro Entity) under the Patent Petition Fees;

If petitioner alleges that no defect exists, a request for refund of the petition fee may be included in the petition.

How to file:

This petition may be filed using any of these delivery methods.

The criteria for petitions concerning application filing date matters arising from a document that was delivered by the "Priority Mail Express® Post Office to Addressee" service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) are set forth in 37 CFR 1.10, MPEP §  513.

In general, these are the steps for filing a petition concerning application filing date matters arising from a document that was delivered by the "Priority Mail Express® Post Office to Addressee" service of the United States Postal Service (USPS), under the provisions of 37 CFR 1.10:

  • Petitioner should note that under the provisions of 37 CFR 1.10(f) the Office may require additional evidence to determine whether the correspondence was deposited as "Priority Mail Express®”
  • Fees:
    • There is no petition fee associated with the petitions filed under 37 CFR 1.10.

How to file:

This petition may be filed using any of these delivery methods.

  • 37 CFR 1.10(c) applies where there is a discrepancy between the filing date accorded by the Office and the "date accepted" entered by the USPS on the "Priority Mail Express® " mailing label or other official USPS notation;

Such a petition should:

(A) be filed promptly after the person becomes aware that the Office has accorded, or will accord, a filing date other than the USPS deposit date;

(B) include a showing that the number of the "Priority Mail Express®" mailing label was placed on each piece of correspondence prior to the original mailing; and

(C) include a true copy of the "Priority Mail Express®" mailing label showing the " date accepted " or other official notation by the USPS.

  • 37 CFR 1.10(d) applies where the "date accepted" or other official notation is incorrectly entered by the USPS;

Such a petition should:

(A) be filed promptly after the person becomes aware that the Office has accorded, or will accord, a filing date based upon an incorrect entry by the USPS;

(B) include a showing that the number of the "Priority Mail Express®" mailing label was placed on each piece of correspondence prior to the original mailing; and

(C) include a showing that the correspondence was deposited as "Priority Mail Express®" prior to the last scheduled pickup on the requested filing date.

  • 37 CFR 1.10(e) applies where correspondence deposited with the USPS as "Priority Mail Express®" is not received by the Office;

Such a petition should:

(A) be filed promptly after the person becomes aware that the Office has no evidence of receipt of the correspondence;

(B) include a showing that the number of the "Priority Mail Express®" mailing label was placed on each piece of correspondence prior to the original mailing;

(C) include a true copy of the originally deposited correspondence showing the number of the "Priority Mail Express®" mailing label thereon, a copy of any returned postcard receipt, a copy of the "Priority Mail Express®" mailing label showing the " date accepted " or other official notation entered by the USPS; and

(D) include a statement, signed by the person who deposited the documents as "Priority Mail Express®" with the USPS, setting forth the date and time of deposit, and declaring that the copies of the correspondence, "Priority Mail Express®" mailing label, and returned postcard receipt accompanying the petition are true copies of the correspondence, mailing label and returned postcard receipt originally mailed or received.

  • 37 CFR 1.10(g) applies where correspondence deposited with the USPS as "Priority Mail Express®" was returned by the USPS due to an interruption or emergency in "Priority Mail Express®" service.

Such a petition must:

(A) be filed promptly after the person becomes aware of the return of the correspondence;

(B) include a showing that the number of the "Priority Mail Express®" mailing label was placed on the paper(s) or fee(s) that constitute the correspondence prior to the original mailing by "Priority Mail Express®;"

(C) include the original correspondence or a copy of the original correspondence showing the number of the "Priority Mail Express®" mailing label thereon and a copy of the "Priority Mail Express®" mailing label showing the "date accepted;” and

(D) include a statement which establishes, to the satisfaction of the Director, the original deposit of the correspondence and that the correspondence or the copy of the correspondence is the original correspondence or a true copy of the correspondence originally deposited with the USPS on the requested filing date.

  • Petition for correspondence refused due to postal interruption or emergency

37 CFR 1.10(h) provides that any person who attempts to mail correspondence addressed as set out in 37 CFR 1.1(a) to the Office with sufficient postage utilizing the "Priority Mail Express® Post Office to Addressee" service of the USPS, but has the correspondence refused by an employee of the USPS due to an interruption or emergency in "Priority Mail Express®" service, may petition the Director to consider the correspondence as filed on a particular date in the Office.

Such a petition must:

(A) be filed promptly after the person becomes aware of the refusal of the correspondence;

(B) include a showing that the number of the "Priority Mail Express®" mailing label was placed on the paper(s) or fee(s) that constitute the correspondence prior to the attempted mailing by "Priority Mail Express®;"

(C) include the original correspondence or a copy of the original correspondence showing the number of the "Priority Mail Express®" mailing label thereon; and

(D) include a statement by the person who originally attempted to deposit the correspondence with the USPS which establishes, to the satisfaction of the Director, the original attempt to deposit the correspondence and that the correspondence or copy of the correspondence is the original correspondence or a true copy of the correspondence originally attempted to be deposited with the USPS on the requested filing date.

  • Petition for correspondence unable to be deposited due to a Director-designated postal interruption or emergency

37 CFR 1.10(i) provides that any person attempting to file correspondence by "Priority Mail Express®" that was unable to be deposited with the USPS due to an interruption or emergency in "Priority Mail Express®" service which has been so designated by the Director may petition the Director to consider such correspondence as filed on a particular date in the Office.

Such a petition must:

(A) be filed in a manner designated by the Director promptly after the person becomes aware of the designated interruption or emergency in "Priority Mail Express®" service;

(B) include the original correspondence or a copy of the original correspondence; and

(C) include a statement which establishes, to the satisfaction of the Director, that the correspondence would have been deposited with the USPS but for the designated interruption or emergency in "Priority Mail Express®" service, and that the correspondence or copy of the correspondence is the original correspondence or a true copy of the correspondence originally attempted to be deposited with the USPS on the requested filing date.

This procedure applies only when the Director designates an interruption or emergency in "Priority Mail Express®" service. In the notice designating the interruption or emergency the Director will provide guidance on the manner in which petitions under 37 CFR 1.10(i) should be filed. The notice will be placed on the USPTO website and published in the Official Gazette.

For the relevant patent laws and rules applicable to Filing Dates of Patent Applications, please see:

  • 37 CFR 1.53, Application number, filing date, and completion of application;
  • 37 CFR 1.10, Filing of correspondence by "Priority Mail Express®";
  • MPEP § 506.02, Review of refusal to accord filing date;
  • MPEP § 513, Deposit as "Priority Mail Express®" with U.S. Postal Service;

Forms:

No form available. Submit a signed request that includes information listed in Requirements of a petition.

For additional information please see:

  • 37 CFR 1.53, Application number, filing date, and completion of application;
  • 37 CFR 1.57, Incorporation by reference;
  • 37 CFR 1.10, Filing of correspondence by "Priority Mail Express®";
  • MPEP § 217 Incorporation by reference under 37 CFR 1.57(a b);
  • MPEP § 506, Completeness of original application;
  • MPEP § 506.02, Review of refusal to accord filing date;
  • MPEP § 513, Deposit as "Priority Mail Express®" with U.S. Postal Service;
  • MPEP § 601.01(d), Application filed without all pages of specification ;
  • MPEP § 601.01(e), Nonprovisional application filed without at least one claim;
  • MPEP § 601.01(f), Applications filed without drawings; and
  • MPEP § 601.01(g), Applications filed without all figures of drawings

For further assistance, please contact the Petitions Help Desk between 8:30 AM - 5 PM (EDT).

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The Federal Register is the authoritative source and should be consulted if a need arises to verify the authenticity of the language for any CFR citation.  Because fee schedule changes may not be reflected in the most recent version of the MPEP, please consult the USPTO Fee Schedule to determine current fee amounts.