27 - Petition for retroactive foreign filing license

Deciding Office:  Office of Petitions

The criteria for Petition for Retroactive Foreign Filing License are set forth in 37 CFR

  • (c) If a petition for a retroactive license is denied, a time period of not less than thirty days shall be set, during which the petition may be renewed. Failure to renew the petition within the set time period will result in a final denial of the petition. A final denial of a petition stands unless a petition is filed under § 1.181  within two months of the date of the denial. If the petition for a retroactive license is denied with respect to the invention of a pending application and no petition under § 1.181  has been filed, a final rejection of the application under 35 U.S.C. 185  will be made
    • Note that licenses under 37 CFR 5.25 are only made retroactive with respect to specific acts of foreign filing, and therefore the countries, the actual dates of filing and the establishing of the nature of the error must be provided for each act of proscribed foreign filing for which a retroactive license is sought. The showing of facts as to the nature of the error should include verified statements by all those persons responsible for or having personal knowledge of the acts regarding filing in a foreign country and should be accompanied by copies of any necessary supporting documents such as letters of transmittal or instructions for filing. The verified statement must include the clause:

    "I hereby declare that all statements made herein of my own knowledge are true and that all statements made on information and belief are believed to be true; and further that these statements were made with the knowledge that willful false statements and the like so made are punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, under Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code and that such willful false statements may jeopardize the validity of the application or any patent issuing thereon."

    • A petition for a Retroactive foreign filing license for material not related to any pending application (37 CFR 5.13) must also be accompanied by a translated copy of the material filed abroad without the benefit a foreign filing license.


    • For fees due, please consult the Current USPTO Fee Schedule on the Fee Information Page for codes 1463/2463/3463 (Large Entity/Small Entity/Micro Entity) under the Patent Petition Fees.

    How to File:

    • A petition for a retroactive foreign filing license based on a pending patent application (37 CFR 5.14) or for material not related to any pending application (37 CFR 5.13), may be mailed, faxed, hand-delivered.It may be filed through EFS-Web in  a pending application .

    Initial Petition filed by facsimiles must be sent to: 571 273-0185

    Hand delivery: Room 4B31
    501 Dulany Street (Knox Building)
    Alexandria, Virginia 22314.

    Regular mail: Mail Stop: L&R
    Commissioner for Patents
    P.O. Box 1450
    Alexandria, VA 22313-1450

    All licenses will be mailed to the appropriate correspondence address, however, a courtesy copy may be provided by facsimile if such notification is requested.

    For the relevant patent laws and rules applicable to Petition for Retroactive Foreign Filing License, please see:

    • 37 CFR 5.11, License for filing in, or exporting to, a foreign country an application on an invention made in the United States or technical data relating thereto;
    • 37 CFR 5.12, Petition for license;
    • 37 CFR 5.13, Petition for license; no corresponding application;
    • 37 CFR 5.14, Petition for license; corresponding U.S. application;
    • 37 CFR 5.15, Scope of license;
    • 37 CFR 5.25, Petition for retroactive license; and
    • MPEP § 140, Foreign Filing Licenses


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

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


    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.