Patent Legal Administration services range from the drafting of regulations and development of policies for the examination of patent applications through the implementation of these new regulations and practices. Rule packages, Official Gazette notices, collection and review of public comments, examiner training, forms, and public guidance are among the services provided in this area. The Office of Patent Legal Administration (OPLA) operates within the Office of Patent Examination Policy.
To see a more comprehensive listing of services learn more about the organization and operation of OPLA please see the OPLA Staff page.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND UPCOMING EVENTS
There are currently no announcements or upcoming events for patent legal administration.
< See Patent Examination Policy Announcements.
RESOURCE INFORMATION AND REFERENCE MATERIALS
- Official Gazette (Patents)
- Federal Register Notices (Patents)
- Fee Schedules
- Patent Laws [PDF]
- Patent Rules [PDF]
- Manual of Patent Examination Procedure (MPEP)
- Electronic Business Center
- Patent Electronic Business Center Guide [PDF]
- Customer Numbers and Digital Certificates
(for EFS-Web and Private PAIR)
- ePetition Resource Page
- ePetition Quick Start Guide [PDF]
- EFS-Web Guide
- Legal Framework for EFS-Web
- Filing patent applications electronically during designated significant electronic filing system outages
(instructions for completing alternative electronic filing and requesting a refund)
- Patent Term Calculator
TRAINING AND GUIDANCE MATERIALS
- Examination Guidance and Training Materials
- 35 USC 101
- 35 USC 103
- 35 U.S.C. 112(f) Examiner Training Materials (02Aug2013)
- AIA Guidance and Training Materials
- Memoranda to the Examining Corps
- Signatures on Incoming Correspondence
- Signatures 37 CFR 1.4 [PDF]
- Signatures Examples [PDF}
FEDERAL REGISTER AND OG NOTICES
- Official Gazette (OG) Notices
- Federal Register (FR) Notices
- Public Notices and Comments
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Question: Can OPLA give me legal advice on the matter about which I am calling, or help me with my prosecution strategy?
No. OPLA staff cannot advise the public about how to proceed on specific matters. However, OPLA can explain general patent application procedures and discuss patent rules and policy.
Question: I have a question about patent application procedure. How can I get it answered?
Before calling OPLA, we recommend searching the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP). Searching the Federal Register and Official Gazette is also useful. If you still have a question after these preliminary searches please call OPLA at 571-272-7701.
To better assist you please call the following areas:
- AIA: 1-855-HELP-AIA or email at HELPAIA@uspto.gov
- PCT: 571-272-4300
- Petitions: 571-272-3282
- E-Filing (Electronic Business Center): 1-866-217-9197 (toll free) or
- Independent Inventor: 1-800-786-9199 (toll free) or
For general questions on how to file a patent application, types of patent applications, forms and other general questions please call the Inventors Assistance Center (IAC) at:
- 800-PTO-9199 (800-786-9199) or 571-272-1000
- TTY customers can dial 571-272-9950 for customer assistance.
FAQ: I am an independent inventor where can I get more information on patents?
Visit our "Office of Patents Stakeholder Experience (OPSE)" website for detailed information:
Question: When should I use the Patent Ombudsman Program?
The Patents Ombudsman Program is designed to enhance the USPTO's ability to assist applicants with issues that arise during the patent application process. More specifically, when there is a breakdown in the normal prosecution process, the Ombudsman Program can assist in getting the process back on track. To request assistance from the Ombudsman Program, go to: http://www.uspto.gov/patents/ombudsman.jsp.
OPLA staff answers questions drawn to more in depth queries and may be reached from Monday to Friday 8:30-5:00 Eastern time:
- 571-272-7701 - General policy and procedures inquires
- 571-272-7702 - Patent Term Adjustment inquiries
- 571-272-7703 - Reexamination and reissue inquiries
- 571-272-7704 - Special Issues inquiries