If a maintenance fee has not been paid in a timely manner and the owner of the patent wants to get the patent rights reinstated, a petition and proper fees are required.
Who can submit the petition?
A petition to reinstate an expired patent must be submitted by a recognized party. Be sure to review guidelines to determine who qualifies as a recognized party.
What are the petition requirements?
Any petition to accept an unintentionally delayed payment of a maintenance fee must include:
- the required maintenance fee set forth in § 1.20(e) through (g)
- the petition fee as set forth in § 1.17(m)
- a statement that the delay in payment of the maintenance fee was unintentional
- be signed in compliance with § 1.33(b).
We will require additional information when the petition is filed more than two years after the date the patent expired for nonpayment. The additional information is required to ensure that we are provided with sufficient facts and circumstances to support a conclusion that the entire delay was “unintentional.”
How much to pay?
View the current maintenance fee and petition fee amounts on the USPTO Fee Schedule . The surcharge for late payment within 6 months set forth in § 1.20(h) is not required.
When will my petition be processed?
Web-based ePetitions filed via EFS-Web are automatically processed and granted immediately upon submission if the petition meets all of the requirements. Petitioners will know instantly whether all requirements have been met.
Petitions filed in paper (mailed, faxed, or submitted as a PDF attachment in EFS-Web) are subject to significant processing delays and the filing does not guarantee a granted petition.
Where to submit my petition?
Please use one of the following two options:
- Submit in EFS-Web – If the date of expiration is less than two years, file a petition using the Web-based ePetition in EFS-Web (registered and unregistered users).
Reinstate now - EFS-Web Registered eFiler
Reinstate now - EFS-Web Unregistered eFiler
After selecting either Reinstate now button, follow the below steps to initiate an ePetition:
- Under “Main Functions”, select the radio button located next to “Existing application/patent”
- Under “Select Type of Submission for Existing Application/Proceeding,” select the radio button next to “ePetition (for automatic processing and immediate grant, if all petitions requirements are met)”
- Under “Web-based ePetitions”, select the radio button next to “Petition to Accept Unintentional Delayed Payment of the Maintenance Fee (37 CFR 1.378(b)).
See the Web-based ePetition Quick Start Guide (pages 44-47) for additional filing instructions.
- Submit by mail or fax – If the date of expiration is more than two years, file a petition by submitting the completed form SB/66 and Credit Card Payment Form (if paying with a credit or debit card). Checks or money orders should be made payable to the “Director of the USPTO”.
Mail Stop Petition
Commissioner for Patents
P. O. Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450
Contact the Office of Petitions at 571-272-3282 for assistance on filing a petition to accept unintentionally delayed payment of the maintenance fee.