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Title 37

Displaying title 37, up to date as of 9/24/2021. Title 37 was last amended 9/24/2021.
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Title 37

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PART 1 - RULES OF PRACTICE IN PATENT CASES
Authority:

35 U.S.C. 2(b)(2), unless otherwise noted.

Source:

24 FR 10332, Dec. 22, 1959, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A - General Provisions
General Information and Correspondence
§ 1.1 Addresses for non-trademark correspondence with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

(a) In general. Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and (a)(3)(ii) of this section, all correspondence intended for the United States Patent and Trademark Office must be addressed to either “Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1450” or to specific areas within the Office as set out in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(3)(iii) of this section. When appropriate, correspondence should also be marked for the attention of a particular office or individual.

(1) Patent correspondence -

(i) In general. All correspondence concerning patent matters processed by organizations reporting to the Commissioner for Patents should be addressed to: Commissioner for Patents, PO Box 1450, Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1450.

(ii) Patent Trial and Appeal Board. See § 41.10 or § 42.6 of this title. Notices of appeal, appeal briefs, reply briefs, requests for oral hearing, as well as all other correspondence in an application or a patent involved in an appeal to the Board for which an address is not otherwise specified, should be addressed as set out in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section.

(2) [Reserved]

(3) Office of General Counsel correspondence -

(i) Litigation and service. Correspondence relating to pending litigation or otherwise within the scope of part 104 of this title shall be addressed as provided in § 104.2.

(ii) Disciplinary proceedings. Correspondence to counsel for the Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline relating to disciplinary proceedings pending before a Hearing Officer or the Director shall be mailed to: Mail Stop 8, Office of the Solicitor, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1450.

(iii) Solicitor, in general. Correspondence to the Office of the Solicitor not otherwise provided for shall be addressed to: Mail Stop 8, Office of the Solicitor, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1450.

(iv) General Counsel. Correspondence to the Office of the General Counsel not otherwise provided for, including correspondence to the General Counsel relating to disciplinary proceedings, shall be addressed to: General Counsel, United States Patent and Trademark Office, PO Box 1450, Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1450.

(v) Improper correspondence. Correspondence improperly addressed to a Post Office Box specified in paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and(a)(3)(ii) of this section will not be filed elsewhere in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and may be returned.

(4) Office of Public Records correspondence.

(i) Assignments. All patent-related documents submitted by mail to be recorded by Assignment Services Division, except for documents filed together with a new application, should be addressed to: Mail Stop Assignment Recordation Services, Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1450. See § 3.27.

(5) Office of Enrollment and Discipline correspondence. All correspondence directed to the Office of Enrollment and Discipline concerning enrollment, registration, and investigation matters should be addressed to Mail Stop OED, Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1450.

(ii) Documents. All requests for certified or uncertified copies of patent documents should be addressed to: Mail Stop Document Services, Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1450.

(b) Patent Cooperation Treaty. Letters and other communications relating to international applications during the international stage and prior to the assignment of a national serial number should be additionally marked “Mail Stop PCT.”

(c) For reexamination or supplemental examination proceedings.

(1) All correspondence concerning ex parte reexamination, other than correspondence to the Office of the General Counsel pursuant to § 1.1(a)(3) and § 102.4 of this chapter, should be additionally marked “Mail Stop Ex Parte Reexam.”

(2) All correspondence concerning inter partes reexamination, other than correspondence to the Office of the General Counsel pursuant to § 1.1(a)(3) and § 102.4 of this chapter, should be additionally marked “Mail Stop Inter Partes Reexam.”

(3) Requests for supplemental examination (original and corrected request papers) and any other paper filed in a supplemental examination proceeding, should be additionally marked “Mail Stop Supplemental Examination.”

(4) All correspondence concerning a reexamination proceeding ordered as a result of a supplemental reexamination proceeding, other than correspondence to the Office of the General Counsel pursuant to § 1.1(a)(3) and § 102.4 of this chapter should be additionally marked “Mail Stop Ex Parte Reexam.”

(d) Payments of patent maintenance fees. Payments of patent maintenance fees that are not submitted electronically and correspondence related to maintenance fees may be addressed to: Mail Stop Maintenance Fee, Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1450.

(e) Patent term extension. All applications for extension of patent term under 35 U.S.C. 156 and any communications relating thereto intended for the United States Patent and Trademark Office should be additionally marked “Mail Stop Hatch-Waxman PTE.” When appropriate, the communication should also be marked to the attention of a particular individual, as where a decision has been rendered.

(f) [Reserved]

[68 FR 14335, Mar. 25, 2003; 68 FR 19371, Apr. 21, 2003, as amended at 68 FR 48287, Aug. 13, 2003; 68 FR 71006, Dec. 22, 2003; 69 FR 29877, May 26, 2004; 69 FR 35451, June 24, 2004; 69 FR 49997, Aug. 12, 2004; 72 FR 18904, Apr. 16, 2007; 73 FR 47540, Aug. 14, 2008; 75 FR 36295, June 25, 2010; 77 FR 46624, Aug. 6, 2012; 77 FR 48811, Aug. 14, 2012; 78 FR 62393, Oct. 21, 2013; 86 FR 35230, July 2, 2021]

§ 1.2 Business to be transacted in writing.

All business with the Patent and Trademark Office should be transacted in writing. The personal attendance of applicants or their attorneys or agents at the Patent and Trademark Office is unnecessary. The action of the Patent and Trademark Office will be based exclusively on the written record in the Office. No attention will be paid to any alleged oral promise, stipulation, or understanding in relation to which there is disagreement or doubt.

§ 1.3 Business to be conducted with decorum and courtesy.

Applicants and their attorneys or agents are required to conduct their business with the United States Patent and Trademark Office with decorum and courtesy. Papers presented in violation of this requirement will be submitted to the Director and will not be entered. A notice of the non-entry of the paper will be provided. Complaints against examiners and other employees must be made in correspondence separate from other papers.

[68 FR 38624, June 30, 2003]

§ 1.4 Nature of correspondence and signature requirements.

(a) Correspondence with the Patent and Trademark Office comprises:

(1) Correspondence relating to services and facilities of the Office, such as general inquiries, requests for publications supplied by the Office, orders for printed copies of patents, orders for copies of records, transmission of assignments for recording, and the like, and

(2) Correspondence in and relating to a particular application or other proceeding in the Office. See particularly the rules relating to the filing, processing, or other proceedings of national applications in subpart B of this part; of international applications in subpart C of this part; of ex parte reexaminations of patents in subpart D of this part; of supplemental examination of patents in subpart E of this part; of extension of patent term in subpart F of this part; of inter partes reexaminations of patents in subpart H of this part; of international design applications in subpart I of this part; and of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in parts 41 and 42 of this chapter.

(b) Since each file must be complete in itself, a separate copy of every paper to be filed in a patent application, patent file, or other proceeding must be furnished for each file to which the paper pertains, even though the contents of the papers filed in two or more files may be identical. The filing of duplicate copies of correspondence in the file of an application, patent, or other proceeding should be avoided, except in situations in which the Office requires the filing of duplicate copies. The Office may dispose of duplicate copies of correspondence in the file of an application, patent, or other proceeding.

(c) Since different matters may be considered by different branches or sections of the Office, each distinct subject, inquiry, or order must be contained in a separate paper to avoid confusion and delay in answering papers dealing with different subjects. Subjects provided for on a single Office or World Intellectual Property Organization form may be contained in a single paper.

(d)

(1) Handwritten signature. Each piece of correspondence, except as provided in paragraphs (d)(2), (d)(3), (d)(4), (e), and (f) of this section, filed in an application, patent file, or other proceeding in the Office which requires a person's signature, must:

(i) Be an original, that is, have an original handwritten signature personally signed, in permanent dark ink or its equivalent, by that person; or

(ii) Be a direct or indirect copy, such as a photocopy or facsimile transmission (§ 1.6(d)), of an original. In the event that a copy of the original is filed, the original should be retained as evidence of authenticity. If a question of authenticity arises, the Office may require submission of the original.

(2) S-signature. An S-signature is a signature inserted between forward slash marks, but not a handwritten signature as defined by paragraph (d)(1) of this section. An S-signature includes any signature made by electronic or mechanical means, and any other mode of making or applying a signature other than a handwritten signature as provided for in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. Correspondence being filed in the Office in paper, by facsimile transmission as provided in § 1.6(d), or via the Office electronic filing system as an attachment as provided in § 1.6(a)(4), for a patent application, patent, or a reexamination or supplemental examination proceeding may be S-signature signed instead of being personally signed (i.e., with a handwritten signature) as provided for in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. The requirements for an S-signature under this paragraph (d)(2) of this section are as follows.

(i) The S-signature must consist only of letters, or Arabic numerals, or both, with appropriate spaces and commas, periods, apostrophes, or hyphens for punctuation, and the person signing the correspondence must insert his or her own S-signature with a first single forward slash mark before, and a second single forward slash mark after, the S-signature (e.g.,/Dr. James T. Jones, Jr./); and

(ii) A patent practitioner (§ 1.32(a)(1)), signing pursuant to §§ 1.33(b)(1) or 1.33(b)(2), must supply his/her registration number either as part of the S-signature, or immediately below or adjacent to the S-signature. The number (#) character may be used only as part of the S-signature when appearing before a practitioner's registration number; otherwise the number character may not be used in an S-signature.

(iii) The signer's name must be:

(A) Presented in printed or typed form preferably immediately below or adjacent the S-signature, and

(B) Reasonably specific enough so that the identity of the signer can be readily recognized.

(3) Electronically submitted correspondence. Correspondence permitted via the Office electronic filing system may be signed by a graphic representation of a handwritten signature as provided for in paragraph (d)(1) of this section or a graphic representation of an S-signature as provided for in paragraph (d)(2) of this section when it is submitted via the Office electronic filing system.

(4) Certifications -

(i) Certification as to the paper presented. The presentation to the Office (whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating) of any paper by a party, whether a practitioner or non-practitioner, constitutes a certification under § 11.18(b) of this subchapter. Violations of § 11.18(b)(2) of this subchapter by a party, whether a practitioner or non-practitioner, may result in the imposition of sanctions under § 11.18(c) of this subchapter. Any practitioner violating § 11.18(b) of this subchapter may also be subject to disciplinary action. See § 11.18(d) of this subchapter.

(ii) Certification as to the signature. The person inserting a signature under paragraph (d)(2) or (d)(3) of this section in a document submitted to the Office certifies that the inserted signature appearing in the document is his or her own signature. A person submitting a document signed by another under paragraph (d)(2) or (d)(3) of this section is obligated to have a reasonable basis to believe that the person whose signature is present on the document was actually inserted by that person, and should retain evidence of authenticity of the signature. Violations of the certification as to the signature of another or a person's own signature as set forth in this paragraph may result in the imposition of sanctions under § 11.18(c) and (d) of this chapter.

(5) Forms. The Office provides forms for the public to use in certain situations to assist in the filing of correspondence for a certain purpose and to meet certain requirements for patent applications and proceedings. Use of the forms for purposes for which they were not designed is prohibited. No changes to certification statements on the Office forms (e.g., oath or declaration forms, terminal disclaimer forms, petition forms, and nonpublication request forms) may be made. The existing text of a form, other than a certification statement, may be modified, deleted, or added to, if all text identifying the form as an Office form is removed. The presentation to the Office (whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating) of any Office form with text identifying the form as an Office form by a party, whether a practitioner or non-practitioner, constitutes a certification under § 11.18(b) of this chapter that the existing text and any certification statements on the form have not been altered other than permitted by EFS-Web customization.

(e) [Reserved]

(f) When a document that is required by statute to be certified must be filed, a copy, including a photocopy or facsimile transmission, of the certification is not acceptable.

(g) An applicant who has not made of record a registered attorney or agent may be required to state whether assistance was received in the preparation or prosecution of the patent application, for which any compensation or consideration was given or charged, and if so, to disclose the name or names of the person or persons providing such assistance. Assistance includes the preparation for the applicant of the specification and amendments or other papers to be filed in the Patent and Trademark Office, as well as other assistance in such matters, but does not include merely making drawings by draftsmen or stenographic services in typing papers.

(h) Ratification/confirmation/evidence of authenticity: The Office may require ratification, confirmation (which includes submission of a duplicate document but with a proper signature), or evidence of authenticity of a signature, such as when the Office has reasonable doubt as to the authenticity (veracity) of the signature, e.g., where there are variations of a signature, or where the signature and the typed or printed name, do not clearly identify the person signing.

[24 FR 10332, Dec. 22, 1959]

§ 1.5 Identification of patent, patent application, or patent-related proceeding.

(a) No correspondence relating to an application should be filed prior to receipt of the assigned application number (i.e., U.S. application number, international application number, or international registration number as appropriate). When correspondence directed to the Patent and Trademark Office concerns a previously filed application for a patent, it must identify on the top page in a conspicuous location, the application number (consisting of the series code and the serial number; e.g., 07/123,456), or the serial number and filing date assigned to that application by the Patent and Trademark Office, or the international application number of the international application, or the international registration number of an international design application. Any correspondence not containing such identification will be returned to the sender where a return address is available. The returned correspondence will be accompanied with a cover letter, which will indicate to the sender that if the returned correspondence is resubmitted to the Patent and Trademark Office within two weeks of the mail date on the cover letter, the original date of receipt of the correspondence will be considered by the Patent and Trademark Office as the date of receipt of the correspondence. Applicants may use either the Certificate of Mailing or Transmission procedure under § 1.8 or the Priority Mail Express® procedure under § 1.10 for resubmissions of returned correspondence if they desire to have the benefit of the date of deposit in the United States Postal Service. If the returned correspondence is not resubmitted within the two-week period, the date of receipt of the resubmission will be considered to be the date of receipt of the correspondence. The two-week period to resubmit the returned correspondence will not be extended. In addition to the application number, all correspondence directed to the Patent and Trademark Office concerning applications for patent should also state the name of the first listed inventor, the title of the invention, the date of filing the same, and if known, the group art unit or other unit within the Patent and Trademark Office responsible for considering the correspondence and the name of the examiner or other person to which it has been assigned.

(b) When the letter concerns a patent other than for purposes of paying a maintenance fee, it should state the number and date of issue of the patent, the name of the patentee, and the title of the invention. For letters concerning payment of a maintenance fee in a patent, see the provisions of § 1.366(c).

(c) Correspondence relating to a trial proceeding before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (part 42 of this title) are governed by § 42.6 of this title.

(d) A letter relating to a reexamination or supplemental examination proceeding should identify it as such by the number of the patent undergoing reexamination or supplemental examination, the request control number assigned to such proceeding, and, if known, the group art unit and name of the examiner to which it been assigned.

(e) [Reserved]

(f) When a paper concerns a provisional application, it should identify the application as such and include the application number.

[24 FR 10332, Dec. 22, 1959, as amended at 46 FR 29181, May 29, 1981; 49 FR 552, Jan. 4, 1984; 49 FR 48451, Dec. 12, 1984; 53 FR 47807, Nov. 28, 1988; 58 FR 54501, Oct. 22, 1993; 61 FR 42802, Aug. 19, 1996; 61 FR 56446, Nov. 1, 1996; 64 FR 48917, Sept. 8, 1999; 68 FR 48288, Aug. 13, 2003; 69 FR 49997, Aug. 12, 2004; 77 FR 46624, Aug. 6, 2012; 77 FR 48812, Aug. 14, 2012; 78 FR 62394, Oct. 21, 2013; 79 FR 63039, Oct. 22, 2014; 80 FR 17952, Apr. 2, 2015]

§ 1.6 Receipt of correspondence.

(a) Date of receipt and Priority Mail Express® date of deposit. Correspondence received in the Patent and Trademark Office is stamped with the date of receipt except as follows:

(1) The Patent and Trademark Office is not open for the filing of correspondence on any day that is a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia. Except for correspondence transmitted by facsimile under paragraph (a)(3) of this section, or filed electronically under paragraph (a)(4) of this section, no correspondence is received in the Office on Saturdays, Sundays, or Federal holidays within the District of Columbia.

(2) Correspondence filed in accordance with § 1.10 will be stamped with the date of deposit as Priority Mail Express® with the United States Postal Service.

(3) Correspondence transmitted by facsimile to the Patent and Trademark Office will be stamped with the date on which the complete transmission is received in the Patent and Trademark Office unless that date is a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia, in which case the date stamped will be the next succeeding day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia.

(4) Correspondence may be submitted using the Office electronic filing system only in accordance with the Office electronic filing system requirements. Correspondence submitted to the Office by way of the Office electronic filing system will be accorded a receipt date, which is the date the correspondence is received at the correspondence address for the Office set forth in § 1.1 when it was officially submitted.

(b) [Reserved]

(c) Correspondence delivered by hand. In addition to being mailed, correspondence may be delivered by hand during hours the Office is open to receive correspondence.

(d) Facsimile transmission. Except in the cases enumerated below, correspondence, including authorizations to charge a deposit account, may be transmitted by facsimile. The receipt date accorded to the correspondence will be the date on which the complete transmission is received in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, unless that date is a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia. See paragraph (a)(3) of this section. To facilitate proper processing, each transmission session should be limited to correspondence to be filed in a single application or other proceeding before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The application number of a patent application, the control number of a reexamination or supplemental examination proceeding, the interference number of an interference proceeding, the trial number of a trial proceeding before the Board, or the patent number of a patent should be entered as a part of the sender's identification on a facsimile cover sheet. Facsimile transmissions are not permitted and, if submitted, will not be accorded a date of receipt in the following situations:

(1) [Reserved]

(2) Certified documents as specified in § 1.4(f);

(3) Correspondence that cannot receive the benefit of the certificate of mailing or transmission as specified in § 1.8(a)(2)(i)(A) through (D), (F), (I), and (K) and § 1.8(a)(2)(iii)(A), except that a continued prosecution application under § 1.53(d) may be transmitted to the Office by facsimile;

(4) Color drawings submitted under §§ 1.81, 1.83 through 1.85, 1.152, 1.165, 1.173, 1.437, or 1.1026;

(5) A request for reexamination under § 1.510 or § 1.913, or a request for supplemental examination under § 1.610;

(6) Correspondence to be filed in an application subject to a secrecy order under §§ 5.1 through 5.5 of this chapter and directly related to the secrecy order content of the application;

(7) In contested cases and trials before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, except as the Board may expressly authorize.

(e) [Reserved]

(f) Facsimile transmission of a patent application under § 1.53(d). In the event that the Office has no evidence of receipt of an application under § 1.53(d) (a continued prosecution application) transmitted to the Office by facsimile transmission, the party who transmitted the application under § 1.53(d) may petition the Director to accord the application under § 1.53(d) a filing date as of the date the application under § 1.53(d) is shown to have been transmitted to and received in the Office,

(1) Provided that the party who transmitted such application under § 1.53(d):

(i) Informs the Office of the previous transmission of the application under § 1.53(d) promptly after becoming aware that the Office has no evidence of receipt of the application under § 1.53(d);

(ii) Supplies an additional copy of the previously transmitted application under § 1.53(d); and

(iii) Includes a statement which attests on a personal knowledge basis or to the satisfaction of the Director to the previous transmission of the application under § 1.53(d) and is accompanied by a copy of the sending unit's report confirming transmission of the application under § 1.53(d) or evidence that came into being after the complete transmission and within one business day of the complete transmission of the application under § 1.53(d).

(2) The Office may require additional evidence to determine if the application under § 1.53(d) was transmitted to and received in the Office on the date in question.

(g) Submission of the national stage correspondence required by § 1.495 via the Office electronic filing system. In the event that the Office has no evidence of receipt of the national stage correspondence required by § 1.495, which was submitted to the Office by the Office electronic filing system, the party who submitted the correspondence may petition the Director to accord the national stage correspondence a receipt date as of the date the correspondence is shown to have been officially submitted to the Office.

(1) The petition of this paragraph (g) requires that the party who submitted such national stage correspondence:

(i) Informs the Office of the previous submission of the correspondence promptly after becoming aware that the Office has no evidence of receipt of the correspondence under § 1.495;

(ii) Supplies an additional copy of the previously submitted correspondence;

(iii) Includes a statement that attests on a personal knowledge basis, or to the satisfaction of the Director, that the correspondence was previously officially submitted; and

(iv) Supplies a copy of an acknowledgment receipt generated by the Office electronic filing system, or equivalent evidence, confirming the submission to support the statement of paragraph (g)(1)(iii) of this section.

(2) The Office may require additional evidence to determine if the national stage correspondence was submitted to the Office on the date in question.

[58 FR 54501, Oct. 22, 1993; 58 FR 64154, Dec. 6, 1993; 61 FR 56447, Nov. 1, 1996; 62 FR 53180, Oct. 10, 1997; 64 FR 48917, Sept. 8, 1999; 65 FR 54657, Sept. 8, 2000; 65 FR 76772, Dec. 7, 2000; 68 FR 14336, Mar. 25, 2003; 68 FR 48288, Aug. 13, 2003; 69 FR 49997, Aug. 12, 2004; 69 FR 56536, Sept. 21, 2004; 72 FR 2775, Jan. 23, 2007; 77 FR 42173, July 17, 2012; 77 FR 46624, Aug. 6, 2012; 78 FR 62394, Oct. 21, 2013; 79 FR 63039, Oct. 22, 2014; 80 FR 17952, Apr. 2, 2015; 86 FR 35229, July 2, 2021]

§ 1.7 Times for taking action; Expiration on Saturday, Sunday or Federal holiday.

(a) Whenever periods of time are specified in this part in days, calendar days are intended. When the day, or the last day fixed by statute or by or under this part for taking any action or paying any fee in the United States Patent and Trademark Office falls on Saturday, Sunday, or on a Federal holiday within the District of Columbia, the action may be taken, or the fee paid, on the next succeeding business day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or a Federal holiday. See § 90.3 of this chapter for time for appeal or for commencing civil action.

(b) If the day that is twelve months after the filing date of a provisional application under 35 U.S.C. 111(b) and § 1.53(c) falls on Saturday, Sunday, or on a Federal holiday within the District of Columbia, the period of pendency shall be extended to the next succeeding secular or business day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or a Federal holiday.

[65 FR 14871, Mar. 20, 2000, as amended at 78 FR 62395, Oct. 21, 2013]

§ 1.8 Certificate of mailing or transmission.

(a) Except in the situations enumerated in paragraph (a)(2) of this section or as otherwise expressly excluded in this chapter, correspondence required to be filed in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office within a set period of time will be considered as being timely filed if the procedure described in this section is followed. The actual date of receipt will be used for all other purposes.

(1) Correspondence will be considered as being timely filed if:

(i) The correspondence is mailed or transmitted prior to expiration of the set period of time by being:

(A) Addressed as set out in § 1.1(a) and deposited with the U.S. Postal Service with sufficient postage as first class mail;

(B) Transmitted by facsimile to the Patent and Trademark Office in accordance with § 1.6(d); or

(C) Transmitted via the Office electronic filing system in accordance with § 1.6(a)(4); and

(ii) The correspondence includes a certificate for each piece of correspondence stating the date of deposit or transmission. The person signing the certificate should have reasonable basis to expect that the correspondence would be mailed or transmitted on or before the date indicated.

(2) The procedure described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section does not apply to, and no benefit will be given to a Certificate of Mailing or Transmission on the following:

(i) Relative to Patents and Patent Applications -

(A) The filing of a national patent application specification and drawing or other correspondence for the purpose of obtaining an application filing date, including a request for a continued prosecution application under § 1.53(d);

(B) Papers filed in trials before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which are governed by § 42.6(b) of this title;

(C) Papers filed in contested cases before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which are governed by § 41.106 (f) of this title;

(D) The filing of an international application for patent;

(E) The filing of correspondence in an international application before the U.S. Receiving Office, the U.S. International Searching Authority, or the U.S. International Preliminary Examining Authority;

(F) The filing of a copy of the international application and the basic national fee necessary to enter the national stage, as specified in § 1.495(b).

(G) The filing of a written declaration of abandonment under § 1.138;

(H) The filing of a submission under § 1.217 for publication of a redacted copy of an application;

(I) The filing of a third-party submission under § 1.290;

(J) The calculation of any period of adjustment, as specified in § 1.703(f); and

(K) The filing of an international design application.

(ii) [Reserved]

(iii) Relative to Disciplinary Proceedings -

(A) Correspondence filed in connection with a disciplinary proceeding under part 11 of this chapter.

(B) [Reserved]

(b) In the event that correspondence is considered timely filed by being mailed or transmitted in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, but not received in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after a reasonable amount of time has elapsed from the time of mailing or transmitting of the correspondence, or after the application is held to be abandoned, or after the proceeding is dismissed or decided with prejudice, or the prosecution of a reexamination proceeding is terminated pursuant to § 1.550(d) or § 1.957(b) or limited pursuant to § 1.957(c), or a requester paper is refused consideration pursuant to § 1.957(a), the correspondence will be considered timely if the party who forwarded such correspondence:

(1) Informs the Office of the previous mailing or transmission of the correspondence promptly after becoming aware that the Office has no evidence of receipt of the correspondence;

(2) Supplies an additional copy of the previously mailed or transmitted correspondence and certificate; and

(3) Includes a statement that attests on a personal knowledge basis or to the satisfaction of the Director to the previous timely mailing, transmission or submission. If the correspondence was sent by facsimile transmission, a copy of the sending unit's report confirming transmission may be used to support this statement. If the correspondence was transmitted via the Office electronic filing system, a copy of an acknowledgment receipt generated by the Office electronic filing system confirming submission may be used to support this statement.

(c) The Office may require additional evidence to determine if the correspondence was timely filed.

[58 FR 54502, Oct. 22, 1993; 58 FR 64154, Dec. 6, 1993, as amended at 61 FR 56447, Nov. 1, 1996; 62 FR 53181, Oct. 10, 1997; 67 FR 523, Jan. 4, 2002; 68 FR 48288, Aug. 13, 2003; 69 FR 49997, Aug. 12, 2004; 69 FR 56536, Sept. 21, 2004; 72 FR 2775, Jan. 23, 2007; 72 FR 18904, Apr. 16, 2007; 73 FR 47684, Aug. 14, 2008; 77 FR 42173, July 17, 2012; 80 FR 17953, Apr. 2, 2015]

§ 1.9 Definitions.

(a)

(1) A national application as used in this chapter means either a U.S. application for patent which was filed in the Office under 35 U.S.C. 111, an international application filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty in which the basic national fee under 35 U.S.C. 41(a)(1)(F) has been paid, or an international design application filed under the Hague Agreement in which the Office has received a copy of the international registration pursuant to Hague Agreement Article 10.

(2) A provisional application as used in this chapter means a U.S. national application for patent filed in the Office under 35 U.S.C. 111(b).

(3) A nonprovisional application as used in this chapter means either a U.S. national application for patent which was filed in the Office under 35 U.S.C. 111(a), an international application filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty in which the basic national fee under 35 U.S.C. 41(a)(1)(F) has been paid, or an international design application filed under the Hague Agreement in which the Office has received a copy of the international registration pursuant to Hague Agreement Article 10.

(b) An international application as used in this chapter means an international application for patent filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty prior to entering national processing at the Designated Office stage.

(c) A published application as used in this chapter means an application for patent which has been published under 35 U.S.C. 122(b).

(d)

(1) The term inventor or inventorship as used in this chapter means the individual or, if a joint invention, the individuals collectively who invented or discovered the subject matter of the invention.

(2) The term joint inventor or coinventor as used in this chapter means any one of the individuals who invented or discovered the subject matter of a joint invention.

(e) The term joint research agreement as used in this chapter means a written contract, grant, or cooperative agreement entered into by two or more persons or entities for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work in the field of the claimed invention.

(f) The term claimed invention as used in this chapter means the subject matter defined by a claim in a patent or an application for a patent.

(g) For definitions in Patent Trial and Appeal Board proceedings, see parts 41 and 42 of this title.

(h) A Federal holiday within the District of Columbia as used in this chapter means any day, except Saturdays and Sundays, when the Patent and Trademark Office is officially closed for business for the entire day.

(i) National security classified as used in this chapter means specifically authorized under criteria established by an Act of Congress or Executive Order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and, in fact, properly classified pursuant to such Act of Congress or Executive Order.

(j) Director as used in this chapter, except for part 11 of this chapter, means the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

(k) Paper as used in this chapter means a document that may exist in electronic form, or in physical form, and therefore does not necessarily imply physical sheets of paper.

(l) Hague Agreement as used in this chapter means the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs adopted at Geneva, Switzerland, on July 2, 1999, and Hague Agreement Article as used in this chapter means an Article under the Hague Agreement.

(m) Hague Agreement Regulations as used in this chapter means the Common Regulations Under the 1999 Act and the 1960 Act of the Hague Agreement, and Hague Agreement Rule as used in this chapter means one of the Hague Agreement Regulations.

(n) An international design application as used in this chapter means an application for international registration of a design filed under the Hague Agreement. Unless otherwise clear from the wording, reference to “design application” or “application for a design patent” in this chapter includes an international design application that designates the United States.

[43 FR 20461, May 11, 1978, as amended at 47 FR 40139, Sept. 10, 1982; 47 FR 43275, Sept. 30, 1982; 49 FR 48451, Dec. 12, 1984; 60 FR 20220, Apr. 25, 1995; 61 FR 56447, Nov. 1, 1996; 62 FR 53181, Oct. 10, 1997; 65 FR 54657, Sept. 8, 2000; 65 FR 57051, Sept. 20, 2000; 68 FR 14336, Mar. 25, 2003; 68 FR 38624, June 30, 2003; 69 FR 49997, Aug. 12, 2004; 73 FR 47685, Aug. 14, 2008; 77 FR 46624, Aug. 6, 2012; 77 FR 48812, Aug. 14, 2012; 78 FR 11052, Feb. 14, 2013; 80 FR 17953, Apr. 2, 2015]

§ 1.10 Filing of correspondence by Priority Mail Express®.

(a)

(1) Any correspondence received by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that was delivered by the Priority Mail Express® Post Office to Addressee service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) will be considered filed with the USPTO on the date of deposit with the USPS.

(2) The date of deposit with USPS is shown by the “date accepted” on the Priority Mail Express® label or other official USPS notation. If the USPS deposit date cannot be determined, the correspondence will be accorded the USPTO receipt date as the filing date. See § 1.6(a).

(b) Correspondence should be deposited directly with an employee of the USPS to ensure that the person depositing the correspondence receives a legible copy of the Priority Mail Express® mailing label with the “date accepted” clearly marked. Persons dealing indirectly with the employees of the USPS (such as by deposit in a Priority Mail Express® drop box) do so at the risk of not receiving a copy of the Priority Mail Express® mailing label with the desired “date accepted” clearly marked. The paper(s) or fee(s) that constitute the correspondence should also include the Priority Mail Express® mailing label number thereon. See paragraphs (c), (d) and (e) of this section.

(c) Any person filing correspondence under this section that was received by the Office and delivered by the Priority Mail Express® Post Office to Addressee service of the USPS, who can show that there is a discrepancy between the filing date accorded by the Office to the correspondence and the date of deposit as shown by the “date accepted” on the Priority Mail Express® mailing label or other official USPS notation, may petition the Director to accord the correspondence a filing date as of the “date accepted” on the Priority Mail Express® mailing label or other official USPS notation, provided that:

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

(2) 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®; and

(3) The petition includes a true copy of the Priority Mail Express® mailing label showing the “date accepted,” and of any other official notation by the USPS relied upon to show the date of deposit.

(d) Any person filing correspondence under this section that was received by the Office and delivered by the Priority Mail Express® Post Office to Addressee service of the USPS, who can show that the “date accepted” on the Priority Mail Express® mailing label or other official notation entered by the USPS was incorrectly entered or omitted by the USPS, may petition the Director to accord the correspondence a filing date as of the date the correspondence is shown to have been deposited with the USPS, provided that:

(1) The petition is 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;

(2) 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®; and

(3) The petition includes a showing which establishes, to the satisfaction of the Director, that the requested filing date was the date the correspondence was deposited in the Priority Mail Express® Post Office to Addressee service prior to the last scheduled pickup for that day. Any showing pursuant to this paragraph must be corroborated by evidence from the USPS or that came into being after deposit and within one business day of the deposit of the correspondence in the Priority Mail Express® Post Office to Addressee service of the USPS.

(e) Any person mailing correspondence addressed as set out in § 1.1(a) to the Office with sufficient postage utilizing the Priority Mail Express® Post Office to Addressee service of the USPS but not received by the Office, may petition the Director to consider such correspondence filed in the Office on the USPS deposit date, provided that:

(1) The petition is filed promptly after the person becomes aware that the Office has no evidence of receipt of the correspondence;

(2) 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®;

(3) The petition includes a copy of the originally deposited paper(s) or fee(s) that constitute the 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,” a copy of any other official notation by the USPS relied upon to show the date of deposit, and, if the requested filing date is a date other than the “date accepted” on the Priority Mail Express® mailing label or other official notation entered by the USPS, a showing pursuant to paragraph (d)(3) of this section that the requested filing date was the date the correspondence was deposited in the Priority Mail Express® Post Office to Addressee service prior to the last scheduled pickup for that day; and

(4) The petition includes a statement which establishes, to the satisfaction of the Director, the original deposit of the correspondence and that the copies of the correspondence, the copy of the Priority Mail Express® mailing label, the copy of any returned postcard receipt, and any official notation entered by the USPS are true copies of the originally mailed correspondence, original Priority Mail Express® mailing label, returned postcard receipt, and official notation entered by the USPS.

(f) The Office may require additional evidence to determine if the correspondence was deposited as Priority Mail Express® with the USPS on the date in question.

(g) Any person who mails correspondence addressed as set out in § 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 returned by the USPS due to an interruption or emergency in Priority Mail Express® service, may petition the Director to consider such correspondence as filed on a particular date in the Office, provided that:

(1) The petition is filed promptly after the person becomes aware of the return of the correspondence;

(2) 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®;

(3) The petition includes 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

(4) The petition includes a statement which establishes, to the satisfaction of the Director, the original deposit of the correspondence and that the correspondence or 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. The Office may require additional evidence to determine if the correspondence was returned by the USPS due to an interruption or emergency in Priority Mail Express® service.

(h) Any person who attempts to mail correspondence addressed as set out in § 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 such correspondence as filed on a particular date in the Office, provided that:

(1) The petition is filed promptly after the person becomes aware of the refusal of the correspondence;

(2) 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®;

(3) The petition includes the original correspondence or a copy of the original correspondence showing the number of the Priority Mail Express® mailing label thereon; and

(4) The petition includes 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. The Office may require additional evidence to determine if the correspondence was refused by an employee of the USPS due to an interruption or emergency in Priority Mail Express® service.

(i) Any person attempting to file correspondence under this section 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, provided that:

(1) The petition is 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;

(2) The petition includes the original correspondence or a copy of the original correspondence; and

(3) The petition includes 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.

[79 FR 63039, Oct. 22, 2014]

Records and Files of the Patent and Trademark Office
§ 1.11 Files open to the public.

(a) The specification, drawings, and all papers relating to the file of: A published application; a patent; or a statutory invention registration are open to inspection by the public, and copies may be obtained upon the payment of the fee set forth in § 1.19(b)(2). If an application was published in redacted form pursuant to § 1.217, the complete file wrapper and contents of the patent application will not be available if: The requirements of paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(3) of § 1.217 have been met in the application; and the application is still pending. See § 2.27 of this title for trademark files.

(b) All reissue applications, all applications in which the Office has accepted a request to open the complete application to inspection by the public, and related papers in the application file, are open to inspection by the public, and copies may be furnished upon paying the fee therefor. The filing of reissue applications, other than continued prosecution applications under § 1.53(d) of reissue applications, will be announced in the Official Gazette. The announcement shall include at least the filing date, reissue application and original patent numbers, title, class and subclass, name of the inventor, name of the owner of record, name of the attorney or agent of record, and examining group to which the reissue application is assigned.

(c) All requests for reexamination for which all the requirements of § 1.510 or § 1.915 have been satisfied will be announced in the Official Gazette. Any reexaminations at the initiative of the Director pursuant to § 1.520 will also be announced in the Official Gazette. The announcement shall include at least the date of the request, if any, the reexamination request control number or the Director initiated order control number, patent number, title, class and subclass, name of the inventor, name of the patent owner of record, and the examining group to which the reexamination is assigned.

(d) All papers or copies thereof relating to a reexamination proceeding which have been entered of record in the patent or reexamination file are open to inspection by the general public, and copies may be furnished upon paying the fee therefor.

(e) Except as prohibited in § 41.6(b), § 42.14 or § 42.410(b), the file of any interference or trial before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board is open to public inspection and copies of the file may be obtained upon payment of the fee therefor.

[46 FR 29181, May 29, 1981, as amended at 47 FR 41272, Sept. 17, 1982; 50 FR 9378, Mar. 7, 1985; 60 FR 14518, Mar. 17, 1995; 62 FR 53181, Oct. 10, 1997; 65 FR 57051, Sept. 20, 2000; 69 FR 49997, Aug. 12, 2004; 70 FR 56126, Sept. 26, 2005; 71 FR 44223, Aug. 4, 2006; 77 FR 46624, Aug. 6, 2012]

§ 1.12 Assignment records open to public inspection.

(a)

(1) Separate assignment records are maintained in the United States Patent and Trademark Office for patents and trademarks. The assignment records, relating to original or reissue patents, including digests and indexes (for assignments recorded on or after May 1, 1957), and published patent applications, are open to public inspection at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and copies of patent assignment records may be obtained upon request and payment of the fee set forth in § 1.19 of this chapter. See § 2.200 of this chapter regarding trademark assignment records.

(2) All records of assignments of patents recorded before May 1, 1957, are maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The records are open to public inspection. Certified and uncertified copies of those assignment records are provided by NARA upon request and payment of the fees required by NARA.

(b) Assignment records, digests, and indexes relating to any pending or abandoned patent application, which is open to the public pursuant to § 1.11 or for which copies or access may be supplied pursuant to § 1.14, are available to the public. Copies of any assignment records, digests, and indexes that are not available to the public shall be obtainable only upon written authority of an inventor, the applicant, the assignee or an assignee of an undivided part interest, or a patent practitioner of record, or upon a showing that the person seeking such information is a bona fide prospective or actual purchaser, mortgagee, or licensee of such application, unless it shall be necessary to the proper conduct of business before the Office or as provided in this part.

(c) Any request by a member of the public seeking copies of any assignment records of any pending or abandoned patent application preserved in confidence under § 1.14, or any information with respect thereto, must:

(1) Be in the form of a petition including the fee set forth in § 1.17(g); or

(2) Include written authority granting access to the member of the public to the particular assignment records from an inventor, the applicant, the assignee or an assignee of an undivided part interest, or a patent practitioner of record.

(d) An order for a copy of an assignment or other document should identify the reel and frame number where the assignment or document is recorded. If a document is identified without specifying its correct reel and frame, an extra charge as set forth in § 1.21(j) will be made for the time consumed in making a search for such assignment.

[47 FR 41272, Sept. 17, 1982, as amended at 54 FR 6900, Feb. 15, 1989; 56 FR 65151, Dec. 13, 1991; 56 FR 66670, Dec. 24, 1991; 57 FR 29641, July 6, 1992; 60 FR 20221, Apr. 25, 1995; 61 FR 42802, Aug. 19, 1996; 65 FR 54657, Sept. 8, 2000; 65 FR 57051, Sept. 20, 2000; 68 FR 48288, Aug. 13, 2003; 69 FR 29877, May 26, 2004; 69 FR 56536, Sept. 21, 2004; 77 FR 48812, Aug. 14, 2012]

§ 1.13 Copies and certified copies.

(a) Non-certified copies of patents, and patent application publications and of any records, books, papers, or drawings within the jurisdiction of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and open to the public, will be furnished by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to any person, and copies of other records or papers will be furnished to persons entitled thereto, upon payment of the appropriate fee. See § 2.201 of this chapter regarding copies of trademark records.

(b) Certified copies of patents, patent application publications, and trademark registrations and of any records, books, papers, or drawings within the jurisdiction of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and open to the public or persons entitled thereto will be authenticated by the seal of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and certified by the Director, or in his or her name, upon payment of the fee for the certified copy.

[68 FR 48288, Aug. 13, 2003, as amended at 68 FR 71006, Dec. 22, 2003]

§ 1.14 Patent applications preserved in confidence.

(a) Confidentiality of patent application information. Patent applications that have not been published under 35 U.S.C. 122(b) are generally preserved in confidence pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 122(a). Information concerning the filing, pendency, or subject matter of an application for patent, including status information, and access to the application, will only be given to the public as set forth in § 1.11 or in this section.

(1) Records associated with patent applications (see paragraph (g) of this section for international applications and paragraph (j) of this section for international design applications) may be available in the following situations:

(i) Patented applications and statutory invention registrations. The file of an application that has issued as a patent or published as a statutory invention registration is available to the public as set forth in § 1.11(a). A copy of the patent application-as-filed, the file contents of the application, or a specific document in the file of such an application may be provided upon request and payment of the appropriate fee set forth in § 1.19(b).

(ii) Published abandoned applications. The file of an abandoned published application is available to the public as set forth in § 1.11(a). A copy of the application-as-filed, the file contents of the published application, or a specific document in the file of the published application may be provided to any person upon request and payment of the appropriate fee set forth in § 1.19(b).

(iii) Published pending applications. A copy of the application-as-filed, the file contents of the application, or a specific document in the file of a pending published application may be provided to any person upon request and payment of the appropriate fee set forth in § 1.19(b). If a redacted copy of the application was used for the patent application publication, the copy of the specification, drawings, and papers may be limited to a redacted copy. The Office will not provide access to the paper file of a pending application that has been published, except as provided in paragraph (c) or (i) of this section.

(iv) Unpublished abandoned applications (including provisional applications) that are identified or relied upon. The file contents of an unpublished, abandoned application may be made available to the public if the application is identified in a U.S. patent, a statutory invention registration, a U.S. patent application publication, an international publication of an international application under PCT Article 21(2), or a publication of an international registration under Hague Agreement Article 10(3) of an international design application designating the United States. An application is considered to have been identified in a document, such as a patent, when the application number or serial number and filing date, first named inventor, title, and filing date or other application specific information are provided in the text of the patent, but not when the same identification is made in a paper in the file contents of the patent and is not included in the printed patent. Also, the file contents may be made available to the public, upon a written request, if benefit of the abandoned application is claimed under 35 U.S.C. 119(e), 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) in an application that has issued as a U.S. patent, or has published as a statutory invention registration, a U.S. patent application publication, an international publication of an international application under PCT Article 21(2), or a publication of an international registration under Hague Agreement Article 10(3). A copy of the application-as-filed, the file contents of the application, or a specific document in the file of the application may be provided to any person upon written request and payment of the appropriate fee (§ 1.19(b)).

(v) Unpublished pending applications (including provisional applications) whose benefit is claimed. A copy of the file contents of an unpublished pending application may be provided to any person, upon written request and payment of the appropriate fee (§ 1.19(b)), if the benefit of the application is claimed under 35 U.S.C. 119(e), 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) in an application that has issued as a U.S. patent, or in an application that has published as a statutory invention registration, a U.S. patent application publication, an international publication of an international application under PCT Article 21(2), or a publication of an international registration under Hague Agreement Article 10(3). A copy of the application-as-filed or a specific document in the file of the pending application may also be provided to any person upon written request and payment of the appropriate fee (§ 1.19(b)). The Office will not provide access to the paper file of a pending application, except as provided in paragraph (c) or (i) of this section.

(vi) Unpublished pending applications (including provisional applications) that are incorporated by reference or otherwise identified. A copy of the application as originally filed of an unpublished pending application may be provided to any person, upon written request and payment of the appropriate fee (§ 1.19(b)), if the application is incorporated by reference or otherwise identified in a U.S. patent, a statutory invention registration, a U.S. patent application publication, an international publication of an international application under PCT Article 21(2), or a publication of an international registration under Hague Agreement Article 10(3) of an international design application designating the United States. The Office will not provide access to the paper file of a pending application, except as provided in paragraph (c) or (i) of this section.

(vii) When a petition for access or a power to inspect is required. Applications that were not published or patented, that are not the subject of a benefit claim under 35 U.S.C. 119(e), 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) in an application that has issued as a U.S. patent, an application that has published as a statutory invention registration, a U.S. patent application publication, an international publication of an international application under PCT Article 21(2), or a publication of an international registration under Hague Agreement Article 10(3), or are not identified in a U.S. patent, a statutory invention registration, a U.S. patent application publication, an international publication of an international application under PCT Article 21(2), or a publication of an international registration under Hague Agreement Article 10(3) of an international design application designating the United States, are not available to the public. If an application is identified in the file contents of another application, but not the published patent application or patent itself, a granted petition for access (see paragraph (i)) or a power to inspect (see paragraph (c) of this section) is necessary to obtain the application, or a copy of the application.

(2) Information concerning a patent application may be communicated to the public if the patent application is identified in a published patent document or in an application as set forth in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (a)(1)(vi) of this section. The information that may be communicated to the public (i.e., status information) includes:

(i) Whether the application is pending, abandoned, or patented;

(ii) Whether the application has been published under 35 U.S.C. 122(b);

(iii) The application “numerical identifier” which may be:

(A) The eight-digit application number (the two-digit series code plus the six-digit serial number); or

(B) The six-digit serial number plus any one of the filing date of the national application, the international filing date, or date of entry into the national stage; and

(iv) Whether another application claims the benefit of the application (i.e., whether there are any applications that claim the benefit of the filing date under 35 U.S.C. 119(e), 120, 121, 365, or 386 of the application), and if there are any such applications, the numerical identifier of the application, the specified relationship between the applications (e.g., continuation), whether the application is pending, abandoned or patented, and whether the application has been published under 35 U.S.C. 122(b).

(b) Electronic access to an application. Where a copy of the application file or access to the application may be made available pursuant to this section, the Office may at its discretion provide access to only an electronic copy of the specification, drawings, and file contents of the application.

(c) Power to inspect a pending or abandoned application. Access to an application may be provided to any person if the application file is available, and the application contains written authority (e.g., a power to inspect) granting access to such person. The written authority must be signed by:

(1) The applicant;

(2) A patent practitioner of record;

(3) The assignee or an assignee of an undivided part interest;

(4) The inventor or a joint inventor; or

(5) A registered attorney or agent named in the papers accompanying the application papers filed under § 1.53 or the national stage documents filed under § 1.495, if a power of attorney has not been appointed under § 1.32.

(d) Applications reported to Department of Energy. Applications for patents which appear to disclose, purport to disclose or do disclose inventions or discoveries relating to atomic energy are reported to the Department of Energy, which Department will be given access to the applications. Such reporting does not constitute a determination that the subject matter of each application so reported is in fact useful or is an invention or discovery, or that such application in fact discloses subject matter in categories specified by 42 U.S.C. 2181(c) and (d).

(e) Decisions by the Director. Any decision by the Director that would not otherwise be open to public inspection may be published or made available for public inspection if:

(1) The Director believes the decision involves an interpretation of patent laws or regulations that would be of precedential value; and

(2) The applicant is given notice and an opportunity to object in writing within two months on the ground that the decision discloses a trade secret or other confidential information. Any objection must identify the deletions in the text of the decision considered necessary to protect the information, or explain why the entire decision must be withheld from the public to protect such information. An applicant or party will be given time, not less than twenty days, to request reconsideration and seek court review before any portions of a decision are made public under this paragraph over his or her objection.

(f) Notice to inventor of the filing of an application. The Office may publish notice in the Official Gazette as to the filing of an application on behalf of an inventor by a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter.

(g) International applications.

(1) Copies of international application files for international applications which designate the U.S. and which have been published in accordance with PCT Article 21(2), or copies of a document in such application files, will be furnished in accordance with PCT Articles 30 and 38 and PCT Rules 94.2 and 94.3, upon written request including a showing that the publication of the application has occurred and that the U.S. was designated, and upon payment of the appropriate fee (see § 1.19(b)), if:

(i) With respect to the Home Copy (the copy of the international application kept by the Office in its capacity as the Receiving Office, see PCT Article 12(1)), the international application was filed with the U.S. Receiving Office;

(ii) With respect to the Search Copy (the copy of an international application kept by the Office in its capacity as the International Searching Authority, see PCT Article 12(1)), the U.S. acted as the International Searching Authority, except for the written opinion of the International Searching Authority which shall not be available until the expiration of thirty months from the priority date; or

(iii) With respect to the Examination Copy (the copy of an international application kept by the Office in its capacity as the International Preliminary Examining Authority), the United States acted as the International Preliminary Examining Authority, an International Preliminary Examination Report has issued, and the United States was elected.

(2) A copy of an English language translation of a publication of an international application which has been filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 154(d)(4) will be furnished upon written request including a showing that the publication of the application in accordance with PCT Article 21(2) has occurred and that the U.S. was designated, and upon payment of the appropriate fee (§ 1.19(b)(4)).

(3) Access to international application files for international applications which designate the U.S. and which have been published in accordance with PCT Article 21(2), or copies of a document in such application files, will be permitted in accordance with PCT Articles 30 and 38 and PCT Rules 44ter.1, 94.2 and 94.3, upon written request including a showing that the publication of the application has occurred and that the U.S. was designated.

(4) In accordance with PCT Article 30, copies of an international application-as-filed under paragraph (a) of this section will not be provided prior to the international publication of the application pursuant to PCT Article 21(2).

(5) Access to international application files under paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (a)(1)(vi) and (g)(3) of this section will not be permitted with respect to the Examination Copy in accordance with PCT Article 38.

(h) Access by a Foreign Intellectual Property Office.

(1) Access to an application-as-filed may be provided to any foreign intellectual property office participating with the Office in a bilateral or multilateral priority document exchange agreement (participating foreign intellectual property office), if the application contains written authority granting such access. Written authority provided under this paragraph (h)(1) will be treated as authorizing the Office to provide the following to all participating foreign intellectual property offices in accordance with their respective agreements with the Office:

(i) A copy of the application-as-filed and its related bibliographic data;

(ii) A copy of the application-as-filed of any application the filing date of which is claimed by the application in which written authority under this paragraph (h)(1) is filed and its related bibliographic data; and

(iii) The date of filing of the written authorization under this paragraph (h)(1).

(2) Access to the file contents of an application may be provided to a foreign intellectual property office that has imposed a requirement for information on a counterpart application filed with the foreign intellectual property office where the foreign intellectual property office is a party to a bilateral or multilateral agreement with the Office to provide the required information from the application filed with the Office and the application contains written authority granting such access. Written authority provided under this paragraph (h)(2) will be treated as authorizing the Office to provide the following to all foreign intellectual property offices in accordance with their respective agreements with the Office:

(i) Bibliographic data related to the application; and

(ii) Any content of the application file necessary to satisfy the foreign intellectual property office requirement for information imposed on the counterpart application as indicated in the respective agreement.

(3) Written authority provided under paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this section must include the title of the invention (§ 1.72(a)), comply with the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section, and be submitted on an application data sheet (§ 1.76) or on a separate document (§ 1.4(c)). The written authority provided under these paragraphs should be submitted before filing any subsequent foreign application in which priority is claimed to the application.

(i) Access or copies in other circumstances. The Office, either sua sponte or on petition, may also provide access or copies of all or part of an application if necessary to carry out an Act of Congress or if warranted by other special circumstances. Any petition by a member of the public seeking access to, or copies of, all or part of any pending or abandoned application preserved in confidence pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, or any related papers, must include:

(1) The fee set forth in § 1.17(g); and

(2) A showing that access to the application is necessary to carry out an Act of Congress or that special circumstances exist which warrant petitioner being granted access to all or part of the application.

(j) International design applications.

(1) With respect to an international design application maintained by the Office in its capacity as a designated office (§ 1.1003) for national processing, the records associated with the international design application may be made available as provided under paragraphs (a) through (i) of this section.

(2) With respect to an international design application maintained by the Office in its capacity as an office of indirect filing (§ 1.1002), the records of the international design application may be made available under paragraph (j)(1) of this section where contained in the file of the international design application maintained by the Office for national processing. Also, if benefit of the international design application is claimed under 35 U.S.C. 386(c) in a U.S. patent or published application, the file contents of the application may be made available to the public, or the file contents of the application, a copy of the application-as-filed, or a specific document in the file of the application may be provided to any person upon written request and payment of the appropriate fee (§ 1.19(b)).

[68 FR 38624, June 30, 2003, as amended at 68 FR 59886, Oct. 20, 2003; 68 FR 67805, Dec. 4, 2003; 68 FR 71006, Dec. 22, 2003; 69 FR 49997, Aug. 12, 2004; 69 FR 56536, Sept. 21, 2004; 72 FR 1667, Jan. 16, 2007; 77 FR 48812, Aug. 14, 2012; 78 FR 11052, Feb. 14, 2013; 80 FR 17953, Apr. 2, 2015; 80 FR 65655, Oct. 27, 2015]

§ 1.15 [Reserved]
Fees and Payment of Money
Authority:

Sections 1.16 through 1.22 also issued under 35 U.S.C. 41, 111, 119, 120, 132(b), 156, 157, 255, 302, and 311, Public Laws 103-465, 106-113, and 112-29.

§ 1.16 National application filing, search, and examination fees.

(a) Basic fee for filing each application under 35 U.S.C. 111 for an original patent, except design, plant, or provisional applications:

Table 1 to Paragraph (a)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $80.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 160.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) if the application is submitted in compliance with the Office electronic filing system (§ 1.27(b)(2)) 80.00
By other than a small or micro entity 320.00

(b) Basic fee for filing each application under 35 U.S.C. 111 for an original design patent:

Table 2 to Paragraph (b)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $55.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 110.00
By other than a small or micro entity 220.00

(c) Basic fee for filing each application for an original plant patent:

Table 3 to Paragraph (c)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $55.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 110.00
By other than a small or micro entity 220.00

(d) Basic fee for filing each provisional application:

Table 4 to Paragraph (d)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $75.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 150.00
By other than a small or micro entity 300.00

(e) Basic fee for filing each application for the reissue of a patent:

Table 5 to Paragraph (e)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $80.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 160.00
By other than a small or micro entity 320.00

(f) Surcharge for filing the basic filing fee, search fee, examination fee, or the inventor's oath or declaration on a date later than the filing date of the application, an application that does not contain at least one claim on the filing date of the application, or an application filed by reference to a previously filed application under § 1.57(a), except provisional applications:

Table 6 to Paragraph (f)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $40.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 80.00
By other than a small or micro entity 160.00

(g) Surcharge for filing the basic filing fee or cover sheet (§ 1.51(c)(1)) on a date later than the filing date of the provisional application:

Table 7 to Paragraph (g)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $15.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 30.00
By other than a small or micro entity 60.00

(h) In addition to the basic filing fee in an application, other than a provisional application, for filing or later presentation at any other time of each claim in independent form in excess of three:

Table 8 to Paragraph (h)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $120.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 240.00
By other than a small or micro entity 480.00

(i) In addition to the basic filing fee in an application, other than a provisional application, for filing or later presentation at any other time of each claim (whether dependent or independent) in excess of 20 (note that § 1.75(c) indicates how multiple dependent claims are considered for fee calculation purposes):

Table 9 to Paragraph (i)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $25.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 50.00
By other than a small or micro entity 100.00

(j) In addition to the basic filing fee in an application, other than a provisional application, that contains, or is amended to contain, a multiple dependent claim, per application:

Table 10 to Paragraph (j)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $215.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 430.00
By other than a small or micro entity 860.00

(k) Search fee for each application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111 for an original patent, except design, plant, or provisional applications:

Table 11 to Paragraph (k)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $175.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 350.00
By other than a small or micro entity 700.00

(l) Search fee for each application under 35 U.S.C. 111 for an original design patent:

Table 12 to Paragraph (l)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $40.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 80.00
By other than a small or micro entity 160.00

(m) Search fee for each application for an original plant patent:

Table 13 to Paragraph (m)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $110.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 220.00
By other than a small or micro entity 440.00

(n) Search fee for each application for the reissue of a patent:

Table 14 to Paragraph (n)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $175.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 350.00
By other than a small or micro entity 700.00

(o) Examination fee for each application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111 for an original patent, except design, plant, or provisional applications:

Table 15 to Paragraph (o)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $200.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 400.00
By other than a small or micro entity 800.00

(p) Examination fee for each application under 35 U.S.C. 111 for an original design patent:

Table 16 to Paragraph (p)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $160.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 320.00
By other than a small or micro entity 640.00

(q) Examination fee for each application for an original plant patent:

Table 17 to Paragraph (q)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $165.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 330.00
By other than a small or micro entit 660.00

(r) Examination fee for each application for the reissue of a patent:

Table 18 to Paragraph (r)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $580.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 1,160.00
By other than a small or micro entity 2,320.00

(s) Application size fee for any application filed under 35 U.S.C.111 for the specification and drawings which exceed 100 sheets of paper, for each additional 50 sheets or fraction thereof:

Table 19 to Paragraph (s)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $105.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 210.00
By other than a small or micro entity 420.00

(t) Non-electronic filing fee for any application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) that is filed on or after November 15, 2011, other than by the Office electronic filing system, except for a reissue, design, or plant application:

Table 20 to Paragraph (t)

By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) $200.00
By other than a small entity $400.00

(u) Additional fee for any application filed on or after January 1, 2022 under 35 U.S.C.111 for an original patent, except design, plant, or provisional applications, where the specification, claims, and/or abstract does not conform to the USPTO requirements for submission in DOCX format:

Table 21 to Paragraph (u)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $100.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 200.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) if the application is submitted in compliance with the Office electronic filing system (§ 1.27(b)(2)) 200.00
By other than a small or micro entity 400.00
Note to § 1.16:

See §§ 1.445, 1.482 and 1.492 for international application filing and processing fees.

[70 FR 3887, Jan. 27, 2005, as amended at 70 FR 30365, May 26, 2005; 72 FR 46901, Aug. 22, 2007; 73 FR 47540, Aug. 14, 2008; 76 FR 70653, Nov. 15, 2011; 77 FR 48812, Aug. 14, 2012; 77 FR 54365, Sept. 5, 2012; 78 FR 4284, Jan. 18, 2013; 78 FR 62395, Oct. 21, 2013; 80 FR 17954, Apr. 2, 2015; 82 FR 52813, Nov. 14, 2017; 85 FR 46985, Aug. 3, 2020]

§ 1.17 Patent application and reexamination processing fees.

(a) Extension fees pursuant to § 1.136(a):

(1) For reply within first month:

Table 1 to Paragraph (a)(1)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $55.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 110.00
By other than a small or micro entity 220.00

(2) For reply within second month:

Table 2 to Paragraph (a)(2)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $160.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 320.00
By other than a small or micro entity 640.00

(3) For reply within third month:

Table 3 to Paragraph (a)(3)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $370.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 740.00
By other than a small or micro entity 1,480.00

(4) For reply within fourth month:

Table 4 to Paragraph (a)(4)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $580.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 1,160.00
By other than a small or micro entity $2,320.00

(5) For reply within fifth month:

Table 5 to Paragraph (a)(5)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $790.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 1,580.00
By other than a small or micro entity 3,160.00

(b) For fees in proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, see § 41.20 and § 42.15 of this title.

(c) For filing a request for prioritized examination under § 1.102(e):

Table 6 to Paragraph (c)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $1,050.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 2,100.00
By other than a small or micro entity 4,200.00

(d) For correction of inventorship in an application after the first action on the merits:

Table 7 to Paragraph (d)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $160.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 320.00
By other than a small or micro entity 640.00

(e) To request continued examination pursuant to § 1.114:

(1) For filing a first request for continued examination pursuant to § 1.114 in an application:

Table 8 to Paragraph (e)(1)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $340.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 680.00
By other than a small or micro entity 1,360.00

(2) For filing a second or subsequent request for continued examination pursuant to § 1.114 in an application:

Table 9 to Paragraph (e)(2)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $500.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 1,000.00
By other than a small or micro entity 2,000.00

(f) For filing a petition under one of the following sections that refers to this paragraph (f):

Table 10 to Paragraph (f)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $105.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 210.00
By other than a small or micro entity 420.00

§ 1.36(a) - for revocation of a power of attorney by fewer than all of the applicants.

§ 1.53(e) - to accord a filing date.

§ 1.182 - for a decision on a question not specifically provided for in an application for a patent.

§ 1.183 - to suspend the rules in an application for a patent.

§ 1.741(b) - to accord a filing date to an application under § 1.740 for an extension of a patent term.

§ 1.1023 - to review the filing date of an international design application.

(g) For filing a petition under one of the following sections that refers to this paragraph (g):

Table 11 to Paragraph (g)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $55.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 110.00
By other than a small or micro entity 220.00

§ 1.12 - for access to an assignment record.

§ 1.14 - for access to an application.

§ 1.46 - for filing an application on behalf of an inventor by a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter.

§ 1.55(f) - for filing a belated certified copy of a foreign application.

§ 1.55(g) - for filing a belated certified copy of a foreign application.

§ 1.57(a) - for filing a belated certified copy of a foreign application.

§ 1.59 - for expungement of information.

§ 1.103(a) - to suspend action in an application.

§ 1.136(b) - for review of a request for an extension of time when the provisions of § 1.136(a) are not available.

§ 1.377 - for review of a decision refusing to accept and record payment of a maintenance fee filed prior to the expiration of a patent.

§ 1.550(c) - for patent owner requests for an extension of time in ex parte reexamination proceedings.

§ 1.956 - for patent owner requests for an extension of time in inter partes reexamination proceedings.

§ 5.12 of this chapter - for expedited handling of a foreign filing license.

§ 5.15 of this chapter - for changing the scope of a license.

§ 5.25 of this chapter - for a retroactive license.

(h) For filing a petition under one of the following sections that refers to this paragraph (h):

Table 12 to Paragraph (h)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $35.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 70.00
By other than a small or micro entity 140.00

§ 1.84 - for accepting color drawings or photographs.

§ 1.91 - for entry of a model or exhibit.

§ 1.102(d) - to make an application special.

§ 1.138(c) - to expressly abandon an application to avoid publication.

§ 1.313 - to withdraw an application from issue.

§ 1.314 - to defer issuance of a patent.

(i) Processing fees.

(1) For taking action under one of the following sections that refers to this paragraph (i)(1):

Table 13 to Paragraph (i)(1)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $35.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 70.00
By other than a small or micro entity 140.00

§ 1.28(c)(3) - for processing a non-itemized fee deficiency based on an error in small entity status.

§ 1.29(k)(3) - for processing a non-itemized fee deficiency based on an error in micro entity status.

§ 1.41(b) - for supplying the name or names of the inventor or joint inventors in an application without either an application data sheet or the inventor's oath or declaration, except in provisional applications.

§ 1.48 - for correcting inventorship, except in provisional applications.

§ 1.52(d) - for processing a nonprovisional application filed with a specification in a language other than English.

§ 1.53(c)(3) - t convert a provisional application filed under § 1.53(c) into a nonprovisional application under § 1.53(b).

§ 1.71(g)(2) - for processing a belated amendment under § 1.71(g).

§ 1.102(e) - for requesting prioritized examination of an application.

§ 1.103(b) - for requesting limited suspension of action, continued prosecution application for a design patent (§ 1.53(d)).

§ 1.103(c) - for requesting limited suspension of action, request for continued examination (§ 1.114).

§ 1.103(d) - for requesting deferred examination of an application.

§ 1.291(c)(5) - for processing a second or subsequent protest by the same real party in interest.

§ 3.81 - for a patent to issue to assignee, assignment submitted after payment of the issue fee.

(2) For taking action under one of the following sections that refers to this paragraph (i)(2):

Table 14 to Paragraph (i)(2)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $140.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 140.00
By other than a small or micro entity 140.00

§ 1.217 - for processing a redacted copy of a paper submitted in the file of an application in which a redacted copy was submitted for the patent application publication.

§ 1.221 - for requesting voluntary publication or republication of an application.

(j) [Reserved]

(k) For filing a request for expedited examination under § 1.155(a):

Table 15 to Paragraph (k)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $400.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 800.00
By other than a small or micro entity 1,600.00

(l) [Reserved]

(m) For filing a petition for the revival of an abandoned application for a patent, for the delayed payment of the fee for issuing each patent, for the delayed response by the patent owner in any reexamination proceeding, for the delayed payment of the fee for maintaining a patent in force, for the delayed submission of a priority or benefit claim, for the extension of the 12-month (six-month for designs) period for filing a subsequent application (§§ 1.55(c) and (e); 1.78(b), (c), and (e); 1.137; 1.378; and 1.452), or for filing a petition to excuse an applicant's failure to act within prescribed time limits in an international design application (§ 1.1051):

Table 16 to Paragraph (m)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $525.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 1,050.00
By other than a small or micro entity 2,100.00

(n) [Reserved]

(o) For every ten items or fraction thereof in a third-party submission under § 1.290:

Table 17 to Paragraph (o)

By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) or micro entity (§ 1.29) $90.00
By other than a small entity $180.00

(p) For an information disclosure statement under § 1.97(c) or (d):

Table 18 to Paragraph (p)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $65.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 130.00
By other than a small or micro entity 260.00

(q) Processing fee for taking action under one of the following sections that refers to this paragraph (q): $50.00

§ 1.41 - to supply the name or names of the inventor or inventors after the filing date without a cover sheet as prescribed by § 1.51(c)(1) in a provisional application.

§ 1.48 - for correction of inventorship in a provisional application.

§ 1.53(c)(2) - to convert a nonprovisional application filed under § 1.53(b) to a provisional application under § 1.53(c).

(r) For entry of a submission after final rejection under § 1.129(a):

Table 19 to Paragraph (r)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $220.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 440.00
By other than a small or micro entity 880.00

(s) For each additional invention requested to be examined under § 1.129(b):

Table 20 to Paragraph (s)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $220.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 440.00
By other than a small or micro entity 880.00

(t) For filing a petition to convert an international design application to a design application under 35 U.S.C. chapter 16 (§ 1.1052):

Table 21 to Paragraph (t)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $45.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 90.00
By other than a small or micro entity 180.00

[78 FR 17105, Mar. 20, 2013, as amended at 78 FR 62395, Oct. 21, 2013; 78 FR 75252, Dec. 11, 2013; 80 FR 17954, Apr. 2, 2015; 82 FR 52814, Nov. 14, 2017; 85 FR 46986, Aug. 3, 2020; 85 FR 58283, Sept. 18, 2020]

§ 1.18 Patent post allowance (including issue) fees.

(a) Issue fee for issuing each original patent, except a design or plant patent, or for issuing each reissue patent:

Table 1 to Paragraph (a)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $300.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 600.00
By other than a small or micro entity 1,200.00

(b)

(1) Issue fee for issuing an original design patent:

Table 2 to Paragraph (b)(1)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $185.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 370.00
By other than a small or micro entity 740.00

(2) [Reserved]

(3) Issue fee for issuing an international design application designating the United States, where the issue fee is paid through the International Bureau (Hague Agreement Rule 12(3)(c)) as an alternative to paying the issue fee under paragraph (b)(1) of this section: The amount established in Swiss currency pursuant to Hague Agreement Rule 28 as of the date of mailing of the notice of allowance (§ 1.311).

(c) Issue fee for issuing an original plant patent:

Table 3 to Paragraph (c)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $210.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 420.00
By other than a small or micro entity 840.00
(d)(1) Publication fee on or after January 1, 2014 $0.00
(2) Publication fee before January 1, 2014 300.00
(3) Republication fee (§ 1.221(a)) $320.00
(e) For filing an application for patent term adjustment under § 1.705 210.00
(f) For filing a request for reinstatement of all or part of the term reduced pursuant to § 1.704(b) in an application for a patent term adjustment under § 1.705 420.00

[78 FR 4286, Jan. 18, 2013, as amended at 80 FR 17955, Apr. 2, 2015; 82 FR 52814, Nov. 14, 2017; 85 FR 46988, Aug. 3, 2020; 85 FR 58283, Sept. 18, 2020]

§ 1.19 Document supply fees.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office will supply copies of the following patent-related documents upon payment of the fees indicated. Paper copies will be in black and white unless the original document is in color, a color copy is requested and the fee for a color copy is paid.

(a) Uncertified copies of patent application publications and patents:

(1) Printed copy of the paper portion of a patent application publication or patent including a design patent, statutory invention registration, or defensive publication document. Service includes preparation of copies by the Office within two to three business days and delivery by United States Postal Service; and preparation of copies by the Office within one business day of receipt and delivery to an Office Box or by electronic means (e.g., facsimile, electronic mail): $3.00.

(2) Printed copy of a plant patent in color: $15.00.

(3) Color copy of a patent (other than a plant patent) or statutory invention registration containing a color drawing: $25.00.

(b) Copies of Office documents to be provided in paper, or in electronic form, as determined by the Director (for other patent-related materials see § 1.21(k)):

(1) Copy of a patent application as filed, or a patent-related file wrapper and contents, stored in paper in a paper file wrapper, in an image format in an image file wrapper, or if color documents, stored in paper in an Artifact Folder:

(i) If provided on paper:

(A) Application as filed: $35.00.

(B) Copy Patent File Wrapper, Any Number of Sheets: $290.00

(C) [Reserved]

(D) Individual application documents, other than application as filed, per document: $25.00.

(ii) If provided on compact disc or other physical electronic medium in single order or if provided electronically (e.g., by electronic transmission) other than on a physical electronic medium:

(A) Application as filed: $35.00.

(B) Copy Patent File Wrapper, Electronic, Any Size: $60.00

(C) [Reserved]

(iii) [Reserved]

(iv) If provided to a foreign intellectual property office pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement (see § 1.14(h)): $0.00.

(2) [Reserved]

(3) Copy of Office records, except copies available under paragraph (b)(1) or (2) of this section: $25.00.

(4) For assignment records, abstract of title and certification, per patent: $35.00.

(c) Library service (35 U.S.C. 13): For providing to libraries copies of all patents issued annually, per annum: $50.00.

(d-e) [Reserved}

(f) Uncertified copy of a non-United States patent document, per document: $25.00.

(g) [Reserved]

(h) Copy of Patent Grant Single-Page TIFF Images (52 week subscription): $10,400.00.

(i) Copy of Patent Grant Full-Text W/Embedded Images, Patent Application Publication Single-Page TIFF Images, or Patent Application Publication Full-Text W/Embedded Images (52 week subscription): $5,200.00.

[78 FR 4287, Jan. 18, 2013, as amended at 80 FR 65655, Oct. 27, 2015; 82 FR 52814, Nov. 14, 2017; 85 FR 46988, Aug. 3, 2020]

§ 1.20 Post-issuance fees.

(a) For providing a certificate of correction for an applicant's mistake (§ 1.323): $160.00

(b) Processing fee for correcting inventorship in a patent (§ 1.324): $160.00

(c) In reexamination proceedings:

(1)

(i) For filing a request for ex parte reexamination (§ 1.510(a)) having:

(A) 40 or fewer pages;

(B) Lines that are double-spaced or one-and-a-half spaced;

(C) Text written in a non-script type font such as Arial, Times New Roman, or Courier;

(D) A font size no smaller than 12 point;

(E) Margins that conform to the requirements of § 1.52(a)(1)(ii); and

(F) Sufficient clarity and contrast to permit direct reproduction and electronic capture by use of digital imaging and optical character recognition.

Table 1 to Paragraph (c)(1)(i)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $1,575.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 3,150.00
By other than a small or micro entity 6,300.00

(ii) The following parts of an ex parte reexamination request are excluded from paragraphs (c)(1)(i)(A) through (F) of this section:

(A) The copies of every patent or printed publication relied upon in the request pursuant to § 1.510(b)(3)

(B) The copy of the entire patent for which reexamination is requested pursuant to § 1.510(b)(4); and

(C) The certifications required pursuant to § 1.510(b)(5) and (6).

(2) For filing a request for ex parte reexamination (§ 1.510(b)) that has sufficient clarity and contrast to permit direct reproduction and electronic capture by use of digital imaging and optical character recognition, and which otherwise does not comply with the provisions of paragraph (c)(1) of this section:

Table 2 to Paragraph (c)(2)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $3,150.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 6,300.00
By other than a small or micro entity 12,600.00

(3) For filing with a request for reexamination or later presentation at any other time of each claim in independent form in excess of three and also in excess of the number of claims in independent form in the patent under reexamination:

Table 3 to Paragraph (c)(3)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $120.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 240.00
By other than a small or micro entity 480.00

(4) For filing with a request for reexamination or later presentation at any other time of each claim (whether dependent or independent) in excess of 20 and also in excess of the number of claims in the patent under reexamination (note that § 1.75(c) indicates how multiple dependent claims are considered for fee calculation purposes):

Table 4 to Paragraph (c)(4)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $25.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 50.00
By other than a small or micro entity 100.00

(5) If the excess claims fees required by paragraphs (c)(3) and (4) of this section are not paid with the request for reexamination or on later presentation of the claims for which the excess claims fees are due, the fees required by paragraphs (c)(3) and (4) must be paid or the claims canceled by amendment prior to the expiration of the time period set for reply by the Office in any notice of fee deficiency in order to avoid abandonment.

(6) For filing a petition in a reexamination proceeding, except for those specifically enumerated in §§ 1.550(i) and 1.937(d):

Table 5 to Paragraph (c)(6)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $510.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 1,020.00
By other than a small or micro entity 2,040.00

(7) For a refused request for ex parte reexamination under § 1.510 (included in the request for ex parte reexamination fee at § 1.20(c)(1) or (2)):

Table 6 to Paragraph (c)(7)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $945.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 1,890.00
By other than a small or micro entity 3,780.00

(d) For filing each statutory disclaimer (§ 1.321): $170.00

(e) For maintaining an original or any reissue patent, except a design or plant patent, based on an application filed on or after December 12, 1980, in force beyond four years, the fee being due by three years and six months after the original grant:

Table 7 to Paragraph (e)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $500.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 1,000.00
By other than a small or micro entity 2,000.00

(f) For maintaining an original or any reissue patent, except a design or plant patent, based on an application filed on or after December 12, 1980, in force beyond eight years, the fee being due by seven years and six months after the original grant:

Table 8 to Paragraph (f)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $940.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 1,880.00
By other than a small or micro entity 3,760.00

(g) For maintaining an original or any reissue patent, except a design or plant patent, based on an application filed on or after December 12, 1980, in force beyond twelve years, the fee being due by eleven years and six months after the original grant:

Table 9 to Paragraph (g)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $1,925.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 3,850.00
By other than a small or micro entity 7,700.00

(h) Surcharge for paying a maintenance fee during the six-month grace period following the expiration of three years and six months, seven years and six months, and eleven years and six months after the date of the original grant of a patent based on an application filed on or after December 12, 1980:

Table 10 to Paragraph (h)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $125.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 250.00
By other than a small or micro entity 500.00

(i) [Reserved]

(j) For filing an application for extension of the term of a patent:

Table 11 to Paragraph (j)

(1) Application for extension under § 1.740 $1,180.00
(2) Initial application for interim extension under § 1.790 440.00
(3) Subsequent application for interim extension under § 1.790 230.00

(k) In supplemental examination proceedings:

(1) For processing and treating a request for supplemental examination:

Table 12 to Paragraph (k)(1)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $1,155.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 2,310.00
By other than a small or micro entity 4,620.00

(2) For ex parte reexamination ordered as a result of a supplemental examination proceeding:

Table 13 to Paragraph (k)(2)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $3,175.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 6,350.00
By other than a small or micro entity 12,700.00

(3) For processing and treating, in a supplemental examination proceeding, a non-patent document over 20 sheets in length, per document:

(i) Between 21 and 50 sheets:

Table 14 to Paragraph (k)(3)(i)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $45.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 90.00
By other than a small or micro entity 180.00

(ii) For each additional 50 sheets or a fraction thereof:

Table 15 to Paragraph (k)(3)(ii)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $75.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 150.00
By other than a small or micro entity 300.00

[85 FR 46988, Aug. 3, 2020, as amended at 85 FR 58283, Sept. 18, 2020]

§ 1.21 Miscellaneous fees and charges.

The Patent and Trademark Office has established the following fees for the services indicated:

(a) Registration of attorneys and agents:

(1) For admission to examination for registration to practice:

(i) Application fee (non-refundable): $110.00

(ii) Registration examination fee

(A) For test administration by commercial entity: $210.00

(B) [Reserved]

(iii) For USPTO-administered review of registration examination: $470.00

(iv) Request for extension of time in which to schedule examination for registration to practice (non-refundable): $115.00.

(2) On registration to practice or grant of limited recognition:

(i) On registration to practice under § 11.6 of this chapter: $210.00

(ii) On grant of limited recognition under § 11.9(b) of this chapter: $210.00

(iii) On change of registration from agent to attorney: $110.00

(3) [Reserved]

(4) For certificate of good standing as an attorney or agent:

(i) Standard: $40.00.

(ii) Suitable for framing: $50.00.

(5) For review of decision:

(i) By the Director of Enrollment and Discipline under § 11.2(c) of this chapter: $420.00

(ii) Of the Director of Enrollment and Discipline under § 11.2(d) of this chapter: $420.00

(6) Recovery/Retrieval of OED Information System Customer Interface account by USPTO:

(i) [Reserved]

(ii) For USPTO-assisted change of address: $70.00.

(7-8) [Reserved]

(9) Administrative reinstatement fees:

(i) Delinquency fee: $50.00.

(ii) Administrative reinstatement fee: $210.00

(10) On application by a person for recognition or registration after disbarment or suspension on ethical grounds, or resignation pending disciplinary proceedings in any other jurisdiction; on application by a person for recognition or registration who is asserting rehabilitation from prior conduct that resulted in an adverse decision in the Office regarding the person's moral character; on application by a person for recognition or registration after being convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude or breach of fiduciary duty; and on petition for reinstatement by a person excluded or suspended on ethical grounds, or excluded on consent from practice before the Office: $1,680.00

(b) Deposit accounts:

(1) [Reserved]

(2) Service charge for each month when the balance at the end of the month is below $1,000: $25.00.

(3) Service charge for each month when the balance at the end of the month is below $300 for restricted subscription deposit accounts used exclusively for subscription order of patent copies as issued: $25.00.

(c-d) [Reserved]

(e) International type search reports: For preparing an international type search report of an international type search made at the time of the first action on the merits in a national patent application: $40.00.

(f-g) [Reserved]

(h) For recording each assignment, agreement, or other paper relating to the property in a patent or application, per property:

(1) If submitted electronically, on or after January 1, 2014: $0.00.

(2) If not submitted electronically: $50.00.

(i) Publication in Official Gazette: For publication in the Official Gazette of a notice of the availability of an application or a patent for licensing or sale: Each application or patent: $25.00.

(j) [Reserved]

(k) For items and services that the director finds may be supplied, for which fees are not specified by statute or by this part, such charges as may be determined by the director with respect to each such item or service: Actual cost

(l) [Reserved]

(m) For processing each payment refused (including a check returned “unpaid”) or charged back by a financial institution: $50.00.

(n) For handling an application in which proceedings are terminated pursuant to § 1.53(e): $140.00

(o) The receipt of a very lengthy sequence listing (mega-sequence listing) in an application under 35 U.S.C. 111 or 371 is subject to the following fee:

(1) First receipt by the Office of a sequence listing in electronic form ranging in size from 300MB to 800MB (without file compression):

Table 1 to Paragraph (o)(1)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $265.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 530.00
By other than a small or micro entity 1,060.00

(2) First receipt by the Office of a sequence listing in electronic form exceeding 800MB in size (without file compression):

Table 2 to Paragraph (o)(2)

By a micro entity (§ 1.29) $2,625.00
By a small entity (§ 1.27(a)) 5,250.00
By other than a small or micro entity 10,500.00

(p) Additional Fee for Overnight Delivery: $40.00.

(q) Additional fee for expedited service: $170.00.

[82 FR 52815, Nov. 14, 2017, as amended at 85 FR 46989, Aug. 3, 2020, 85 FR 58283, Sept. 18, 2020; 86 FR 28451, May 26, 2021]

§ 1.22 Fees payable in advance.

(a) Patent fees and charges payable to the United States Patent and Trademark Office are required to be paid in advance; that is, at the time of requesting any action by the Office for which a fee or charge is payable, with the exception that under § 1.53 applications for patent may be assigned a filing date without payment of the basic filing fee.

(b) All fees paid to the United States Patent and Trademark Office must be itemized in each individual application, patent, or other proceeding in such a manner that it is clear for which purpose the fees are paid. The Office may return fees that are not itemized as required by this paragraph. The provisions of § 1.5(a) do not apply to the resubmission of fees returned pursuant to this paragraph.

[68 FR 48288, Aug. 13, 2003]

§ 1.23 Methods of payment.

(a) All payments of money required for United States Patent and Trademark Office fees, including fees for the processing of international applications (§ 1.445), shall be made in U.S. dollars and in the form of a cashier's or certified check, Treasury note, national bank notes, or United States Postal Service money order. If sent in any other form, the Office may delay or cancel the credit until collection is made. Checks and money orders must be made payable to the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. (Checks made payable to the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks will continue to be accepted.) Payments from foreign countries must be payable and immediately negotiable in the United States for the full amount of the fee required. Money sent to the Office by mail will be at the risk of the sender, and letters containing money should be registered with the United States Postal Service.

(b) Payments of money required for United States Patent and Trademark Office fees may also be made by credit card, except for replenishing a deposit account. Payment of a fee by credit card must specify the amount to be charged to the credit card and such other information as is necessary to process the charge, and is subject to collection of the fee. The Office will not accept a general authorization to charge fees to a credit card. If credit card information is provided on a form or document other than a form provided by the Office for the payment of fees by credit card, the Office will not be liable if the credit card number becomes public knowledge.

(c) A fee transmittal letter may be signed by a juristic applicant or patent owner.

[65 FR 33455, May 24, 2000, as amended at 69 FR 43752, July 22, 2004; 78 FR 62395, Oct. 21, 2013]

§ 1.24 [Reserved]
§ 1.25 Deposit accounts.

(a) For the convenience of attorneys, and the general public in paying any fees due, in ordering services offered by the Office, copies of records, etc., deposit accounts may be established in the Patent and Trademark Office upon payment of the fee for establishing a deposit account (§ 1.21(b)(1)). A minimum deposit of $1,000 is required for paying any fees due or in ordering any services offered by the Office. However, a minimum deposit of $300 may be paid to establish a restricted subscription deposit account used exclusively for subscription order of patent copies as issued. At the end of each month, a deposit account statement will be rendered. A remittance must be made promptly upon receipt of the statement to cover the value of items or services charged to the account and thus restore the account to its established normal deposit. An amount sufficient to cover all fees, services, copies, etc., requested must always be on deposit. Charges to accounts with insufficient funds will not be accepted. A service charge (§ 1.21(b)(2)) will be assessed for each month that the balance at the end of the month is below $1,000. For restricted subscription deposit accounts, a service charge (§ 1.21(b)(3)) will be assessed for each month that the balance at the end of the month is below $300.

(b) Filing, issue, appeal, international-type search report, international application processing, international design application fees, petition, and post-issuance fees may be charged against these accounts if sufficient funds are on deposit to cover such fees. A general authorization to charge all fees, or only certain fees, set forth in §§ 1.16 through 1.18 to a deposit account containing sufficient funds may be filed in an individual application, either for the entire pendency of the application or with a particular paper filed. A general authorization to charge fees in an international design application set forth in § 1.1031 will only be effective for the transmittal fee (§ 1.1031(a)). An authorization to charge fees under § 1.16 in an international application entering the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371 will be treated as an authorization to charge fees under § 1.492. An authorization to charge fees set forth in § 1.18 to a deposit account is subject to the provisions of § 1.311(b). An authorization to charge to a deposit account the fee for a request for reexamination pursuant to § 1.510 or 1.913 and any other fees required in a reexamination proceeding in a patent may also be filed with the request for reexamination, and an authorization to charge to a deposit account the fee for a request for supplemental examination pursuant to § 1.610 and any other fees required in a supplemental examination proceeding in a patent may also be filed with the request for supplemental examination. An authorization to charge a fee to a deposit account will not be considered payment of the fee on the date the authorization to charge the fee is effective unless sufficient funds are present in the account to cover the fee.

(c) A deposit account holder may replenish the deposit account by submitting a payment to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A payment to replenish a deposit account must be submitted by one of the methods set forth in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), or (c)(3) of this section.

(1) A payment to replenish a deposit account may be submitted by electronic funds transfer through the Federal Reserve Fedwire System, which requires that the following information be provided to the deposit account holder's bank or financial institution:

(i) Name of the Bank, which is Treas NYC (Treasury New York City);

(ii) Bank Routing Code, which is 021030004;

(iii) United States Patent and Trademark Office account number with the Department of the Treasury, which is 13100001; and

(iv) The deposit account holder's company name and deposit account number.

(2) A payment to replenish a deposit account may be submitted by electronic funds transfer over the Office's Internet Web site (www.uspto.gov).

(3) A payment to replenish a deposit account may be addressed to: Mail Stop Deposit Accounts, Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1450.

[49 FR 553, Jan. 4, 1984, as amended at 50 FR 31826, Aug. 6, 1985; 65 FR 76772, Dec. 7, 2000; 67 FR 523, Jan. 4, 2002; 68 FR 14336, Mar. 25, 2003; 69 FR 43752, July 22, 2004; 70 FR 56127, Sept. 26, 2005; 73 FR 47541, Aug. 14, 2008; 78 FR 62395, Oct. 21, 2013; 80 FR 17955, Apr. 2, 2015; 86 FR 35231, July 2, 2021]

§ 1.26 Refunds.

(a) The Director may refund any fee paid by mistake or in excess of that required. A change of purpose after the payment of a fee, such as when a party desires to withdraw a patent filing for which the fee was paid, including an application, an appeal, or a request for an oral hearing, will not entitle a party to a refund of such fee. The Office will not refund amounts of twenty-five dollars or less unless a refund is specifically requested, and will not notify the payor of such amounts. If a party paying a fee or requesting a refund does not provide the banking information necessary for making refunds by electronic funds transfer (31 U.S.C. 3332 and 31 CFR part 208), or instruct the Office that refunds are to be credited to a deposit account, the Director may require such information, or use the banking information on the payment instrument to make a refund. Any refund of a fee paid by credit card will be by a credit to the credit card account to which the fee was charged.

(b) Any request for refund must be filed within two years from the date the fee was paid, except as otherwise provided in this paragraph or in § 1.28(a). If the Office charges a deposit account by an amount other than an amount specifically indicated in an authorization (§ 1.25(b)), any request for refund based upon such charge must be filed within two years from the date of the deposit account statement indicating such charge, and include a copy of that deposit account statement. The time periods set forth in this paragraph are not extendable.

(c) If the Director decides not to institute a reexamination proceeding in response to a request for reexamination or supplemental examination, fees paid with the request for reexamination or supplemental examination will be refunded or returned in accordance with paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(3) of this section. The reexamination requester or the patent owner who requested a supplemental examination proceeding, as appropriate, should indicate the form in which any refund should be made (e.g., by check, electronic funds transfer, credit to a deposit account). Generally, refunds will be issued in the form that the original payment was provided.

(1) For an ex parte reexamination request, the ex parte reexamination filing fee paid by the reexamination requester, less the fee set forth in § 1.20(c)(7), will be refunded to the requester if the Director decides not to institute an ex parte reexamination proceeding.

(2) For an inter partes reexamination request, a refund of $7,970 will be made to the reexamination requester if the Director decides not to institute an inter partes reexamination proceeding.

(3) For a supplemental examination request, the fee for reexamination ordered as a result of supplemental examination, as set forth in § 1.20(k)(2), will be returned to the patent owner who requested the supplemental examination proceeding if the Director decides not to institute a reexamination proceeding.

[47 FR 41274, Sept. 17, 1982, as amended at 50 FR 31826, Aug. 6, 1985; 54 FR 6902, Feb. 15, 1989; 56 FR 65153, Dec. 13, 1991; 57 FR 38195, Aug. 21, 1992; 62 FR 53183, Oct. 10, 1997; 65 FR 54659, Sept. 8, 2000; 65 FR 76773, Dec. 7, 2000; 68 FR 48289, Aug. 13, 2003; 72 FR 46836, Aug. 21, 2007; 74 FR 52688, Oct. 14, 2009; 77 FR 48851, Aug. 14, 2012]

§ 1.27 Definition of small entities and establishing status as a small entity to permit payment of small entity fees; when a determination of entitlement to small entity status and notification of loss of entitlement to small entity status are required; fraud on the Office.

(a) Definition of small entities. A small entity as used in this chapter means any party (person, small business concern, or nonprofit organization) under paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this section.

(1) Person. A person, as used in paragraph (c) of this section, means any inventor or other individual (e.g., an individual to whom an inventor has transferred some rights in the invention) who has not assigned, granted, conveyed, or licensed, and is under no obligation under contract or law to assign, grant, convey, or license, any rights in the invention. An inventor or other individual who has transferred some rights in the invention to one or more parties, or is under an obligation to transfer some rights in the invention to one or more parties, can also qualify for small entity status if all the parties who have had rights in the invention transferred to them also qualify for small entity status either as a person, small business concern, or nonprofit organization under this section.

(2) Small business concern. A small business concern, as used in paragraph (c) of this section, means any business concern that:

(i) Has not assigned, granted, conveyed, or licensed, and is under no obligation under contract or law to assign, grant, convey, or license, any rights in the invention to any person, concern, or organization which would not qualify for small entity status as a person, small business concern, or nonprofit organization; and

(ii) Meets the size standards set forth in 13 CFR 121.801 through 121.805 to be eligible for reduced patent fees. Questions related to standards for a small business concern may be directed to: Small Business Administration, Size Standards Staff, 409 Third Street, SW., Washington, DC 20416.

(3) Nonprofit Organization. A nonprofit organization, as used in paragraph (c) of this section, means any nonprofit organization that:

(i) Has not assigned, granted, conveyed, or licensed, and is under no obligation under contract or law to assign, grant, convey, or license, any rights in the invention to any person, concern, or organization which would not qualify as a person, small business concern, or a nonprofit organization; and

(ii) Is either:

(A) A university or other institution of higher education located in any country;

(B) An organization of the type described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)) and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501(a));

(C) Any nonprofit scientific or educational organization qualified under a nonprofit organization statute of a state of this country (35 U.S.C. 201(i)); or

(D) Any nonprofit organization located in a foreign country which would qualify as a nonprofit organization under paragraphs (a)(3)(ii)(B) of this section or (a)(3)(ii)(C) of this section if it were located in this country.

(4) Federal Government Use License Exceptions. In a patent application filed, prosecuted, and if patented, maintained at no expense to the Government, with the exception of any expense taken to deliver the application and fees to the Office on behalf of the applicant:

(i) For persons under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, claiming small entity status is not prohibited by:

(A) A use license to the Government resulting from a rights determination under Executive Order 10096 made in accordance with § 501.6 of this title;

(B) A use license to the Government resulting from Federal agency action pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 3710d(a) allowing the Federal employee-inventor to obtain or retain title to the invention; or

(C) A use license to a Federal agency resulting from retention of rights under 35 U.S.C. 202(d) by an inventor employed by a small business concern or nonprofit organization contractor, provided the license is equivalent to the license under 35 U.S.C. 202(c)(4) the Federal agency would have received had the contractor elected to retain title, and all the conditions applicable under § 401.9 of this title to an employee/inventor are met.

(ii) For small business concerns and nonprofit organizations under paragraphs (a)(2) and (3) of this section, a use license to a Federal agency resulting from a funding agreement with that agency pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 202(c)(4) does not preclude claiming small entity status, provided that:

(A) The subject invention was made solely by employees of the small business concern or nonprofit organization; or

(B) In the case of a Federal employee co-inventor, the Federal agency employing such co-inventor took action pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 202(e)(1) to exclusively license or assign whatever rights currently held or that it may acquire in the subject invention to the small business concern or nonprofit organization, subject to the license under 35 U.S.C. 202(c)(4).

(iii) For small business concerns and nonprofit organizations under paragraphs (a)(2) and (3) of this section that have collaborated with a Federal agency laboratory pursuant to a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) under 15 U.S.C. 3710a(a)(1), claiming small entity status is not prohibited by a use license to the Government pursuant to:

(A) 15 U.S.C. 3710a(b)(2) that results from retaining title to an invention made solely by the employee of the small business concern or nonprofit organization; or

(B) 15 U.S.C. 3710a(b)(3)(D), provided the laboratory has waived in whole any right of ownership the Government may have to the subject invention made by the small business concern or nonprofit organization, or has exclusively licensed whatever ownership rights the Government may acquire in the subject invention to the small business concern or nonprofit organization.

(iv) Regardless of whether an exception under this paragraph (a)(4) applies, no refund under § 1.28(a) is available for any patent fee paid by the Government.

(5) Security Interest. A security interest does not involve an obligation to transfer rights in the invention for the purposes of paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this section unless the security interest is defaulted upon.

(b) Establishment of small entity status permits payment of reduced fees.

(1) A small entity, as defined in paragraph (a) of this section, who has properly asserted entitlement to small entity status pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section will be accorded small entity status by the Office in the particular application or patent in which entitlement to small entity status was asserted. Establishment of small entity status allows the payment of certain reduced patent fees pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 41(h)(1).

(2) Submission of an original utility application in compliance with the Office electronic filing system by an applicant who has properly asserted entitlement to small entity status pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section in that application allows the payment of a reduced filing fee pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 41(h)(3).

(c) Assertion of small entity status. Any party (person, small business concern or nonprofit organization) should make a determination, pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section, of entitlement to be accorded small entity status based on the definitions set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, and must, in order to establish small entity status for the purpose of paying small entity fees, actually make an assertion of entitlement to small entity status, in the manner set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) or (c)(3) of this section, in the application or patent in which such small entity fees are to be paid.

(1) Assertion by writing. Small entity status may be established by a written assertion of entitlement to small entity status. A written assertion must:

(i) Be clearly identifiable;

(ii) Be signed (see paragraph (c)(2) of this section); and

(iii) Convey the concept of entitlement to small entity status, such as by stating that applicant is a small entity, or that small entity status is entitled to be asserted for the application or patent. While no specific words or wording are required to assert small entity status, the intent to assert small entity status must be clearly indicated in order to comply with the assertion requirement.

(2) Parties who can sign the written assertion. The written assertion can be signed by:

(i) The applicant (§ 1.42 or § 1.421);

(ii) A patent practitioner of record or a practitioner acting in a representative capacity under § 1.34;

(iii) The inventor or a joint inventor, if the inventor is the applicant; or

(iv) The assignee.

(3) Assertion by payment of the small entity basic filing, basic transmittal, basic national fee, international search fee, or individual designation fee in an international design application. The payment, by any party, of the exact amount of one of the small entity basic filing fees set forth in § 1.16(a), (b), (c), (d), or (e), the small entity transmittal fee set forth in § 1.445(a)(1) or § 1.1031(a), the small entity international search fee set forth in § 1.445(a)(2) to a Receiving Office other than the United States Receiving Office in the exact amount established for that Receiving Office pursuant to PCT Rule 16, or the small entity basic national fee set forth in § 1.492(a), will be treated as a written assertion of entitlement to small entity status even if the type of basic filing, basic transmittal, or basic national fee is inadvertently selected in error. The payment, by any party, of the small entity first part of the individual designation fee for the United States to the International Bureau (§ 1.1031) will be treated as a written assertion of entitlement to small entity status.

(i) If the Office accords small entity status based on payment of a small entity basic filing or basic national fee under paragraph (c)(3) of this section that is not applicable to that application, any balance of the small entity fee that is applicable to that application will be due along with the appropriate surcharge set forth in § 1.16(f), or § 1.16(g).

(ii) The payment of any small entity fee other than those set forth in paragraph (c)(3) of this section (whether in the exact fee amount or not) will not be treated as a written assertion of entitlement to small entity status and will not be sufficient to establish small entity status in an application or a patent.

(4) Assertion required in related, continuing, and reissue applications. Status as a small entity must be specifically established by an assertion in each related, continuing and reissue application in which status is appropriate and desired. Status as a small entity in one application or patent does not affect the status of any other application or patent, regardless of the relationship of the applications or patents. The refiling of an application under § 1.53 as a continuation, divisional, or continuation-in-part application (including a continued prosecution application under § 1.53(d)), or the filing of a reissue application, requires a new assertion as to continued entitlement to small entity status for the continuing or reissue application.

(d) When small entity fees can be paid. Any fee, other than the small entity basic filing fees and the small entity national fees of paragraph (c)(3) of this section, can be paid in the small entity amount only if it is submitted with, or subsequent to, the submission of a written assertion of entitlement to small entity status, except when refunds are permitted by § 1.28(a).

(e) Only one assertion required.

(1) An assertion of small entity status need only be filed once in an application or patent. Small entity status, once established, remains in effect until changed pursuant to paragraph (g)(1) of this section. Where an assignment of rights or an obligation to assign rights to other parties who are small entities occurs subsequent to an assertion of small entity status, a second assertion is not required.

(2) Once small entity status is withdrawn pursuant to paragraph (g)(2) of this section, a new written assertion is required to again obtain small entity status.

(f) Assertion requires a determination of entitlement to pay small entity fees. Prior to submitting an assertion of entitlement to small entity status in an application, including a related, continuing, or reissue application, a determination of such entitlement should be made pursuant to the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section. It should be determined that all parties holding rights in the invention qualify for small entity status. The Office will generally not question any assertion of small entity status that is made in accordance with the requirements of this section, but note paragraph (h) of this section.

(g)

(1) New determination of entitlement to small entity status is needed when issue and maintenance fees are due. Once status as a small entity has been established in an application or patent, fees as a small entity may thereafter be paid in that application or patent without regard to a change in status until the issue fee is due or any maintenance fee is due.

(2) Notification of loss of entitlement to small entity status is required when issue and maintenance fees are due. Notification of a loss of entitlement to small entity status must be filed in the application or patent prior to paying, or at the time of paying, the earliest of the issue fee or any maintenance fee due after the date on which status as a small entity as defined in paragraph (a) of this section is no longer appropriate. The notification that small entity status is no longer appropriate must be signed by a party identified in § 1.33(b). Payment of a fee in other than the small entity amount is not sufficient notification that small entity status is no longer appropriate.

(h) Fraud attempted or practiced on the Office.

(1) Any attempt to fraudulently establish status as a small entity, or pay fees as a small entity, shall be considered as a fraud practiced or attempted on the Office.

(2) Improperly, and with intent to deceive, establishing status as a small entity, or paying fees as a small entity, shall be considered as a fraud practiced or attempted on the Office.

[65 FR 54659, Sept. 8, 2000, as amended at 69 FR 56538, Sept. 21, 2004; 70 FR 3889, Jan. 27, 2005; 77 FR 48813, Aug. 14, 2012; 78 FR 4289, Jan. 18, 2013; 80 FR 17955, Apr. 2, 2015; 85 FR 46990, Aug. 3, 2020; 85 FR 82923, Dec. 21, 2020]

§ 1.28 Refunds when small entity status is later established; how errors in small entity status are excused.

(a) Refunds based on later establishment of small entity status. A refund pursuant to § 1.26, based on establishment of small entity status, of a portion of fees timely paid in full prior to establishing status as a small entity may only be obtained if an assertion under § 1.27(c) and a request for a refund of the excess amount are filed within three months of the date of the timely payment of the full fee. The three-month time period is not extendable under § 1.136. Status as a small entity is waived for any fee by the failure to establish the status prior to paying, at the time of paying, or within three months of the date of payment of, the full fee.

(b) Date of payment.

(1) The three-month period for requesting a refund, pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, starts on the date that a full fee has been paid;

(2) The date when a deficiency payment is paid in full determines the amount of deficiency that is due, pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) How errors in small entity status are excused. If status as a small entity is established in good faith, and fees as a small entity are paid in good faith, in any application or patent, and it is later discovered that such status as a small entity was established in error, or that through error the Office was not notified of a loss of entitlement to small entity status as required by § 1.27(g)(2), the error will be excused upon: compliance with the separate submission and itemization requirements of paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section, and the deficiency payment requirement of paragraph (c)(2) of this section:

(1) Separate submission required for each application or patent. Any paper submitted under this paragraph must be limited to the deficiency payment (all fees paid in error), required by paragraph (c)(2) of this section, for one application or one patent. Where more than one application or patent is involved, separate submissions of deficiency payments (e.g., checks) and itemizations are required for each application or patent. See § 1.4(b).

(2) Payment of deficiency owed. The deficiency owed, resulting from the previous erroneous payment of small entity fees, must be paid.

(i) Calculation of the deficiency owed. The deficiency owed for each previous fee erroneously paid as a small entity is the difference between the current fee amount (for other than a small entity) on the date the deficiency is paid in full and the amount of the previous erroneous (small entity) fee payment. The total deficiency payment owed is the sum of the individual deficiency owed amounts for each fee amount previously erroneously paid as a small entity. Where a fee paid in error as a small entity was subject to a fee decrease between the time the fee was paid in error and the time the deficiency is paid in full, the deficiency owed is equal to the amount (previously) paid in error;

(ii) Itemization of the deficiency payment. An itemization of the total deficiency payment is required. The itemization must include the following information:

(A) Each particular type of fee that was erroneously paid as a small entity, (e.g., basic statutory filing fee, two-month extension of time fee) along with the current fee amount for a non-small entity;

(B) The small entity fee actually paid, and when. This will permit the Office to differentiate, for example, between two one-month extension of time fees erroneously paid as a small entity but on different dates;

(C) The deficiency owed amount (for each fee erroneously paid); and

(D) The total deficiency payment owed, which is the sum or total of the individual deficiency owed amounts set forth in paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(C) of this section.

(3) Failure to comply with requirements. If the requirements of paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section are not complied with, such failure will either: be treated as an authorization for the Office to process the deficiency payment and charge the processing fee set forth in § 1.17(i), or result in a requirement for compliance within a one-month non-extendable time period under § 1.136(a) to avoid the return of the fee deficiency paper, at the option of the Office.

(d) Payment of deficiency operates as notification of loss of status. Any deficiency payment (based on a previous erroneous payment of a small entity fee) submitted under paragraph (c) of this section will be treated under § 1.27(g)(2) as a notification of a loss of entitlement to small entity status.

[65 FR 54661, Sept. 8, 2000]

§ 1.29 Micro entity status.

(a) To establish micro entity status under this paragraph, the applicant must certify that:

(1) The applicant qualifies as a small entity as defined in § 1.27 without relying on a government use license exception under § 1.27(a)(4);

(2) Neither the applicant nor the inventor nor a joint inventor has been named as the inventor or a joint inventor on more than four previously filed patent applications, other than applications filed in another country, provisional applications under 35 U.S.C. 111(b), or international applications for which the basic national fee under 35 U.S.C. 41(a) was not paid;

(3) Neither the applicant nor the inventor nor a joint inventor, in the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the applicable fee is being paid, had a gross income, as defined in section 61(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 61(a)), exceeding three times the median household income for that preceding calendar year, as most recently reported by the Bureau of the Census; and

(4) Neither the applicant nor the inventor nor a joint inventor has assigned, granted, or conveyed, nor is under an obligation by contract or law to assign, grant, or convey, a license or other ownership interest in the application concerned to an entity that, in the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the applicable fee is being paid, had a gross income, as defined in section 61(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, exceeding three times the median household income for that preceding calendar year, as most recently reported by the Bureau of the Census.

(b) An applicant, inventor, or joint inventor is not considered to be named on a previously filed application for purposes of paragraph (a)(2) of this section if the applicant, inventor, or joint inventor has assigned, or is under an obligation by contract or law to assign, all ownership rights in the application as the result of the applicant's, inventor's, or joint inventor's previous employment.

(c) If an applicant's, inventor's, joint inventor's, or entity's gross income in the preceding calendar year is not in United States dollars, the average currency exchange rate, as reported by the Internal Revenue Service, during that calendar year shall be used to determine whether the applicant's, inventor's, joint inventor's, or entity's gross income exceeds the threshold specified in paragraph (a)(3) or (4) of this section.

(d) To establish micro entity status under this paragraph, the applicant must certify that:

(1) The applicant qualifies as a small entity as defined in § 1.27 without relying on a government use license exception under § 1.27(a)(4);

(2)

(i) The applicant's employer, from which the applicant obtains the majority of the applicant's income, is an institution of higher education as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)); or

(ii) The applicant has assigned, granted, conveyed, or is under an obligation by contract or law, to assign, grant, or convey, a license or other ownership interest in the particular application to such an institution of higher education.

(e) Micro entity status is established in an application by filing a micro entity certification in writing complying with the requirements of either paragraph (a) or (d) of this section and signed either in compliance with § 1.33(b), in an international application filed in a Receiving Office other than the United States Receiving Office by a person authorized to represent the applicant under § 1.455, or in an international design application by a person authorized to represent the applicant under § 1.1041 before the International Bureau where the micro entity certification is filed with the International Bureau. Status as a micro entity must be specifically established in each related, continuing and reissue application in which status is appropriate and desired. Status as a micro entity in one application or patent does not affect the status of any other application or patent, regardless of the relationship of the applications or patents. The refiling of an application under § 1.53 as a continuation, divisional, or continuation-in-part application (including a continued prosecution application under § 1.53(d)), or the filing of a reissue application, requires a new certification of entitlement to micro entity status for the continuing or reissue application.

(f) A fee may be paid in the micro entity amount only if it is submitted with, or subsequent to, the submission of a certification of entitlement to micro entity status.

(g) A certification of entitlement to micro entity status need only be filed once in an application or patent. Micro entity status, once established, remains in effect until changed pursuant to paragraph (i) of this section. However, a fee may be paid in the micro entity amount only if status as a micro entity as defined in paragraph (a) or (d) of this section is appropriate on the date the fee is being paid. Where an assignment of rights or an obligation to assign rights to other parties who are micro entities occurs subsequent to the filing of a certification of entitlement to micro entity status, a second certification of entitlement to micro entity status is not required.

(h) Prior to submitting a certification of entitlement to micro entity status in an application, including a related, continuing, or reissue application, a determination of such entitlement should be made pursuant to the requirements of this section. It should be determined that each applicant qualifies for micro entity status under paragraph (a) or (d) of this section, and that any other party holding rights in the invention qualifies for small entity status under § 1.27. The Office will generally not question certification of entitlement to micro entity status that is made in accordance with the requirements of this section.

(i) Notification of a loss of entitlement to micro entity status must be filed in the application or patent prior to paying, or at the time of paying, any fee after the date on which status as a micro entity as defined in paragraph (a) or (d) of this section is no longer appropriate. The notification that micro entity status is no longer appropriate must be signed by a party identified in § 1.33(b). Payment of a fee in other than the micro entity amount is not sufficient notification that micro entity status is no longer appropriate. A notification that micro entity status is no longer appropriate will not be treated as a notification that small entity status is also no longer appropriate unless it also contains a notification of loss of entitlement to small entity status under § 1.27(f)(2). Once a notification of a loss of entitlement to micro entity status is filed in the application or patent, a new certification of entitlement to micro entity status is required to again obtain micro entity status.

(j) Any attempt to fraudulently establish status as a micro entity, or pay fees as a micro entity, shall be considered as a fraud practiced or attempted on the Office. Improperly, and with intent to deceive, establishing status as a micro entity, or paying fees as a micro entity, shall be considered as a fraud practiced or attempted on the Office.

(k) If status as a micro entity is established in good faith in an application or patent, and fees as a micro entity are paid in good faith in the application or patent, and it is later discovered that such micro entity status either was established in error, or that the Office was not notified of a loss of entitlement to micro entity status as required by paragraph (i) of this section through error, the error will be excused upon compliance with the separate submission and itemization requirements of paragraph (k)(1) of this section and the deficiency payment requirement of paragraph (k)(2) of this section.

(1) Any paper submitted under this paragraph must be limited to the deficiency payment (all fees paid in error) required for a single application or patent. Where more than one application or patent is involved, separate submissions of deficiency payments are required for each application or patent (see § 1.4(b)). The paper must contain an itemization of the total deficiency payment for the single application or patent and include the following information:

(i) Each particular type of fee that was erroneously paid as a micro entity, (e.g., basic statutory filing fee, two-month extension of time fee) along with the current fee amount for a small or non-small entity, as applicable;

(ii) The micro entity fee actually paid, and the date on which it was paid;

(iii) The deficiency owed amount (for each fee erroneously paid); and

(iv) The total deficiency payment owed, which is the sum or total of the individual deficiency owed amounts as set forth in paragraph (k)(2) of this section.

(2) The deficiency owed, resulting from the previous erroneous payment of micro entity fees, must be paid. The deficiency owed for each previous fee erroneously paid as a micro entity is the difference between the current fee amount for a small entity or non-small entity, as applicable, on the date the deficiency is paid in full and the amount of the previous erroneous micro entity fee payment. The total deficiency payment owed is the sum of the individual deficiency owed amounts for each fee amount previously and erroneously paid as a micro entity.

(3) If the requirements of paragraphs (k)(1) and (2) of this section are not complied with, such failure will either be treated at the option of the Office as an authorization for the Office to process the deficiency payment and charge the processing fee set forth in § 1.17(i), or result in a requirement for compliance within a one-month time period that is not extendable under § 1.136(a) to avoid the return of the fee deficiency payment.

(4) Any deficiency payment (based on a previous erroneous payment of a micro entity fee) submitted under this paragraph will be treated as a notification of a loss of entitlement to micro entity status under paragraph (i) of this section.

[77 FR 75033, Dec. 19, 2012, as amended at 78 FR 62396, Oct. 21, 2013; 80 FR 17955, Apr. 2, 2015; 85 FR 82923, Dec. 21, 2020]

Subpart B - National Processing Provisions
Prosecution of Application and Appointment of Attorney or Agent
§ 1.31 Applicant may be represented by one or more patent practitioners or joint inventors.

An applicant for patent may file and prosecute the applicant's own case, or the applicant may give power of attorney so as to be represented by one or more patent practitioners or joint inventors, except that a juristic entity (e.g., organizational assignee) must be represented by a patent practitioner even if the juristic entity is the applicant. The Office cannot aid in the selection of a patent practitioner.

[77 FR 48813, Aug. 14, 2012]

§ 1.32 Power of attorney.

(a) Definitions.

(1) Patent practitioner means a registered patent attorney or registered patent agent under § 11.6.

(2) Power of attorney means a written document by which a principal authorizes one or more patent practitioners or joint inventors to act on the principal's behalf.

(3) Principal means the applicant (§ 1.42) for an application for patent and the patent owner for a patent, including a patent in a supplemental examination or reexamination proceeding. The principal executes a power of attorney designating one or more patent practitioners or joint inventors to act on the principal's behalf.

(4) Revocation means the cancellation by the principal of the authority previously given to a patent practitioner or joint inventor to act on the principal's behalf.

(5) Customer Number means a number that may be used to:

(i) Designate the correspondence address of a patent application or patent such that the correspondence address for the patent application, patent or other patent proceeding would be the address associated with the Customer Number;

(ii) Designate the fee address (§ 1.363) of a patent such that the fee address for the patent would be the address associated with the Customer Number; and

(iii) Submit a list of patent practitioners such that those patent practitioners associated with the Customer Number would have power of attorney.

(6) Patent practitioner of record means a patent practitioner who has been granted a power of attorney in an application, patent, or other proceeding in compliance with paragraph (b) of this section. The phrases practitioner of record and attorney or agent of record also mean a patent practitioner who has been granted a power of attorney in an application, patent, or other proceeding in compliance with paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) A power of attorney must:

(1) Be in writing;

(2) Name one or more representatives in compliance with paragraph (c) of this section;

(3) Give the representative power to act on behalf of the principal; and

(4) Be signed by the applicant for patent (§ 1.42) or the patent owner. A patent owner who was not the applicant under § 1.46 must appoint any power of attorney in compliance with §§ 3.71 and 3.73 of this chapter.

(c) A power of attorney may only name as representative:

(1) One or more joint inventors (§ 1.45);

(2) Those registered patent practitioners associated with a Customer Number;

(3) Ten or fewer patent practitioners, stating the name and registration number of each patent practitioner. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this section, the Office will not recognize more than ten patent practitioners as being of record in an application or patent. If a power of attorney names more than ten patent practitioners, such power of attorney must be accompanied by a separate paper indicating which ten patent practitioners named in the power of attorney are to be recognized by the Office as being of record in the application or patent to which the power of attorney is directed.

(d) A power of attorney from a prior national application for which benefit is claimed under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) in a continuing application may have effect in the continuing application if a copy of the power of attorney from the prior application is filed in the continuing application unless:

(1) The power of attorney was granted by the inventor; and

(2) The continuing application names an inventor who was not named as an inventor in the prior application.

(e) If the power of attorney was granted by the originally named inventive entity, and an added inventor pursuant to § 1.48 does not provide a power of attorney consistent with the power of attorney granted by the originally named inventive entity, the addition of the inventor results in the loss of that power of attorney upon grant of the § 1.48 request. This provision does not preclude a practitioner from acting pursuant to § 1.34, if applicable.

[69 FR 29877, May 26, 2004, as amended at 70 FR 56127, Sept. 26, 2005; 77 FR 48813, Aug. 14, 2012; 80 FR 17956, Apr. 2, 2015]

§ 1.33 Correspondence respecting patent applications, patent reexamination proceedings, and other proceedings.

(a) Correspondence address and daytime telephone number. When filing an application, a correspondence address must be set forth in either an application data sheet (§ 1.76), or elsewhere, in a clearly identifiable manner, in any paper submitted with an application filing. If no correspondence address is specified, the Office may treat the mailing address of the first named inventor (if provided, see §§ 1.76(b)(1) and 1.63(b)(2)) as the correspondence address. The Office will direct, or otherwise make available, all notices, official letters, and other communications relating to the application to the person associated with the correspondence address. For correspondence submitted via the Office's electronic filing system, however, an electronic acknowledgment receipt will be sent to the submitter. The Office will generally not engage in double correspondence with an applicant and a patent practitioner, or with more than one patent practitioner except as deemed necessary by the Director. If more than one correspondence address is specified, the Office will select one of the specified addresses for use as the correspondence address and, if given, may select the address associated with a Customer Number over a typed correspondence address. For the party to whom correspondence is to be addressed, a daytime telephone number should be supplied in a clearly identifiable manner and may be changed by any party who may change the correspondence address. The correspondence address may be changed by the parties set forth in paragraph (b)(1) or (b)(3) of this section. Prior to the appointment of any power of attorney under § 1.32(b), the correspondence address may also be changed by any patent practitioner named in the application transmittal papers who acts in a representative capacity under the provisions of § 1.34.

(b) Amendments and other papers. Amendments and other papers, except for written assertions pursuant to § 1.27(c)(2)(iii) or (c)(2)(iv), filed in the application must be signed by:

(1) A patent practitioner of record;

(2) A patent practitioner not of record who acts in a representative capacity under the provisions of § 1.34; or

(3) The applicant (§ 1.42). Unless otherwise specified, all papers submitted on behalf of a juristic entity must be signed by a patent practitioner.

(c) All notices, official letters, and other communications for the patent owner or owners in a reexamination or supplemental examination proceeding will be directed to the correspondence address in the patent file. Amendments filed in a reexamination proceeding, and other papers filed in a reexamination or supplemental examination proceeding, on behalf of the patent owner must be signed by the patent owner, or if there is more than one owner by all the owners, or by an attorney or agent of record in the patent file, or by a registered attorney or agent not of record who acts in a representative capacity under the provisions of § 1.34. Double correspondence with the patent owner or owners and the patent owner's attorney or agent, or with more than one attorney or agent, will not be undertaken.

(d) A “correspondence address” or change thereto may be filed with the Patent and Trademark Office during the enforceable life of the patent. The “correspondence address” will be used in any correspondence relating to maintenance fees unless a separate “fee address” has been specified. See § 1.363 for “fee address” used solely for maintenance fee purposes.

(e) A change of address filed in a patent application or patent does not change the address for a patent practitioner in the roster of patent attorneys and agents. See § 11.11 of this title.

(f) Where application papers from a prior application are used in a continuing application and the correspondence address was changed during the prosecution of the prior application, an application data sheet or separate paper identifying the correspondence address to be used for the continuing application must be submitted. Otherwise, the Office may not recognize the change of correspondence address effected during the prosecution of the prior application.

(g) A patent practitioner acting in a representative capacity whose correspondence address is the correspondence address of record in an application may change the correspondence address after the patent has issued, provided that the change of correspondence address is accompanied by a statement that notice has been given to the patentee or owner.

[36 FR 12617, July 2, 1971, as amended at 46 FR 29181, May 29, 1981; 49 FR 34724, Aug. 31, 1984; 50 FR 5171, Feb. 6, 1985; 62 FR 53184, Oct. 10, 1997; 65 FR 54661, Sept. 8, 2000; 69 FR 29877, May 26, 2004; 69 FR 35452, June 24, 2004; 70 FR 3889, Jan. 27, 2005; 70 FR 56127, Sept. 26, 2005; 72 FR 2776, Jan. 23, 2007; 72 FR 18904, Apr. 16, 2007; 77 FR 48814, Aug. 14, 2012; 78 FR 62396, Oct. 21, 2013]

§ 1.34 Acting in a representative capacity.

When a patent practitioner acting in a representative capacity appears in person or signs a paper in practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office in a patent case, his or her personal appearance or signature shall constitute a representation to the United States Patent and Trademark Office that under the provisions of this subchapter and the law, he or she is authorized to represent the particular party on whose behalf he or she acts. In filing such a paper, the patent practitioner must set forth his or her registration number, his or her name and signature. Further proof of authority to act in a representative capacity may be required.

[70 FR 56127, Sept. 26, 2005]

§ 1.36 Revocation of power of attorney; withdrawal of patent attorney or agent.

(a) A power of attorney, pursuant to § 1.32(b), may be revoked at any stage in the proceedings of a case by the applicant or patent owner. A power of attorney to the patent practitioners associated with a Customer Number will be treated as a request to revoke any powers of attorney previously given. Fewer than all of the applicants (or fewer than all patent owners in a supplemental examination or reexamination proceeding) may revoke the power of attorney only upon a showing of sufficient cause, and payment of the petition fee set forth in § 1.17(f). A patent practitioner will be notified of the revocation of the power of attorney. Where power of attorney is given to the patent practitioners associated with a Customer Number (§ 1.32(c)(2)), the practitioners so appointed will also be notified of the revocation of the power of attorney when the power of attorney to all of the practitioners associated with the Customer Number is revoked. The notice of revocation will be mailed to the correspondence address for the application (§ 1.33) in effect before the revocation. An assignment will not of itself operate as a revocation of a power previously given, but the assignee may become the applicant under § 1.46(c) and revoke any previous power of attorney and grant a power of attorney as provided in § 1.32(b).

(b) A registered patent attorney or patent agent who has been given a power of attorney pursuant to § 1.32(b) may withdraw as attorney or agent of record upon application to and approval by the Director. The applicant or patent owner will be notified of the withdrawal of the registered patent attorney or patent agent. Where power of attorney is given to the patent practitioners associated with a Customer Number, a request to delete all of the patent practitioners associated with the Customer Number may not be granted if an applicant has given power of attorney to the patent practitioners associated with the Customer Number in an application that has an Office action to which a reply is due, but insufficient time remains for the applicant to file a reply. See § 41.5 of this title for withdrawal during proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

[69 FR 49997, Aug. 12, 2004, as amended at 70 FR 56128, Sept. 26, 2005; 77 FR 46624, Aug. 6, 2012; 77 FR 48814, Aug. 14, 2012]

Who May Apply for a Patent
§ 1.41 Inventorship.

(a) An application must include, or be amended to include, the name of the inventor for any invention claimed in the application.

(b) The inventorship of a nonprovisional application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) is the inventor or joint inventors set forth in the application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76 filed before or concurrently with the inventor's oath or declaration. If an application data sheet is not filed before or concurrently with the inventor's oath or declaration, the inventorship is the inventor or joint inventors set forth in the inventor's oath or declaration, except as provided for in §§ 1.53(d)(4) and 1.63(d). Once an application data sheet or the inventor's oath or declaration is filed in a nonprovisional application, any correction of inventorship must be pursuant to § 1.48. If neither an application data sheet nor the inventor's oath or declaration is filed during the pendency of a nonprovisional application, the inventorship is the inventor or joint inventors set forth in the application papers filed pursuant to § 1.53(b), unless the applicant files a paper, including the processing fee set forth in § 1.17(i), supplying the name or names of the inventor or joint inventors.

(c) The inventorship of a provisional application is the inventor or joint inventors set forth in the cover sheet as prescribed by § 1.51(c)(1). Once a cover sheet as prescribed by § 1.51(c)(1) is filed in a provisional application, any correction of inventorship must be pursuant to § 1.48. If a cover sheet as prescribed by § 1.51(c)(1) is not filed during the pendency of a provisional application, the inventorship is the inventor or joint inventors set forth in the application papers filed pursuant to § 1.53(c), unless applicant files a paper including the processing fee set forth in § 1.17(q), supplying the name or names of the inventor or joint inventors.

(d) In a nonprovisional application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) filed without an application data sheet or the inventor's oath or declaration, or in a provisional application filed without a cover sheet as prescribed by § 1.51(c)(1), the name and residence of each person believed to be an actual inventor should be provided when the application papers pursuant to § 1.53(b) or § 1.53(c) are filed.

(e) The inventorship of an international application entering the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371 is the inventor or joint inventors set forth in the application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76 filed with the initial submission under 35 U.S.C. 371. Unless the initial submission under 35 U.S.C. 371 is accompanied by an application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76 setting forth the inventor or joint inventors, the inventorship is the inventor or joint inventors set forth in the international application, which includes any change effected under PCT Rule 92 bis.

(f) The inventorship of an international design application designating the United States is the creator or creators set forth in the publication of the international registration under Hague Agreement Article 10(3). Any correction of inventorship must be pursuant to § 1.48.

[77 FR 48814, Aug. 14, 2012, as amended at 80 FR 17956, Apr. 2, 2015]

§ 1.42 Applicant for patent.

(a) The word “applicant” when used in this title refers to the inventor or all of the joint inventors, or to the person applying for a patent as provided in §§ 1.43, 1.45, or 1.46.

(b) If a person is applying for a patent as provided in § 1.46, the word “applicant” refers to the assignee, the person to whom the inventor is under an obligation to assign the invention, or the person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter, who is applying for a patent under § 1.46 and not the inventor.

(c) If fewer than all joint inventors are applying for a patent as provided in § 1.45, the phrase “the applicant” means the joint inventors who are applying for the patent without the omitted inventor(s).

(d) Any person having authority may deliver an application and fees to the Office on behalf of the applicant. However, an oath or declaration, or substitute statement in lieu of an oath or declaration, may be executed only in accordance with § 1.63 or 1.64, a correspondence address may be provided only in accordance with § 1.33(a), and amendments and other papers must be signed in accordance with § 1.33(b).

(e) The Office may require additional information where there is a question concerning ownership or interest in an application, and a showing may be required from the person filing the application that the filing was authorized where such authorization comes into question.

[77 FR 48815, Aug. 14, 2012]

§ 1.43 Application for patent by a legal representative of a deceased or legally incapacitated inventor.

If an inventor is deceased or under legal incapacity, the legal representative of the inventor may make an application for patent on behalf of the inventor. If an inventor dies during the time intervening between the filing of the application and the granting of a patent thereon, the letters patent may be issued to the legal representative upon proper intervention. See § 1.64 concerning the execution of a substitute statement by a legal representative in lieu of an oath or declaration.

[77 FR 48815, Aug. 14, 2012]

§ 1.44 [Reserved]
§ 1.45 Application for patent by joint inventors.

(a) Joint inventors must apply for a patent jointly, and each must make an inventor's oath or declaration as required by § 1.63, except as provided for in § 1.64. If a joint inventor refuses to join in an application for patent or cannot be found or reached after diligent effort, the other joint inventor or inventors may make the application for patent on behalf of themselves and the omitted inventor. See § 1.64 concerning the execution of a substitute statement by the other joint inventor or inventors in lieu of an oath or declaration.

(b) Inventors may apply for a patent jointly even though:

(1) They did not physically work together or at the same time;

(2) Each inventor did not make the same type or amount of contribution; or

(3) Each inventor did not make a contribution to the subject matter of every claim of the application.

(c) If multiple inventors are named in a nonprovisional application, each named inventor must have made a contribution, individually or jointly, to the subject matter of at least one claim of the application and the application will be considered to be a joint application under 35 U.S.C. 116. If multiple inventors are named in a provisional application, each named inventor must have made a contribution, individually or jointly, to the subject matter disclosed in the provisional application and the provisional application will be considered to be a joint application under 35 U.S.C. 116.

[77 FR 48815, Aug. 14, 2012]

§ 1.46 Application for patent by an assignee, obligated assignee, or a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter.

(a) A person to whom the inventor has assigned or is under an obligation to assign the invention may make an application for patent. A person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter may make an application for patent on behalf of and as agent for the inventor on proof of the pertinent facts and a showing that such action is appropriate to preserve the rights of the parties.

(b) If an application under 35 U.S.C. 111 is made by a person other than the inventor under paragraph (a) of this section, the application must contain an application data sheet under § 1.76 specifying in the applicant information section (§ 1.76(b)(7)) the assignee, person to whom the inventor is under an obligation to assign the invention, or person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter. If an application entering the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371, or a nonprovisional international design application, is applied for by a person other than the inventor under paragraph (a) of this section, the assignee, person to whom the inventor is under an obligation to assign the invention, or person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter must have been identified as the applicant for the United States in the international stage of the international application or as the applicant in the publication of the international registration under Hague Agreement Article 10(3).

(1) If the applicant is the assignee or a person to whom the inventor is under an obligation to assign the invention, documentary evidence of ownership (e.g., assignment for an assignee, employment agreement for a person to whom the inventor is under an obligation to assign the invention) should be recorded as provided for in part 3 of this chapter no later than the date the issue fee is paid in the application.

(2) If the applicant is a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter, such applicant must submit a petition including:

(i) The fee set forth in § 1.17(g);

(ii) A showing that such person has sufficient proprietary interest in the matter; and

(iii) A statement that making the application for patent by a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter on behalf of and as agent for the inventor is appropriate to preserve the rights of the parties.

(c)

(1) Correction or update in the name of the applicant. Any request to correct or update the name of the applicant under this section must include an application data sheet under § 1.76 specifying the correct or updated name of the applicant in the applicant information section (§ 1.76(b)(7)) in accordance with § 1.76(c)(2). A change in the name of the applicant recorded pursuant to Hague Agreement Article 16(1)(ii) will be effective to change the name of the applicant in a nonprovisional international design application.

(2) Change in the applicant. Any request to change the applicant under this section after an original applicant has been specified must include an application data sheet under § 1.76 specifying the applicant in the applicant information section (§ 1.76(b)(7)) in accordance with § 1.76(c)(2) and comply with §§ 3.71 and 3.73 of this title.

(d) Even if the whole or a part interest in the invention or in the patent to be issued is assigned or obligated to be assigned, an oath or declaration must be executed by the actual inventor or each actual joint inventor, except as provided for in § 1.64. See § 1.64 concerning the execution of a substitute statement by an assignee, person to whom the inventor is under an obligation to assign the invention, or a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter.

(e) If a patent is granted on an application filed under this section by a person other than the inventor, the patent shall be granted to the real party in interest. Otherwise, the patent may be issued to the assignee or jointly to the inventor and the assignee as provided in § 3.81. Where a real party in interest has filed an application under § 1.46, the applicant shall notify the Office of any change in the real party in interest no later than payment of the issue fee. The Office will treat the absence of such a notice as an indication that there has been no change in the real party in interest.

(f) The Office may publish notice of the filing of the application by a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the Official Gazette.

[77 FR 48815, Aug. 14, 2012, as amended at 80 FR 17956, Apr. 2, 2015]

§ 1.47 [Reserved]
§ 1.48 Correction of inventorship pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 116 or correction of the name or order of names in a patent application, other than a reissue application.

(a) Nonprovisional application: Any request to correct or change the inventorship once the inventorship has been established under § 1.41 must include:

(1) An application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76 that identifies each inventor by his or her legal name; and

(2) The processing fee set forth in § 1.17(i).

(b) Inventor's oath or declaration for added inventor: An oath or declaration as required by § 1.63, or a substitute statement in compliance with § 1.64, will be required for any actual inventor who has not yet executed such an oath or declaration.

(c) Any request to correct or change the inventorship under paragraph (a) of this section filed after the Office action on the merits has been given or mailed in the application must also be accompanied by the fee set forth in § 1.17(d), unless the request is accompanied by a statement that the request to correct or change the inventorship is due solely to the cancelation of claims in the application.

(d) Provisional application. Once a cover sheet as prescribed by § 1.51(c)(1) is filed in a provisional application, any request to correct or change the inventorship must include:

(1) A request, signed by a party set forth in § 1.33(b), to correct the inventorship that identifies each inventor by his or her legal name; and

(2) The processing fee set forth in § 1.17(q).

(e) Additional information may be required. The Office may require such other information as may be deemed appropriate under the particular circumstances surrounding the correction of inventorship.

(f) Correcting or updating the name of an inventor: Any request to correct or update the name of the inventor or a joint inventor, or the order of the names of joint inventors, in a nonprovisional application must include:

(1) An application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76 that identifies each inventor by his or her legal name in the desired order; and

(2) The processing fee set forth in § 1.17(i).

(g) Reissue applications not covered. The provisions of this section do not apply to reissue applications. See §§ 1.171 and 1.175 for correction of inventorship in a patent via a reissue application.

(h) Correction of inventorship in patent. See § 1.324 for correction of inventorship in a patent.

(i) Correction of inventorship in an interference or contested case before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. In an interference under part 41, subpart D, of this title, a request for correction of inventorship in an application must be in the form of a motion under § 41.121(a)(2) of this title. In a contested case under part 42, subpart D, of this title, a request for correction of inventorship in an application must be in the form of a motion under § 42.22 of this title. The motion under § 41.121(a)(2) or 42.22 of this title must comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section.

[77 FR 48816, Aug. 14, 2012, as amended at 78 FR 4289, Jan. 18, 2013]

The Application
§ 1.51 General requisites of an application.

(a) Applications for patents must be made to the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. An application transmittal letter limited to the transmittal of the documents and fees comprising a patent application under this section may be signed by a juristic applicant or patent owner.

(b) A complete application filed under § 1.53(b) or § 1.53(d) comprises:

(1) A specification as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112, including a claim or claims, see §§ 1.71 to 1.77;

(2) The inventor's oath or declaration, see §§ 1.63 and 1.64;

(3) Drawings, when necessary, see §§ 1.81 to 1.85; and

(4) The prescribed filing fee, search fee, examination fee, and application size fee, see § 1.16.

(c) A complete provisional application filed under § 1.53(c) comprises:

(1) A cover sheet identifying:

(i) The application as a provisional application,

(ii) The name or names of the inventor or inventors, (see § 1.41(a)(2)),

(iii) The residence of each named inventor,

(iv) The title of the invention,

(v) The name and registration number of the attorney or agent (if applicable),

(vi) The docket number used by the person filing the application to identify the application (if applicable),

(vii) The correspondence address, and

(viii) The name of the U.S. Government agency and Government contract number (if the invention was made by an agency of the U.S. Government or under a contract with an agency of the U.S. Government);

(2) A specification as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112(a), see § 1.71;

(3) Drawings, when necessary, see §§ 1.81 to 1.85; and

(4) The prescribed filing fee and application size fee, see § 1.16.

(d) Applicants are encouraged to file an information disclosure statement in nonprovisional applications. See § 1.97 and § 1.98. No information disclosure statement may be filed in a provisional application.

[62 FR 53185, Oct. 10, 1997, as amended at 65 FR 54664, Sept. 8, 2000; 68 FR 14336, Mar. 25, 2003; 70 FR 3889, Jan. 27, 2005; 77 FR 46624, Aug. 6, 2012; 77 FR 48816, Aug. 14, 2012; 78 FR 62396, Oct. 21, 2013]

§ 1.52 Language, paper, writing, margins, compact disc specifications.

(a) Papers that are to become a part of the permanent United States Patent and Trademark Office records in the file of a patent application, or a reexamination or supplemental examination proceeding.

(1) All papers, other than drawings, that are submitted on paper or by facsimile transmission, and are to become a part of the permanent United States Patent and Trademark Office records in the file of a patent application or reexamination or supplemental examination proceeding, must be on sheets of paper that are the same size, not permanently bound together, and:

(i) Flexible, strong, smooth, non-shiny, durable, and white;

(ii) Either 21.0 cm by 29.7 cm (DIN size A4) or 21.6 cm by 27.9 cm (81/2 by 11 inches), with each sheet including a top margin of at least 2.0 cm (3/4 inch), a left side margin of at least 2.5 cm (1 inch), a right side margin of at least 2.0 cm (3/4 inch), and a bottom margin of at least 2.0 cm (3/4 inch);

(iii) Written on only one side in portrait orientation;

(iv) Plainly and legibly written either by a typewriter or machine printer in permanent dark ink or its equivalent; and

(v) Presented in a form having sufficient clarity and contrast between the paper and the writing thereon to permit the direct reproduction of readily legible copies in any number by use of photographic, electrostatic, photo-offset, and microfilming processes and electronic capture by use of digital imaging and optical character recognition.

(2) All papers that are submitted on paper or by facsimile transmission and are to become a part of the permanent records of the United States Patent and Trademark Office should have no holes in the sheets as submitted.

(3) The provisions of this paragraph and paragraph (b) of this section do not apply to the pre-printed information on paper forms provided by the Office, or to the copy of the patent submitted on paper in double column format as the specification in a reissue application or request for reexamination.

(4) See § 1.58 for chemical and mathematical formulae and tables, and § 1.84 for drawings.

(5) Papers that are submitted electronically to the Office must be formatted and transmitted in compliance with the Office's electronic filing system requirements.

(b) The application (specification, including the claims, drawings, and the inventor's oath or declaration) or reexamination or supplemental examination proceeding, any amendments to the application or reexamination proceeding, or any corrections to the application, or reexamination or supplemental examination proceeding.

(1) The application or proceeding and any amendments or corrections to the application (including any translation submitted pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section) or proceeding, except as provided for in § 1.69 and paragraph (d) of this section, must:

(i) Comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section; and

(ii) Be in the English language or be accompanied by a translation of the application and a translation of any corrections or amendments into the English language together with a statement that the translation is accurate.

(2) The specification (including the abstract and claims) for other than reissue applications and reexamination or supplemental examination proceedings, and any amendments for applications (including reissue applications) and reexamination proceedings to the specification, except as provided for in §§ 1.821 through 1.825, must have:

(i) Lines that are 11/2 or double spaced;

(ii) Text written in a nonscript type font (e.g., Arial, Times Roman, or Courier, preferably a font size of 12) lettering style having capital letters which should be at least 0.3175 cm. (0.125 inch) high, but may be no smaller than 0.21 cm. (0.08 inch) high (e.g., a font size of 6); and

(iii) Only a single column of text.

(3) The claim or claims must commence on a separate physical sheet or electronic page (§ 1.75(h)).

(4) The abstract must commence on a separate physical sheet or electronic page or be submitted as the first page of the patent in a reissue application or reexamination or supplemental examination proceeding (§ 1.72(b)).

(5) Other than in a reissue application or a reexamination or supplemental examination proceeding, the pages of the specification including claims and abstract must be numbered consecutively, starting with 1, the numbers being centrally located above or preferably, below, the text.

(6) Other than in a reissue application or reexamination or supplemental examination proceeding, the paragraphs of the specification, other than in the claims or abstract, may be numbered at the time the application is filed, and should be individually and consecutively numbered using Arabic numerals, so as to unambiguously identify each paragraph. The number should consist of at least four numerals enclosed in square brackets, including leading zeros (e.g., [0001]). The numbers and enclosing brackets should appear to the right of the left margin as the first item in each paragraph, before the first word of the paragraph, and should be highlighted in bold. A gap, equivalent to approximately four spaces, should follow the number. Nontext elements (e.g., tables, mathematical or chemical formulae, chemical structures, and sequence data) are considered part of the numbered paragraph around or above the elements, and should not be independently numbered. If a nontext element extends to the left margin, it should not be numbered as a separate and independent paragraph. A list is also treated as part of the paragraph around or above the list, and should not be independently numbered. Paragraph or section headers (titles), whether abutting the left margin or centered on the page, are not considered paragraphs and should not be numbered.

(c) Interlineation, erasure, cancellation, or other alteration of the application papers may be made before or after the signing of the inventor's oath or declaration referring to those application papers, provided that the statements in the inventor's oath or declaration pursuant to § 1.63 remain applicable to those application papers. A substitute specification (§ 1.125) may be required if the application papers do not comply with paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.

(d) A nonprovisional or provisional application under 35 U.S.C. 111 may be in a language other than English.

(1) Nonprovisional application. If a nonprovisional application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) is filed in a language other than English, an English language translation of the non-English language application, a statement that the translation is accurate, and the processing fee set forth in § 1.17(i) are required. If these items are not filed with the application, the applicant will be notified and given a period of time within which they must be filed in order to avoid abandonment.

(2) Provisional application. If a provisional application under 35 U.S.C. 111(b) is filed in a language other than English, an English language translation of the non-English language provisional application will not be required in the provisional application. See § 1.78(a) for the requirements for claiming the benefit of such provisional application in a nonprovisional application.

(e) Electronic documents that are to become part of the permanent United States Patent and Trademark Office records in the file of a patent application, or reexamination or supplemental examination proceeding.

(1) The following documents may be submitted to the Office on a compact disc in compliance with this paragraph:

(i) A computer program listing (see § 1.96);

(ii) A “Sequence Listing” (submitted under § 1.821(c)); or

(iii) Any individual table (see § 1.58) if the table is more than 50 pages in length, or if the total number of pages of all the tables in an application exceeds 100 pages in length, where a table page is a page printed on paper in conformance with paragraph (b) of this section and § 1.58(c).

(2) A compact disc as used in this part means a Compact Disc-Read Only Memory (CD-ROM) or a Compact Disc-Recordable (CD-R) in compliance with this paragraph. A CD-ROM is a “read-only” medium on which the data is pressed into the disc so that it cannot be changed or erased. A CD-R is a “write once” medium on which once the data is recorded, it is permanent and cannot be changed or erased.

(3)

(i) Each compact disc must conform to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9660 standard, and the contents of each compact disc must be in compliance with the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII).

(ii) Each compact disc must be enclosed in a hard compact disc case within an unsealed padded and protective mailing envelope and accompanied by a transmittal letter on paper in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section. The transmittal letter must list for each compact disc the machine format (e.g., IBM-PC, Macintosh), the operating system compatibility (e.g., MS-DOS, MS-Windows, Macintosh, Unix), a list of files contained on the compact disc including their names, sizes in bytes, and dates of creation, plus any other special information that is necessary to identify, maintain, and interpret (e.g., tables in landscape orientation should be identified as landscape orientation or be identified when inquired about) the information on the compact disc. Compact discs submitted to the Office will not be returned to the applicant.

(4) Any compact disc must be submitted in duplicate unless it contains only the “Sequence Listing” in computer readable form required by § 1.821(e). The compact disc and duplicate copy must be labeled “Copy 1” and “Copy 2,” respectively. The transmittal letter which accompanies the compact disc must include a statement that the two compact discs are identical. In the event that the two compact discs are not identical, the Office will use the compact disc labeled “Copy 1” for further processing. Any amendment to the information on a compact disc must be by way of a replacement compact disc in compliance with this paragraph containing the substitute information, and must be accompanied by a statement that the replacement compact disc contains no new matter. The compact disc and copy must be labeled “COPY 1 REPLACEMENT MM/DD/YYYY” (with the month, day and year of creation indicated), and “COPY 2 REPLACEMENT MM/DD/YYYY,” respectively.

(5) The specification must contain an incorporation-by-reference of the material on the compact disc in a separate paragraph (§ 1.77(b)(5)), identifying each compact disc by the names of the files contained on each of the compact discs, their date of creation and their sizes in bytes. The Office may require applicant to amend the specification to include in the paper portion any part of the specification previously submitted on compact disc.

(6) A compact disc must also be labeled with the following information:

(i) The name of each inventor (if known);

(ii) Title of the invention;

(iii) The docket number, or application number if known, used by the person filing the application to identify the application;

(iv) A creation date of the compact disc;

(v) If multiple compact discs are submitted, the label shall indicate their order (e.g., “1 of X”); and

(vi) An indication that the disc is “Copy 1” or “Copy 2” of the submission. See paragraph (b)(4) of this section.

(7) If a file is unreadable on both copies of the disc, the unreadable file will be treated as not having been submitted. A file is unreadable if, for example, it is of a format that does not comply with the requirements of paragraph (e)(3) of this section, it is corrupted by a computer virus, or it is written onto a defective compact disc.

(f)

(1) Any sequence listing in an electronic medium in compliance with §§ 1.52(e) and 1.821(c) or (e), and any computer program listing filed in an electronic medium in compliance with §§ 1.52(e) and 1.96, will be excluded when determining the application size fee required by § 1.16(s) or § 1.492(j). For purposes of determining the application size fee required by § 1.16(s) or § 1.492(j), for an application the specification and drawings of which, excluding any sequence listing in compliance with § 1.821(c) or (e), and any computer program listing filed in an electronic medium in compliance with §§ 1.52(e) and 1.96, are submitted in whole or in part on an electronic medium other than the Office electronic filing system, each three kilobytes of content submitted on an electronic medium shall be counted as a sheet of paper.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, the paper size equivalent of the specification and drawings of an application submitted via the Office electronic filing system will be considered to be seventy-five percent of the number of sheets of paper present in the specification and drawings of the application when entered into the Office file wrapper after being rendered by the Office electronic filing system for purposes of determining the application size fee required by § 1.16(s). Any sequence listing in compliance with § 1.821(c) or (e), and any computer program listing in compliance with § 1.96, submitted via the Office electronic filing system will be excluded when determining the application size fee required by § 1.16(s) if the listing is submitted in ASCII text as part of an associated file.

[43 FR 20462, May 11, 1978]

§ 1.53 Application number, filing date, and completion of application.

(a) Application number. Any papers received in the Patent and Trademark Office which purport to be an application for a patent will be assigned an application number for identification purposes.

(b) Application filing requirements - Nonprovisional application. The filing date of an application for patent filed under this section, other than an application for a design patent or a provisional application under paragraph (c) of this section, is the date on which a specification, with or without claims, is received in the Office. The filing date of an application for a design patent filed under this section, except for a continued prosecution application under paragraph (d) of this section, is the date on which the specification as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112, including at least one claim, and any required drawings are received in the Office. No new matter may be introduced into an application after its filing date. A continuing application, which may be a continuation, divisional, or continuation-in-part application, may be filed under the conditions specified in 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) and § 1.78.

(1) A continuation or divisional application that names as inventors the same or fewer than all of the inventors named in the prior application may be filed under this paragraph or paragraph (d) of this section.

(2) A continuation-in-part application (which may disclose and claim subject matter not disclosed in the prior application) or a continuation or divisional application naming an inventor not named in the prior application must be filed under this paragraph.

(c) Application filing requirements - Provisional application. The filing date of a provisional application is the date on which a specification, with or without claims, is received in the Office. No amendment, other than to make the provisional application comply with the patent statute and all applicable regulations, may be made to the provisional application after the filing date of the provisional application.

(1) A provisional application must also include the cover sheet required by § 1.51(c)(1), which may be an application data sheet (§ 1.76), or a cover letter identifying the application as a provisional application. Otherwise, the application will be treated as an application filed under paragraph (b) of this section.

(2) An application for patent filed under paragraph (b) of this section may be converted to a provisional application and be accorded the original filing date of the application filed under paragraph (b) of this section. The grant of such a request for conversion will not entitle applicant to a refund of the fees that were properly paid in the application filed under paragraph (b) of this section. Such a request for conversion must be accompanied by the processing fee set forth in § 1.17(q) and be filed prior to the earliest of:

(i) Abandonment of the application filed under paragraph (b) of this section;

(ii) Payment of the issue fee on the application filed under paragraph (b) of this section; or

(iii) Expiration of twelve months after the filing date of the application filed under paragraph (b) of this section.

(3) A provisional application filed under paragraph (c) of this section may be converted to a nonprovisional application filed under paragraph (b) of this section and accorded the original filing date of the provisional application. The conversion of a provisional application to a nonprovisional application will not result in either the refund of any fee properly paid in the provisional application or the application of any such fee to the filing fee, or any other fee, for the nonprovisional application. Conversion of a provisional application to a nonprovisional application under this paragraph will result in the term of any patent to issue from the application being measured from at least the filing date of the provisional application for which conversion is requested. Thus, applicants should consider avoiding this adverse patent term impact by filing a nonprovisional application claiming the benefit of the provisional application under 35 U.S.C. 119(e), rather than converting the provisional application into a nonprovisional application pursuant to this paragraph. A request to convert a provisional application to a nonprovisional application must be accompanied by the fee set forth in § 1.17(i) and an amendment including at least one claim as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112(b), unless the provisional application under paragraph (c) of this section otherwise contains at least one claim as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112(b). The nonprovisional application resulting from conversion of a provisional application must also include the filing fee, search fee, and examination fee for a nonprovisional application, and the surcharge required by § 1.16(f) if either the basic filing fee for a nonprovisional application or the inventor's oath or declaration was not present on the filing date accorded the resulting nonprovisional application (i.e., the filing date of the original provisional application). A request to convert a provisional application to a nonprovisional application must also be filed prior to the earliest of:

(i) Abandonment of the provisional application filed under paragraph (c) of this section; or

(ii) Expiration of twelve months after the filing date of the provisional application filed under paragraph (c) of this section.

(4) A provisional application is not entitled to the right of priority under 35 U.S.C. 119, 365(a), or 386(a) or § 1.55, or to the benefit of an earlier filing date under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) or § 1.78 of any other application. No claim for priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) or § 1.78(a) may be made in a design application based on a provisional application. The requirements of §§ 1.821 through 1.825 regarding application disclosures containing nucleotide and/or amino acid sequences are not mandatory for provisional applications.

(d) Application filing requirements - Continued prosecution (nonprovisional) application.

(1) A continuation or divisional application (but not a continuation-in-part) of a prior nonprovisional application may be filed as a continued prosecution application under this paragraph, provided that:

(i) The application is for a design patent;

(ii) The prior nonprovisional application is a design application, but not an international design application, that is complete as defined by § 1.51(b), except for the inventor's oath or declaration if the application is filed on or after September 16, 2012, and the prior nonprovisional application contains an application data sheet meeting the conditions specified in § 1.53(f)(3)(i); and

(iii) The application under this paragraph is filed before the earliest of:

(A) Payment of the issue fee on the prior application, unless a petition under § 1.313(c) is granted in the prior application;

(B) Abandonment of the prior application; or

(C) Termination of proceedings on the prior application.

(2) The filing date of a continued prosecution application is the date on which a request on a separate paper for an application under this paragraph is filed. An application filed under this paragraph:

(i) Must identify the prior application;

(ii) Discloses and claims only subject matter disclosed in the prior application;

(iii) Names as inventors the same inventors named in the prior application on the date the application under this paragraph was filed, except as provided in paragraph (d)(4) of this section;

(iv) Includes the request for an application under this paragraph, will utilize the file jacket and contents of the prior application, including the specification, drawings and the inventor's oath or declaration from the prior application, to constitute the new application, and will be assigned the application number of the prior application for identification purposes; and

(v) Is a request to expressly abandon the prior application as of the filing date of the request for an application under this paragraph.

(3) The filing fee, search fee, and examination fee for a continued prosecution application filed under this paragraph are the basic filing fee as set forth in § 1.16(b), the search fee as set forth in § 1.16(l), and the examination fee as set forth in § 1.16(p).

(4) An application filed under this paragraph may be filed by fewer than all the inventors named in the prior application, provided that the request for an application under this paragraph when filed is accompanied by a statement requesting deletion of the name or names of the person or persons who are not inventors of the invention being claimed in the new application. No person may be named as an inventor in an application filed under this paragraph who was not named as an inventor in the prior application on the date the application under this paragraph was filed, except by way of correction of inventorship under § 1.48.

(5) Any new change must be made in the form of an amendment to the prior application as it existed prior to the filing of an application under this paragraph. No amendment in an application under this paragraph (a continued prosecution application) may introduce new matter or matter that would have been new matter in the prior application. Any new specification filed with the request for an application under this paragraph will not be considered part of the original application papers, but will be treated as a substitute specification in accordance with § 1.125.

(6) The filing of a continued prosecution application under this paragraph will be construed to include a waiver of confidentiality by the applicant under 35 U.S.C. 122 to the extent that any member of the public, who is entitled under the provisions of § 1.14 to access to, copies of, or information concerning either the prior application or any continuing application filed under the provisions of this paragraph, may be given similar access to, copies of, or similar information concerning the other application or applications in the file jacket.

(7) A request for an application under this paragraph is the specific reference required by 35 U.S.C. 120 to every application assigned the application number identified in such request. No amendment in an application under this paragraph may delete this specific reference to any prior application.

(8) In addition to identifying the application number of the prior application, applicant should furnish in the request for an application under this paragraph the following information relating to the prior application to the best of his or her ability:

(i) Title of invention;

(ii) Name of applicant(s); and

(iii) Correspondence address.

(9) See § 1.103(b) for requesting a limited suspension of action in an application filed under this paragraph.

(e) Failure to meet filing date requirements.

(1) If an application deposited under paragraph (b), (c), or (d) of this section does not meet the requirements of such paragraph to be entitled to a filing date, applicant will be so notified, if a correspondence address has been provided, and given a period of time within which to correct the filing error. If, however, a request for an application under paragraph (d) of this section does not meet the requirements of that paragraph because the application in which the request was filed is not a design application, and if the application in which the request was filed was itself filed on or after June 8, 1995, the request for an application under paragraph (d) of this section will be treated as a request for continued examination under § 1.114.

(2) Any request for review of a notification pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section, or a notification that the original application papers lack a portion of the specification or drawing(s), must be by way of a petition pursuant to this paragraph accompanied by the fee set forth in § 1.17(f). In the absence of a timely (§ 1.181(f)) petition pursuant to this paragraph, the filing date of an application in which the applicant was notified of a filing error pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section will be the date the filing error is corrected.

(3) If an applicant is notified of a filing error pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section, but fails to correct the filing error within the given time period or otherwise timely (§ 1.181(f)) take action pursuant to this paragraph, proceedings in the application will be considered terminated. Where proceedings in an application are terminated pursuant to this paragraph, the application may be disposed of, and any filing fees, less the handling fee set forth in § 1.21(n), will be refunded.

(f) Completion of application subsequent to filing - Nonprovisional (including continued prosecution or reissue) application.

(1) If an application which has been accorded a filing date pursuant to paragraph (b) or (d) of this section does not include the basic filing fee, search fee, or examination fee, or if an application which has been accorded a filing date pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section does not include at least one claim or the inventor's oath or declaration (§§ 1.63, 1.64, 1.162, or 1.175), and the applicant has provided a correspondence address (§ 1.33(a)), the applicant will be notified and given a period of time within which to file a claim or claims, pay the basic filing fee, search fee, and examination fee, and pay the surcharge if required by § 1.16(f), to avoid abandonment.

(2) If an application which has been accorded a filing date pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section does not include the basic filing fee, search fee, examination fee, at least one claim, or the inventor's oath or declaration, and the applicant has not provided a correspondence address (§ 1.33(a)), the applicant has three months from the filing date of the application within which to file a claim or claims, pay the basic filing fee, search fee, and examination fee, and pay the surcharge required by § 1.16(f), to avoid abandonment.

(3) The inventor's oath or declaration in an application under § 1.53(b) must also be filed within the period specified in paragraph (f)(1) or (f)(2) of this section, except that the filing of the inventor's oath or declaration may be postponed until the application is otherwise in condition for allowance under the conditions specified in paragraphs (f)(3)(i) and (f)(3)(ii) of this section.

(i) The application must be an original (non-reissue) application that contains an application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76 identifying:

(A) Each inventor by his or her legal name;

(B) A mailing address where the inventor customarily receives mail, and residence, if an inventor lives at a location which is different from where the inventor customarily receives mail, for each inventor.

(ii) The applicant must file each required oath or declaration in compliance with § 1.63, or substitute statement in compliance with § 1.64, no later than the date on which the issue fee for the patent is paid. If the applicant is notified in a notice of allowability that an oath or declaration in compliance with § 1.63, or substitute statement in compliance with § 1.64, executed by or with respect to each named inventor has not been filed, the applicant must file each required oath or declaration in compliance with § 1.63, or substitute statement in compliance with § 1.64, no later than the date on which the issue fee is paid to avoid abandonment. This time period is not extendable under § 1.136 (see § 1.136(c)). The Office may dispense with the notice provided for in paragraph (f)(1) of this section if each required oath or declaration in compliance with § 1.63, or substitute statement in compliance with § 1.64, has been filed before the application is in condition for allowance.

(4) If the excess claims fees required by § 1.16(h) and (i) and multiple dependent claim fee required by § 1.16(j) are not paid on filing or on later presentation of the claims for which the excess claims or multiple dependent claim fees are due, the fees required by § 1.16(h), (i), and (j) must be paid or the claims canceled by amendment prior to the expiration of the time period set for reply by the Office in any notice of fee deficiency. If the application size fee required by § 1.16(s) (if any) is not paid on filing or on later presentation of the amendment necessitating a fee or additional fee under § 1.16(s), the fee required by § 1.16(s) must be paid prior to the expiration of the time period set for reply by the Office in any notice of fee deficiency in order to avoid abandonment.

(5) This paragraph applies to continuation or divisional applications under paragraphs (b) or (d) of this section and to continuation-in-part applications under paragraph (b) of this section. See § 1.63(d) concerning the submission of a copy of the inventor's oath or declaration from the prior application for a continuing application under paragraph (b) of this section.

(6) If applicant does not pay the basic filing fee during the pendency of the application, the Office may dispose of the application.

(g) Completion of application subsequent to filing - Provisional application.

(1) If a provisional application which has been accorded a filing date pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section does not include the cover sheet required by § 1.51(c)(1) or the basic filing fee (§ 1.16(d)), and applicant has provided a correspondence address (§ 1.33(a)), applicant will be notified and given a period of time within which to pay the basic filing fee, file a cover sheet (§ 1.51(c)(1)), and pay the surcharge required by § 1.16(g) to avoid abandonment.

(2) If a provisional application which has been accorded a filing date pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section does not include the cover sheet required by § 1.51(c)(1) or the basic filing fee (§ 1.16(d)), and applicant has not provided a correspondence address (§ 1.33(a)), applicant has two months from the filing date of the application within which to pay the basic filing fee, file a cover sheet (§ 1.51(c)(1)), and pay the surcharge required by § 1.16(g) to avoid abandonment.

(3) If the application size fee required by § 1.16(s) (if any) is not paid on filing, the fee required by § 1.16(s) must be paid prior to the expiration of the time period set for reply by the Office in any notice of fee deficiency in order to avoid abandonment.

(4) If applicant does not pay the basic filing fee during the pendency of the application, the Office may dispose of the application.

(h) Subsequent treatment of application - Nonprovisional (including continued prosecution) application. An application for a patent filed under paragraphs (b) or (d) of this section will not be placed on the files for examination until all its required parts, complying with the rules relating thereto, are received, except that the inventor's oath or declaration may be filed when the application is otherwise in condition for allowance pursuant to paragraph (f)(3) of this section and minor informalities may be waived subject to subsequent correction whenever required.

(i) Subsequent treatment of application - Provisional application. A provisional application for a patent filed under paragraph (c) of this section will not be placed on the files for examination and will become abandoned no later than twelve months after its filing date pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 111(b)(1).

[62 FR 53186, Oct. 10, 1997, as amended at 63 FR 5734, Feb. 4, 1998; 65 FR 14871, Mar. 20, 2000; 65 FR 50104, Aug. 16, 2000; 65 FR 54665, Sept. 8, 2000; 65 FR 78960, Dec. 18, 2000; 68 FR 14336, Mar. 25, 2003; 68 FR 32380, May 30, 2003; 69 FR 29878, May 26, 2004; 69 FR 56539, Sept. 21, 2004; 70 FR 3890, Jan. 27, 2005; 70 FR 30365, May 26, 2005; 72 FR 46836, Aug. 21, 2007; 74 FR 52688, Oct. 14, 2009; 77 FR 48817, Aug. 14, 2012; 78 FR 11053, Feb. 14, 2013; 78 FR 62398, Oct. 21, 2013; 79 FR 12386, Mar. 5, 2014; 80 FR 17956, Apr. 2, 2015]

§ 1.54 Parts of application to be filed together; filing receipt.

(a) It is desirable that all parts of the complete application be deposited in the Office together; otherwise, a letter must accompany each part, accurately and clearly connecting it with the other parts of the application. See § 1.53 (f) and (g) with regard to completion of an application.

(b) Applicant will be informed of the application number and filing date by a filing receipt, unless the application is an application filed under § 1.53(d). A letter limited to a request for a filing receipt may be signed by a juristic applicant or patent owner.

[62 FR 53188, Oct. 10, 1997, as amended at 78 FR 62399, Oct. 21, 2013]

§ 1.55 Claim for foreign priority.

(a) In general. An applicant in a nonprovisional application may claim priority to one or more prior foreign applications under the conditions specified in 35 U.S.C. 119(a) through (d) and (f), 172, 365(a) and (b), and 386(a) and (b) and this section.

(b) Time for filing subsequent application. The nonprovisional application must be:

(1) Filed not later than twelve months (six months in the case of a design application) after the date on which the foreign application was filed, subject to paragraph (c) of this section (a subsequent application); or

(2) Entitled to claim the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) of a subsequent application that was filed within the period set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(c) Delayed filing of subsequent application. If the subsequent application has a filing date which is after the expiration of the period set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, but within two months from the expiration of the period set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the right of priority in the subsequent application may be restored under PCT Rule 26bis.3 for an international application, or upon petition pursuant to this paragraph, if the delay in filing the subsequent application within the period set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section was unintentional. A petition to restore the right of priority under this paragraph filed on or after May 13, 2015, must be filed in the subsequent application, or in the earliest nonprovisional application claiming benefit under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) to the subsequent application, if such subsequent application is not a nonprovisional application. Any petition to restore the right of priority under this paragraph must include:

(1) The priority claim under 35 U.S.C. 119(a) through (d) or (f), 365(a) or (b), or 386(a) or (b) in an application data sheet (§ 1.76(b)(6)), identifying the foreign application to which priority is claimed, by specifying the application number, country (or intellectual property authority), day, month, and year of its filing, unless previously submitted;

(2) The petition fee as set forth in § 1.17(m); and

(3) A statement that the delay in filing the subsequent application within the period set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section was unintentional. The Director may require additional information where there is a question whether the delay was unintentional.

(d) Time for filing priority claim -

(1) Application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a). The claim for priority must be filed within the later of four months from the actual filing date of the application or sixteen months from the filing date of the prior foreign application in an original application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a), except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section. The claim for priority must be presented in an application data sheet (§ 1.76(b)(6)) and must identify the foreign application to which priority is claimed by specifying the application number, country (or intellectual property authority), day, month, and year of its filing. The time periods in this paragraph do not apply if the later-filed application is:

(i) An application for a design patent; or

(ii) An application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) before November 29, 2000.

(2) Application under 35 U.S.C. 371. The claim for priority must be made within the time limit set forth in the PCT and the Regulations under the PCT in an international application entering the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371, except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section.

(e) Delayed priority claim. Unless such claim is accepted in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph, any claim for priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(a) through (d) or (f), 365(a) or (b), or 386(a) or 386(b) not presented in the manner required by paragraph (d) or (m) of this section during pendency and within the time period provided by paragraph (d) of this section (if applicable) is considered to have been waived. If a claim for priority is considered to have been waived under this section, the claim may be accepted if the priority claim was unintentionally delayed. A petition to accept a delayed claim for priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(a) through (d) or (f), 365(a) or (b), or 386(a) or 386(b) must be accompanied by:

(1) The priority claim under 35 U.S.C. 119(a) through (d) or (f), 365(a) or (b), or 386(a) or 386(b) in an application data sheet (§ 1.76(b)(6)), identifying the foreign application to which priority is claimed, by specifying the application number, country (or intellectual property authority), day, month, and year of its filing, unless previously submitted;

(2) A certified copy of the foreign application, unless previously submitted or an exception in paragraph (h), (i), or (j) of this section applies;

(3) The petition fee as set forth in § 1.17(m); and

(4) A statement that the entire delay between the date the priority claim was due under this section and the date the priority claim was filed was unintentional. The Director may require additional information where there is a question whether the delay was unintentional.

(f) Time for filing certified copy of foreign application -

(1) Application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a). A certified copy of the foreign application must be filed within the later of four months from the actual filing date of the application, or sixteen months from the filing date of the prior foreign application, in an original application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) filed on or after March 16, 2013, except as provided in paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) of this section. The time period in this paragraph does not apply in a design application.

(2) Application under 35 U.S.C. 371. A certified copy of the foreign application must be filed within the time limit set forth in the PCT and the Regulations under the PCT in an international application entering the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371. If a certified copy of the foreign application is not filed during the international stage in an international application in which the national stage commenced on or after December 18, 2013, a certified copy of the foreign application must be filed within the later of four months from the date on which the national stage commenced under 35 U.S.C. 371(b) or (f) (§ 1.491(a)), four months from the date of the initial submission under 35 U.S.C. 371 to enter the national stage, or sixteen months from the filing date of the prior foreign application, except as provided in paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) of this section.

(3) If a certified copy of the foreign application is not filed within the time period specified paragraph (f)(1) of this section in an application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) or within the period specified in paragraph (f)(2) of this section in an international application entering the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371, and an exception in paragraph (h), (i), or (j) of this section is not applicable, the certified copy of the foreign application must be accompanied by a petition including a showing of good and sufficient cause for the delay and the petition fee set forth in § 1.17(g).

(g) Requirement for filing priority claim, certified copy of foreign application, and translation in any application.

(1) The claim for priority and the certified copy of the foreign application specified in 35 U.S.C. 119(b) or PCT Rule 17 must, in any event, be filed within the pendency of the application, unless filed with a petition under paragraph (e) or (f) of this section, or with a petition accompanied by the fee set forth in § 1.17(g) which includes a showing of good and sufficient cause for the delay in filing the certified copy of the foreign application in a design application. If the claim for priority or the certified copy of the foreign application is filed after the date the issue fee is paid, the patent will not include the priority claim unless corrected by a certificate of correction under 35 U.S.C. 255 and § 1.323.

(2) The Office may require that the claim for priority and the certified copy of the foreign application be filed earlier than otherwise provided in this section:

(i) When the application is involved in an interference (see § 41.202 of this chapter) or derivation (see part 42 of this chapter) proceeding;

(ii) When necessary to overcome the date of a reference relied upon by the examiner; or

(iii) When deemed necessary by the examiner.

(3) An English language translation of a non-English language foreign application is not required except:

(i) When the application is involved in an interference (see § 41.202 of this chapter) or derivation (see part 42 of this chapter) proceeding;

(ii) When necessary to overcome the date of a reference relied upon by the examiner; or

(iii) When specifically required by the examiner.

(4) If an English language translation of a non-English language foreign application is required, it must be filed together with a statement that the translation of the certified copy is accurate.

(h) Certified copy in another U.S. patent or application. The requirement in paragraphs (f) and (g) of this section for a certified copy of the foreign application will be considered satisfied in a reissue application if the patent for which reissue is sought satisfies the requirement of this section for a certified copy of the foreign application and such patent is identified as containing a certified copy of the foreign application. The requirement in paragraphs (f) and (g) of this section for a certified copy of the foreign application will also be considered satisfied in an application if a prior-filed nonprovisional application for which a benefit is claimed under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) contains a certified copy of the foreign application and such prior-filed nonprovisional application is identified as containing a certified copy of the foreign application.

(i) Foreign intellectual property office participating in a priority document exchange agreement. The requirement in paragraphs (f) and (g) of this section for a certified copy of the foreign application to be filed within the time limit set forth therein will be considered satisfied if:

(1) The foreign application was filed in a foreign intellectual property office participating with the Office in a bilateral or multilateral priority document exchange agreement (participating foreign intellectual property office), or a copy of the foreign application was filed in an application subsequently filed in a participating foreign intellectual property office that permits the Office to obtain such a copy;

(2) The claim for priority is presented in an application data sheet (§ 1.76(b)(6)), identifying the foreign application for which priority is claimed, by specifying the application number, country (or intellectual property authority), day, month, and year of its filing, and the applicant provides the information necessary for the participating foreign intellectual property office to provide the Office with access to the foreign application;

(3) The copy of the foreign application is received by the Office from the participating foreign intellectual property office, or a certified copy of the foreign application is filed, within the period specified in paragraph (g)(1) of this section; and

(4) The applicant files in a separate document a request that the Office obtain a copy of the foreign application from a participating intellectual property office that permits the Office to obtain such a copy where, although the foreign application was not filed in a participating foreign intellectual property office, a copy of the foreign application was filed in an application subsequently filed in a participating foreign intellectual property office that permits the Office to obtain such a copy. The request must identify the participating intellectual property office and the subsequent application by the application number, day, month, and year of its filing in which a copy of the foreign application was filed. The request must be filed within the later of sixteen months from the filing date of the prior foreign application, four months from the actual filing date of an application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a), four months from the date on which the national stage commenced under 35 U.S.C. 371(b) or (f) (§ 1.491(a)), or four months from the date of the initial submission under 35 U.S.C. 371 to enter the national stage, or the request must be accompanied by a petition under paragraph (e) or (f) of this section.

(j) Interim copy. The requirement in paragraph (f) of this section for a certified copy of the foreign application to be filed within the time limit set forth therein will be considered satisfied if:

(1) A copy of the original foreign application clearly labeled as “Interim Copy,” including the specification, and any drawings or claims upon which it is based, is filed in the Office together with a separate cover sheet identifying the foreign application by specifying the application number, country (or intellectual property authority), day, month, and year of its filing, and stating that the copy filed in the Office is a true copy of the original application as filed in the foreign country (or intellectual property authority);

(2) The copy of the foreign application and separate cover sheet are filed within the later of sixteen months from the filing date of the prior foreign application, four months from the actual filing date of an application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a), four months from the date on which the national stage commenced under 35 U.S.C. 371(b) or (f) (§ 1.491(a)), four months from the date of the initial submission under 35 U.S.C. 371 to enter the national stage, or with a petition under paragraph (e) or (f) of this section; and

(3) A certified copy of the foreign application is filed within the period specified in paragraph (g)(1) of this section.

(k) Requirements for certain applications filed on or after March 16, 2013. If a nonprovisional application filed on or after March 16, 2013, other than a nonprovisional international design application, claims priority to a foreign application filed prior to March 16, 2013, and also contains, or contained at any time, a claim to a claimed invention that has an effective filing date as defined in § 1.109 that is on or after March 16, 2013, the applicant must provide a statement to that effect within the later of four months from the actual filing date of the nonprovisional application, four months from the date of entry into the national stage as set forth in § 1.491 in an international application, sixteen months from the filing date of the prior foreign application, or the date that a first claim to a claimed invention that has an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013, is presented in the nonprovisional application. An applicant is not required to provide such a statement if the applicant reasonably believes on the basis of information already known to the individuals designated in § 1.56(c) that the nonprovisional application does not, and did not at any time, contain a claim to a claimed invention that has an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013.

(l) Inventor's certificates. An applicant in a nonprovisional application may under certain circumstances claim priority on the basis of one or more applications for an inventor's certificate in a country granting both inventor's certificates and patents. To claim the right of priority on the basis of an application for an inventor's certificate in such a country under 35 U.S.C. 119(d), the applicant, when submitting a claim for such right as specified in this section, must include an affidavit or declaration. The affidavit or declaration must include a specific statement that, upon an investigation, he or she is satisfied that to the best of his or her knowledge, the applicant, when filing the application for the inventor's certificate, had the option to file an application for either a patent or an inventor's certificate as to the subject matter of the identified claim or claims forming the basis for the claim of priority.

(m) Time for filing priority claim and certified copy of foreign application in an international design application designating the United States. In an international design application designating the United States, the claim for priority may be made in accordance with the Hague Agreement and the Hague Agreement Regulations. In a nonprovisional international design application, the priority claim, unless made in accordance with the Hague Agreement and the Hague Agreement Regulations, must be presented in an application data sheet (§ 1.76(b)(6)), identifying the foreign application for which priority is claimed, by specifying the application number, country (or intellectual property authority), day, month, and year of its filing. In a nonprovisional international design application, the priority claim and certified copy must be furnished in accordance with the time period and other conditions set forth in paragraph (g) of this section.

(n) Applications filed before September 16, 2012. Notwithstanding the requirement in paragraphs (d)(1), (e)(1), and (i)(2) of this section that any priority claim be presented in an application data sheet (§ 1.76), this requirement in paragraphs (d)(1), (e)(1), and (i)(2) of this section will be satisfied by the presentation of such priority claim in the oath or declaration under § 1.63 in a nonprovisional application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) before September 16, 2012, or resulting from an international application filed under 35 U.S.C. 363 before September 16, 2012. The provisions of this paragraph do not apply to any priority claim submitted for a petition under paragraph (c) of this section to restore the right of priority to a foreign application.

(o) Priority under 35 U.S.C. 386(a) or (b). The right of priority under 35 U.S.C. 386(a) or (b) with respect to an international design application is applicable only to nonprovisional applications, international applications, and international design applications filed on or after May 13, 2015, and patents issuing thereon.

(p) Time periods in this section. The time periods set forth in this section are not extendable, but are subject to 35 U.S.C. 21(b) (and § 1.7(a)), PCT Rule 80.5, and Hague Agreement Rule 4(4).

[80 FR 17956, Apr. 2, 2015]

§ 1.56 Duty to disclose information material to patentability.

(a) A patent by its very nature is affected with a public interest. The public interest is best served, and the most effective patent examination occurs when, at the time an application is being examined, the Office is aware of and evaluates the teachings of all information material to patentability. Each individual associated with the filing and prosecution of a patent application has a duty of candor and good faith in dealing with the Office, which includes a duty to disclose to the Office all information known to that individual to be material to patentability as defined in this section. The duty to disclose information exists with respect to each pending claim until the claim is cancelled or withdrawn from consideration, or the application becomes abandoned. Information material to the patentability of a claim that is cancelled or withdrawn from consideration need not be submitted if the information is not material to the patentability of any claim remaining under consideration in the application. There is no duty to submit information which is not material to the patentability of any existing claim. The duty to disclose all information known to be material to patentability is deemed to be satisfied if all information known to be material to patentability of any claim issued in a patent was cited by the Office or submitted to the Office in the manner prescribed by §§ 1.97(b)-(d) and 1.98. However, no patent will be granted on an application in connection with which fraud on the Office was practiced or attempted or the duty of disclosure was violated through bad faith or intentional misconduct. The Office encourages applicants to carefully examine:

(1) Prior art cited in search reports of a foreign patent office in a counterpart application, and

(2) The closest information over which individuals associated with the filing or prosecution of a patent application believe any pending claim patentably defines, to make sure that any material information contained therein is disclosed to the Office.

(b) Under this section, information is material to patentability when it is not cumulative to information already of record or being made of record in the application, and

(1) It establishes, by itself or in combination with other information, a prima facie case of unpatentability of a claim; or

(2) It refutes, or is inconsistent with, a position the applicant takes in:

(i) Opposing an argument of unpatentability relied on by the Office, or

(ii) Asserting an argument of patentability.

A prima facie case of unpatentability is established when the information compels a conclusion that a claim is unpatentable under the preponderance of evidence, burden-of-proof standard, giving each term in the claim its broadest reasonable construction consistent with the specification, and before any consideration is given to evidence which may be submitted in an attempt to establish a contrary conclusion of patentability.

(c) Individuals associated with the filing or prosecution of a patent application within the meaning of this section are:

(1) Each inventor named in the application;

(2) Each attorney or agent who prepares or prosecutes the application; and

(3) Every other person who is substantively involved in the preparation or prosecution of the application and who is associated with the inventor, the applicant, an assignee, or anyone to whom there is an obligation to assign the application.

(d) Individuals other than the attorney, agent or inventor may comply with this section by disclosing information to the attorney, agent, or inventor.

(e) In any continuation-in-part application, the duty under this section includes the duty to disclose to the Office all information known to the person to be material to patentability, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section, which became available between the filing date of the prior application and the national or PCT international filing date of the continuation-in-part application.

[57 FR 2034, Jan. 17, 1992, as amended at 65 FR 54666, Sept. 8, 2000; 77 FR 48818, Aug. 14, 2012]

§ 1.57 Incorporation by reference.

(a) Subject to the conditions and requirements of this paragraph, a reference made in the English language in an application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76 upon the filing of an application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) to a previously filed application, indicating that the specification and any drawings of the application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) are replaced by the reference to the previously filed application, and specifying the previously filed application by application number, filing date, and the intellectual property authority or country in which the previously filed application was filed, shall constitute the specification and any drawings of the application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) for purposes of a filing date under § 1.53(b).

(1) If the applicant has provided a correspondence address (§ 1.33(a)), the applicant will be notified and given a period of time within which to file a copy of the specification and drawings from the previously filed application, an English language translation of the previously filed application, and the fee required by § 1.17(i) if it is in a language other than English, and pay the surcharge required by § 1.16(f), to avoid abandonment. Such a notice may be combined with a notice under § 1.53(f).

(2) If the applicant has not provided a correspondence address (§ 1.33(a)), the applicant has three months from the filing date of the application to file a copy of the specification and drawings from the previously filed application, an English language translation of the previously filed application, and the fee required by § 1.17(i) if it is in a language other than English, and pay the surcharge required by § 1.16(f), to avoid abandonment.

(3) An application abandoned under paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section shall be treated as having never been filed, unless:

(i) The application is revived under § 1.137; and

(ii) A copy of the specification and any drawings of the previously filed application are filed in the Office.

(4) A certified copy of the previously filed application must be filed in the Office, unless the previously filed application is an application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111 or 363, or the previously filed application is a foreign priority application and the conditions set forth in § 1.55(i) are satisfied with respect to such foreign priority application. The certified copy of the previously filed application, if required by this paragraph, must be filed within the later of four months from the filing date of the application or sixteen months from the filing date of the previously filed application, or be accompanied by a petition including a showing of good and sufficient cause for the delay and the petition fee set forth in § 1.17(g).

(b) Subject to the conditions and requirements of this paragraph, if all or a portion of the specification or drawing(s) is inadvertently omitted from an application, but the application contains a claim under § 1.55 for priority of a prior-filed foreign application or a claim under § 1.78 for the benefit of a prior-filed provisional, nonprovisional, international application, or international design application, that was present on the filing date of the application, and the inadvertently omitted portion of the specification or drawing(s) is completely contained in the prior-filed application, the claim under § 1.55 or 1.78 shall also be considered an incorporation by reference of the prior-filed application as to the inadvertently omitted portion of the specification or drawing(s).

(1) The application must be amended to include the inadvertently omitted portion of the specification or drawing(s) within any time period set by the Office, but in no case later than the close of prosecution as defined by § 1.114(b), or abandonment of the application, whichever occurs earlier. The applicant is also required to:

(i) Supply a copy of the prior-filed application, except where the prior-filed application is an application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111;

(ii) Supply an English language translation of any prior-filed application that is in a language other than English; and

(iii) Identify where the inadvertently omitted portion of the specification or drawings can be found in the prior-filed application.

(2) Any amendment to an international application pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall be effective only as to the United States, and shall have no effect on the international filing date of the application. In addition, no request under this section to add the inadvertently omitted portion of the specification or drawings in an international application designating the United States will be acted upon by the Office prior to the entry and commencement of the national stage (§ 1.491) or the filing of an application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) which claims benefit of the international application. Any omitted portion of the international application which applicant desires to be effective as to all designated States, subject to PCT Rule 20.8(b), must be submitted in accordance with PCT Rule 20.

(3) If an application is not otherwise entitled to a filing date under § 1.53(b), the amendment must be by way of a petition pursuant to § 1.53(e) accompanied by the fee set forth in § 1.17(f).

(4) Any amendment to an international design application pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall be effective only as to the United States and shall have no effect on the filing date of the application. In addition, no request under this section to add the inadvertently omitted portion of the specification or drawings in an international design application will be acted upon by the Office prior to the international design application becoming a nonprovisional application.

(c) Except as provided in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, an incorporation by reference must be set forth in the specification and must:

(1) Express a clear intent to incorporate by reference by using the root words “incorporat(e)” and “reference” (e.g., “incorporate by reference”); and

(2) Clearly identify the referenced patent, application, or publication.

(d) “Essential material” may be incorporated by reference, but only by way of an incorporation by reference to a U.S. patent or U.S. patent application publication, which patent or patent application publication does not itself incorporate such essential material by reference. “Essential material” is material that is necessary to:

(1) Provide a written description of the claimed invention, and of the manner and process of making and using it, in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make and use the same, and set forth the best mode contemplated by the inventor of carrying out the invention as required by 35 U.S.C. 112(a);

(2) Describe the claimed invention in terms that particularly point out and distinctly claim the invention as required by 35 U.S.C. 112(b); or

(3) Describe the structure, material, or acts that correspond to a claimed means or step for performing a specified function as required by 35 U.S.C. 112(f).

(e) Other material (“Nonessential material”) may be incorporated by reference to U.S. patents, U.S. patent application publications, foreign patents, foreign published applications, prior and concurrently filed commonly owned U.S. applications, or non-patent publications. An incorporation by reference by hyperlink or other form of browser executable code is not permitted.

(f) The examiner may require the applicant to supply a copy of the material incorporated by reference. If the Office requires the applicant to supply a copy of material incorporated by reference, the material must be accompanied by a statement that the copy supplied consists of the same material incorporated by reference in the referencing application.

(g) Any insertion of material incorporated by reference into the specification or drawings of an application must be by way of an amendment to the specification or drawings. Such an amendment must be accompanied by a statement that the material being inserted is the material previously incorporated by reference and that the amendment contains no new matter.

(h) An incorporation of material by reference that does not comply with paragraphs (c), (d), or (e) of this section is not effective to incorporate such material unless corrected within any time period set by the Office, but in no case later than the close of prosecution as defined by § 1.114(b), or abandonment of the application, whichever occurs earlier. In addition:

(1) A correction to comply with paragraph (c)(1) of this section is permitted only if the application as filed clearly conveys an intent to incorporate the material by reference. A mere reference to material does not convey an intent to incorporate the material by reference.

(2) A correction to comply with paragraph (c)(2) of this section is only permitted for material that was sufficiently described to uniquely identify the document.

(i) An application transmittal letter limited to the transmittal of a copy of the specification and drawings from a previously filed application submitted under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section may be signed by a juristic applicant or patent owner.

[78 FR 62401, Oct. 21, 2013, as amended at 80 FR 17959, Apr. 2, 2015]

§ 1.58 Chemical and mathematical formulae and tables.

(a) The specification, including the claims, may contain chemical and mathematical formulae, but shall not contain drawings or flow diagrams. The description portion of the specification may contain tables, but the same tables should not be included in both the drawings and description portion of the specification. Claims may contain tables either if necessary to conform to 35 U.S.C. 112 or if otherwise found to be desirable.

(b) Tables that are submitted in electronic form (§§ 1.96(c) and 1.821(c)) must maintain the spatial relationships (e.g., alignment of columns and rows) of the table elements when displayed so as to visually preserve the relational information they convey. Chemical and mathematical formulae must be encoded to maintain the proper positioning of their characters when displayed in order to preserve their intended meaning.

(c) Chemical and mathematical formulae and tables must be presented in compliance with § 1.52(a) and (b), except that chemical and mathematical formulae or tables may be placed in a landscape orientation if they cannot be presented satisfactorily in a portrait orientation. Typewritten characters used in such formulae and tables must be chosen from a block (nonscript) type font or lettering style having capital letters which should be at least 0.422 cm. (0.166 inch) high (e.g., preferably Arial, Times Roman, or Courier with a font size of 12), but may be no smaller than 0.21 cm. (0.08 inch) high (e.g., a font size of 6). A space at least 0.64 cm. (1/4 inch) high should be provided between complex formulae and tables and the text. Tables should have the lines and columns of data closely spaced to conserve space, consistent with a high degree of legibility.

[69 FR 56540, Sept. 21, 2004, as amended at 78 FR 62401, Oct. 21, 2013]

§ 1.59 Expungement of information or copy of papers in application file.

(a)

(1) Information in an application will not be expunged, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section or § 41.7(a) or § 42.7(a) of this title.

(2) Information forming part of the original disclosure (i.e., written specification including the claims, drawings, and any preliminary amendment present on the filing date of the application) will not be expunged from the application file.

(b) An applicant may request that the Office expunge information, other than what is excluded by paragraph (a)(2) of this section, by filing a petition under this paragraph. Any petition to expunge information from an application must include the fee set forth in § 1.17(g) and establish to the satisfaction of the Director that the expungement of the information is appropriate in which case a notice granting the petition for expungement will be provided.

(c) Upon request by an applicant and payment of the fee specified in § 1.19(b), the Office will furnish copies of an application, unless the application has been disposed of (see §§ 1.53(e), (f) and (g)). The Office cannot provide or certify copies of an application that has been disposed of.

[68 FR 38628, June 30, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 49999, Aug. 12, 2004; 69 FR 56540, Sept. 21, 2004; 77 FR 46624, Aug. 6, 2012; 77 FR 48818, Aug. 14, 2012]

§§ 1.60-1.62 [Reserved]
Oath or Declaration
§ 1.63 Inventor's oath or declaration.

(a) The inventor, or each individual who is a joint inventor of a claimed invention, in an application for patent must execute an oath or declaration directed to the application, except as provided for in § 1.64. An oath or declaration under this section must:

(1) Identify the inventor or joint inventor executing the oath or declaration by his or her legal name;

(2) Identify the application to which it is directed;

(3) Include a statement that the person executing the oath or declaration believes the named inventor or joint inventor to be the original inventor or an original joint inventor of a claimed invention in the application for which the oath or declaration is being submitted; and

(4) State that the application was made or was authorized to be made by the person executing the oath or declaration.

(b) Unless the following information is supplied in an application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76, the oath or declaration must also identify:

(1) Each inventor by his or her legal name; and

(2) A mailing address where the inventor customarily receives mail, and residence, if an inventor lives at a location which is different from where the inventor customarily receives mail, for each inventor.

(c) A person may not execute an oath or declaration for an application unless that person has reviewed and understands the contents of the application, including the claims, and is aware of the duty to disclose to the Office all information known to the person to be material to patentability as defined in § 1.56. There is no minimum age for a person to be qualified to execute an oath or declaration, but the person must be competent to execute, i.e., understand, the document that the person is executing.

(d)

(1) A newly executed oath or declaration under § 1.63, or substitute statement under § 1.64, is not required under §§ 1.51(b)(2) and 1.53(f), or under §§ 1.497 and 1.1021(d), for an inventor in a continuing application that claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) in compliance with § 1.78 of an earlier-filed application, provided that an oath or declaration in compliance with this section, or substitute statement under § 1.64, was executed by or with respect to such inventor and was filed in the earlier-filed application, and a copy of such oath, declaration, or substitute statement showing the signature or an indication thereon that it was executed, is submitted in the continuing application.

(2) The inventorship of a continuing application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) is the inventor or joint inventors specified in the application data sheet filed before or concurrently with the copy of the inventor's oath or declaration from the earlier-filed application. If an application data sheet is not filed before or concurrently with the copy of the inventor's oath or declaration from the earlier-filed application, the inventorship is the inventorship set forth in the copy of the inventor's oath or declaration from the earlier-filed application, unless it is accompanied by a statement signed pursuant to § 1.33(b) stating the name of each inventor in the continuing application.

(3) Any new joint inventor named in the continuing application must provide an oath or declaration in compliance with this section, except as provided for in § 1.64.

(e)

(1) An assignment may also serve as an oath or declaration required by this section if the assignment as executed:

(i) Includes the information and statements required under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section; and

(ii) A copy of the assignment is recorded as provided for in part 3 of this chapter.

(2) Any reference to an oath or declaration under this section includes an assignment as provided for in this paragraph.

(f) With respect to an application naming only one inventor, any reference to the inventor's oath or declaration in this chapter includes a substitute statement executed under § 1.64. With respect to an application naming more than one inventor, any reference to the inventor's oath or declaration in this chapter means the oaths, declarations, or substitute statements that have been collectively executed by or with respect to all of the joint inventors, unless otherwise clear from the context.

(g) An oath or declaration under this section, including the statement provided for in paragraph (e) of this section, must be executed (i.e., signed) in accordance either with § 1.66 or with an acknowledgment that any willful false statement made in such declaration or statement is punishable under 18 U.S.C. 1001 by fine or imprisonment of not more than five (5) years, or both.

(h) An oath or declaration filed at any time pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 115(h)(1) will be placed in the file record of the application or patent, but may not necessarily be reviewed by the Office. Any request for correction of the named inventorship must comply with § 1.48 in an application and § 1.324 in a patent.

[77 FR 48818, Aug. 14, 2012, as amended at 80 FR 17959, Apr. 2, 2015]

§ 1.64 Substitute statement in lieu of an oath or declaration.

(a) An applicant under § 1.43, 1.45 or 1.46 may execute a substitute statement in lieu of an oath or declaration under § 1.63 if the inventor is deceased, is under a legal incapacity, has refused to execute the oath or declaration under § 1.63, or cannot be found or reached after diligent effort.

(b) A substitute statement under this section must:

(1) Comply with the requirements of § 1.63(a), identifying the inventor or joint inventor with respect to whom a substitute statement in lieu of an oath or declaration is executed, and stating upon information and belief the facts which such inventor is required to state;

(2) Identify the person executing the substitute statement and the relationship of such person to the inventor or joint inventor with respect to whom the substitute statement is executed, and unless such information is supplied in an application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76, the residence and mailing address of the person signing the substitute statement;

(3) Identify the circumstances permitting the person to execute the substitute statement in lieu of an oath or declaration under § 1.63, namely whether the inventor is deceased, is under a legal incapacity, cannot be found or reached after a diligent effort was made, or has refused to execute the oath or declaration under § 1.63; and

(4) Unless the following information is supplied in an application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76, also identify:

(i) Each inventor by his or her legal name; and

(ii) The last known mailing address where the inventor customarily receives mail, and last known residence, if an inventor lives at a location which is different from where the inventor customarily receives mail, for each inventor who is not deceased or under a legal incapacity.

(c) A person may not execute a substitute statement provided for in this section for an application unless that person has reviewed and understands the contents of the application, including the claims, and is aware of the duty to disclose to the Office all information known to the person to be material to patentability as defined in § 1.56.

(d) Any reference to an inventor's oath or declaration includes a substitute statement provided for in this section.

(e) A substitute statement under this section must contain an acknowledgment that any willful false statement made in such statement is punishable under section 1001 of title 18 by fine or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both.

(f) A nonsigning inventor or legal representative may subsequently join in the application by submitting an oath or declaration under § 1.63. The submission of an oath or declaration by a nonsigning inventor or legal representative in an application filed under § 1.43, 1.45 or 1.46 will not permit the nonsigning inventor or legal representative to revoke or grant a power of attorney.

[77 FR 48819, Aug. 14, 2012]

§ 1.66 Statements under oath.

An oath or affirmation may be made before any person within the United States authorized by law to administer oaths. An oath made in a foreign country may be made before any diplomatic or consular officer of the United States authorized to administer oaths, or before any officer having an official seal and authorized to administer oaths in the foreign country in which the applicant may be, whose authority shall be proved by a certificate of a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States, or by an apostille of an official designated by a foreign country which, by treaty or convention, accords like effect to apostilles of designated officials in the United States. The oath shall be attested in all cases in this and other countries, by the proper official seal of the officer before whom the oath or affirmation is made. Such oath or affirmation shall be valid as to execution if it complies with the laws of the State or country where made. When the person before whom the oath or affirmation is made in this country is not provided with a seal, his official character shall be established by competent evidence, as by a certificate from a clerk of a court of record or other proper officer having a seal.

[77 FR 48819, Aug. 14, 2012]

§ 1.67 Supplemental oath or declaration.

(a) The applicant may submit an inventor's oath or declaration meeting the requirements of § 1.63, § 1.64, or § 1.162 to correct any deficiencies or inaccuracies present in an earlier-filed inventor's oath or declaration. Deficiencies or inaccuracies due to the failure to meet the requirements of § 1.63(b) in an oath or declaration may be corrected with an application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76, except that any correction of inventorship must be pursuant to § 1.48.

(b) A supplemental inventor's oath or declaration under this section must be executed by the person whose inventor's oath or declaration is being withdrawn, replaced, or otherwise corrected.

(c) The Office will not require a person who has executed an oath or declaration in compliance with 35 U.S.C. 115 and § 1.63 or 1.162 for an application to provide an additional inventor's oath or declaration for the application.

(d) No new matter may be introduced into a nonprovisional application after its filing date even if an inventor's oath or declaration is filed to correct deficiencies or inaccuracies present in the earlier-filed inventor's oath or declaration.

[77 FR 48819, Aug. 14, 2012]

§ 1.68 Declaration in lieu of oath.

Any document to be filed in the Patent and Trademark Office and which is required by any law, rule, or other regulation to be under oath may be subscribed to by a written declaration. Such declaration may be used in lieu of the oath otherwise required, if, and only if, the declarant is on the same document, warned that willful false statements and the like are punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both (18 U.S.C. 1001) and may jeopardize the validity of the application or any patent issuing thereon. The declarant must set forth in the body of the declaration that all statements made of the declarant's own knowledge are true and that all statements made on information and belief are believed to be true.

[49 FR 48452, Dec. 12, 1984]

§ 1.69 Foreign language oaths and declarations.

(a) Whenever an individual making an oath or declaration cannot understand English, the oath or declaration must be in a language that such individual can understand and shall state that such individual understands the content of any documents to which the oath or declaration relates.

(b) Unless the text of any oath or declaration in a language other than English is in a form provided by the Patent and Trademark Office or in accordance with PCT Rule 4.17(iv), it must be accompanied by an English translation together with a statement that the translation is accurate, except that in the case of an oath or declaration filed under § 1.63, the translation may be filed in the Office no later than two months from the date applicant is notified to file the translation.

[42 FR 5594, Jan. 28, 1977, as amended at 48 FR 2711, Jan. 20, 1983; 62 FR 53189, Oct. 10, 1997; 69 FR 56540, Sept. 21, 2004; 70 FR 3890, Jan. 27, 2005]

§ 1.70 [Reserved]
Specification
Authority:

Secs. 1.71 to 1.79 also issued under 35 U.S.C. 112.

§ 1.71 Detailed description and specification of the invention.

(a) The specification must include a written description of the invention or discovery and of the manner and process of making and using the same, and is required to be in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art or science to which the invention or discovery appertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make and use the same.

(b) The specification must set forth the precise invention for which a patent is solicited, in such manner as to distinguish it from other inventions and from what is old. It must describe completely a specific embodiment of the process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter or improvement invented, and must explain the mode of operation or principle whenever applicable. The best mode contemplated by the inventor of carrying out his invention must be set forth.

(c) In the case of an improvement, the specification must particularly point out the part or parts of the process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter to which the improvement relates, and the description should be confined to the specific improvement and to such parts as necessarily cooperate with it or as may be necessary to a complete understanding or description of it.

(d) A copyright or mask work notice may be placed in a design or utility patent application adjacent to copyright and mask work material contained therein. The notice may appear at any appropriate portion of the patent application disclosure. For notices in drawings, see § 1.84(s). The content of the notice must be limited to only those elements provided for by law. For example, “© 1983 John Doe” (17 U.S.C. 401) and “ *M* John Doe” (17 U.S.C. 909) would be properly limited and, under current statutes, legally sufficient notices of copyright and mask work, respectively. Inclusion of a copyright or mask work notice will be permitted only if the authorization language set forth in paragraph (e) of this section is included at the beginning (preferably as the first paragraph) of the specification.

(e) The authorization shall read as follows:

A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to (copyright or mask work) protection. The (copyright or mask work) owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all (copyright or mask work) rights whatsoever.

(f) The specification must commence on a separate sheet. Each sheet including part of the specification may not include other parts of the application or other information. The claim(s), abstract and sequence listing (if any) should not be included on a sheet including any other part of the application.

(g)

(1) The specification may disclose or be amended to disclose the names of the parties to a joint research agreement as defined in § 1.9(e).

(2) An amendment under paragraph (g)(1) of this section must be accompanied by the processing fee set forth in § 1.17(i) if not filed within one of the following time periods:

(i) Within three months of the filing date of a national application;

(ii) Within three months of the date of entry of the national stage as set forth in § 1.491 in an international application;

(iii) Before the mailing of a first Office action on the merits; or

(iv) Before the mailing of a first Office action after the filing of a request for continued examination under § 1.114.

(3) If an amendment under paragraph (g)(1) of this section is filed after the date the issue fee is paid, the patent as issued may not necessarily include the names of the parties to the joint research agreement. If the patent as issued does not include the names of the parties to the joint research agreement, the patent must be corrected to include the names of the parties to the joint research agreement by a certificate of correction under 35 U.S.C. 255 and § 1.323 for the amendment to be effective.

[24 FR 10332, Dec. 22, 1959, as amended at 53 FR 47808, Nov. 28, 1988; 58 FR 38723, July 20, 1993; 68 FR 38628, June 30, 2003; 70 FR 1823, Jan. 11, 2005; 70 FR 54266, Sept. 14, 2005; 78 FR 11055, Feb. 14, 2013]

§ 1.72 Title and abstract.

(a) The title of the invention may not exceed 500 characters in length and must be as short and specific as possible. Characters that cannot be captured and recorded in the Office's automated information systems may not be reflected in the Office's records in such systems or in documents created by the Office. Unless the title is supplied in an application data sheet (§ 1.76), the title of the invention should appear as a heading on the first page of the specification.

(b) A brief abstract of the technical disclosure in the specification must commence on a separate sheet, preferably following the claims, under the heading “Abstract” or “Abstract of the Disclosure.” The sheet or sheets presenting the abstract may not include other parts of the application or other material. The abstract must be as concise as the disclosure permits, preferably not exceeding 150 words in length. The purpose of the abstract is to enable the Office and the public generally to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and gist of the technical disclosure.

[65 FR 54667, Sept. 8, 2000, as amended at 65 FR 57054, Sept. 20, 2000; 68 FR 38628, June 30, 2003; 78 FR 62402, Oct. 21, 2013]

§ 1.73 Summary of the invention.

A brief summary of the invention indicating its nature and substance, which may include a statement of the object of the invention, should precede the detailed description. Such summary should, when set forth, be commensurate with the invention as claimed and any object recited should be that of the invention as claimed.

§ 1.74 Reference to drawings.

When there are drawings, there shall be a brief description of the several views of the drawings and the detailed description of the invention shall refer to the different views by specifying the numbers of the figures and to the different parts by use of reference letters or numerals (preferably the latter).

§ 1.75 Claim(s).

(a) The specification must conclude with a claim particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which the applicant regards as his invention or discovery.

(b) More than one claim may be presented provided they differ substantially from each other and are not unduly multiplied.

(c) One or more claims may be presented in dependent form, referring back to and further limiting another claim or claims in the same application. Any dependent claim which refers to more than one other claim (“multiple dependent claim”) shall refer to such other claims in the alternative only. A multiple dependent claim shall not serve as a basis for any other multiple dependent claim. For fee calculation purposes under § 1.16, a multiple dependent claim will be considered to be that number of claims to which direct reference is made therein. For fee calculation purposes also, any claim depending from a multiple dependent claim will be considered to be that number of claims to which direct reference is made in that multiple dependent claim. In addition to the other filing fees, any original application which is filed with, or is amended to include, multiple dependent claims must have paid therein the fee set forth in § 1.16(j). Claims in dependent form shall be construed to include all the limitations of the claim incorporated by reference into the dependent claim. A multiple dependent claim shall be construed to incorporate by reference all the limitations of each of the particular claims in relation to which it is being considered.

(d)

(1) The claim or claims must conform to the invention as set forth in the remainder of the specification and the terms and phrases used in the claims must find clear support or antecedent basis in the description so that the meaning of the terms in the claims may be ascertainable by reference to the description. (See § 1.58(a).)

(2) See §§ 1.141 to 1.146 as to claiming different inventions in one application.

(e) Where the nature of the case admits, as in the case of an improvement, any independent claim should contain in the following order:

(1) A preamble comprising a general description of all the elements or steps of the claimed combination which are conventional or known,

(2) A phrase such as “wherein the improvement comprises,” and

(3) Those elements, steps and/or relationships which constitute that portion of the claimed combination which the applicant considers as the new or improved portion.

(f) If there are several claims, they shall be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals.

(g) The least restrictive claim should be presented as claim number 1, and all dependent claims should be grouped together with the claim or claims to which they refer to the extent practicable.

(h) The claim or claims must commence on a separate physical sheet or electronic page. Any sheet including a claim or portion of a claim may not contain any other parts of the application or other material.

(i) Where a claim sets forth a plurality of elements or steps, each element or step of the claim should be separated by a line indentation.

[31 FR 12922, Oct. 4, 1966, as amended at 36 FR 12690, July 3, 1971; 37 FR 21995, Oct. 18, 1972; 43 FR 4015, Jan. 31, 1978; 47 FR 41276, Sept. 17, 1982; 61 FR 42803, Aug. 19, 1996; 68 FR 38628, June 30, 2003; 70 FR 3891, Jan. 27, 2005; 72 FR 46836, Aug. 21, 2007; 74 FR 52688, Oct. 14, 2009]

§ 1.76 Application data sheet.

(a) Application data sheet. An application data sheet is a sheet or sheets that may be submitted in a provisional application under 35 U.S.C. 111(b), a nonprovisional application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a), a nonprovisional international design application, or a national stage application under 35 U.S.C. 371 and must be submitted when required by § 1.55 or 1.78 to claim priority to or the benefit of a prior-filed application under 35 U.S.C. 119, 120, 121, 365, or 386. An application data sheet must be titled “Application Data Sheet.” An application data sheet must contain all of the section headings listed in paragraph (b) of this section, except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, with any appropriate data for each section heading. If an application data sheet is provided, the application data sheet is part of the application for which it has been submitted.

(b) Bibliographic data. Bibliographic data as used in paragraph (a) of this section includes:

(1) Inventor information. This information includes the legal name, residence, and mailing address of the inventor or each joint inventor.

(2) Correspondence information. This information includes the correspondence address, which may be indicated by reference to a customer number, to which correspondence is to be directed (see § 1.33(a)).

(3) Application information. This information includes the title of the invention, the total number of drawing sheets, a suggested drawing figure for publication (in a nonprovisional application), any docket number assigned to the application, the type of application (e.g., utility, plant, design, reissue, provisional), whether the application discloses any significant part of the subject matter of an application under a secrecy order pursuant to § 5.2 of this chapter (see § 5.2(c)), and, for plant applications, the Latin name of the genus and species of the plant claimed, as well as the variety denomination. When information concerning the previously filed application is required under § 1.57(a), application information also includes the reference to the previously filed application, indicating that the specification and any drawings of the application are replaced by the reference to the previously filed application, and specifying the previously filed application by application number, filing date, and the intellectual property authority or country in which the previously filed application was filed.

(4) Representative information. This information includes the registration number of each practitioner having a power of attorney in the application (preferably by reference to a customer number). Providing this information in the application data sheet does not constitute a power of attorney in the application (see § 1.32).

(5) Domestic benefit information. This information includes the application number, the filing date, the status (including patent number if available), and relationship of each application for which a benefit is claimed under 35 U.S.C. 119(e), 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c). Providing this information in the application data sheet constitutes the specific reference required by 35 U.S.C. 119(e) or 120 and § 1.78.

(6) Foreign priority information. This information includes the application number, country (or intellectual property authority), and filing date of each foreign application for which priority is claimed. Providing this information in the application data sheet constitutes the claim for priority as required by 35 U.S.C. 119(b) and § 1.55.

(7) Applicant information: This information includes the name (either natural person or juristic entity) and address of the legal representative, assignee, person to whom the inventor is under an obligation to assign the invention, or person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter who is the applicant under § 1.43 or § 1.46. Providing assignment information in the application data sheet does not substitute for compliance with any requirement of part 3 of this chapter to have an assignment recorded by the Office.

(c) Correcting and updating an application data sheet.

(1) Information in a previously submitted application data sheet, inventor's oath or declaration under § 1.63, § 1.64 or § 1.67, or otherwise of record, may be corrected or updated until payment of the issue fee by a new application data sheet providing corrected or updated information, except that inventorship changes must comply with the requirements of § 1.48, foreign priority and domestic benefit information changes must comply with §§ 1.55 and 1.78, and correspondence address changes are governed by § 1.33(a).

(2) An application data sheet providing corrected or updated information may include all of the sections listed in paragraph (b) of this section or only those sections containing changed or updated information. The application data sheet must include the section headings listed in paragraph (b) of this section for each section included in the application data sheet, and must identify the information that is being changed, with underlining for insertions, and strike-through or brackets for text removed, except that identification of information being changed is not required for an application data sheet included with an initial submission under 35 U.S.C. 371.

(d) Inconsistencies between application data sheet and other documents. For inconsistencies between information that is supplied by both an application data sheet under this section and other documents:

(1) The most recent submission will govern with respect to inconsistencies as between the information provided in an application data sheet, a designation of a correspondence address, or by the inventor's oath or declaration, except that:

(i) The most recent application data sheet will govern with respect to foreign priority (§ 1.55) or domestic benefit (§ 1.78) claims; and

(ii) The naming of the inventorship is governed by § 1.41 and changes to inventorship or the names of the inventors is governed by § 1.48.

(2) The information in the application data sheet will govern when inconsistent with the information supplied at the same time by a designation of correspondence address or the inventor's oath or declaration. The information in the application data sheet will govern when inconsistent with the information supplied at any time in a Patent Cooperation Treaty Request Form, Patent Law Treaty Model International Request Form, Patent Law Treaty Model International Request for Recordation of Change in Name or Address Form, or Patent Law Treaty Model International Request for Recordation of Change in Applicant or Owner Form.

(3) The Office will capture bibliographic information from the application data sheet. The Office will generally not review the inventor's oath or declaration to determine if the bibliographic information contained therein is consistent with the bibliographic information provided in an application data sheet. Incorrect bibliographic information contained in an application data sheet may be corrected as provided in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(e) Signature requirement. An application data sheet must be signed in compliance with § 1.33(b). An unsigned application data sheet will be treated only as a transmittal letter.

(f) Patent Law Treaty Model International Forms. The requirement in § 1.55 or § 1.78 for the presentation of a priority or benefit claim under 35 U.S.C. 119, 120, 121, or 365 in an application data sheet will be satisfied by the presentation of such priority or benefit claim in the Patent Law Treaty Model International Request Form, and the requirement in § 1.57(a) for a reference to the previously filed application in an application data sheet will be satisfied by the presentation of such reference to the previously filed application in the Patent Law Treaty Model International Request Form. The requirement in § 1.46 for the presentation of the name of the applicant under 35 U.S.C. 118 in an application data sheet will be satisfied by the presentation of the name of the applicant in the Patent Law Treaty Model International Request Form, Patent Law Treaty Model International Request for Recordation of Change in Name or Address Form, or Patent Law Treaty Model International Request for Recordation of Change in Applicant or Owner Form, as applicable.

(g) Patent Cooperation Treaty Request Form. The requirement in § 1.78 for the presentation of a benefit claim under 35 U.S.C. 119, 120, 121, or 365 in an application data sheet will be satisfied in a national stage application under 35 U.S.C. 371 by the presentation of such benefit claim in the Patent Cooperation Treaty Request Form contained in the international application or the presence of such benefit claim on the front page of the publication of the international application under PCT Article 21(2). The requirement in § 1.55 or § 1.78 for the presentation of a priority or benefit claim under 35 U.S.C. 119, 120, 121, or 365 in an application data sheet and the requirement in § 1.46 for the presentation of the name of the applicant under 35 U.S.C. 118 in an application data sheet will be satisfied in an application under 35 U.S.C. 111 by the presentation of such priority or benefit claim and presentation of the name of the applicant in a Patent Cooperation Treaty Request Form. If a Patent Cooperation Treaty Request Form is submitted in an application under 35 U.S.C. 111, the Patent Cooperation Treaty Request Form must be accompanied by a clear indication that treatment of the application as an application under 35 U.S.C. 111 is desired.

[65 FR 54668, Sept. 8, 2000, as amended at 65 FR 57054, Sept. 20, 2000; 69 FR 56540, Sept. 21, 2004; 70 FR 54266, Sept. 14, 2005;; 72 FR 46837, Aug. 21, 2007; 74 FR 52689, Oct. 14, 2009; 77 FR 48820, Aug. 14, 2012; 78 FR 11055, Feb. 14, 2013; 78 FR 62402, Oct. 21, 2013; 80 FR 17959, Apr. 2, 2015]

§ 1.77 Arrangement of application elements.

(a) The elements of the application, if applicable, should appear in the following order:

(1) Utility application transmittal form.

(2) Fee transmittal form.

(3) Application data sheet (see § 1.76).

(4) Specification.

(5) Drawings.

(6) The inventor's oath or declaration.

(b) The specification should include the following sections in order:

(1) Title of the invention, which may be accompanied by an introductory portion stating the name, citizenship, and residence of the applicant (unless included in the application data sheet).

(2) Cross-reference to related applications.

(3) Statement regarding federally sponsored research or development.

(4) The names of the parties to a joint research agreement.

(5) Reference to a “Sequence Listing,” a table, or a computer program listing appendix submitted on a compact disc and an incorporation-by-reference of the material on the compact disc (see § 1.52(e)(5)). The total number of compact discs including duplicates and the files on each compact disc shall be specified.

(6) Statement regarding prior disclosures by the inventor or a joint inventor.

(7) Background of the invention.

(8) Brief summary of the invention.

(9) Brief description of the several views of the drawing.

(10) Detailed description of the invention.

(11) A claim or claims.

(12) Abstract of the disclosure.

(13) “Sequence Listing,” if on paper (see §§ 1.821 through 1.825).

(c) The text of the specification sections defined in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(12) of this section, if applicable, should be preceded by a section heading in uppercase and without underlining or bold type.

[65 FR 54668, Sept. 8, 2000, as amended at 70 FR 1823, Jan. 11, 2005; 77 FR 48820, Aug. 14, 2012; 78 FR 11055, Feb. 14, 2013]

§ 1.78 Claiming benefit of earlier filing date and cross-references to other applications.

(a) Claims under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) for the benefit of a prior-filed provisional application. An applicant in a nonprovisional application, other than for a design patent, or an international application designating the United States may claim the benefit of one or more prior-filed provisional applications under the conditions set forth in 35 U.S.C. 119(e) and this section.

(1) The nonprovisional application or international application designating the United States must be:

(i) Filed not later than twelve months after the date on which the provisional application was filed, subject to paragraph (b) of this section (a subsequent application); or

(ii) Entitled to claim the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, or 365(c) of a subsequent application that was filed within the period set forth in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section.

(2) Each prior-filed provisional application must name the inventor or a joint inventor named in the later-filed application as the inventor or a joint inventor. In addition, each prior-filed provisional application must be entitled to a filing date as set forth in § 1.53(c), and the basic filing fee set forth in § 1.16(d) must have been paid for such provisional application within the time period set forth in § 1.53(g).

(3) Any nonprovisional application or international application designating the United States that claims the benefit of one or more prior-filed provisional applications must contain, or be amended to contain, a reference to each such prior-filed provisional application, identifying it by the provisional application number (consisting of series code and serial number). If the later-filed application is a nonprovisional application, the reference required by this paragraph must be included in an application data sheet (§ 1.76(b)(5)).

(4) The reference required by paragraph (a)(3) of this section must be submitted during the pendency of the later-filed application. If the later-filed application is an application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a), this reference must also be submitted within the later of four months from the actual filing date of the later-filed application or sixteen months from the filing date of the prior-filed provisional application. If the later-filed application is a nonprovisional application entering the national stage from an international application under 35 U.S.C. 371, this reference must also be submitted within the later of four months from the date on which the national stage commenced under 35 U.S.C. 371(b) or (f) (§ 1.491(a)), four months from the date of the initial submission under 35 U.S.C. 371 to enter the national stage, or sixteen months from the filing date of the prior-filed provisional application. Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, failure to timely submit the reference is considered a waiver of any benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) of the prior-filed provisional application. The time periods in this paragraph do not apply if the later-filed application is:

(i) An application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) before November 29, 2000; or

(ii) An international application filed under 35 U.S.C. 363 before November 29, 2000.

(5) If the prior-filed provisional application was filed in a language other than English and both an English-language translation of the prior-filed provisional application and a statement that the translation is accurate were not previously filed in the prior-filed provisional application, the applicant will be notified and given a period of time within which to file, in the prior-filed provisional application, the translation and the statement. If the notice is mailed in a pending nonprovisional application, a timely reply to such a notice must include the filing in the nonprovisional application of either a confirmation that the translation and statement were filed in the provisional application, or an application data sheet (§ 1.76(b)(5)) eliminating the reference under paragraph (a)(3) of this section to the prior-filed provisional application, or the nonprovisional application will be abandoned. The translation and statement may be filed in the provisional application, even if the provisional application has become abandoned.

(6) If a nonprovisional application filed on or after March 16, 2013, claims the benefit of the filing date of a provisional application filed prior to March 16, 2013, and also contains, or contained at any time, a claim to a claimed invention that has an effective filing date as defined in § 1.109 that is on or after March 16, 2013, the applicant must provide a statement to that effect within the later of four months from the actual filing date of the nonprovisional application, four months from the date of entry into the national stage as set forth in § 1.491 in an international application, sixteen months from the filing date of the prior-filed provisional application, or the date that a first claim to a claimed invention that has an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013, is presented in the nonprovisional application. An applicant is not required to provide such a statement if the applicant reasonably believes on the basis of information already known to the individuals designated in § 1.56(c) that the nonprovisional application does not, and did not at any time, contain a claim to a claimed invention that has an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013.

(b) Delayed filing of the subsequent nonprovisional application or international application designating the United States. If the subsequent nonprovisional application or international application designating the United States has a filing date which is after the expiration of the twelve-month period set forth in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section but within two months from the expiration of the period set forth in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section, the benefit of the provisional application may be restored under PCT Rule 26bis.3 for an international application, or upon petition pursuant to this paragraph, if the delay in filing the subsequent nonprovisional application or international application designating the United States within the period set forth in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section was unintentional.

(1) A petition to restore the benefit of a provisional application under this paragraph filed on or after May 13, 2015, must be filed in the subsequent application, and any petition to restore the benefit of a provisional application under this paragraph must include:

(i) The reference required by 35 U.S.C. 119(e) to the prior-filed provisional application in an application data sheet (§ 1.76(b)(5)) identifying it by provisional application number (consisting of series code and serial number), unless previously submitted;

(ii) The petition fee as set forth in § 1.17(m); and

(iii) A statement that the delay in filing the subsequent nonprovisional application or international application designating the United States within the twelve-month period set forth in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section was unintentional. The Director may require additional information where there is a question whether the delay was unintentional.

(2) The restoration of the right of priority under PCT Rule 26bis.3 to a provisional application does not affect the requirement to include the reference required by paragraph (a)(3) of this section to the provisional application in a national stage application under 35 U.S.C. 371 within the time period provided by paragraph (a)(4) of this section to avoid the benefit claim being considered waived.

(c) Delayed claims under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) for the benefit of a prior-filed provisional application. If the reference required by 35 U.S.C. 119(e) and paragraph (a)(3) of this section is presented in an application after the time period provided by paragraph (a)(4) of this section, the claim under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) for the benefit of a prior-filed provisional application may be accepted if the reference identifying the prior-filed application by provisional application number was unintentionally delayed. A petition to accept an unintentionally delayed claim under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) for the benefit of a prior-filed provisional application must be accompanied by:

(1) The reference required by 35 U.S.C. 119(e) and paragraph (a)(3) of this section to the prior-filed provisional application, unless previously submitted;

(2) The petition fee as set forth in § 1.17(m); and

(3) A statement that the entire delay between the date the benefit claim was due under paragraph (a)(4) of this section and the date the benefit claim was filed was unintentional. The Director may require additional information where there is a question whether the delay was unintentional.

(d) Claims under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) for the benefit of a prior-filed nonprovisional application, international application, or international design application. An applicant in a nonprovisional application (including a nonprovisional application resulting from an international application or international design application), an international application designating the United States, or an international design application designating the United States may claim the benefit of one or more prior-filed copending nonprovisional applications, international applications designating the United States, or international design applications designating the United States under the conditions set forth in 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) and this section.

(1) Each prior-filed application must name the inventor or a joint inventor named in the later-filed application as the inventor or a joint inventor. In addition, each prior-filed application must either be:

(i) An international application entitled to a filing date in accordance with PCT Article 11 and designating the United States;

(ii) An international design application entitled to a filing date in accordance with § 1.1023 and designating the United States; or

(iii) A nonprovisional application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) that is entitled to a filing date as set forth in § 1.53(b) or (d) for which the basic filing fee set forth in § 1.16 has been paid within the pendency of the application.

(2) Except for a continued prosecution application filed under § 1.53(d), any nonprovisional application, international application designating the United States, or international design application designating the United States that claims the benefit of one or more prior-filed nonprovisional applications, international applications designating the United States, or international design applications designating the United States must contain or be amended to contain a reference to each such prior-filed application, identifying it by application number (consisting of the series code and serial number), international application number and international filing date, or international registratio