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USPTO To Extend Provisional Patent Application Period

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

13 December 2010


The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced plans to implement a missing parts pilot programme which will effectively provide a 12-month extension to the existing 12-month provisional patent application period.

To provide applicants additional time to find financial help, evaluate a product’s worth in the marketplace or further develop the invention for commercialization, a change to missing parts practice will provide 12 additional months to perfect a non-provisional patent application.

Currently, applicants have a one-year period from the filing date of a provisional application to file a corresponding non-provisional application in order to claim the benefit of the provisional application. The proposed change to missing parts practice would not alter this requirement but will provide applicants with more time to reply to a missing parts notice in a non-provisional application that claims the benefit of a provisional application, as well as delay the search and examination fees associated with the non-provisional application.

“In response to concerns from many inventors across the country, the USPTO is piloting a change in our missing parts practice to provide an additional 12 months for applicants to perfect a non-provisional patent application,” said the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, David Kappos. “This would serve as a vehicle for inventors - at their option - to effectively have up to 24 months to make decisions regarding the significant investment of time and money required to take a non-provisional patent application forward.”

To take advantage of the pilot progamme, an applicant/inventor must file a non-provisional application no later than 12 months after the filing date of the provisional application, as well as request a delay in payment of the search and examination fees.

The USPTO will provide applicants with a form for the certification and request to participate in the pilot programme, which will include educational information regarding domestic benefit claims, foreign filings, patent term adjustment effects, the need for a complete disclosure of the invention, potential increase in fees, and the benefits of submitting a complete set of claims.

TAGS: patents | law | intellectual property | fees | United States | regulation

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