Petitions practice before the Patent Office has long been something of a quagmire. The Office has been working on several initiatives to shed more light on the process and to ensure that decisions are released in a much more timely fashion. In this vein, the Office has created a set of automated electronic forms for submitting the most common types of petitions through its new “e-Petition system.” The selected petitions are then decided automatically and the result will be almost immediately entered into the file history.
Web-Based E-Petitions are now available for:
- Withdrawal of attorney;
- Withdraw from issue after payment of the issue fee;
- Withdraw from issue after payment of the issue fee under 37 CFR 1.313(c);
- Withdraw from issue after payment of the issue fee under 37 CFR 1.313(c)(1) or (2) when patent number is assigned;
- Withdraw from issue under 37 CFR 1.313(c)(3);
- Petition to accept late payment of issue fee – unintentional standard under 37 CFR 1.155(c) or 37 CFR 1.316;
- Petitions for revival under 37 CFR 1.137(f); and
- Petitions to revive an abandoned application under 37 CFR 1.137(b) for continuity purposes only.
More forms are likely in the future, including petitions to make special on the basis of age and petitions to accept unintentionally delayed payment of the maintenance fee (which are available in an older electronic format).