The USPTO has published a notice explaining the procedures for obtaining a refund for extra-fees paid by patent applicants and others during its recent “significant unplanned electronic business system outage.”
An application filed by the alternative electronic means prescribed in this notice during a designated significant unplanned electronic business system outage will be considered to have been filed by the USPTO’s electronic filing system, and thus will not incur the fee required by section 10(h) of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act for a patent application not filed by the USPTO’s electronic filing system.
The basics for a refund:
- File a copy of the application via EFS-Web (or the “Patent Center”) as a “follow-on paper in the application.”
- The EFS-Web application must include a statement that it is a “true copy of the original application as filed by the alternative filing method during the designated significant unplanned electronic business system outage.
- The copy of the application should not be filed until applicant has received either a filing receipt or other USPTO notice identifying the application number assigned to the application.
- The copy must be then filed within “(1) One month from the date a filing receipt is first issued for the application, and be accompanied by a request for refund, if the non-electronic filing fee has been paid; or (2) the expiration of the period for reply to a notice requiring payment of the non-electronic filing fee (e.g., a notice to file missing parts under 37 CFR 1.53(f)) if the non-electronic filing fee has not been paid.”