Filing A Patent Application With The U.S.PTO

The U.S.PTO permits applicants to file a patent application either manually on paper through the US Postal Service, or electronically through their website. Filing forms are provided by the U.S.PTO athttp://www.uspto.gov/web/forms/index.html Patent applicants may download the editable PDF version of these forms, fill in the required information and submit the forms along with a completed specification and drawings to the U.S.PTO. The date of receipt of the patent application is considered the date of filing of the patent application unless the application is filed by Express Mail in which case the date of the mailing is accorded the filing date.

For a provisional utility patent application, form PTO/SB/16 needs to be downloaded from the U.S.PTO website, completed and filed. This form along with the specification and drawings is sufficient to obtain a filing date for a provisional application. A non provisional patent application on the other hand requires the filing of a Declaration (form PTO/SB/01) a Power Of Attorney with the application filing fee, the Information Disclosure Statement (IDS), PTO/SB/08A, which lists the prior art references transmittal form PTO/SB/05 and the specification. In case of additional inventors, supplementary sheet, PTO/SB/02A and in case of an assignment, PTO/SB/96, the assignee showing ownership, must be also submitted with the application.

If the patent application as field is incomplete or has missing parts or contains certain errors, the U.S.PTO will issue a Notice to File Missing Parts to the applicant and provide the applicant from about 1-3 months to correct the errors pr provide the missing parts. When the application is examined, the U.S.PTO may also issue an office action requiring an amendment to the specification or claims and the patent applicant usually provided three months to submit a response


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