- The maximum period for reply is set at six months by patent law.
- However, patent law also gives the Director of the US Patent Office the right to shorten the time for reply to not less than 30 days.
- The average time period given for reply to an "action" is three months.
- A shortened time for reply may be extended up to the maximum six-month period.
- You would have to apply for an extension and an "extension of time" fee is normally required to be paid if the reply period is extended.
- The amount of the fee is dependent upon the length of the extension.
- Extensions of time are generally not available after an application has been allowed that means the patent has been granted with only the claims the office approves of.
- If no reply is received within the time period, the application is considered as abandoned and no longer pending.
- However, if it can be shown that the failure to prosecute was unavoidable or unintentional, the application may be revived by the Director.
- The revival requires a petition to the Director, and a fee for the petition, which must be filed without delay. The proper reply must also accompany the petition if it has not yet been filed.
The US Patent Office - Allowances and Issue of a PatentWhenever the patent application is finally approved (also called "allowable") a notice of allowance will be sent to the applicant, or to applicants attorney or agent of record.
A fee for issuing the patent is due within three months from the date of the notice. If timely payment of the issue fee is not made, the application will be regarded as abandoned. When the "issue fee" is paid the patent will be issued.
What If I'm Late With The Fee?The Director of the US Patent Office may accept the fee late, when the delay is shown to be unavoidable or unintentional. When the issue fee is paid, the patent issues as soon as possible after the date of payment, dependent upon the volume of printing the US Patent Office has to do.
The patent grant or document is then delivered or mailed on the day of its grant, or as soon as possible, to the inventors attorney or agent or directly to the inventor. On the date of the grant, the patent file becomes open to the public to read by the publication of the application. Printed copies of the specification and any patent drawings are now available to the public on the same date.