Priority Patent Claims

The new patent law amends the patent statute to provide a two-month grace period, extension, for filing an application with a priority patent claim to an earlier filed application.  Namely, the US Patent Office may prescribe regulations, including the requirement for payment of a fee, pursuant to which the 12-month period set forth in the Rules may be extended by an additional 2 months if the delay in filing the application in the US within the 12-month period was unintentional.

The US Patent Office proposes to implement these provisions in two new rules, one for foreign priority claims, and a second one for U.S. priority claims.  These rules would provide for petitions for the restoration of the right of priority when a subsequent application is filed after, but within 2 months of, the expiration of the priority period.  Such petition must include:

    1. The priority claim … in an application data sheet … unless previously submitted;
    2. The appropriate petition fee; and
    3. A statement that the delay in filing the subsequent application within the twelve-month period (six-month period in the case of a design application) was unintentional.

The Patent Office may require additional information where there is a question whether the delay was unintentional.

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