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:
- The priority claim … in an application data sheet … unless previously submitted;
- The appropriate petition fee; and
- 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.