37 CFR 1.55
Claim for foreign priority.
This document contains one section of Chapter 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This page was last updated in November, 2005. You may return to the main 37 CFR Index, or to the index for one of the follow parts:
part 1 (patents);
part 2 (trademarks);
part 3 (assignments);
part 10 (representation); or
part 200+ (copyrights).
(a)An applicant in a nonprovisional application may claim the benefit of the filing date of one or more prior foreign applications under the conditions specified in 35 U.S.C. 119(a) through (d) and (f), 172, and 365(a) and (b). (1)(i) In an original application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a), the claim for priority must be presented during the pendency of the application, and within the later of four months from the actual filing date of the application or sixteen months from the filing date of the prior foreign application. This time period is not extendable. The claim must identify the foreign application for which priority is claimed, as well as any foreign application for the same subject matter and having a filing date before that of the application for which priority is claimed, by specifying the application number, country (or intellectual property authority), day, month, and year of its filing. The time periods in this paragraph do not apply in an application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) if the application is:
(ii)In an application that entered the national stage from an international application after compliance with 35 U.S.C. 371, the claim for priority must be made during the pendency of the application and within the time limit set forth in the PCT and the Regulations under the PCT.
(2)The claim for priority and the certified copy of the foreign application specified in 35 U.S.C. 119(b) or PCT Rule 17 must, in any event, be filed before the patent is granted. If the claim for priority or the certified copy of the foreign application is filed after the date the issue fee is paid, it must be accompanied by the processing fee set forth in § 1.17(i), but the patent will not include the priority claim unless corrected by a certificate of correction under 35 U.S.C. 255 and § 1.323.
(3)The Office may require that the claim for priority and the certified copy of the foreign application be filed earlier than provided in paragraphs (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section:
(i)When the application becomes involved in an interference (see § 41.202 of this title),
(ii)When necessary to overcome the date of a reference relied upon by the examiner, or
(iii)When deemed necessary by the examiner. (4)(i) An English language translation of a non-English language foreign application is not required except:
(A)When the application is involved in an interference (see § 41.202 of this title),
(B)When necessary to overcome the date of a reference relied upon by the examiner, or
(C)When specifically required by the examiner.
(ii)If an English language translation is required, it must be filed together with a statement that the translation of the certified copy is accurate.
(b)An applicant in a nonprovisional application may under certain circumstances claim priority on the basis of one or more applications for an inventor's certificate in a country granting both inventor's certificates and patents. To claim the right of priority on the basis of an application for an inventor's certificate in such a country under 35 U.S.C. 119(d), the applicant when submitting a claim for such right as specified in paragraph (a) of this section, shall include an affidavit or declaration. The affidavit or declaration must include a specific statement that, upon an investigation, he or she is satisfied that to the best of his or her knowledge, the applicant, when filing the application for the inventor's certificate, had the option to file an application for either a patent or an inventor's certificate as to the subject matter of the identified claim or claims forming the basis for the claim of priority.
(c)Unless such claim is accepted in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph, any claim for priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(a)-(d) or 365(a) not presented within the time period provided by paragraph (a) of this section is considered to have been waived. If a claim for priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(a)-(d) or 365(a) is presented after the time period provided by paragraph (a) of this section, the claim may be accepted if the claim identifying the prior foreign application by specifying its application number, country (or intellectual property authority), and the day, month, and year of its filing was unintentionally delayed. A petition to accept a delayed claim for priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(a)-(d) or 365(a) must be accompanied by:
(1)The claim under 35 U.S.C. 119(a)-(d) or 365(a) and this section to the prior foreign application, unless previously submitted;
(2)The surcharge set forth in § 1.17(t); and
(3)A statement that the entire delay between the date the claim was due under paragraph (a)(1) of this section and the date the claim was filed was unintentional. The Director may require additional information where there is a question whether the delay was unintentional.