37 CFR 41.106: Filing and service

Taken from the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 10.2019, Last Revised in June 2020

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41.106    Filing and service.

  • (a) General format requirements.
    • (1) The paper used for filings must be durable and white. A party must choose to file on either A4-sized paper or 8½ inch x 11 inch paper except in the case of exhibits that require a larger size in order to preserve details of the original. A party may not switch between paper sizes in a single proceeding. Only one side of the paper may be used.
    • (2) In papers, including affidavits, created for the proceeding:
      • (i) Markings must be in black ink or must otherwise provide an equivalently permanent, dark, high-contrast image on the paper. The quality of printing must be equivalent to the quality produced by a laser printer. Either a proportional or monospaced font may be used, but the proportional font must be 12-point or larger and a monospaced font must not contain more than 4 characters per centimeter (10 characters per inch). Case names must be underlined or italicized.
      • (ii) Double spacing must be used except in headings, tables of contents, tables of authorities, indices, signature blocks, and certificates of service. Block quotations may be single-spaced and must be indented. Margins must be at least 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) on all sides.
  • (b) Papers other than exhibits—
    • (1) Cover sheet.
      • (i) The cover sheet must include the caption the Board specifies for the proceeding, a header indicating the party and contact information for the party, and a title indicating the sequence and subject of the paper. For example, "JONES MOTION 2, For benefit of an earlier application".
      • (ii) If the Board specifies a color other than white for the cover sheet, the cover sheet must be that color.
    • (2) Papers must have two 0.5 cm (¼ inch) holes with centers 1 cm (½ inch) from the top of the page and 7 cm (2¾ inch) apart, centered horizontally on the page.
    • (3) Incorporation by reference; combined papers. Arguments must not be incorporated by reference from one paper into another paper. Combined motions, oppositions, replies, or other combined papers are not permitted.
    • (4) Exhibits. Additional requirements for exhibits appear in § 41.154(c).
  • (c) Working copy. Every paper filed must be accompanied by a working copy marked "APJ Copy".
  • (d) Specific filing forms—
    • (1) Filing by mail. A paper filed using the Priority Mail Express® service of the United States Postal Service will be deemed to be filed as of "date accepted" on the Priority Mail Express® mailing label; otherwise, mail will be deemed to be filed as of the stamped date of receipt at the Board.
    • (2) Other modes of filing. The Board may authorize other modes of filing, including electronic filing and hand filing, and may set conditions for the use of such other modes.
  • (e) Service.
    • (1) Papers filed with the Board, if not previously served, must be served simultaneously on every opposing party except as the Board expressly directs.
    • (2) If a party is represented by counsel, service must be on counsel.
    • (3) Service must be by Priority Mail Express® or by means at least as fast and reliable as Priority Mail Express®. Electronic service is not permitted without Board authorization.
    • (4) The date of service does not count in computing the time for responding.
  • (f) Certificate of service.
    • (1) Papers other than exhibits must include a certificate of service as a separate page at the end of each paper that must be served on an opposing party.
    • (2) Exhibits must be accompanied by a certificate of service, but a single certificate may accompany any group of exhibits submitted together.
    • (3) A certificate of service must state:
      • (i) The date and manner of service,
      • (ii) The name and address of every person served, and
      • (iii) For exhibits filed as a group, the name and number of each exhibit served.
    • (4) A certificate made by a person other than a registered patent practitioner must be in the form of an affidavit.
[Added, 69 FR 49959, Aug. 12, 2004, effective Sept. 13, 2004; paras. (d)(1) and (e)(3) revised, 79 FR 63036, Oct. 22, 2014, effective Oct. 22, 2014;]