MPEP 211.04
Delayed Benefit Claims

This is the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 08.2017, Last Revised in January 2018

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211.04    Delayed Benefit Claims [R-08.2017]

If the reference required by 35 U.S.C. 120 and 37 CFR 1.78 is not submitted within the required time period, a petition for an unintentionally delayed claim may be filed. The petition must be accompanied by: (A) the reference required by 35 U.S.C. 120 and 37 CFR 1.78 to the prior application (unless previously submitted); (B) a petition fee under 37 CFR 1.17(m); and (C) a statement that the entire delay between the date the benefit claim was due under 37 CFR 1.78 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. See 37 CFR 1.78(e).

Effective May 13, 2015, 37 CFR 1.78(d)(3) was amended to make the procedures under 37 CFR 1.78(e) to accept an unintentionally delayed benefit claim applicable to design applications where the benefit claim was not submitted during the pendency of the design application. Thus, a petition under 37 CFR 1.78(e) may be filed along with a request for certificate of correction after patent grant. See MPEP § 1481.03.

Likewise, if the reference required by 35 U.S.C. 119(e) and 37 CFR 1.78 is not submitted within the required time period, a petition for an unintentionally delayed claim may be filed. The petition must be accompanied by: (A) the reference required by 35 U.S.C. 119(e) and 37 CFR 1.78 to the prior provisional application (unless previously submitted); (B) a petition fee under 37 CFR 1.17(m); and (C) a statement that the entire delay between the date the benefit claim was due under 37 CFR 1.78 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. See 37 CFR 1.78(c).

Effective December 18, 2013,35 U.S.C. 119(e)(1) no longer requires that the amendment containing the specific reference to the earlier filed provisional application be submitted during the pendency of the application. Therefore, a petition to revive is no longer required to add or correct a benefit claim under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) in an abandoned nonprovisional application filed on or after November 29, 2000. Applicant may simply file a petition under 37 CFR 1.78 to accept an unintentionally delayed claim for the benefit of a prior-filed provisional application in the abandoned nonprovisional application. It may be necessary to correct the benefit in the abandoned nonprovisional application so that the benefit claims in a later filed nonprovisional application claiming benefit of the abandoned nonprovisional application are proper.

Petitions for an unintentionally delayed benefit claim should be forwarded to the Office of Petitions. See MPEP § 1002.02(b).

DELAYED SUBMISSION OF BENEFIT CLAIM IN INTERNATIONAL APPLICATION

A petition under 37 CFR 1.78 for accepting an unintentionally delayed benefit claim and the petition fee under 37 CFR 1.17(m) are required to add a benefit claim under 35 U.S.C. 120 and 365(c) in an abandoned international application designating the United States, even when the international application did not enter the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371. For example, when filing a "bypass" continuation application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) that claims the benefit of an international application designating the United States that could have but did not claim the benefit of an earlier U.S. application, and the benefit claim is to be added to the international application, a petition under 37 CFR 1.78 must be filed in the international application.

If a petition under 37 CFR 1.78(c) or (e) is required in an international application that was not filed with the United States Receiving Office and is not a nonprovisional application, then the petition may be filed in the earliest nonprovisional application that claims benefit under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) to the international application and will be treated as having been filed in the international application. See 37 CFR 1.78(i).