MPEP 214.02
Unintentionally Delayed Priority Claims

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

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214.02    Unintentionally Delayed Priority Claims [R-08.2017]

37 C.F.R. 1.55  Claim for foreign priority.

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  • (e) Delayed priority claim. Unless such claim is accepted in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph, any claim for priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(a) through (d) or (f), 365(a) or (b), or 386(a) or 386(b) not presented in the manner required by paragraph (d) or (m) of this section during pendency and within the time period provided by paragraph (d) of this section (if applicable) is considered to have been waived. If a claim for priority is considered to have been waived under this section, the claim may be accepted if the priority claim was unintentionally delayed. A petition to accept a delayed claim for priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(a) through (d) or (f), 365(a) or (b), or 386(a) or 386(b) must be accompanied by:
    • (1) The priority claim under 35 U.S.C. 119(a) through (d) or (f), 365(a) or (b), or 386(a) or 386(b) in an application data sheet (§ 1.76(b)(6) ), identifying the foreign application to which priority is claimed, by specifying the application number, country (or intellectual property authority), day, month, and year of its filing, unless previously submitted;
    • (2) A certified copy of the foreign application, unless previously submitted or an exception in paragraph (h), (i), or (j) of this section applies;
    • (3) The petition fee as set forth in § 1.17(m); and
    • (4) A statement that the entire delay between the date the priority claim was due under this section and the date the priority claim was filed was unintentional. The Director may require additional information where there is a question whether the delay was unintentional.

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Where a priority claim under 37 CFR 1.55(g) was not timely made, 37 CFR 1.55(g) allows the priority claim and the certified copy required under 37 CFR 1.55 to be filed pursuant to a petition under 37 CFR 1.55(e) even if the application is not pending (e.g., a patented application). Thus, a petition under 37 CFR 1.55(e) may be filed along with request for a certificate of correction after patent grant. See MPEP § 216.01.

If a claim for foreign priority is presented after the time period set in 37 CFR 1.55, the claim may be accepted if it is accompanied by a grantable petition to accept the unintentionally delayed claim for priority. In addition, a petition to accept an unintentionally delayed claim for foreign priority is necessary to correct any error in a foreign priority claim if the correction is sought after expiration of the time period set forth in 37 CFR 1.55.

In all applications, a grantable petition to accept an unintentionally delayed claim for priority must include: (1) the claim (i.e., the claim required by 35 U.S.C. 119(a) -(d) or (f), 365(a) or (b), or 386(a) or (b) and 37 CFR 1.55 ) for priority to the prior foreign application, unless previously submitted; (2) a certified copy of the foreign application, unless previously submitted or an exception in 37 CFR 1.55(h), (i), or (j) applies; (3) the petition fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(m); and (4) a statement that the entire delay between the date the claim was due 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.

37 CFR 1.55(e)(2) requires that a petition to accept a delayed claim for priority be accompanied by a certified copy of the foreign application, unless previously submitted or an exception in 37 CFR 1.55(h), (i), or (j) applies. 37 CFR 1.55(h) contains provisions relating to when the requirement for a certified copy will be considered satisfied based on a certified copy filed in another U.S. patent or application (see also MPEP § 215, subsection III); 37 CFR 1.55(i) contains provisions relating to the priority document exchange agreement (see also MPEP §§ 215.01 and 215.02(a)); and 37 CFR 1.55(j) contains provisions relating to the filing of an interim copy of a foreign application (see also MPEP § 215.02(b)).

Priority claims and certified copies of foreign applications filed after payment of the issue fee and before the patent grant will be placed in the application file but will not be reviewed.

Before May 13, 2015, no procedures were established for accepting an unintentionally delayed priority claim in a design application. Effective May 13, 2015, 37 CFR 1.55(e) provides for the filing of a petition for acceptance of an unintentionally delayed priority claim in a design application where the foreign priority claim was not submitted during the pendency of the design application. Thus, a petition under 37 CFR 1.55(e) may be filed along with request for a certificate of correction after patent grant in utility, plant, and design applications. See MPEP § 216.01.