MPEP 215.02
Time For Filing Certified Copy – Application Filed On or After March 16, 2013

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

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215.02    Time For Filing Certified Copy – Application Filed On or After March 16, 2013 [R-07.2015]

[Editor Note: See MPEP § 215.03 for information regarding the time for filing a certified copy in an application filed before March 16, 2013.]

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

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  • (f) Time for filing certified copy of foreign application—
    • (1) Application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a). A certified copy of the foreign application must be filed 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, in an original application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) filed on or after March 16, 2013, except as provided in paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) of this section. The time period in this paragraph does not apply in a design application.
    • (2) Application under 35 U.S.C. 371. A certified copy of the foreign application must be filed within the time limit set forth in the PCT and the Regulations under the PCT in an international application entering the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371. If a certified copy of the foreign application is not filed during the international stage in an international application in which the national stage commenced on or after December 18, 2013, a certified copy of the foreign application must be filed within the later of four months from the date on which the national stage commenced under 35 U.S.C. 371(b) or (f) (§ 1.491(a) ), four months from the date of the initial submission under 35 U.S.C. 371 to enter the national stage, or sixteen months from the filing date of the prior foreign application, except as provided in paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) of this section.
    • (3) If a certified copy of the foreign application is not filed within the time period specified [in] paragraph (f)(1) of this section in an application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) or within the period specified in paragraph (f)(2) of this section in an international application entering the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371, and an exception in paragraph (h), (i), or (j) of this section is not applicable, the certified copy of the foreign application must be accompanied by a petition including a showing of good and sufficient cause for the delay and the petition fee set forth in § 1.17(g).

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For applications filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) on or after March 16, 2013, 37 CFR 1.55(f)(1) sets forth the time period for filing a certified copy of the foreign application. The time period in 37 CFR 1.55(f)(1) does not apply in design applications. 37 CFR 1.55(f)(1) requires that a certified copy of the foreign application be filed 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 with three exceptions. For international applications entering the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371, 37 CFR 1.55(f)(2) sets forth the time period for filing a certified copy of the foreign application. 37 CFR 1.55(f)(2) requires a certified copy of the foreign application be filed within the time limit set forth in the PCT and the Regulations under the PCT, and if a certified copy is not filed during international stage in an international application in which the national stage commenced on or after December 18, 2013, a certified copy of the foreign application must be filed within the later of four months from the date on which the national stage commenced under 35 U.S.C. 371(b) or (f), four months from the date of the initial submission under 35 U.S.C. 371 to enter the national stage, of sixteen months from the filing date of the prior foreign application with three exceptions. As provided in 37 CFR 1.55(h), (i), or (j), the time period requirement in 37 CFR 1.55(f)(1) or (f)(2) does not apply if:

  • (1) a prior-filed nonprovisional application for which a benefit is claimed under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c) or 386(c) contains a certified copy of the foreign application and such prior-filed nonprovisional application is identified as containing a certified copy of the foreign application, or in the case of a reissue application, if the patent for which reissue is sought satisfies the requirement for a certified copy and such patent is identified as containing the certified copy (see 37 CFR 1.55(h) and MPEP § 215, subsection III);
  • (2) the priority application was filed in a participating foreign intellectual property office, or if a copy of the foreign application was filed in an application subsequently filed in a participating foreign intellectual property office that permits the Office to obtain such a copy, and the Office either receives a copy of the foreign application from the participating foreign intellectual property office or a certified copy of the foreign application during the pendency of the application and before the patent is granted (see 37 CFR 1.55(i) and MPEP § 215.02(a)); or
  • (3) the applicant provides an interim copy of the original foreign application 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, and files a certified copy of the foreign application within the pendency of the application and before the patent is granted (see 37 CFR 1.55(j) and MPEP § 215.02(b)).

Because U.S. patent application publications (as well as U.S. patents) will have a prior art effect as of the earliest priority date (for subject matter disclosed in the priority application) with respect to applications subject to AIA 35 U.S.C. 102, the Office needs to ensure that it has a copy of the priority application by the time of publication. The time period of four months from the actual filing date of the application or sixteen months from the filing date of the prior foreign application is consistent with the international norm for when the certified copy of the foreign application needs to be filed in an application. See PCT Rule 17.1(a).

If a certified copy of the foreign application is not filed within the time period specified in 37 CFR 1.55(f)(1) or (f)(2), as appropriate, and the exceptions in 37 CFR 1.55(h), (i), and (j) are not applicable, the certified copy of the foreign application must be accompanied by a petition including a showing of good and sufficient cause for the delay and the petition fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(g). This provision for the belated filing of a certified copy of the foreign application obviates the need for a petition under 37 CFR 1.183 to waive or suspend a requirement of the regulations in such a situation. 37 CFR 1.55(f) provides a lower standard (good and sufficient cause versus an extraordinary situation) and lower fee ($200 petition fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(g) versus the $400 petition fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(f) ) than petitions under 37 CFR 1.183.

See MPEP § 213.06 for additional information regarding filing a certified copy in a national stage application (35 U.S.C. 371 ).