MPEP 502.01
Correspondence Transmitted by Facsimile

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

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502.01    Correspondence Transmitted by Facsimile [R-07.2015]

37 C.F.R. 1.6 Receipt of correspondence.

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  • (d) Facsimile transmission. Except in the cases enumerated below, correspondence, including authorizations to charge a deposit account, may be transmitted by facsimile. The receipt date accorded to the correspondence will be the date on which the complete transmission is received in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, unless that date is a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia. See paragraph (a)(3) of this section. To facilitate proper processing, each transmission session should be limited to correspondence to be filed in a single application or other proceeding before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The application number of a patent application, the control number of a reexamination or supplemental examination proceeding, the interference number of an interference proceeding, the trial number of a trial proceeding before the Board, or the patent number of a patent should be entered as a part of the sender's identification on a facsimile cover sheet. Facsimile transmissions are not permitted and, if submitted, will not be accorded a date of receipt in the following situations:
    • (1) Correspondence as specified in § 1.4(e), requiring an original signature;
    • (2) Certified documents as specified in § 1.4(f);
    • (3) Correspondence which cannot receive the benefit of the certificate of mailing or transmission as specified in § 1.8(a)(2)(i)(A) through (D), (F), (I) and (K), § 1.8(a)(2)(iii)(A), except that a continued prosecution application under § 1.53(d) may be transmitted to the Office by facsimile;
    • (4) Color drawings submitted under §§ 1.81,1.83 through 1.85, 1.152, 1.165, 1.173, 1.437, or 1.1026;
    • (5) A request for reexamination under § 1.510 or § 1.913 or a request for supplemental examination under § 1.610;
    • (6) Correspondence to be filed in an application subject to a secrecy order under §§ 5.1 through 5.5 of this chapter and directly related to the secrecy order content of the application;
    • (7) In contested cases and trials before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, except as the Board may expressly authorize.

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The date of receipt accorded to any correspondence permitted to be sent by facsimile transmission, including a continued prosecution application (CPA) filed under 37 CFR 1.53(d), (for design applications only) is the date the complete transmission is received by an Office facsimile unit, unless the transmission is completed on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia. Correspondence for which transmission was completed on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia, will be accorded a receipt date of the next succeeding day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia. For example, a facsimile transmission to the Office from California starting on a Friday at 8:45 p.m. Pacific time and taking 20 minutes, would be completed at 9:05 p.m. Pacific time. The complete transmission would be received in the Office around 12:05 a.m. Eastern time on Saturday. The receipt date accorded to the correspondence is the date of the following business day, which in this case, would be Monday (assuming that Monday was not a Federal holiday within the District of Columbia). Note, however, that if the Certificate of Transmission is available (for documents not proscribed by 37 CFR 1.8(a)(2) ), then the above facsimile may be considered timely filed on Friday if it contains a Certificate of Transmission and is in compliance with 37 CFR 1.8(a)(1)(i)(B) and (ii).

37 CFR 1.6(d) specifies the types of correspondence which may be transmitted by facsimile. These would include CPAs filed under 37 CFR 1.53(d) (available for design applications only), amendments, declarations, petitions, information disclosure statements (IDS), terminal disclaimers, notices of appeal and appeal briefs, requests for continued examination (RCEs) under 37 CFR 1.114, assignment documents, issue fee transmittals and authorizations to charge deposit accounts. The situations where transmissions by facsimile are prohibited are identified in 37 CFR 1.6(d)(1)-(7). Prohibitions cover situations where originals are required as specified in 37 CFR 1.4(e) and (f), and situations where accepting a facsimile transmission would be unduly burdensome on the Office. As a courtesy, the Office will attempt to notify senders whenever correspondence is sent to the Office by facsimile transmission that falls within one of these prohibitions. Senders are cautioned against submitting correspondence by facsimile transmission which is not permitted under 37 CFR 1.6(d) since such correspondence will not be accorded a receipt date.

An applicant filing a CPA (for a design application only) by facsimile transmission must include an authorization to charge the basic filing fee to a deposit account or to a credit card, or the application will be treated under 37 CFR 1.53(f) as having been filed without the basic filing fee (as fees cannot otherwise be transmitted by facsimile).

There is a special receipt procedure for filing a CPA by fax, whereby the Office will fax back a receipt of the CPA filing if applicant submits the Office receipt form along with the CPA filing.

37 C.F.R. 1.6 Receipt of correspondence.

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  • (f) Facsimile transmission of a patent application under § 1.53(d). In the event that the Office has no evidence of receipt of an application under § 1.53(d) (a continued prosecution application) transmitted to the Office by facsimile transmission, the party who transmitted the application under § 1.53(d) may petition the Director to accord the application under § 1.53(d) a filing date as of the date the application under § 1.53(d) is shown to have been transmitted to and received in the Office,
    • (1) Provided that the party who transmitted such application under § 1.53(d):
      • (i) Informs the Office of the previous transmission of the application under § 1.53(d) promptly after becoming aware that the Office has no evidence of receipt of the application under § 1.53(d);
      • (ii) Supplies an additional copy of the previously transmitted application under § 1.53(d); and
      • (iii) Includes a statement which attests on a personal knowledge basis or to the satisfaction of the Director to the previous transmission of the application under § 1.53(d) and is accompanied by a copy of the sending unit’s report confirming transmission of the application under § 1.53(d) or evidence that came into being after the complete transmission and within one business day of the complete transmission of the application under § 1.53(d).
    • (2) The Office may require additional evidence to determine if the application under § 1.53(d) was transmitted to and received in the Office on the date in question.

37 CFR 1.6(f) provides for the situation in which the Office has no evidence of receipt of a CPA transmitted to the Office by facsimile transmission. 37 CFR 1.6(f) requires a petition be filed requesting that the CPA be accorded a filing date as of the date the CPA is shown to have been transmitted to and received in the Office. The showing must include, inter alia, a copy of the sending unit’s report confirming transmission of the application or evidence that came into being after the complete transmission of the application and within one business day of the complete transmission of the application.

I.    CENTRALIZED FACSIMILE NUMBER FOR OFFICIAL PATENT APPLICATION RELATED CORRESPONDENCE

A.    Central Number

All patent application related correspondence transmitted by facsimile must be directed to the central facsimile number, with a few exceptions below. The central facsimile number is (571) 273-8300. Replies to Office actions including after-final amendments that are transmitted by facsimile must be directed to the central facsimile number. Correspondence such as draft proposed amendments for interviews may continue to be transmitted by facsimile to the Technology Centers (TCs) and should be made of record as part of the interview summary record. See MPEP § 713.04. Office personnel should not use their personal facsimile numbers for official application related correspondence. Office personnel that inadvertently receive official application related correspondence on a personal facsimile number must either route (do not forward) the correspondence to the official central facsimile number or they may, with applicant’s (or applicant’s representative) permission, make the facsimile amendment part of an examiner’s amendment.

B.    Correspondence Which May Be Sent by Facsimile to Other Than the Central Facsimile Number

For each Office location listed below, only the particular type of correspondence indicated may be transmitted to the specific facsimile number at that Office location. All other types of facsimile transmitted correspondence must be sent to the central facsimile number ((571) 273-8300).

  • (1)PCT Operations and International Patent Legal Administration. Correspondence subsequent to filing in an international application before the U.S. Receiving Office, the U.S. International Searching Authority, or the U.S. International Preliminary Examining Authority:
    • -- Papers in international applications may be submitted by facsimile to (571) 273-3201.
    • -- Responses to Decisions on Petition may be submitted by facsimile to (571) 273-0459.
  • Note: An international application for patent or a copy of the international application and the basic national fee necessary to enter national stage, as specified in 37 CFR 1.495(b), may not be submitted by facsimile. See 37 CFR 1.6(d)(3) (referencing 37 CFR 1.8(a)(2)(i)(D) and (F) ). Subsequent correspondence may be transmitted by facsimile in an application before the U.S. Receiving Office, the U.S. International Searching Authority, or the U.S. International Preliminary Examining Authority, but it will not receive the benefit of any certificate of transmission (or mailing). See 37 CFR 1.8(a)(2)(i)(E). Correspondence filed during the national stage, subsequent to entry, is handled in the same manner as a U.S. to national application.

    • -- PCT Help Desk contact information:
      • Telephone number: (571) 272-4300.
      • Facsimile number: (571) 273-0419.
  • (2) Office of Data Management. Payment of an issue fee and any required publication fee by authorization to charge a deposit account or credit card, and drawings may be submitted to facsimile number (571) 273-2885.

    Note: Although submission of drawings by facsimile may reduce the quality of the drawings, the Office will generally print the drawings as received.

    Office of Data Management telephone numbers to check on receipt of payment: (571) 272-4200 or 1-888-786-0101.

  • (3) Electronic Business Center (EBC). Requests for Customer Number Data Change (PTO/SB/124), and Requests for a Customer Number (PTO/SB/125) may be submitted via facsimile to (571) 273-0177.

    Note: The EBC may also be reached by email at: ebc@uspto.gov. EBC telephone number for customer service and assistance: 866-217-9197.

  • (4) Assignment Branch. Assignments or other documents affecting title may be submitted via facsimile to (571) 273-0140.

    Note: Only documents with an identified patent application or patent number, a single cover sheet to record a single type of transaction, and the fee paid by an authorization to charge a USPTO deposit account or credit card may be submitted via facsimile. Customers may submit documents directly into the automated Patent and Trademark Assignment System and receive the resulting recordation notice at their facsimile machine. (Assignment documents submitted through the Electronic Patent Assignment System also permit the recordation notice to be faxed to customers.) Credit card payments to record assignment documents are acceptable, and use of the Credit Card form (PTO-2038) is required for the credit card information to be separated from the assignment records.

    Assignment Branch telephone number for assistance: (571) 272-3350.

  • (5) Central Reexamination Unit (CRU). Ex parte and Inter partes reexamination correspondence, except for the initial request: (571) 273-9900 facsimile number.

    Note: Correspondence related to reexamination proceedings will be separately scanned in the CRU.

    CRU telephone number for customer service and inquiries: (571) 272-7705.

  • (6) Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Correspondence related to contested cases and trials permitted to be transmitted by facsimile (only where expressly authorized, see 37 CFR 1.6(d)(7)): (571) 273-0042 facsimile number.
  • (7) Office of the General Counsel. Correspondence permitted to be transmitted by facsimile to the Office of the General Counsel: (571) 273-0099 facsimile number.
  • (8) Office of the Solicitor. Correspondence permitted to be transmitted by facsimile to the Office of the Solicitor: (571) 273-0373 facsimile number.
  • (9) Licensing and Review. Petitions for a foreign filing license pursuant to 37 CFR 5.12(b), including a petition for a foreign filing license where there is no corresponding U.S. application (37 CFR 5.13): (571) 273-0185 facsimile number.

    Note: Correspondence to be filed in a patent application subject to a secrecy order under 37 CFR 5.1 to 5.5 and directly related to the secrecy order content of the application may not be transmitted via facsimile. See 37 CFR 1.6(d)(6).

  • (10) Office of Petitions. Petitions to withdraw from issue: (571) 273-0025 facsimile number

    Note: All other types of petitions must be directed to the central facsimile number (571) 273-8300. Petitions sent to the central facsimile number should be marked "Special Processing Submission."

  • (11) Office of the Enrollment and Discipline Correspondence permitted to be transmitted to the Office of the Enrollment and Discipline: (571) 273-0074 facsimile number.
  • (12) Office of Finance. Refund requests, deposit account inquiries, and maintenance fee payments: (571) 273-6500 facsimile number. Office of Finance telephone number for customer service and inquiries: (571) 272-6500.
  • (13) Office of Public Records. Requests for certified copies of Office records may be transmitted to: (571) 273-3250 facsimile number. The Office of Public Records’ Patent and Trademark Copy Fulfillment Branch telephone number for customer service and inquiries: (571) 272-3150.

II.    CORRESPONDENCE RELATIVE TO PATENTS AND PATENT APPLICATIONS WHERE FILING BY FACSIMILE TRANSMISSION IS NOT PERMITTED

As set forth in 37 CFR 1.6(d), facsimile transmissions are not permitted and, if submitted, will not be accorded a date of receipt in the following situations:

  • (A) A document that is required by statute to be certified (see 37 CFR 1.4(f) );
  • (B) A national patent application specification and drawing (provisional or nonprovisional) or other correspondence for the purpose of obtaining an application filing date, other than a continued prosecution application filed under 37 CFR 1.53(d);
  • (C) An international application for patent;
  • (D) An international design application;
  • (E) A copy of the international application and the basic national fee necessary to enter the national stage, as specified in 37 CFR 1.495(b);
  • (F) A third-party submission under 37 CFR 1.290;
  • (G) Correspondence relating to registration to practice before the Patent and Trademark Office in patent cases, enrollment and disciplinary investigations, or disciplinary proceedings;
  • (H) Color drawings submitted under 37 CFR 1.81, 1.83 -1.85, 1.152, 1.165, 1.173, 1.437, or 1.1026;
  • (I) A request for reexamination under 37 CFR 1.510 or 37 CFR 1.913;
  • (J) A request for supplemental examination under 37 CFR 1.610;
  • (K) Correspondence to be filed in a patent application subject to a secrecy order under 37 CFR 5.1 - 5.5 and directly related to the secrecy order content of the application; and
  • (L) Correspondence to be filed in a contested case or trial before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, except as the Board may expressly authorize.

Applicants are reminded that the facsimile process may reduce the quality of the drawings, and the Office will generally print the drawings as received.

See MPEP § 1834.01 for a discussion concerning facsimile transmissions in PCT applications.