MPEP 509.01
Deposit Accounts

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

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509.01    Deposit Accounts [R-07.2015]

37 C.F.R. 1.25 Deposit accounts.

  • (a) For the convenience of attorneys, and the general public in paying any fees due, in ordering services offered by the Office, copies of records, etc., deposit accounts may be established in the Patent and Trademark Office upon payment of the fee for establishing a deposit account § 1.21(b)(1). A minimum deposit of $1,000 is required for paying any fee due or in ordering any services offered by the Office. However, a minimum deposit of $300 may be paid to establish a restricted subscription deposit account used exclusively for subscription order of patent copies as issued. At the end of each month, a deposit account statement will be rendered. A remittance must be made promptly upon receipt of the statement to cover the value of items or services charged to the account and thus restore the account to its established normal deposit value. An amount sufficient to cover all fees, services, copies, etc., requested must always be on deposit. Charges to accounts with insufficient funds will not be accepted. A service charge (§ 1.21(b)(2) ) will be assessed for each month that the balance at the end of the month is below $1,000. For restricted subscription deposit accounts, a service charge (§ 1.21(b)(3) ) will be assessed for each month that the balance at the end of the month is below $300.
  • (b) Filing, issue, appeal, international-type search report, international application processing, international design application fees, petition, and post-issuance fees may be charged against these accounts if sufficient funds are on deposit to cover such fees. A general authorization to charge all fees, or only certain fees, set forth in §§ 1.16 through 1.18 to a deposit account containing sufficient funds may be filed in an individual application, either for the entire pendency of the application or with a particular paper filed. A general authorization to charge fees in an international design application set forth in § 1.1031 will only be effective for the transmittal fee (§ 1.1031(a) ). An authorization to charge fees under § 1.16 in an international application entering the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371 will be treated as an authorization to charge fees under § 1.492. An authorization to charge fees set forth in § 1.18 to a deposit account is subject to the provisions of § 1.311(b). An authorization to charge to a deposit account the fee for a request for reexamination pursuant to § 1.510 or 1.913 and any other fees required in a reexamination proceeding in a patent may also be filed with the request for reexamination, and an authorization to charge to a deposit account the fee for a request for supplemental examination pursuant to § 1.610 and any other fees required in a supplemental examination proceeding in a patent may also be filed with the request for supplemental examination. An authorization to charge a fee to a deposit account will not be considered payment of the fee on the date the authorization to charge the fee is effective as to the particular fee to be charged unless sufficient funds are present in the account to cover the fee.
  • (c) A deposit account holder may replenish the deposit account by submitting a payment to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A payment to replenish a deposit account must be submitted by one of the methods set forth in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), or (c)(4) of this section.
    • (1) A payment to replenish a deposit account may be submitted by electronic funds transfer through the Federal Reserve Fedwire System, which requires that the following information be provided to the deposit account holder’s bank or financial institution:
      • (i) Name of the Bank, which is Treas NYC (Treasury New York City);
      • (ii) Bank Routing Code, which is 021030004;
      • (iii) United States Patent and Trademark Office account number with the Department of the Treasury, which is 13100001; and
      • (iv) The deposit account holder’s company name and deposit account number.
    • (2) A payment to replenish a deposit account may be submitted by electronic funds transfer over the Office’s Internet website (www.uspto.gov ).
    • (3) A payment to replenish a deposit account may be addressed to: Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Attn: Deposit Accounts, 2051 Jamieson Avenue, Suite 300, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.

An overdrawn account will be immediately suspended and no charges will be accepted against it until a proper balance is restored, together with a payment of $10 (37 CFR 1.21(b)(1) ) to cover the work done by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office incident to suspending and reinstating the account and dealing with charges which may have been made in the meantime.

If there is an authorization to charge the basic filing fee (37 CFR 1.16(a), (b), (c), (d), or (e) ) to a deposit account which is overdrawn or has insufficient funds, a surcharge (37 CFR 1.16(f) ) is required in addition to payment of the basic filing fee (37 CFR 1.16(a), (b), (c), (d), or (e) ). For applications filed on or after July 1, 2005, which have been accorded a filing date under 37 CFR 1.53(b) or (d), if there is an authorization to charge any of the basic filing fee, the search fee, or the examination fee to a deposit account which is overdrawn or has insufficient funds, a surcharge under 37 CFR 1.16(f) is required in addition to payment of the required fee(s). Failure to timely pay the filing fee and surcharge will result in abandonment of the application.

It is expected, however, that reasonable precautions will be taken in all cases to avoid overdrafts, and if an account is suspended repeatedly it will be closed.

Similarly, because of the burden placed on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office incident to the operation of deposit accounts, a charge of $10 (37 CFR 1.21(b)(1) ) will be made for opening each new account.

I.    DEPOSIT ACCOUNT AUTHORIZATIONS

37 CFR 1.25(b) states that:

A general authorization to charge all fees, or only certain fees, set forth in §§ 1.16 to 1.18 to a deposit account containing sufficient funds may be filed in an individual application, either for the entire pendency of the application or with respect to a particular paper filed.

As provided in 37 CFR 1.311(b), an authorization to charge the issue fee (37 CFR 1.18 ) to a deposit account may be filed in an individual application only after the mailing of the notice of allowance. 37 CFR 1.25(b) also makes clear that a general authorization made prior to the mailing of a notice of allowance does not apply to issue fees under 37 CFR 1.18.

In addition, a general authorization does not apply to document supply fees under 37 CFR 1.19, such as those required for certified copies, to post issuance fees under 37 CFR 1.20, such as those required for maintenance fees, or to miscellaneous fees and charges under 37 CFR 1.21, such as assignment recording fees.

Many applications contain broad language authorizing any additional fees which might have been due to be charged to a deposit account. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will interpret such broad authorizations to include authorization to charge to a deposit account fees set forth in 37 CFR 1.16, and 1.17. Fees under 37 CFR 1.19, 1.20, and 1.21 will not be charged as a result of a general authorization under 37 CFR 1.25 except to cover the processing fee under 37 CFR 1.21(m) in the event a check or credit card payment is refused or charged back by a financial institution. Fees under 37 CFR 1.18 will not be charged as a result of a preauthorization of issue fee payment.

An authorization to charge fees relating only to a specific paper, could read "The Director is hereby authorized to charge any fees under 37 CFR 1.16 and 1.17 which may be required by this paper to Deposit Account No.________." Such an authorization would cover situations in which a check to cover a filing and/or a processing fee under 37 CFR 1.16 and 1.17 was omitted or was for an amount less than the amount required. An authorization covering any omission or deficiency in a check or credit card payment applies to the processing fee under 37 CFR 1.21(m) in the event a check or credit card payment is refused or charged back by a financial institution, regardless of whether such deposit account authorization is limited to other fees (e.g., fees under 37 CFR 1.16 and 1.17 ). If a check or credit card payment for the issue fee is refused or charged back by a financial institution, the application may be held abandoned for failure to pay the issue fee within the statutory period for reply. See MPEP § 1306.

It is extremely important that the authorization be clear and unambiguous. If applicants file authorizations which are ambiguous and deviate from the usual forms of authorizations, the Office may not interpret the authorizations in the manner applicants intend and may return the fees. As a result, applicants could be subject to further expenses, petitions, etc. in order to have a particular fee charged to a deposit account (which was not charged as intended) or to resubmit a fee(s) due to an ambiguous authorization.

The Office will treat a deposit account authorization to charge "the filing fee" as an authorization to charge the following applicable fees under 37 CFR 1.16: basic filing fee; search fee; examination fee; any excess claims fees; any application size fee; and any non-electronic filing fee (see 37 CFR 1.16(t) ). The Office will treat a deposit account authorization to charge "the basic filing fee" as an authorization to charge the following applicable fees under 37 CFR 1.16: basic filing fee; search fee; and examination fee. Any deposit account authorization to charge the filing fee but not the search fee or examination fee must specifically limit the authorization by reference to one or more paragraphs (a) - (e) of 37 CFR 1.16.

37 CFR 1.25(b) provides that an authorization to charge fees under 37 CFR 1.16 (which relates to national application filing fees) in an application filed under 35 U.S.C. 371 will be treated as an authorization to charge fees under 37 CFR 1.492 (which relates to national stage fees). Papers filed for the purpose of entering the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371 and 37 CFR 1.495 that include an authorization to charge fees under 37 CFR 1.16 are treated by the Office as an authorization to charge fees under 37 CFR 1.492 since: (1) timely payment of the appropriate national fee under 37 CFR 1.492 is necessary to avoid abandonment of the application as to the United States; and (2) the basic filing fee under 37 CFR 1.16 is not applicable to such papers or applications.

37 CFR 1.25(b) sets forth that fees in an international design application may be charged to a deposit account. A general authorization to charge fees in an international design application set forth in 37 CFR 1.1031 will only be effective for the transmittal fee (37 CFR 1.1031(a) ). The international fees set forth in 37 CFR 1.1031, other than the transmittal fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.1031(a), are not required to be paid to the Office as an office of indirect filing. See 37 CFR 1.1031(d).

II.    DEPOSIT ACCOUNT REPLENISHMENTS

37 CFR 1.25(c) specifies how a deposit account holder may submit a payment to the Office to replenish the deposit account. A payment to replenish a deposit account may be submitted by:

  • (A) making the payment by electronic funds transfer through the Federal Reserve Fedwire System. Deposit account holders who use the Federal Reserve Fedwire System must provide the following information to their bank or financial institution: (1) Name of the Bank, which is Treas NYC (Treasury New York City); (2) Bank Routing Code, which is 021030004; (3) United States Patent and Trademark Office account number with the Department of Treasury, which is 13100001; and (4) the deposit account holder’s company name and deposit account number. The deposit account holder should inform his or her bank or financial institution to use due care to ensure that all pertinent account numbers are listed on the transaction because the failure to include the proper deposit account number will delay the processing of the replenishment;
  • (B) electronic funds transfer over the Office’s Internet website (www.uspto.gov ); or
  • (C) mailing the payment to: Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Attn: Deposit Accounts, 2051 Jamieson Avenue, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314.

In the event a payment to replenish a deposit account is refused (e.g., for insufficient funds or due to a stop payment order), the fee under 37 CFR 1.21(m) for processing the payment refusal will be charged to the deposit account. Further information on deposit account replenishment may be obtained from the Office’s Internet website or by contacting the Deposit Account Division at (571) 272-6500.

III.    REFUNDS TO A DEPOSIT ACCOUNT

For refunds to a deposit account, see MPEP § 607.02.