MPEP Section 605.04(f), Signature on Joint Applications - Order of Names

Executive summary:

This document contains one section of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (the "M.P.E.P."), Eighth Edition, Fifth Revision (August 2006). This page was last updated in July 2007. You may return to the section index to find a particular section. Alternatively, you may search the MPEP use the search box that appears on the bottom of every page of BitLaw--be sure to restrict your search to the MPEP in the pop-up list.

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605.04(f) Signature on Joint Applications - Order of Names [R-7]

The order of names of joint patentees in the heading of the patent is taken from the order in which the typewritten names appear in the original oath or declaration. Care should therefore be exercised in selecting the preferred order of the typewritten names of the joint inventors, before filing, as requests for subsequent shifting of the names would entail changing numerous records in the Office. Since the particular order in which the names appear is of no consequence insofar as the legal rights of the joint applicants are concerned, no changes will be made except when a petition under 37 CFR 1.182 is granted. The petition should be directed to the attention of the Office of Petitions. The petition to change the order of names must be signed by either the attorney or agent of record or all the applicants. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an application data sheet showing the new order of inventor names to ensure appropriate printing of the inventor names in any patent to issue. It is suggested that all typewritten and signed names appearing in the application papers should be in the same order as the typewritten names in the oath or declaration. When the Office of Petitions grants a petition to change the order of the names of the inventors, the Office of Petitions will change the order of the names in the Office computer records and print a new bib-data sheet, unless the application is an 08/ or earlier series application, in which case, the application should be sent to the Office of **>Patent Application Processing (OPAP)< for correction on the file wrapper label and the PALM database. Since a change to the order of the inventor's names is an amendment to the application and amendments are not permitted after the payment of the issue fee (37 CFR 1.312), a petition under 37 CFR 1.182 to change the order of the inventor's name cannot be granted if filed after the payment of the issue fee.

In those instances where the joint applicants file separate oaths or declarations, the order of names is taken from the order in which the several oaths or declarations appear in the application papers unless a different order is requested at the time of filing.