TMEP 305.02(h): Certificate of Mailing Requirements Strictly Enforced

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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305.02(h)    Certificate of Mailing Requirements Strictly Enforced

The requirements of 37 C.F.R. §2.197 are strictly enforced, and the USPTO denies petitions to consider a document timely filed as of the date on the certificate if a party fails to comply with these requirements.

A party’s inadvertent failure to comply with the requirements of a rule is not considered an extraordinary situation that would warrant waiver of a rule under 37 C.F.R. §2.146(a)(5) or 37 C.F.R. §2.148. See Honigsbaum v. Lehman, 903 F. Supp. 8, 37 USPQ2d 1799 (D.D.C. 1995) (finding Commissioner did not abuse discretion in refusing to waive requirements of 37 C.F.R. §1.10(c) and grant filing date to patent application, where applicant failed to produce "Express Mail" customer receipt or any other evidence that application was actually deposited with USPS as "Express Mail"), aff’d mem., 95 F.3d 1166 (Fed. Cir. 1996); In re Sasson Licensing Corp., 35 USPQ2d 1510, 1512 (Comm’r Pats. 1995) (noting that failure to retain an executed hard copy of documents filed with the USPTO is not an extraordinary circumstance that would justify waiver of 37 C.F.R. §1.8); Gustafson v. Strange, 227 USPQ 174 (Comm’r Pats. 1985) (finding counsel’s unawareness of the provisions of 37 C.F.R. §1.8 is not an extraordinary situation warranting waiver of the rule); In re Chicago Historical Antique Auto. Museum, Inc., 197 USPQ 289 (Comm’r Pats. 1978) (finding lateness caused by mailing documents on the last day of the filing period is not an extraordinary situation justifying waiver of the rules, because certificate of mailing procedure under 37 C.F.R. §1.8 was available to petitioner).