TMEP 305.04: Interruptions in U.S. Postal Service

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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305.04    Interruptions in U.S. Postal Service

35 U.S.C. 21(a)  

The Director may by rule prescribe that any paper or fee required to be filed in the Patent and Trademark Office will be considered filed in the Office on the date on which it was deposited with the United States Postal Service or would have been deposited with the United States Postal Service but for postal service interruptions or emergencies designated by the Director.

37 C.F.R. §2.195(e) Interruptions in U.S. Postal Service.

  • (1) If the Director designates a postal service interruption or emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. 21(a), any person attempting to file correspondence by Priority Mail Express® Post Office to Addressee service who was unable to deposit the correspondence with the United States Postal Service due to the interruption or emergency may petition the Director to consider such correspondence as filed on a particular date in the Office.
  • (2) The petition must:
  • (i) Be filed promptly after the ending of the designated interruption or emergency;
  • (ii) Include the original correspondence or a copy of the original correspondence; and
  • (iii) Include a statement that the correspondence would have been deposited with the United States Postal Service on the requested filing date but for the designated interruption or emergency in Priority Mail Express® service; and that the correspondence attached to the petition is the original correspondence or a true copy of the correspondence originally attempted to be deposited as Priority Mail Express® on the requested filing date.
  • (3) Paragraphs (e)(1) and (e)(2) of this section do not apply to correspondence that is excluded from the Priority Mail Express® procedure pursuant to §2.198(a)(1).

Under 35 U.S.C. §21(a) and 37 C.F.R. §2.195(e), if there is an interruption or emergency in the United States Postal Service, the Director may consider correspondence to have been filed in the Office on a particular date if the correspondence or a copy thereof is: (1) filed promptly after the ending of the designated interruption or emergency; and (2) accompanied by a statement indicating that such correspondence would have been filed on that particular date if it were not for the designated interruption or emergency in the United States Postal Service. This procedure does not apply to correspondence that is excluded from the Priority Mail Express® procedure pursuant to §2.198(a)(1). 37 C.F.R. §2.195(e)(3). See TMEP §305.03 regarding Priority Mail Express®.