TMEP 310: Computing Period for Response to Office Action or Notice

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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310    Computing Period for Response to Office Action or Notice

The deadline for responding to an Office action, notice of allowance, or other notice issued by the USPTO is computed from the date of issuance of the action or notice to the date the response is received in the USPTO. See TMEP §303.01 regarding the date of receipt in the USPTO.

For example, a response to an examining attorney’s Office action dated August 31 is due on the following February 28 (or 29 if it is a leap year); a response to an Office action dated February 28 is due on August 28 and not on the last day of August. Ex parte Messick, 7 USPQ 57 (Comm’r Pats. 1930).

Under 37 C.F.R. §2.197, correspondence is considered to be timely filed even if it is received after the expiration of the filing period, if the correspondence was deposited with the USPS as first-class mail or transmitted to the USPTO by facsimile transmission before the expiration of the filing period and accompanied by a certificate attesting to the date of mailing or transmission. See TMEP §§305.02–305.02(h) regarding the certificate of mailing procedure, and TMEP §§306.05–306.05(d) regarding the certificate of transmission procedure.

If a document or fee is due on a Saturday, Sunday, or a Federal holiday within the District of Columbia, the document or fee is considered timely if it is received on or before the following day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or a Federal holiday within the District of Columbia. 35 U.S.C. §21(b); 37 C.F.R. §2.196; TMEP §308.

See TMEP §309 regarding unscheduled closings of the USPTO.