MPEP Q & A 107: Times When Explicit Petitions for Foreign Filing Licenses May Be Considered by Applicants



Name two times when an applicant may want to consider an explicit petition for foreign filing licenses.


Explicit petitions for foreign filing licenses may be considered by applicants when:

  • the filing receipt license is not granted;
  • the filing receipt has not yet been issued;
  • there is no corresponding U.S. application;
  • subject matter additional to that already licensed is sought to be licensed; or
  • expedited handling is requested.

Chapter Details:

The answer to this question can be found in chapter 100 of the MPEP. This chapter covers Secrecy, Access, National Security, and Foreign Filing.

The answer is from the 9th Edition, Revision 07.2015. Depending on future changes to the MPEP, the question and answer may be applicable in later Editions or revisions.

Section Summary:

This question and answer comes from section 140 of the MPEP.  The following is a brief summary of section 140.

140 Foreign Filing Licenses

This section covers both expedited foreign filing licenses and retroactive licenses. Essentially, if an inventor files a patent application in the U.S., he or she may not file the same application in a foreign country prior to the passing of six months without first obtaining a foreign filing license. If the inventor files in a foreign country before the 6 month waiting period has passed without getting a license first, he or she must immediately file for a retroactive license.