MPEP Q & A 233: List application filing dates for determining whether patent is subject to maintenance fees

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Question:

What are the application filing dates for purposes of determining whether a patent is subject to payment of maintenance fees?

Answer:

Application filing dates for purposes of determining whether a patent is subject to payment of maintenance fees are as follows:

  • (A) For an application not claiming benefit of an earlier application, the actual United States filing date of the application.
  • (B) For an application claiming benefit of an earlier foreign application, the actual United States filing date of the application.
  • (C) For a continuing (continuation, division, continuation-in-part) application claiming the benefit of a prior patent application, the actual United States filing date of the continuing application.
  • (D) For a reissue application, including a continuing reissue application claiming the benefit of a reissue, the United States filing date of the original nonreissue application on which the patent reissued is based.
  • (E) For an international application that has entered the United States as a Designated Office under 35 U.S.C. 371, the international filing date granted under the Patent Cooperation Treaty which is considered to be the United States filing date.

Chapter Details:

The answer to this question can be found in chapter 2500 of the MPEP. This chapter covers Maintenance Fees.

The answer is from the 9th Edition, Revision 10.2019. Depending on future changes to the MPEP, the question and answer may or may not be applicable in later Editions or revisions.

Section Summary:

This question and answer comes from section 2504 of the MPEP.  The following is a brief summary of section 2504.

2504 Patents Subject to Maintenance Fees

Maintenance fees are required on all patents based on applications filed on or after December 12, 1980, with the exception of plant and design patents. In addition, fees are not required for reissue patents only when the patent being reissued did not require maintenance fees. This section provides further details on the patents subject to maintenance fees.