patent application is special and gives you an extra year of protection
before you have to file your standard application.
Non-Provisional Application for a Patent
A non-provisional application for a patent is made to the Commissioner for Patents and includes:
(1) A written document which comprises a specification (description and claims), and an oath or declaration;
(2) A drawing in those cases in which a drawing is necessary; and
(3) The filing fee. Applicant must determine that small entity status is appropriate before making an assertion of entitlement to small entity status and paying a small entity fee. Fees change each October. The fee schedule is posted on the USPTO Web site.
All application papers must be in the English language or a translation into the English language will be required along with the required fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(i). All application papers must be legibly written on only one side either by a typewriter or mechanical printer in permanent dark ink or its equivalent in portrait orientation on flexible, strong, smooth, non-shiny, durable and white paper.
The papers must be presented in a form having sufficient clarity and contrast between the paper and the writing to permit electronic reproduction. Each document in the application papers must all be the same size - either 21.0 cm by 29.7 cm (DIN size A4) or 21.6 cm by 27.9 cm (8 1/2 by 11 inches), with a top margins of at least 2.0 cm (3/4 inch), a left side margin of at least 2.5 cm (1 inch), a right side margin of at least 2.0 cm (3/4 inch) and a bottom margin of at least 2.0 cm (3/4 inch) with no holes made in the submitted papers. (The specification and drawings may be on A4 paper, and the preliminary amendment on 8 1/2 by 11 paper.) It is also required that the spacing on all papers be 1 1/2 or double-spaced and the application papers must be numbered consecutively (centrally located above or below the text) starting with page one.
The specification must conclude with a claim or claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which the applicant regards as the invention. The portion of the application in which the applicant sets forth the claim or claims is an important part of the application, as it is the claims that define the scope of the protection afforded by the patent.
More than one claim may be presented provided they differ from each other. Claims may be presented in independent form (e.g. the claim stands by itself) or in dependent form, referring back to and further limiting another claim or claims in the same application. Any dependent claim which refers back to more than one other claim is considered a "multiple dependent claim."
The application for patent is not forwarded for examination until all required parts, complying with the rules related thereto, are received. If any application is filed without all the required parts for obtaining a filing date (incomplete or defective), the applicant will be notified of the deficiencies and given a time period to complete the application filing (a surcharge may be required)- at which time a filing date as of the date of such a completed submission will be obtained by the applicant. If the omission is not corrected within a specified time period, the application will be returned or otherwise disposed of; the filing fee if submitted will be refunded less a handling fee as set forth in the fee schedule.
The filing fee and declaration or oath need not be submitted with the parts requiring a filing date. It is, however, desirable that all parts of the complete application be deposited in the Office together; otherwise each part must be signed and a letter must accompany each part, accurately and clearly connecting it with the other parts of the application. Failure to originally submit the declaration or filing fee will result in an incomplete application and the payment of a surcharge when these parts are later filed in response to a requirement by the Office.
All applications received in the USPTO are numbered in sequential order and the applicant will be informed of the application number and filing date by a filing receipt.
The filing date of an application for patent is the date on which a specification (including at least one claim) and any drawings necessary to understand the subject matter sought to be patented are received in the USPTO; or the date on which the last part completing the application is received in the case of a previously incomplete or defective application.
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