After a provisional, non-provisional, design patent and plant patent application has been filed, the U.S.P.T.O. issues a Filing Receipt acknowledging it has received an acceptable patent application. If the documents do not qualify as a patent application, then a Filing Receipt is not sent to the Applicant.
The Filing Receipt contains valuable information regarding your Application. Near the top of the Filing Receipt is a horizontal box in which is recorded, in order, (1) the Application Number assigned to the Application; (2) the filing date of the Application; (3) the Group Art Unit (blank if filed a provisional patent application because they are not assigned to a Group Art Unit); (4) the filing fee paid for the Application; and (5) our Attorney docket number. With Provisional patent applications the boxes reciting the total claims and Independent claims are also left blank.
Below the upper boxes is the name and address of the attorney to whom correspondence will be sent. Below this information is a printed paragraph which instructs us on correcting errors, if any, on the Filing Receipt. After this paragraph, the name of the Inventor(s) and Applicant(s), the customer number of the Power of Attorney associated with the application. Below this information is a statement that a foreign filing license has been granted, followed by a notice that the Applicant claimed Micro, Small or Large entity status. Below the ENTITY indicator is the title of the invention.
If some of this information is incorrect, it can negatively impact the status of the application. Therefore, we must review the information on the Filing Receipt closely against the information in the file (namely, the Application Data Sheet).
How to Read your Filing Receipt: Click Here
1- Application Number: Your application has been assigned this serial number. From now on, any communication with the patent office will require this number. The complete application number includes a two-digit series number, followed by a slash, and then a six digit serial number. The serial numbers repeat from series to series, so you need the full number to identify the application.
2- Filing Date: This is the official filing date for the application. Make sure this agrees with your records – since your application was filed electronically, this is the actual date the USPTO received the electronic files.
3- Group Art Unit: The Examiners in the Patent Office are organized into “Technology Centers”, which cover broad ranges of technologies, and the Technology Centers are further divided into “Art Units”. Each Art Unit handles a specific type of invention, as defined by the USPTO’s classification system.
4- Filing Fee Received: The amount of money the USPTO received on filing this application. This will not include fees for recording an assignment, if the application was filed with one.
5- Atty Docket: This is an internal reference number we use to identify your application in our office. The USPTO took this information from the transmittal form or Application Data Sheet (ADS) filed with the application.
6-7- Total Claims/Independent Claims: The filing fee was based on the number of claims, and the number of independent claims. Again, make sure that this agrees with what you thought you filed.
8- Confirmation Number: This is an additional number which the USPTO uses to make sure that any papers filed later on are assigned to the right file.
9- This is the correspondence address – any USPTO mailings concerning the application will be sent to this address. The five-digit number above the address is the “Customer Number” – of our law firm.
10- Form paragraph with instructions on how to make changes. Note the “nonprovisional” or “provisional” or “design”- be sure that the type of application is correctly reported in this line. If you thought you filed a provisional application, or nonprovisional, the filing receipt must acknowledge the kind of application you thought you filed.
11- Date Mailed: Just that – the date the USPTO put this filing receipt in the mail. Filing receipts often take four months or more to be mailed, especially if the application was filed on paper.
12- Applicant(s): Before September 16, 2012, the terms “applicant” and “inventor” were synonymous in the US. Therefore, in filing receipts for applications filed before that date (as this one was), the “applicant” field would list the name and residence (city, state) of all of the inventors. For applications filed after September 16, 2012, if the application was assigned to a company, and the company name was listed in the Application Data Sheet as “applicant”, then the company name will be listed on the filing receipt in this spot. Otherwise, the “applicant(s)” and inventors are the same, and the inventor(s) will be listed here and also as inventors. Inventor(s): For applications filed after September 16, 2012, there will be a separate listing of inventor(s) in addition to the “applicant(s)”. Make sure this list is correct – if any inventors are missing, or there are any typos, be sure to make a correction now.
13- Assignment for Published Patent Application – the application will be published 18 months after its priority date (assuming you didn’t request non-publication, see 20, below).
14- Power of Attorney – Only those given a power of attorney are allowed to correspond with the USPTO about the application or to file papers. Dean A. Craine, PS is listed as the attorney/agent of record for this application.
15- Domestic Applications for which Priority is claimed: If this application is claiming the benefit of an earlier application, for example if this is a utility application based on an earlier provisional application (as it is here), or if it is a continuation, CIP or divisional application, the earlier application must be listed here. If it is not, get it corrected immediately, because if the priority claim is missed now you might be unable to claim priority later, or you will be subject to a very large fee for filing a late priority claim.
16- Foreign Applications for which priority is claimed: Same as 14, except that this deals with claims of priority to an earlier filed application in another country.
17- Permission to access – you have the option to grant permission for certain foreign patent offices to access the USPTO files.
18- Foreign Filing License: For purposes of national security screening, US law requires that US applicants get a “Foreign Filing License” before filing applications in other countries. This is routinely granted when an application is filed (even a provisional application), unless the application deals with defense-related technologies (nuclear weapons, encryption, etc.). If the PTO believes that security is involved, you will have received a notice before this that the application would be subject to a security order – unless you’re working for a defense contractor it is highly unlikely that you will ever see one.
19- Projected Publication Date: All US utility patent applications are published 18 months after the earliest date in their family. For example, if you file a provisional application, and follow up a year later with the utility application, the utility application will be published about six months after it is filed (eighteen months after the provisional application filing date).
20-21- Non-Publication/Early Publication: It is possible to change the normal 18 month publication schedule.
22-**(Large, Small or Micro) ENTITY** “Small Entities” (individuals, not-for-profits, or companies with less than 500 employees) qualify for reduced fees. If you are a “Small Entity”, and have not assigned or licensed your rights to a “Large Entity”, make sure that this is acknowledged on the filing receipt so that you will be charged the correct fees. “Micro-Entities” for individuals who qualify for ‘Small Entities’ but made less than 150k last year and have not been named on 4 or more applications.</>
23- Title: The title of the application, as listed on the cover sheet or ADS when you filed.
24- Preliminary Class: The USPTO classifies each invention into one general class of technology, and later into one or more “subclasses”. After January 1, 2015, new applications should be assigned a classification under the Cooperative Patent Classification system (CPC), rather than the US Class.
Statement under 37 CFR 1.55 or 1.78 for AIA (First Inventor to File) Transition Applications: This section began to appear on filing receipts in mid-March 2013. It refers to the special transitional situation of those applications which might fall under either First to Invent or First to File rules. If (a) your application was filed on or after March 16, 2013, and (b) it claims benefit of a provisional application filed before that date, or is a continuation, continuation-in-part or divisional application of an application filed before that date, and (c) it claims any subject matter which is not “enabled” by the earlier application – you should have checked the box in the Application Data Sheet to indicate this – and this section will read “Yes”. That means that even though the application would normally be examined under the old First to Invent rules, because there is new matter the application will now be judged under First Inventor to File rules. If any one of (a), (b) or (c) does not apply, this section will be blank or read “no”.