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Archived updates for Thursday, September 15, 2005

USPTO Waives Delayed Maintenance Fee Surcharges for Katrina Victims

On September 12, 2005, the USPTO announced that it will waive the surcharge in 37 CFR 1.20(i) for patentees who were unable to timely pay a patent maintenance fee due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina when they file the maintenance fee payment with a petition to accept a delayed maintenance fee under 37 CFR 1.378(c).

The USPTO advises patentees who need to file a petition to accept a delayed maintenance fee payment due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina to promptly file a petition under 37 CFR 1.378(c) (using USPTO form PTO/SB/66-- Petition to Accept Unintentionally Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(c)) accompanied by the applicable maintenance fee payment (but not the surcharge under 37 CFR 1.20(i)) and a copy of this notice. The inclusion of a copy of this notice will be treated as a representation that the delay in payment of the maintenance fee was due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina and as a request for sua sponte a waiver of the surcharge under 37 CFR 1.20(i).

Patentees are reminded that a petition to accept a delayed maintenance fee payment under 37 CFR 1.378(c) must be filed within twenty-four months from the expiration date of the patent. See 35 U.S.C. 41(c).

Inquiries concerning this notice may be directed to Eugenia Jones, Senior Legal Advisor in the Office of Patent Legal Administration, at 877-PTO-NORL (877-786-6675) or 571-272-7704, or by e-mail at PatentPractice@uspto.gov.
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