What is an Official Filing Receipt?
I remember you saying that after you file a patent application, the patent office takes a while before they respond with an office action. How long is that again?
Chris: There's no set time for mailing the first office action. But the U.S. Patent Office
did make a commitment to what we call the 14-month rule. That happened after the AIA was passed and after patent reform. We moved from the patent term being 17 years from when a patent issues, to 20 years from when you file. The difference between those two terms is the goal of patent office goal. To get a patent issued in three years after you file, they figured you have to get a first action by 14 months. If they take longer than 14 months, the difference in time gets added to your patent term adjustment, which we talked about in another podcast. It's good they committed to a time, and it's good that you get extra time on your term, if they go over. That why you need a Software Patent Attorney Michigan.
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That's a long time before you hear anything from the Patent Office. What happens if they lose the file? How do you know something went wrong?
Chris: That's more of an old school issue when everything was paper mail. If you followed their system of using priority mail service, then you got a postcard back. We’d get all these postcards mailed to us containing the serial number of the file. We have procedures to make sure the Patent Office was processing things.
Now we file almost everything electronically and we get a filing receipt mailed to us called the “Official Filing Receipt”.
We abbreviate it to OFR and it states the filing date. Also, you may get a request by the patent office to cure any defects. So, you get to look over the continuity. That's what we talked about when we had the continuation application discussion. The continuity is your priority date back to an earlier case, but before the filing receipt, you get an electronic confirmation that the application was filed. So, you get a serial number and a confirmation right off the bat. Things are fairly modern when it comes to all that.
Seems like a lot of things to check
Chris: That's right. We have an unbelievable amount of paperwork. Sometimes I think of that scene in the Matrix when Neo asks for guns - lots of guns. And these racks of guns go flying out at him. I feel like that's how the paperwork is. We have paperwork everywhere, but we cut through the paperwork. Because of that, we believe we’re the Best Patent Application Lawyers in Michigan.
How much do you charge for reviewing the Official Filing Receipt?
Chris: We don't charge for a normal review. That's covered in the patent application filing. We work it into a flat fee schedule we talked about in another podcast. If we have to do a follow up to cure a defect like a misspelling, or typo, then we might have a small transaction fee. But we try to be efficient and keep those things to a minimum. If we do as many things electronically as possible, then old school typos don't happen because we pulled the information from our electronic documents.
Is there anything else on the OFR that needs checking?
Chris: We have an internal checklist we run through. We want to make sure the inventor's name and the title of the invention are spelled correctly. There's an entity status of the applicant that's either a large, small or micro entity. We discussed in another interview that you can take a look at it if you'd like. There's a customer number generated on a filing receipt and that helps organize things at the patent office. The customer number is probably something we can talk about on another Patent Pod Chat down the road.
You can always ask one of our Affordable Patent Attorneys for additional information. Please call us at
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