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USPTO Now Accepting Electronic Petitions to Revive Patents Expired for Failure to Pay Maintenance Fees

The USPTO has launched a Web-based e-petition initiative that now permits, under certain circumstances, the electronic filing of petitions to reinstate patents that have expired for unintentional failure to pay the required maintenance fees at 3.5, 7.5, or 11.5 years. This initiative is part of a continuing effort to develop and improve electronic systems for filing and processing patent applications.

The new electronic "Petition to Accept Unintentionally Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent" will allow petitioners to pay the delayed maintenance fee and surcharge on their expired patent and have the petition automatically granted by the USPTO. These e-petitions must be filed using EFS-Web. The petition decision is viewable instantly to the e-filer along with the electronic receipt of EFS-Web filing. A copy is stored electronically as part of the Image File Wrapper (IFW). The public may inspect the decision in applications that are currently viewable in the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system on the USPTO Web site. If the e-filer meets all the eligibility requirements for using this e-petition, there will be no delay in granting the petition to reinstate a patent.

More information on this new e-petition can be found in "Quick Start Guide for Petitions" [download PDF viewer] and in "Instructions" for EFS-web form SB66.

For help on filing this new e-petition, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center at 1-866-217-9197 or by e-mail to

Future initiatives for e-petitions include petitions to make an application special based on an inventor's age, and petitions to revive an abandoned application by acceptance of the unintentionally delayed issue fee payment.

USPTO HeadquartersNew USPTO Video Now Available for Viewing
“Promoting Innovation:  Today’s USPTO”

Come visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office without leaving your home.  With its foundation in the Constitution of the United States, our patent system is as old as the country itself. As its guardian, the USPTO has undergone many changes in its storied history. 

“Promoting Innovation:  Today’s USPTO” is a video program about the agency’s history, what it does, how it works and why it is a vital part of our economy and culture.  You can view the 27-minute video now at the following links:

>>View Video [requires RealPlayer version 10 or later]
>>Video with Caption. [requires RealPlayer version 10 or later]
>>Download ZIP file of Video [ ZIP/70.4MB]
>>Viewing instructions

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