A filing receipt is a document from the Patent Office which lists basic and critical information about your patent application. Basic information includes, for example, the filing date and the serial number of your patent application. Critical information (highlighted in green below) includes information related to, for example, any claim of priority and foreign filing licenses, which if incorrect, may invalidate your patent.
You will receive the filing receipt from the United States Patent and Trademark Office about 2 months after the filing date.
#1: Applicant Serial Number
The application serial number is made up of a two-digit series code followed by a six-digit serial number. When you speak with the examiner over the phone, it’s best to refer to this number so that they can locate your file.
You’ll also list this number on any written documents you submit to the Patent Office.
- A 2-digit series code of 18 or around this range indicates that the application is a nonprovisional utility application.
- A 2-digit series code of 63 or around this range indicates that the application is a provisional application.
- A 2-digit series code of 29 or around this range indicates that the application is a design application.
#2: Filing Date
This date establishes the date on which your application was filed. If this is the first nonprovisional application, then this is your priority date.
#3: Group Art Unit
Along with the application serial number and the filing date, you will need the group art unit number when you submit a written response to the Patent Office.
#4: Filing Fee Rec’d
This shows you the total amount of fees submitted when you filed the patent application.
#5:Attorney Docket Number
This is the numbering system used by your patent attorney. When you speak with your patent application, it’s a good idea to refer to this number.
#6: Confirmation Number
Along with the application serial number, filing date, and the group art unit, you’ll need this confirmation number when you submit a written response to the Patent Office.
#7: Inventor List
This is a list of inventors. If you made an error here, you need to submit a petition or request to add or delete one or more inventors.
#8: Applicant Name
If no assignment was made, then the applicant’s name will be the same as the inventor. However, if the application was assigned to a company, then the company name should be listed in this section.
#9: Domestic Applications for which benefit is claimed
For example, if this is a continuation, divisional, or continuation-in-part application, then this section will list the parent application. If the information is incorrect, you need to immediately file a request to have it changed. You have to submit the request within four months after the filing date listed on the filing receipt or 16 months from the filing date of the parent application. Otherwise, you have to file a petition to make the change which will cost you a hefty fee and time.
If this section is incorrect, your patent may also be invalid. Your own prior patent application which was published as a pre-grant publication or matured into a patent could be prior art against this application.
#10: Foreign Applications for which benefit is claimed
This section lists the claim of priority for your patent application which relates back to any foreign-originating patent application. This section also needs to be accurate because any inaccuracy may cause your patent to be invalid for the same reasons above.
#11: Foreign Filing License
In this section, you should see a date. If you don’t see a date, then you cannot file your patent application in a foreign country. You must correct this issue so that you can have this resolved prior to any foreign filing due date.
The purpose of the foreign filing license is to allow the US government to review all technology before it is exported to a different country. Filing a patent application in a foreign country without a granted foreign filing license invalidates your U.S. Patent.
#12: Nonpublication Request
The nonpublication request is a request by the applicant to keep the application secret until it matures into a patent. This takes the application out of the default route of having it published as a pre-grant publication 18 months from the earliest priority date.
If you don’t want your application published, you can file the nonpublication request. However, by doing so you have to have the intent not to file any foreign patent application.
#13: Early Publication Request
Every application is published 18 months as a pre-grant publication after filing unless you file a nonpublication request. You can also have your application published earlier than the 18-month time frame by filing a request for early publication.
The purpose of requesting early publication is to give you the right to calculate damages against infringers from the date of the publication of the pre-grant publication, not the date of the patent grant.