Wrong Patent Application Number in a Patent Filing

How big of a problem is the wrong patent application number?

Have you ever put a wrong patent application number in the header of your Office Action response?  Maybe you’ve used another response as a template, but forgot to change its header…  What happens to your response now? Unfortunately, the mislabeled document will likely get placed in the wrong application file wrapper by OIPE, which could become a big problem.

You might not discover the issue till many months later when you get a sudden notice of abandonment for a missing response to the Office Action … You will then have to pay significant fees to either refile a new response months later or have the application reinstated.  Notably, the USPTO is unlikely not detect the mistyped patent application number in your documents during filing.  Specifically, MPEP 502 states that USPTO might correct an issue “if there is a minor obvious error in the identification of the application such that the Office readily recognizes both the existence of the error and the appropriate correction, the error can be corrected by the Office.”  However, a wrong but valid application serial number likely isn’t “an obvious error” that could be detected by the USPTO.  Indeed, MPEP 502 specifically asks you to double-check the serial number during filing:  “It would be of great assistance to the Office if all incoming papers pertaining to a filed application carried” an “application number (checked for accuracy, including series code and serial no.)”

So how do you avoid this expensive mistake?

ClaimMaster’s “Check Biblio Data in the Document Againt PAIR” feature helps you avoid the above problem.  When you run this feature, ClaimMaster will extract the patent application number from your open document and use it to lookup the associated bibliographic data from either Private or Public PAIR.  The software will compare the information from PAIR to your document header and highlight any inconsistencies.

The screenshot below demonstrates this check in action.  It’s immediately apparent that the specified patent application number 12/811,998 and its associated bibliographic data do not match the information listed in the document.  If ClaimMaster was able to match the fields, they would be highlighted in green or yellow (for partial matches), but they are all in red, which tells you that the listed application number is wrong.

wrong patent application number


Therefore,  if you want to avoid costly filing mistakes, run all of your USPTO correspondence through the “Check Biblio Data in the Document Againt PAIR” before filing.

If you’d like to try out ClaimMaster on your patent documents, download the free 30-day trial from here.