1002.02 Delegation of Authority To Decide Petitions [R-07.2022]
Petitions to the Director of the USPTO are decided in accordance with the following delegation of authority.
In any case in which the authority to decide the petition has been delegated as indicated in MPEP §§ 1002.02(b), 1002.02(f), 1002.02(g), 1002.02(j), 1002.02(o), and 1002.02(p), a denial of a petition is a final agency decision. A dismissal of a petition, a denial of a petition without prejudice, and other interlocutory orders are not final agency decisions.
Petitions decided by the Technology Center Directors are set forth in MPEP § 1002.02(c) et seq. A petition decided under the delegated authority set forth in MPEP § 1002.02(c) should not use language that suggests that it is a final agency decision. Therefore, a petition decided by a Technology Center Director in which the requested relief is not granted should be dismissed rather than denied. Additionally, the decision should indicate that it is not a final agency decision. To promote consistency and enhance clarity of petition decisions by Technology Center Directors, the following language may be used when a petition decided by a Technology Center Director is dismissed:
“The petition filed [date X] is dismissed. This is not a final agency decision. See MPEP § 1002.02. Any request for reconsideration or higher level review of this decision not filed within two months of the mailing date of this decision may be dismissed as untimely. This two-month period is not extendable. See 37 CFR 1.181(f).”
In accordance with 37 CFR 1.181(g), the authority to decide petitions to the Director of the USPTO not otherwise delegated, has been delegated to various Office officials. Generally, these officials will decide petitions as specified in the following sections for the effective operation of the Office. Also listed are certain petitions which are not, strictly speaking, to the Director of the USPTO but have been committed by statute or rule to the designated officials.
The delegation of specific petitions and/or matters to the Technology Center (TC) Directors is identified in the sections below. Unless specifically provided for in the letter of delegation of authority, further delegations are not permitted. Any petitions and/or matters so delegated by the TC Directors may be decided by the TC Directors.
Authority not herein delegated has been reserved to the Director of the USPTO and may be delegated to appropriate officials on an ad hoc basis.