711.04 Public Access to Abandoned Applications [R-07.2022]
Access to the application file itself for any non-Image File Wrapper (IFW) abandoned published application may be available through the Patent and Trademark Copy Fulfillment Branch Certified Copy Center (CCC). For ordering issues or general questions please call : 1-800-972-6382 or 571-272-3150; Monday – Friday (except federal holidays) Hours: 8:30 am – 5 pm ET. The file contents of the published application or a specific document in the file of the published application from the Patent and Trademark Copy Fulfillment Branch of the Public Records Division and payment of the appropriate fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.19(b). See 37 CFR 1.14(a)(1)(ii).
Access to an abandoned unpublished application may be provided to any person if a written request for access is submitted, and the abandoned application is identified or relied upon:
- (A) in a U.S. patent application publication or patent;
- (B) in statutory invention registration; or
- (C) in an international application that is published in accordance with PCT Article 21(2).
An application is considered identified in a document such as a patent when the application number or serial number and filing date, first named inventor, title and filing date or other application specific information are provided in the text of the patent, but not when the identification is made in a paper in the file contents of the patent and is not included in the printed patent. See 37 CFR 1.14(a)(1)(iv). A copy of the application-as-filed, the file contents of the abandoned application, or a specific document in the file of the abandoned application may also be provided to any person upon written request, and payment of the fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.19(b). See 37 CFR 1.14(a)(1)(iv). See also MPEP § 103. Form PTO/SB/68 may be used to request access of an abandoned application under 37 CFR 1.14(a)(1)(iv).