Patent and Invention Help Forum

Did I abandon my PPA or can this be fixed?

Did I abandon my PPA or can this be fixed?
« on: November 22, 2016, 05:09:28 PM »
Hi Brad,

I submitted a PPA, including my cover letter, micro entity form, etc. I received a letter back saying "Missing Parts" to my application. It referenced missing info on inventor city/state info and cover sheet and said I owed more money because I'm not getting the micro entity discount due to the missing parts.

The letter stated I had TWO MONTHS to submit the missing parts to avoid abandonment. The letter also stated I could file an extension. I went back and checked my documents and everything looked like it was submitted correctly. I tried to contact the patent office, but they were closed. I meant to follow up with them again after the weekend, but apparently I forgot. I just looked at the letter again and realized it was sent on Sept. 20. This is Nov. 22. I tried to call again today, but due to time difference between Pacific time and Eastern time, they were closed. I'll call back early tomorrow.

My question is: did I completely mess up and lose my filing date? Is my PPA now "Abandoned," or can I fix this? Is it possible to do the extension or address this after the technical TWO MONTH timeframe that was outlined in the letter? I'm still confused as to whether I truly had missing parts, since I submitted everything and it appeared everything was accepted electronically.

What are my options at this point? Are there ways to salvage my initial filing date or should I refile my PPA now? If I refile it now, will I have problems since I've had my invention/product for sale since filing the original PPA? I've been selling the invention/product on my website and I have a Facebook ad running for it now. There is also a small shop that is selling it and they posted a video of it online. Will the fact that it is currently for sale negate my option of filing a new PPA on it? If so, could I buy myself the option if I stop my facebook ad and have the shop pull down their video of the product for sale?

One final question: Can I file a design patent on it if I've already posted the invention/product for sale? I've only had it for sale for a few weeks.

Thanks for any info, insights or advice you can offer!


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Re: Did I abandon my PPA or can this be fixed?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2016, 09:41:49 AM »
If your notice was mailed on September 20, 2016 your first due date was November 20, 2016, however, you can buy up to 4 months in extensions of time.   I believe the first 1 month extension of time costs $50 which would give you until  December 20, 2016 to file your reply.    You just need to pay this 1 month extension of time fee and make this request when you file your reply so the good news is that you did NOT miss any final deadlines yet.

You should be able to have this all explained to you by calling the patent office.  If you don't reach a helpful person hang up and call back a few minutes later until you do. 
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Disclaimer: The information on this site is not legal advice and is not a substitute for an attorney or a law firm.  You should seek legal counsel for legal questions.

Re: Did I abandon my PPA or can this be fixed?
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2016, 09:50:16 AM »

I was stressing over this all night! Your reply and info has definitely made me feel better. I'm going to call the patent office now to get that extension going.

Thanks again!

Paul Paige

Re: Did I abandon my PPA or can this be fixed?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2017, 10:55:27 AM »
I have nearly the exact same problem, thank you for posting, and thank you for the answer.
In my situation, I didn't pay at filing and claimed Micro Entity status, later I received a letter that I needed to pay the filing and late fees.
A second letter was received stating that Micro Entity status was not filed and that I owed the full amount, and an extension fee.  I have been worried about that extension.
This answer comes as a great relief.