Informational Notice to Applicant
The Informational Notice of Applicant has document code of “M327”, also referred to as miscellaneous communication. The M327 is any communication from the USPTO that does not fit into any other document code.
When a patent application is filed, the examiners no longer review the inventor’s oath or declaration for the patent application. The non-examiner staff checks the inventor’s oath or declaration filed prior to the Notice of Allowance (NOA). If non-examiner staff checks for the deficiencies regarding the inventor’s oath or declaration document. They send an informational notice to the applicant if they find any deficiency.
How Information Notice different from other Notices?
Apart from the Informational notice to the applicant, there are many other notices that are sent to Applicant in order to inform the deficiencies in the file Patent Application such as Notice to Missing Parts of Non Provisional Application, Notice to File Corrected Papers, etc. The other notices have the well-defined hard deadline within the document, it may be 2-months, 6-months, etc. However, in case of the informational Notice to Applicant, the document has a soft deadline and applicant should submit it before the payment of the Issue Fees.
The docketing of the Informational Notice in the docketing system.
The inventor’s oath or declaration do not have any specific deadline. The document may have more than one due dates in the system. This ensures the timely submission of formalities. The first due date is in 2 months from the receiving date. The docketing person should check due date periodically and closed out or updated as per the document status. The process continues until we receive NOA or submit the document to USPTO.
Thus, the docketing person should keep the track of the due date for the notice periodically. When we receive NOA document, the docketing person sends an inquiry to the client regarding the status of the item(s) indicated in the Informational Notice. He/She then adjust the deadline of reply to coincide with the Issue Fee Payment.
The Applicant should file inventor’s oath or declaration within the time frame or the USPTO Abandons the Patent Application. Thus, please take extra care while reviewing the notices received from USPTO and docket them appropriately. Also, when docketing the notices, please make a practice and include notes in the comment section. The notes in the comment should mention the accurate document which applicant should submit for completing the formalities. This makes reviewing of the Patent Application prosecution status easier for Patent Attorney and its paralegal.
In addition, this will definitely help you while auditing the case matter in the system.
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Check 7 Most Common US Patent Docketing Errors. The complete article, you can’t miss if you want your docketing to comply with standards.