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What is a Notice of Allowance?

In intellectual property law, a notice of allowance is a document sent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to an applicant after their patent or trademark is approved.

Key Takeaways

  • A notice of allowance is a document sent by the USPTO after the application of a patent or trademark is approved.
  • Receival of a notice of allowance does not mean the patent or mark is registered yet.
  • In order to obtain a patent, filing fees must be paid within three months of receiving a patent notice of allowance.
  • Usually, a Statement of Use must be filed within six months of the notice of allowance date.

Notice of Allowance for Patents

It should be noted that notices of allowance are most commonly issued in reference to patent approvals. This is considered the final step before a patent can be issued. Once the notice is sent, the applicant has three months to pay a fee for the patent. If the patent fee is not made within the three-month period, the application will be considered abandoned.

Nevertheless, once the fee is paid, the official patent grant is mailed to the owner or the inventor’s attorney or agent on record. As soon as the patent grant is issued, the patent file becomes public.

There are three main components to a patent notice of allowance:

  • A header that includes information about the inventor and invention as well as the patent case number.
  • Section B, which identifies the fees due. Section B must be filled out and returned to the USPTO within the required amount of time, which is typically three months.
  • A series of notes that may include information about the due date for the fee or any additional documents or fees.

Notice of Allowance for Trademarks

Notices of allowance work slightly differently when it comes to trademarks. In trademark law, receiving a notice of allowance means that:

  • The USPTO approved the trademark application
  • The application was published for opposition on the Official Gazette
  • A third party did not come forward to prevent the registration of the trademark

Generally, the Statement of Use must be filed within six months of the date of the notice of allowance. However, the statement can only be filed if the trademark is in use in commerce at the time. If the trademark is still not in use after the six month period lapses, you can file a Request for an Extension of Time which typically grants another six months to use.

Bottom Line

In the process of applying for a patent or trademark, receiving a notice of allowance is a significant milestone. If you’ve received a notice of allowance and need guidance regarding your next steps, reach out to an Attorney At Law intellectual property lawyer immediately. These documents require legal attention as soon as possible as fee deadlines tend to approach quickly.

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