37 cfr 3.51 refers to the recording date of a document.

Definition of 37 CFR 3.51

37 cfr 3.51 can be defined as the date on which a document is filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) after meeting the requirements of recording according to the provisions of this part.

Will a Document That Does Not Comply with the Identification Requirements of Subsection 3.2.1 be Recorded?

No, a document which does not meet the identification requirements set out in subsection 3.2.1 will not be recorded.

What is the Fate of Documents Not Meeting the Other Requirements for Recording?

If a document fails to meet the other recording requirements such as a document submitted without the required fee or a completed cover sheet, such document will be returned to the sender for necessary corrections if the document carries a correspondence address.

What will Be the Date of Recording for Returned Papers?

The Office will stamp the returned documents with the original date of receipt and attach a letter stating that the Office will record the paper on the original date of filing of the documents if the necessary corrections are made and submitted within the period indicated in the correspondence.

What Procedures May Be Used for Resubmissions of Returned Paper?

Resubmissions can be returned according to the provisions outlined in Subsections 1.8 or 1.10 of this part in line with the date the documents were deposited in the United States Postal Service.

What Happens if the Returned Papers are not Corrected and Resubmitted Within the Specified Period?

If the correction and resubmission of the returned papers exceed the specified time, the Office will consider the date of recording of the document to be the date of filing of the corrected documents.

Is There an Extension to the Specified Period to Resubmit Returned Papers?

The Office will not extend the specified period for resubmission of returned papers.

Other Important Definitions related to 37 cfr 3.51


An application can have different meanings including:

  • An application can refer to a request for a patent.
  • It can also refer to a request for an international patent application, or
  • A request to register a trademark according to the provisions of section 1 or 44 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. 1051 or 15 U.S.C. 1126 except stated otherwise.


Assignment refers to the act by which a party transfers part or all its right, title, and interest in a patent application, patent, mark or registered mark for which the Office has received a filing for an application to register.


A document refers to a paper for which a party files an application to be recorded in the Office under subsection 3.11 and which has an impact on an application, registration or patent.


Office refers to the United States Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO for short.

Recorded Document

A recorded document is a document which the Office has recorded according to the provisions of subsection 3.11.


Registration refers to the registration of a trademark issued by the Office.

What Documents Will Be Recorded?

The following are some of the documents that will be recorded in the Office under subsections 3.28 and 3.31:

  • Assignments of applications
  • Patent registrations
  • Completed cover sheets
  • Affecting title of the above
  • Documents which will also be recorded include joint research agreements or an excerpt of the same.

What are the Requirements for Recording?

The requirements for recording include:

A. For documents affecting title:

  • A legible cover sheet
  • A copy of the original document
  • A copy of an excerpt from the document indicating title affects, or
  • A statement jointly signed by both parties conveying and receiving the interest which explains the change of title.

B. For name changes, a legible cover sheet will suffice

C. This applies to all documents

Electronic submissions must be submitted in Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) or as indicated by the Director. Paper and fax submissions must be submitted on white, non-shiny paper. Original documents must not be submitted for recording as they will not be returned.

Can a Non-English Language Document Be Recorded?

Yes, on the condition that an English translation, as well as the signature of the translator, is attached to the documents.

Where Should the Documents to Be Recorded Be Sent?

If sent by mail, documents and cover sheets should be sent to Mail Stop Assignment Recordation Services, Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1450, except when filed together with new applications.

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