Utility Patent Application Transmittal Form

A utility patent application transmittal form will be required if you want to obtain a utility patent for your invention. A utility patent is the most common form of patent protection, and is available for inventions meeting the following criteria: the invention must be new, non-obvious, and useful. Utility patents over machinery, processes, manufactures, and compositions of matter.

Provisional vs. Non-provisional Utility Patent

There are two types of utility patent applications; provisional and non-provisional.

A provisional application is cheaper and quicker to obtain, as it simply allows you to claim that your invention is ‘patent pending’ for a period of up to one-year. Following that one-year period, you will be required to file a non-provisional patent application if you want total and complete protection over your invention. If, however, you fail to file the non-provisional application, then your invention is deemed abandoned as others can now invent the same product and patent it without worrying about infringement.

The non-provisional application is the official patent application that will be filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A patent examiner will then review the application and subsequently determine if the invention meets the criteria for patentability.  

Utility Application Requirements

• Utility non-provisional applications must be in English, or be translated into English if another language is used in the application. Furthermore, the application, for those that are translated into English, must include a statement confirming that the translation is correct, along with a fee. If any of this information is missing, the applicant will be given notice and a specified time period to submit the missing information.

• The application must include a specification regarding the invention itself, a description and claim(s), illustrations, photographs (if applicable), an oath, and the filing, search, and examination fees.

Application Form

• The utility patent application transmittal form, also referred to as a transmittal letter, must be filed along with your application. This form specifically identifies what is being included in your application, which includes specification, claims, illustrations, oath, and information disclosure statement.

• The form itself includes information on the applicant, the type of application you are filing (utility, design, or plant patent), the name of the invention, and any other enclosures included in the application.

• After you file the initial utility patent application, along with the application transmittal form, you will then begin using Form PTO/SB/21, referred to as the transmittal form, for additional correspondence with the USPTO. This form is generally used to add or amend pages of your application.

Application Fees

• You can submit all paperwork electronically, and pay the appropriate fee either with a credit card or via wire transfer. If you choose to do so, you can also submit your paperwork by mailing it in or hand delivering it. Keep in mind that paying electronically costs the least. If filing non-electronically, you will be charged a fee of $400 ($200 for small businesses) in addition to the regular filing search, and examination fees.

• If you submit your application without the fee, you will be charged a late fee of $140 - $70 for small businesses and $35 for micro-entity applicants. You will only be given a specified period of time in which to submit these fees.

• If you file in paper format, the Fee Transmittal Form can be used to calculate the associated fees, while also indicating the method of payment.

• If your application is greater than 133 pages, then you will be charged a fee.

• If your application has greater than 3 claims, an additional fee is due.

• For qualified small entities, filing fees will be reduced by 50% (37 CFR § 1.27(a)). If the qualified small business files online, the fee will be further reduced.

• For qualified micro entities, filing fees will be reduced by 75% (37 CFR § 1.29(a) or (d)).

• There are two different micro entity certification forms, including PTO/SB/15A for certifying on the ‘gross income basis’ and form PTO/SB/15B for certifying on the ‘institution of higher education basis.’ It is important that you know which one you qualify for, as it is your responsibly to determine which category you fall under.

If you need help learning more about filing a utility patent, or filling out a utility patent application transmittal form, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.