The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) provides that the filing date of an earlier foreign patent application may now be the effective prior art date for subject matter disclosed in a U.S. patent or a U.S. patent application publication. Therefore, U.S. patent application publications should reflect accurate foreign priority information to minimize the burden on examiners and members of the public in assessing the effective prior art date for subject matter disclosed in such U.S. patent application publications.

Effective November 5, 2015, the USPTO will, thus, now require that any correction of the identification of the foreign application (by application number, country [or intellectual property authority] and filing date) in a foreign priority claim after the time period for filing a priority or benefit claim be via a petition to accept an unintentionally delayed priority claim. Once the petition is granted in a pending application, the USPTO will now publish a corrected patent application publication reflecting the accurate foreign priority claim information.

Accordingly, any required corrections to a claim for foreign priority in a U.S. patent application should be made by November 4, 2015 to avoid the need for such a petition and the requisite USPTO fee of $1,700.

As a reminder, a claim for priority of a foreign application must be filed within the later of four months from the actual filing data of the U.S. application or 16 months from the filing date of the foreign application for which priority is intended to be claimed.