Debut of New Patent Petitions WebpageSeptember 13, 2023

A petition is a request for the USPTO to take certain action in your patent or patent application. They are aimed to allow the Applicant a mechanism to request third party review of almost all procedural matters before the USPTO that are not the subject of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The Office of Petitions (OPET) reviews and decides most patent-related petitions, including requests for supervisory review by the USPTO Director, situations not specifically covered in the patent rules, suspension of patent rules, and other matters delegated to OPET. However, there are other areas within the Patents organization that process petitions, depending on the action being requested and the associated laws, rules, and USPTO policies. These additional areas include, for example, the Office of Patent Legal Administration (OPLA), the International Patent Legal Administration (IPLA), the Office of Data Management (ODM), the Central Reexamination Unit (CRU), and the various Technology Centers (TC).

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has introduced a new Patents Petitions webpage to provide improved service to patent owners and applicants seeking agency action. The Patents Petitions webpage provides useful links that are cataloged on other parts of the website, such as the ePetition resource page, which is presently classified under the patents—filing online area of the USPTO website. Since ePetitions are automatically granted so long as the form is filed correctly, this is a great resource to patent applicants.

It remains difficult for patent practitioners to obtain access to relevant USPTO petition decisions. While USPTO final agency petition decisions are made public, they are not easily searched. Some are made available on the obscurely known FOIA Reading Room. Most others just sit within the filewrapper history that is available on PatentCenter. The patent application number must be known to find the petition, and there is no easy way of knowing whether any one patent application has petitions associated with it.

For example, the rare decisions pertaining to various rules in the Code of Federal Regulations are indistinguishably deposited under an “Other” group which contains several hundred miscellaneous decisions in non-searchable and uncategorized PDF documents. Locating decisions pertaining to these various rules in the Code of Federal Regulations amongst these hundreds of decisions is nearly impossible.

The website still does not allow for the easy search of recently decided petitions. However, “The USPTO continues to refine its website.” We will therefore watch closely to determine if any further updates are made regarding the new Patent Petitions page

Gregory Lars Gunnerson is an Intellectual Property Attorney in the Mechanical and Electrical Patent Practice Groups at McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC. For additional information please visit or contact Lars directly via email at

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