If, on examination of the application, or at a later stage during the reconsideration of the application, the patent application is found to be allowable, a notice of allowance will be sent to the applicant, or to applicant’s attorney or agent of record, if any. A fee for issuing the patent is due within three months from the date of the notice. If timely payment of the issue fee is not made, the application will be regarded as abandoned. See current fee schedule. A provision is made in the statute whereby the Commissioner may accept the fee late, when the delay is shown to be unavoidable or unintentional.
When the issue fee is paid, the patent issues as soon as possible after the date of payment, dependent upon the volume of printing on hand. The patent grant then is delivered or mailed on the day of its grant, or as soon thereafter as possible, to the inventor’s attorney or agent if there is one of record, otherwise directly to the inventor. On the date of the grant, the patent file becomes open to the public.
Printed copies of the specification and drawing are available on the same date. In case the publication of an invention by the granting of a patent would be detrimental to the national defense, the patent law gives the Commissioner the power to withhold the grant of the patent and to order the invention kept secret for such period of time as the national interest requires.