How does the client find the substantiated expenses/receipts for international and general patent filing/annuities without asking the patent lawyer for a copy? Does one ask for serial numbers, or what kind of ID is it called?

Does every office action have a "serial number?"

What ID numbers are be used to track the progress of a patent application internationally?


1 Answer 1


You should get itemized statements from your patent attorney. You can ask for a copy of the correspondence from foreign associates or offices acknowledging renewal payments. I am a retired patent agent who did a significant amount of foreign filing and I would have been happy to give clients copies of all correspondence and wire transfers, if asked.

I do not believe there is any common international system for tracking what you are asking about. Office actions do have dates and are usually coded in the data of patent offices by type of action but the coding is jurisdiction depend and events do not carry serial numbers.

Individual cases and applications typically are given attorney docket numbers that end up on most all of the back-and-forth correspondence. They are made up by attorneys and agents for their own record keeping and have no official standing. And are optional.

The core official identifiers are application numbers. With a country prefix they will be unique world-wide. Each continuation or divisional will have a unique application number.

  • what is a reasonable fee for obtaining itemized statements and the correspondence from offices acknowledging renewal payments? Is it reasonable to assume a lawyer would do it or does the finance person keep track of these things?
    – Coo
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 18:47
  • I don’t have a good answer but it would not be the attorney’s time but an assistant or bookkeeper or paralegal.
    – George White
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 20:17
  • are office actions publicly searchable?
    – Coo
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 13:28
  • Yes - after, and assuming, the application has been published.
    – George White
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 17:31
  • Why are trademarks office actions public prior to grant, but patents only available after they had already been published? @GeorgeWhite
    – Coo
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 20:13

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