Operating Status

Closing of the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, January 26, 2016
 
In view of the official closing of the Federal Government offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, the USPTO will consider Tuesday, January 26, 2016, to be a “Federal holiday within the District of Columbia” under 35 U.S.C. § 21 and 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 2.2(d), 2.195, and 2.196. Any action or fee due on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, will be considered as timely for the purposes of, e.g., 15 U.S.C. §§ 1051(b), 1058, 1059, 1062(b), 1063, 1064, and 1126(d), or 35 U.S.C. §§ 119, 120, 133, and 151, if the action was taken, or the fee paid, on the next succeeding business day on which the USPTO is open (37 C.F.R. §§ 1.7(a) and 2.196). A subsequent notice may be issued as needed if the USPTO remains closed on Wednesday, January 27, 2016.

As indicated in the preceding paragraph, the USPTO will consider actions taken or fees due on January 26, 2016 to be timely if taken or paid on the next business day on which the USPTO is open.  An actual filing date of January 26, 2016 also remains available under existing procedures.  Specifically, 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6(a)(2), 2.195(a)(4), and 2.198 provide that certain correspondence deposited in the Priority Mail Express® service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) in accordance with 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.10 or 2.198 will be considered filed on the date of deposit (as shown by the “date accepted” on the mailing label) with the USPS. Thus, any paper or fee properly deposited in the Priority Mail Express® service of the USPS on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, in accordance with 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.10 or 2.198, will be considered filed on its respective date of deposit in the Priority Mail Express® service of the USPS (as shown by a “date accepted” on the mailing label).

In addition, 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6(a)(4) and 2.195(a)(2) provide that patent- and trademark-related correspondence transmitted electronically to the USPTO will be considered filed in the USPTO on the date the USPTO received the electronic transmission. Thus, any patent- or trademark-related correspondence transmitted electronically to the USPTO on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, will be considered filed in the USPTO on the date the USPTO received the electronic transmission. Patent correspondence successfully received by the USPTO through the Electronic Filing System (EFS-Web) and filed in compliance with the EFS-Web Legal Framework will receive the date indicated on the date indicated on the Acknowledgement Receipt. See the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) § 502.05 and the USPTO website.  Trademark filings properly filed through TEAS, TEASi, and ESSTA will receive the date indicated in the e-mail confirmation sent at the time of a successful filing. See the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) § 301 and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure (TBMP) § 110.09 regarding electronic filing.
 
Closing of the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Monday, January 25, 2016
 
In view of the official closing of the Federal Government offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), on Monday, January 25, 2016, the USPTO will consider Monday, January 25, 2016, to be a “Federal holiday within the District of Columbia” under 35 U.S.C. § 21 and 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 2.2(d), 2.195, and 2.196. Any action or fee due on Monday, January 25, 2016, will be considered as timely for the purposes of, e.g., 15 U.S.C. §§ 1051(b), 1058, 1059, 1062(b), 1063, 1064, and 1126(d), or 35 U.S.C. §§ 119, 120, 133, and 151, if the action was taken, or the fee paid, on the next succeeding business day on which the USPTO is open (37 C.F.R. §§ 1.7(a) and 2.196). A subsequent notice may be issued as needed if the USPTO remains closed on Tuesday, January 26, 2016.
 
As indicated in the preceding paragraph, the USPTO will consider actions taken or fees due on January 25, 2016 to be timely if taken or paid on the next business day on which the USPTO is open.  An actual filing date of January 25, 2016 also remains available under existing procedures.  Specifically, 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6(a)(2), 2.195(a)(4), and 2.198 provide that certain correspondence deposited in the Priority Mail Express® service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) in accordance with 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.10 or 2.198 will be considered filed on the date of deposit (as shown by the “date accepted” on the mailing label) with the USPS. Thus, any paper or fee properly deposited in the Priority Mail Express® service of the USPS on Monday, January 25, 2016, in accordance with 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.10 or 2.198, will be considered filed on its respective date of deposit in the Priority Mail Express® service of the USPS (as shown by a “date accepted” on the mailing label).
 
In addition, 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6(a)(4) and 2.195(a)(2) provide that patent- and trademark-related correspondence transmitted electronically to the USPTO will be considered filed in the USPTO on the date the USPTO received the electronic transmission. Thus, any patent- or trademark-related correspondence transmitted electronically to the USPTO on Monday, January 25, 2016, will be considered filed in the USPTO on the date the USPTO received the electronic transmission. Patent correspondence successfully received by the USPTO through the Electronic Filing System (EFS-Web) and filed in compliance with the EFS-Web Legal Framework will receive the date indicated on the date indicated on the Acknowledgement Receipt. See the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) § 502.05 and the USPTO website.  Trademark filings properly filed through TEAS, TEASi, and ESSTA will receive the date indicated in the e-mail confirmation sent at the time of a successful filing. See the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) § 301 and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure (TBMP) § 110.09 regarding electronic filing.
 

Early Closing of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent Customer Service Window and Trademark Assistance Center walk-up window on Friday, January 22, 2015

Due to the inclement weather in the Washington, D.C. area, the Patent Customer Service Window and Trademark Assistance Center walk-up window will be closing at noon January 22, 2016

Patent applicants may file documents by: (1) EFS-Web; (2) Priority Mail Express® from the United States Postal Service in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10; (3) first class mail with a certificate of mailing in accordance with 37 CFR 1.8; or (4) facsimile transmission to the USPTO Central Facsimile (571) 273-8300 for documents that are permitted to be submitted by facsimile (see 37 CFR 1.6(d)).  Documents that are required to establish the filing date of an application (e.g., a new patent application, or a missing drawing figure or page of specification) cannot be submitted by facsimile transmission, and certificate of mailing procedures under 37 CFR 1.8 do not apply to these documents. 

Trademark applicants, registrants and parties to TTAB matters may file submissions by: (1) TEAS/TEASi and ESSTA; (2) Certificate of Mailing or Transmission procedures in accordance with 37 C.F.R. §2.197, as appropriate; (3) Priority Mail Express® from the United States Postal Service in accordance with §2.198, as appropriate.  See Alternative Methods of Filing for more information regarding filing of submissions via facsimile and mail. 

If the storm interrupts USPS service in specific areas of the country, the USPTO may designate those interruptions or emergencies pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 21(a).  Applicants are encouraged not to rely on this possibility, but instead to file their documents using EFS-Web, TEAS/TEASi, or ESTTA, if possible.

Please check the USPTO website for future notices regarding a potential closure on Monday, January 25, 2016.

Shutdown of Certain Electronic Systems of the United States Patent and Trademark Office from Tuesday, December 22, 2015 through Thursday, December 24, 2015

On December 22, 2015, at approximately 7:00 pm, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) experienced a major power outage at its headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, resulting in damaged equipment that required the subsequent shutdown of many USPTO online and information technology systems. The USPTO is currently estimating that these systems will be impacted through at least the Federal holiday on Friday, December 25, 2015. In light of this emergency situation, the USPTO will consider each day from Tuesday, December 22, 2015, through Thursday, December 24, 2015, to be a “Federal holiday within the District of Columbia” under 35 U.S.C. § 21 and 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 2.2(d), 2.195, and 2.196. Any action or fee due on these days will be considered as timely for the purposes of, e.g., 15 U.S.C. §§ 1051(b), 1058, 1059, 1062(b), 1063, 1064, and 1126(d), or 35 U.S.C. §§ 119, 120, 133, and 151, if the action is taken, or the fee paid, on the next succeeding business day on which the USPTO is open (37 C.F.R. §§ 1.7(a) and 2.196). A subsequent notice is anticipated to be issued as needed if the USPTO’s systems are not fully operational by Monday, December 28, 2015.

37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6(a)(2), 2.195(a)(4), and 2.198 provide that certain correspondence deposited in the Priority Mail Express® service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) in accordance with 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.10 or 2.198 will be considered filed on the date of deposit (as shown by the “date accepted” on the mailing label) with the USPS. Thus, any paper or fee properly deposited in the Priority Mail Express® service of the USPS on Tuesday, December 22, 2015, Wednesday, December 23, 2015, or Thursday, December 24, 2015, in accordance with 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.10 or 2.198, will be considered filed on its respective date of deposit in the Priority Mail Express® service of the USPS (as shown by a “date accepted” on the mailing label).

37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6(a)(4) and 2.195(a)(2) provide that patent- and trademark-related correspondence transmitted electronically to the USPTO will be considered filed in the USPTO on the date the USPTO received the electronic transmission. Thus, any patent- or trademark-related correspondence transmitted electronically to the USPTO on Tuesday, December 22, 2015, Wednesday, December 23, 2015, or Thursday, December 24, 2015, will be considered filed in the USPTO on the date the USPTO received the electronic transmission. Patent correspondence successfully received by the USPTO through the Electronic Filing System (EFS-Web) and filed in compliance with the EFS-Web Legal Framework will receive the date indicated on the Acknowledgement Receipt. See the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) § 502.05 and the USPTO website at Trademark filings properly filed through TEAS, TEASi, and ESTTA will receive the date indicated in the e-mail confirmation sent at the time of a successful filing.

Previous Legal Notifications Related to Security Issues and Emergencies

In view of the official closing of the Federal Government offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), on Monday, March 17, 2014, the USPTO will consider Monday, March 17, 2014, to be a "Federal holiday within the District of Columbia" under 35 U.S.C. § 21 and 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 2.2(d), 2.195 and 2.196. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

In view of the official closing of the Federal Government offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), on Monday, March 3, 2014, the USPTO will consider Monday, March 3, 2014, to be a "Federal holiday within the District of Columbia" under 35 U.S.C. § 21 and 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 2.2(d), 2.195 and 2.196. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

In view of the official closing of the Federal Government offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), on Thursday, February 13, 2014, the USPTO will consider Thursday, February 13, 2014, to be a "Federal holiday within the District of Columbia" under 35 U.S.C. § 21 and 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 2.2(d), 2.195 and 2.196. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

In view of the official closing of the Federal Government offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, the USPTO will consider Tuesday, January 21, 2014, to be a "Federal holiday within the District of Columbia" under 35 U.S.C. § 21 and 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 2.2(d), 2.195 and 2.196. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

In view of the official closing of the Federal Government offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), on Tuesday, December 10, 2013, the USPTO will consider Tuesday, December 10, 2013, to be a "Federal holiday within the District of Columbia" under 35 U.S.C. § 21 and 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 2.2(d), 2.195 and 2.196. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

The USPTO is designating the interruption in service of the United States Postal Service in the areas affected by the tornado in Oklahoma, on Monday, May 20, 2013, as a postal service interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a) and 37 CFR 1.10(i) and 2.195(e). READ FULL NOTICE>>>

The USPTO is designating the interruption in service of the United States Postal Service in the areas affected by the police activity in the Greater Boston area in Massachusetts, on Friday, April 19, 2013, as a postal service interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a) and 37 CFR 1.10(i) and 2.195(e). READ FULL NOTICE>>>

In view of the official closing of the Federal Government offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the USPTO, on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, the USPTO will consider Wednesday, March 6, 2013, to be a "Federal holiday within the District of Columbia" under 35 U.S.C. § 21 and 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 2.2(d), 2.195 and 2.196. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

Special accommodations are available to patent and trademark applicants, patentees, reexamination parties, and trademark owners affected by Hurricane Sandy in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the Appalachian region in October and November 2012. In particular, the USPTO is making available various opportunities for relief to the following categories of affected patent and trademark applicants, patentees, reexamination parties, and trademark owners:

  1. applicants or reexamination parties having a patent application or reexamination proceeding pending in the USPTO as of October 29, 2012, having one or more inventors, an assignee, or a correspondence address in areas of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the Appalachian region affected by Hurricane Sandy;
  2. patentees who were unable to timely pay a patent maintenance fee due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy in October and November 2012;
  3. applicants who filed a nonprovisional application on or after October 29, 2012, and prior to November 30, 2012, without an executed oath or declaration or payment of the basic filing fee, search fee, and/or examination fee due to Hurricane Sandy in October and November 2012; and
  4. trademark applicants and registrants with a correspondence or owner address in areas of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the Appalachian region affected by Hurricane Sandy in October and November 2012. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

In view of the official closing of the Federal Government offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the USPTO, on Monday, October 29, 2012, and Tuesday, October 30, 2012, the USPTO will consider both Monday, October 29, 2012, and Tuesday, October 30, 2012, to be a "Federal holiday within the District of Columbia" under 35 U.S.C. § 21 and 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 2.2(d), 2.195 and 2.196. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is designating the interruption in service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy including in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the Appalachian region beginning on Monday, October 29, 2012, as a postal service interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a) and 37 CFR 1.10(i) and 2.195(e).

Once the USPS, through its Internet Web site, has notified the public that this interruption in the service of the USPS has ended, the designation of this interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a) and 37 CFR 1.10(i) and 2.195(e) will terminate without further notice from the USPTO. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

Special accommodations are available to patent and trademark applicants, patentees, reexamination parties, and trademark owners affected by the severe earthquakes that took place in Northern Italy in May 2012. In particular, the USPTO is making available various opportunities for relief to the following categories of affected patent and trademark applicants, patentees, reexamination parties, and trademark owners:

  1. applicants or reexamination parties having a patent application or reexamination proceeding pending in the USPTO as of May 29, 2012, having one or more inventors, an assignee, or a correspondence address in areas of Northern Italy affected by the earthquakes;
  2. patentees who were unable to timely pay a patent maintenance fee due to the effects of the severe earthquakes in May 2012;
  3. applicants who filed a nonprovisional application on or after May 29, 2012, and prior to June 30, 2012, without an executed oath or declaration or payment of the basic filing fee, search fee, and/or examination fee due to the severe earthquakes in May 2012; and
  4. trademark applicants and registrants with a correspondence or owner address in areas of Northern Italy affected by the severe earthquakes in May 2012. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is designating the interruption in service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the areas affected by the severe storms in Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia beginning on Friday, June 29, 2012, as a postal service interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a) and 37 CFR 1.10(i) and 2.195(e).

Once the USPS, through its Internet Web site, has notified the public that this interruption in the service of the USPS has ended, the designation of this interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a) and 37 CFR 1.10(i) and 2.195(e) will terminate without further notice from the USPTO. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

Special accommodations are available to patent and trademark applicants, patentees, reexamination parties, and trademark owners affected by the catastrophic flooding that took place in Thailand in October and November 2011. In particular, the USPTO is making available various opportunities for relief to the following categories of affected patent and trademark applicants, patentees, reexamination parties, and trademark owners:

    1. applicants or reexamination parties having a patent application or reexamination proceeding pending in the USPTO as of November 12, 2011, having one or more inventors, an assignee, or a correspondence address in areas of Thailand affected by the flooding;
    2. patentees who were unable to timely pay a patent maintenance fee due to the effects of the flooding in October and November 2011;
    3. applicants who filed a nonprovisional application on or after November 12, 2011, and prior to December 13, 2011, without an executed oath or declaration or payment of the basic filing fee, search fee, and/or examination fee due to the flooding in October and November 2011; and
    4. trademark applicants and registrants with a correspondence or owner address in areas of Thailand affected by the flooding in October and November 2011. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is designating the interruption in service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the areas affected by Tropical Storm Lee and flooding due to weather-related incidents in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont beginning on Wednesday, September 7, 2011, as a postal service interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a) and 37 CFR 1.10(i) and 2.195(e).

Once the USPS, through its Internet Web site, has notified the public that this interruption in the service of the USPS has ended, the designation of this interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a) and 37 CFR 1.10(i) and 2.195(e) will terminate without further notice from the USPTO. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is designating the interruption in service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) as a result of the power outages in California beginning on Thursday, September 8, 2011, as a postal service interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a) and 37 CFR 1.10(i) and 2.195(e).

Once the USPS, through its Internet Web site, has notified the public that this interruption in the service of the USPS has ended, the designation of this interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a) and 37 CFR 1.10(i) and 2.195(e) will terminate without further notice from the USPTO. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is designating the interruption in service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the areas affected by Hurricane Irene in North Carolina, the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast beginning on Saturday, August 27, 2011, as a postal service interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a) and 37 CFR 1.10(i) and 2.195(e).

Once the USPS, through its Internet Web site, has notified the public that this interruption in the service of the USPS has ended, the designation of this interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a) and 37 CFR 1.10(i) will terminate without further notice from the USPTO. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is designating the interruption in service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the areas affected by the severe storms and tornadoes in Alabama beginning on Wednesday, April 27, 2011, as a postal service interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a) and 37 CFR 1.10(i) and 2.195(e).

As of May 16, 2011 or earlier, the USPS, through its Internet Web site, has notified the public that this interruption in the service of the USPS has ended, and thus the designation of this interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a) and 37 CFR 1.10(i) has terminated. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

On March 2, 2011, at approximately 11:00 p.m., the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Customer Service Window located in the Randolph Building in Alexandria, Virginia, was unexpectedly closed due to a power outage. In light of this emergency situation, the USPTO will consider Wednesday, March 2, 2011, to be a "Federal holiday within the District of Columbia" under 35 U.S.C. § 21 and 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 2.2(d) 2.195 and 2.196. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) considers the effects of the earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011, to be an "extraordinary situation" within the meaning of 37 CFR 1.183 and 37 CFR 2.146 for affected patent and trademark applicants, patentees, reexamination parties, and trademark owners. Since this catastrophic event occurred outside the United States and did not result in a postal service interruption in the United States Postal Service, the USPTO has no authority to designate a postal service emergency as authorized by 35 U.S.C. 21(a). READ FULL NOTICE>>>

In view of the official closing of the Federal Government offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), from Monday, February 8, 2010, through Thursday, February 11, 2010, the USPTO will consider each day from Monday, February 8, 2010, through Thursday, February 11, 2010, to be a "Federal holiday within the District of Columbia" under 35 U.S.C. § 21(b) and 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 2.2(d), 2.195 and 2.196. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

In view of the official closing of the Federal Government offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), on Monday, December 21, 2009, the USPTO will consider Monday, December 21, 2009, to be a "Federal holiday within the District of Columbia" under 35 U.S.C. § 21(b) and 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 2.2(d), 2.195 and 2.196. READ FULL NOTICE>>>

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