Now in its second year, the Patents Ombudsman Program enhances the USPTO's ability to assist applicants or their representatives with issues that arise during patent application prosecution. More specifically, when there is a breakdown in the normal application process, including before and after prosecution, the Patents Ombudsman Program can assist in getting the application back on track.
The Patents Ombudsman Program is not intended to circumvent normal communication between applicants or their representatives and examiners or supervisory patent examiners (SPEs). To use the Patents Ombudsman Program, submit the electronic form below. For inquiries related to the examination process, please select one of the Technology Centers or the Central Reexamination Unit from the drop-down menu at the top of the form.
For other inquiries, please select "Ombudsman Program" from the drop-down menu. If you are an independent inventor or small business that filed without attorney or agent representation and have questions that do not relate to a previously filed application, you can select either the Technology Center where your application is being examined or the Office of Innovation Development from the list below.
At the bottom of this page is a list of other customer service numbers that are available to assist you.
For more information, you can view the frequently-asked questions on the Ombudsman Program, read the April 6, 2010, Federal Register notice announcing the Ombudsman Pilot Program, or read a transcript of the Aug. 18, 2010, Ombudsman Pilot Program Teleconference.
We look forward to assisting you.
Contact an Ombudsman using this form:
To contact a Technology Center (TC) Ombudsman, select the appropriate TC, fill in a contact name, phone number, and click on the “Submit” button. Within one business day, you will receive a phone call from the TC Ombudsman representative who will ask for further details regarding the problem for which you are requesting assistance.
Enter Requesting Information:
(* items are mandatory)
If you have any feedback, questions or comments regarding the Ombudsman Program,
please email us at OmbudsmanProgram@uspto.gov.
|Office Contact Numbers|
|Office||Provides Information On:||Telephone Number|
|General Information||571-272-1000 or
|Application Assistance Unit||Newly Filed Provisional, Utility, Design and Plant Patent Applications and Related Notices prior to examination in the Technology Center; Filing Receipt Questions; Pre Grant (Pending) Patent Application Publications; Powers of Attorney; Changes of Address; Express Abandonments; Post Allowance Status; Petitions to Revive Applications Abandoned after Allowance; Lost Grants or Patent Soft Copies; Listing a Patent for Sale in the Official Gazette (License or Sale); Certificates of Correction; Patent Copy Subscriptions. The AAU Call Center was merged from the former Office of Initial Patent Examination (OIPE) and the Office of Patent Publication (Pubs) call centers.||571-272-4000 or
|Assignment Branch||USPTO recordation of assignments||571-272-3150 or
|Board of Patent Appeals & Interferences (BPAI)||Status of pending appeals & oral hearing requests||571-272-9797|
|Central Reexamination Unit (CRU)||Reexaminations located in the CRU||571-272-7705|
|Certificates of Correction||How to correct a patent||703-756-1814|
|Electronic Business Center (EBC)||Customer support for electronic filing and PAIR access. Customer Numbers and digital (PKI) certificate issuance and maintenance||571-272-4100 or
|Enrollment & Discipline||The Patent Agent’s exam, registration||571-272-4097|
|Finance, Receipts Accounting Division||Fee information & questions
Payment of maintenance fees
How to get a refund
|Office of Innovation Development||For Independent Inventors and Small Businesses – obtain general information about patents and other types of intellectual property before you file for protection. Information about searching for published patents and applications, what is needed in a patent application, what forms to use and what fees are required is provided. We also handle questions and/or complaints about Inventor Promotion Firms.||866-767-3848|
|Job Vacancy Hot Line||USPTO Jobs||571-272-6000 or
|Licensing & Review||Applications relating to national security||571-272-8203|
|Office of Patent Legal Admin (OPLA)||Rule changes, PG Pubs||571-272-7701|
|Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) or Extension (PTE)||571-272-7702|
|Reexamination and Reissue||571-272-7703|
|PCT Helpdesk||Applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty||571-272-4300|
|Petitions||Petitions listed in MPEP section 1000||571-272-3282|
|Public Search Room||Search resources available to public||571-272-3275|
|Trademark Assistance Center||
The Trademark Assistance Center (TAC) provides general information about the trademark registration process and responds to inquiries about the status of trademark applications and registrations.
The Privacy Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-579) requires that you be given certain information in connection with the submission of your ombudsman request. Accordingly, pursuant to the requirements of the Act, please be advised that: (1) the general authority for the collection of this information is 35 U.S.C. 2(b)(2); (2) furnishing of the information is voluntary; and (3) the principal purpose for which the information is used by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is to process your submission related to a request for ombudsman assistance. If you do not furnish the requested information, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office may not be able to process your assistance request. Privacy Act Statement