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Ombudsman Program

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Click here to access the First Office Action Estimator

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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.

We can be reached at:
571-272-5555 or 855-559-8589 toll free
Hours: M-F 8:30-5:00

or

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.

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If you have any feedback, questions or comments regarding the Ombudsman Program,
please email us at OmbudsmanProgram@uspto.gov.

Office Contact Numbers
Office Contact Information Start Here for Help
General Information 571-272-1000 or
800-786-9199
Contact the USPTO
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. 571-272-4200 or
888-786-0101

   pink arrow Before Filing

   pink arrow Pre Examination

   blue arrow Post Examination

Assignment Recordation Branch - For help with following a new assignment or obtaining information on a pending assignment, questions on assignments, liens on patents, filing assignments, recordation forms, and trademark assignments

571-272-3350
EPAS@uspto.gov

  green arrow During Examination

  blue arrow After Grant

America Invents Act Contact Center - For questions regarding the America Invents Act, including the new legal provisions and rules 1-855-HELP-AIA (toll-free)
571-272-0300
HELPAIA@uspto.gov (email)

  pink arrow Before Filing

  green arrow During Examination

Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) - Status of pending appeals & oral hearing requests 571-272-9797

   blue arrow Post Examination

Central Reexamination Unit (CRU) - Reexaminations located in the CRU 571-272-7705

   blue arrow Post Examination

Certificates of Correction - How to correct a patent 703-756-1814

   blue arrow Post Examination

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
866-217-9197

   blue arrow Post Examination

Enrollment & Discipline - The Patent Agent’s exam, registration 571-272-4097  
Finance, Receipts Accounting Division - Fee information & questions, Payment of maintenance fees, Deposit accounts, How to get a refund 571-272-6500

  pink arrow Before Filing

  green arrow During Examination

  blue arrow After Grant

First Office Action Estimator - Check current estimates on how long it will take for a first office action on a patent application by entering an Art Unit or Class and Subclass associated with a current or potential application. N/A

   pink arrow Pre Examination

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

  pink arrow Before Filing

Job Openings at USPTO - USPTO Jobs 571-272-6000 or
800-786-9757
Careers with USPTO
Licensing & Review - Applications relating to national security 571-272-8203

  pink arrow Before Filing

  green arrow During Examination

  blue arrow After Grant

Office of Patent Legal Admin (OPLA) - Rule changes, PG Pubs 571-272-7701  
Office of Patent Legal Admin (OPLA) - Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) or Extension (PTE) 571-272-7702

  blue arrow After Grant

Office of Patent Legal Admin (OPLA) - Reexamination and Reissue 571-272-7703

  green arrow During Examination

  blue arrow After Grant

PCT Helpdesk - Applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty 571-272-4300

  pink arrow Before Filing

  green arrow During Examination

  blue arrow After Grant

Petitions - Petitions listed in MPEP section 1000 571-272-3282

  green arrow During Examination

  blue arrow After Grant

Office of Public Records -
Patent and Trademark Copy Fulfillment Branch (OPR-PTCFB) - Copies of official U.S. Patent and U.S. Trademark documents are available for sale
800-972-6382 (toll free)
571-272-3150
Administration of Patent/Trademark
Public Search Room - Search resources available to public 571-272-3275

  pink arrow Before Filing

  green arrow During Examination

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.

800-786-9199
571-272-9250

Administration of Trademark


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

United States Patent and Trademark Office
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Last Modified: 03/19/2014 02:31:00 PM