510 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Business Hours [R-8]
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) working hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays in the District of Columbia. Outside these hours, only USPTO employees are authorized to be in areas of the USPTO other than the Public Search Rooms.
The hours for the Public Search Facility in Alexandria are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., ** Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays in the District of Columbia.
During working hours, all applicants, attorneys, and other members of the public should announce their presence to the Office personnel in the area of their visit. In the Technology Centers (TCs), visitors should inform the TC receptionist of their presence before visiting other areas of the TC.
I. FILING OF PAPERS DURING UNSCHEDULED CLOSINGS OF THE U.S. PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
37 CFR 1.9(h) provides that the definition of “Federal holiday within the District of Columbia” includes an official closing of the Office. When the entire USPTO is officially closed for business for an entire day, for reasons due to adverse weather or other causes, the Office will consider each such day a “Federal holiday within the District of Columbia” under 35 U.S.C. 21. Any action or fee due on such a day may be taken, or fee paid, on the next succeeding business day the Office is open. In addition, 37 CFR 1.6(a)(1) provides “[t]he Patent and Trademark Office is not open for the filing of correspondence on any day that is a Saturday, Sunday or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia” to clarify that any day that is a Saturday, Sunday or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia is a day that the USPTO is not open for the filing of applications within the meaning of Article 4(C)(3) of the Paris Convention. Note further that in accordance with 37 CFR 1.6(a)(2), even when the Office is not open for the filing of correspondence on any day that is a Saturday, Sunday or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia, correspondence deposited as Express Mail with the United States Postal Service in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10 will be considered filed on the date of its deposit, regardless of whether that date is a Saturday, Sunday or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia (under 35 U.S.C. 21(b) or 37 CFR 1.7).
When the USPTO is open for business during any part of a business day between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., papers are due on that day even though the Office may be officially closed for some period of time during the business day because of an unscheduled event. The procedures of 37 CFR 1.10 may be used for filing applications.
Information regarding whether or not the Office is officially closed on any particular day may be obtained by calling 1-800-PTO(786)-9199 or (571) 272-1000.
Effective November 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113 amended 35 U.S.C. 119(e)(3) to extend the period of pendency of a provisional application to the next succeeding business day if the day that is 12 months after the filing date of a provisional application falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia. 35 U.S.C. 119(e)(3) as amended by Public Law 106-113 applies to any provisional applications filed on or after June 8, 1995 but has no effect on any patent which is the subject of litigation in an action commenced before November 29, 1999. See also 37 CFR 1.7(b).
New patent applications filed in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10 will be stamped by the Office with the date of deposit as “Express Mail” with the United States Postal Service. For example, if a new patent application is deposited in “Express Mail” in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10 on a Saturday and the United States Postal Service gives it a date of deposit of Saturday, the Office will accord and stamp the correspondence with the Saturday date. 37 CFR 1.6(a)(2).
II. REGULATIONS FOR THE PUBLIC USE OF RECORDS IN THE PATENT SEARCH ROOM OF THE USPTO
The USPTO has established procedures and regulations for using the facilities of the Patent Search Room. The procedures for the Search Room include the requirement that users obtain and show, prior to entering the Search Room facilities, a User Pass. This pass can be obtained from the Office of Security next door to the Public Search Facility located on the first floor of the Madison East Building, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. User Passes will be issued to persons not under prohibition from using the search facilities who sign an application form and acknowledge receipt of a copy of the noted regulations. User Passes are nontransferable and are valid until reissue or revocation for cause. Office employees must show their building pass in order to enter the Patent Search Room. An On-line Service Card is required for access to all Public Search Facilities and on-line systems. On-line Service Cards are obtained at the Public Search Facility Receptionist Desk on a user’s first visit.
Persons exiting the Search Room will automatically pass electronic sensing equipment designed to detect any marked documents or materials being removed from the Search Room. The sensing equipment is capable of detecting marked documents and materials in briefcases and parcels and under clothing. The equipment does not use X-ray or other high energy radiation and is, therefore, completely safe and harmless to persons, photographic film, magnetic tape, and electronic or mechanical devices such as wrist watches.
Whenever a marked document is transported past the sensing equipment, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officials and the security guards will be alerted to the removal of the document. Persons triggering the alarm will be asked to cooperate in identifying the source for the alarm. Failure to cooperate when the alarm is triggered could result in detention of the person, seizure of any briefcase or the like, or other legal measures deemed necessary and appropriate in the specific case.
The regulations for the Search Room are reprinted in a regulation brochure. It is available in the Search Room. In order to maintain an environment conducive to search, the regulations will be strictly enforced.
Although these procedures and regulations may cause some inconvenience, it is hoped that with understanding and cooperation they will result in improvement in search facilities which will benefit all participants in the U.S. patent system.
Persons violating the regulations may be denied the use of the facilities in the Patent Search Room, and may further be subjected to prosecution under the Criminal Code. Additionally, the name of any person violating these regulations who is registered to practice before the Office may be forwarded to the Office of Enrollment and Discipline for appropriate action under 37 CFR Part 10 > and Part 11 < .
III. USE OF TECHNOLOGY CENTER FACILITIES
Regulations appearing below were established for those authorized members of the public using the facilities of the TCs.
IV. REGULATIONS FOR USERS OF THE TECHNOLOGY CENTER FACILITIES
- (A) TC facilities are defined as those areas in Carlyle (Alexandria, VA) where the TCs are located.
- (B) The use of the TC facilities is strictly limited to the regular business hours of the USPTO, between the hours of 8:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. on regular business days.
- (C) Authorized Officials, under these regulations, include Supervisory Patent Examiners and TC Directors.
- (D) Under applicable statutes
and regulations, including 40 U.S.C. 486(c); 41 CFR Subpart 101-20.3; and
appropriate Sections of Department Organization Orders 30-3A and 30-3B of the
Department of Commerce, the regulations appearing below are established for
those members of the public using the TC Facilities.
- (1) All persons using these facilities are subject to the Regulations Governing Conduct on Federal Property, as specified in 41 CFR Subpart 101-20.3.
- (2) All posted Official Notices are to be complied with.
- (3) A valid User Pass must be prominently displayed when in the TC Facilities. User Passes are nontransferable and must be surrendered upon request to authorized officials.
- (4) All persons holding User Passes must register with the TC Receptionist, unless otherwise directed, in each TC.
- (5) No records, or other documents of the USPTO shall be removed from the TC Facilities except by express written authorization by an authorized official in the TC where the material resides.
- (6) Smoking is not permitted except in designated areas.
- (7) No food or beverages in any form are to be consumed except in designated areas.
- (8) Loud talking, use of radios, and any other form of activity which may disturb other members of the public or Office personnel are forbidden.
- (9) Children brought into the TC Facilities must not be allowed to disturb others.
- (10) The presence or use of equipment such as dictation equipment, reproducing machines, typewriters, and photographic equipment is prohibited without prior permission from an authorized official in the TC where the use is intended and then is permitted where its use does not conflict with regulation (8) above.
- (11) All packages, briefcases, or other personal effects brought into the TC Facilities are subject to search by authorized officials upon request and must be removed when leaving the TC Facilities.
- (12) All verbal requests for compliance with these regulations or other posted USPTO Notices pertaining to activity in the TC Facilities, when made by authorized officials, must be promptly complied with.
- (E) Persons violating these regulations may be denied the use of the facilities in the TC and Patent Search Room, and may further be subject to prosecution under the Criminal Code. Additionally, the name of any person violating these regulations who is registered to practice before the USPTO may be forwarded to the Office of Enrollment and Discipline for appropriate action under 37 CFR Part 10 > and Part 11 < .
If any individual is observed in violation of any of the regulations, immediate compliance should be courteously requested. If a verbal request is not complied with, a note should be made of the individual’s name and User’s Pass number, if possible (the User’s Pass is required to be prominently displayed) and a report of the incident should be made to the Supervisory Patent Examiner, Supervisory Applications Examiner, or other appropriate supervisor who will take further action.
In addition, if any individual in TC Facilities appears to be a stranger and is not wearing a User’s Pass, some identification, such as a Building or User’s Pass, should be requested. If the individual refuses, notify a supervisor. Consequently, all Office employees are expected to carry their Building Pass with them at all times.
Supervisors, when aware of violations of the posted regulations, should prepare a memorandum detailing the facts of the incident and forward this memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner for ** > Patents < via their TC Director. Supervisory Patent Examiners and TC Directors are authorized to demand surrender of User Passes on-the-spot. If the Supervisory Patent Examiner exercises this function, the TC Director should be immediately notified, followed up by a memorandum as previously set forth.