PALM is the primary USPTO tool for tracking patent prosecution progress. PALM data supports many other USPTO systems used for filing, searching, and paying patent fees. At approximately 4:30 a.m. ET on August 15, 2018, PALM experienced an issue during maintenance that impacted its ability to function properly. PALM was taken offline to fix the issue. Because PALM is interconnected with other USPTO systems, the functionality of these systems was also affected. Trademarks systems were not affected.
When did things return to normal?
Systems returned to service on August 23.
What progress was made to fix the issue?
During the outage, our IT team worked round-the-clock to resolve the issue with PALM. We also worked to minimize the impact this issue has on all patent operations, including providing customers alternate means of conducting business with us. Many of our systems are not dependent on PALM, and they remained operational during the PALM outage.
How did you report when systems were down and how often did you update this info?
For any type of planned or unexpected system issue, we post updates on our Systems Status page as they become available. during the outage, we provided updates at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET each day until the PALM issue was resolved on August 23. We also provided more-immediate updates on the Systems Status page and the USPTO's Facebook and Twitter pages when there was something new or urgent to report.
Was this the result of malicious activity?
The issue stemmed from an internal systems failure and was not the result of external causes. Please see USPTO Director Andrei Iancu's statement, which addresses this question.