As you may already know from our previous updates, the USPTO has been performing emergency IT maintenance since Wednesday morning due to an issue with the agency’s PALM database, which affects many of our patent filing and payment systems. This issue stems from an internal systems failure and is not the result of any external causes.
I realize this disruption is inconvenient and frustrating to our customers. With that in mind, I am in constant contact with the leadership of Patents and our Patent Trial and Appeal Board about how the systems outage is affecting their customers and the work of our employees.
I am also in constant contact with our acting chief information officer and his team about the around-the-clock work they are doing to restore the full functionality of these systems. At this time it appears that our emergency maintenance will continue into the weekend. Until the issue is resolved we will continue providing updates on the Systems Status and Availability page of our website at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, I want to urge those affected to use the alternative filing and payment methods available to our customers. Given the availability of the alternative methods, we do not plan to extend deadlines. We know you have questions about paper filing fees, and we are examining our options to see how we can address those concerns.
Again, I regret the inconvenience and frustration this has caused to our Patents and PTAB customers, and I want to assure you that we are doing our utmost to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO