USPTO removable media policy

As of October 1, 2019, the use of unauthorized or personal removable media storage devices with any United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) computer, docking station, or monitor is prohibited. Removable media storage devices can introduce security risks to the agency, and they can be a source of malware infections. This policy applies to both to visitors and USPTO employees, and at all USPTO locations across the country.

Such devices include:

  • Portable disk drives such as USB drives or memory cards
  • Digital versatile discs (DVDs)
  • Read/write compact discs (CDs)
  • Devices that can operate as removable media storage devices (e.g. PDAs, digital cameras, and Apple iPods)

Visitors who require use of their removable media storage devices must transfer data via email, finalized CD/DVD, or secure-file sharing services such as Kiteworks. Kiteworks is a Department of Commerce-provided service specifically intended to perform government-to-government and public-to-government file sharing. Public-to-government file sharing via Kiteworks must be initiated by a government account.

Visitors who are unable to use the alternative methods may experience delays in transmitting information. Machines which can perform cybersecurity scans to check removable media for policy compliance will be available at most USPTO locations.

The Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA) located at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, has a few specific systems that allow limited use of removable media. Please consult with your GIPA contact if you require the use of these machines.

For any further questions or concerns, please email us at