USPTO Systems Status and Availability

Wednesday Dec 23, 2015

Power Outage Updates

A major power outage at USPTO headquarters occurred last night resulting in damaged equipment that required the subsequent shutdown of many of our online and IT systems. This includes our filing, searching, and payment systems, as well as the systems our examiners across the country use. We are working diligently to assess the operational impact on all our systems and to determine how soon they can be safely brought back into service in the coming days. We understand how critical these systems are for our customers, and our teams will continue to work around the clock to restore them as quickly as possible, though the impacts may be felt through the Christmas holiday. We know many people have questions regarding filing and payment deadlines. We are reviewing this topic and will provide an update when we have further information.

Status updates will be issued on this page as they become available, as well as on our Facebook ( and Twitter (

Thank you for your patience as we work to restore full service as soon as possible.


TEAS and TEASi are currently not available. If your submission is time sensitive or If you have a filing due today and the document cannot be filed via TEAS, you must use an alternative method of filing to ensure that the document is timely received by the USPTO.


Applicants may file new patent applications, new international design applications, and documents and fees for national stage entry under 35 U.S.C. 371 via Priority Mail Express® from the United States Postal Service (USPS) in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10. Applicants may file other documents or fee payments by:

  1. first class mail with a certificate of mailing in accordance with 37 CFR 1.8 or
  2. Priority Mail Express® from the USPS in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10

Please note that filing of a new application under 35 USC 111(a), except reissue, design or plant applications, via Priority Mail Express® requires payment of the non-electronic filing fee (37 CFR 1.16(t)) in addition to the other required fees. The non-electronic filing fee is $400 ($200 for small and micro entities). Also please note that an international design application filed in paper may be subject to additional WIPO publication fees (see

New patent applications, new international design applications, copies of the international (PCT) application and basic national fee necessary to enter the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371, and documents that are required to establish the filing date of an application (e.g., a missing drawing figure or page of the specification) cannot be submitted by facsimile transmission, and certificate of mailing procedures under 37 CFR 1.8 do not apply to these documents. Patent correspondence, including new patent applications, new international design applications, and documents or fee payments, cannot be submitted via e-mail. Please contact the USPTO Inventor’s Assistance Center during business hours (Mon-Fri, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM ET) at 1-800-786-9199 if you have any questions regarding alternative filing methods. Information regarding filing by first class mail with a certificate of mailing or by “Priority Mail Express” can also be found in the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP), Sections 512 and 513, available on the USPTO Web site at:

Payment Processing

The USPTO system outage has affected the ability for customers to process Patent Maintenance Fee payments and submit Deposit Account replenishments online via the Finance Online Shopping Page. Available alternatives include the following:

  • Patent Maintenance Fees - Pay by wire or mail as instructed at The payment date will be the date received at the USPTO unless you are using the certificate of mailing procedure set forth in 37 CFR 1.8 or the USPTO Priority Mail Express procedure set forth in 37 CFR 1.10.
  • Deposit Account Replenishment - Replenish by wire or mail as instructed at Note that replenishments will be processed as of the date received, but deposit account balances will not reflect these replenishments until USPTO systems are restored.

Public and Private PAIR

Public and Private Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) are also impacted.

If you have any questions, please contact the Patents Electronic Business Center (PEBC) by telephone at 1-866-217-9197 or by email at PEBC hours of operation Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to midnight.