Filing documents during an outage

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) makes every effort to have the Electronic Filing System (EFS-Web) available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sometimes, the website is unavailable for routine maintenance or is unexpectedly inaccessible. In such cases, the USPTO makes every attempt to restore service as soon as possible.

If your deadline is today and the document cannot be filed via EFS-Web or PTAB End-to-End due to an outage, you must use an alternative method of filing (explained below) to ensure that the document is timely received by the USPTO.  A deadline that falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday within the District of Columbia extends the due date to the next succeeding day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday. 37 CFR 1.7  See the MPEP.

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Report an outage to the Patent Electronic Business Center

If you experience technical difficulties with EFS-Web, immediately email ebc@uspto.gov. Please include:

  1. Your name 
  2. Telephone number
  3. Application serial number
  4. A description of your issue, including the name of the process or form you are having problems with
  5. A screen shot of any error message that you are receiving.

The EBC (Patent Electronic Business Center) team will make every attempt to assist you in addressing your particular problem and appreciates all notifications about the outage to be directed to them.

If you require assistance with the online fee payment management system, Financial Manager, please contact the USPTO Contact Center via the following telephone numbers: 

  • 800-786-9199 (toll-free)  
  • 571-272-1000 (local)
  • 800-877-8339 (TTY) 

Support for the online fee payment management system, and USPTO.gov accounts, is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET (except federal holidays).


Alternative methods of filing for EFS-Web and EFS-Web Contingency

In the event that EFS-Web and EFS-Web Contingency are unavailable, 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 any of the following ways:

  • Facsimile transmission to the USPTO Central Facsimile (571) 273-8300

  • First-Class Mail with a certificate of mailing in accordance with 37 CFR 1.8

  • Priority Mail Express from the United States Postal Service (USPS) in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10.

Please note that filing of a new international (PCT) application or a new application under 35 USC 111(a), except reissue, design or plant applications, other than by the USPTO’s electronic filing system requires payment of the non-electronic filing fee (37 CFR 1.16(t) and 1.445(a)(1)(ii)) 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.

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 email.


Alternative methods of filing for PTAB End-to-End

If you have a deadline for filing an AIA trial petition filing and/or other associated documents in a pending AIA case and you cannot file electronically via PTAB E2E, you must use an alternative filing method. Specifically, AIA trial petitions and/or other associated documents may be served on opposing counsel via email. The Board should be notified of the service by email copying opposing counsel: Trials@uspto.gov. The email notification to the Board should NOT include attachments.

Notification to the Board of petitions served via email must include:

  • name of point of contact;
  • email address of point of contact;
  • patent number to which the petition corresponds (or application number in the case of a derivation proceeding);
  • application number of the patent;
  • petitioner's application number (in the case of a derivation proceeding);
  • number of claims challenged;
  • type of trial proceeding;
  • power of attorney; and
  • fee, e.g., a deposit account authorization.

In addition, if a petition or document is served via email or other means, it must be followed by a In addition, if a petition or document is served via email or other means, it must be followed by a later-filed motion requesting acceptance of the submission once PTAB E2E is available. The petition or document will be accorded the date on the certificate of service as the identified filing date. 37 C.F.R. § 42.6(b). It is important to note that a petition will not be accorded a filing date unless it is accompanied by a payment of the appropriate fees (e.g., a deposit account authorization).

If PTAB E2E is down during normal business hours, a party may contact the Board and request a one-day extension of time for due dates that are set by rule or orders of the Board. 37 C.F.R. § 42.5. In the unlikely event that an administrative patent judge is not available to rule on the extension, the Board may grant an extension the day after the paper is due. However, no extensions of time will be granted for any statutory time period.


Alternative methods of payment

In the event that you are unable to submit payment online using Financial Manager via EFS-Web, you will find several fee related documents linked here which may be submitted using one of the methods described above.  A complete list of fee related documents can be found on the Patent forms page.

Please be aware that certain application fees must be paid on the same date as the filing of an application.  Failure to pay these fees on the same date as the filing of an application will result in a surcharge for late payment.  For details regarding these fees, please reference MPEP 607 I.

If you have any questions regarding alternative filing, or payment, methods please contact the USPTO Inventor’s Assistance Center during business hours (Monday-Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, except federal holidays) at 1-800-786-9199. 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. Applicants are strongly advised to transmit their electronic filings prior to the outage period to ensure that the submissions are correctly completed.

If you have questions regarding EFS-Web, please contact the EBC (Patent Electronic Business Center) at 1-866-217-9197, Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to midnight ET, or email ebc@uspto.gov.