Top of Notices Top of Notices   (388)  December 27, 2022 US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE Print This Notice 1505 CNOG  2730 

PCT, International Applications Referenced Items (388, 389, 390, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 407, 408, 409, 410, 411, 412, 413, 414)
(388)   Establishment of a USPTO Email Box for Submitting General
          Questions Related to the Patent Cooperation Treaty and
                Applications Filed or Submitted Thereunder

   The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is establishing,
on a one-year pilot basis effective January 1, 2022, an email address
( for submitting inquiries regarding the Patent
Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and the procedures applicable to international
applications filed under the PCT and U.S. national stage applications
submitted under 35 U.S.C. § 371. The option to submit inquiries via email
is intended to improve the overall customer service experience for those
needing information regarding the PCT and international and national stage
applications in the USPTO.

   Since 1993, the USPTO has maintained a PCT Help Desk for telephonic
inquiries regarding PCT issues. The PCT Help Desk is available for external
customers to ask questions regarding general PCT practice, including those
about how to file international applications under the PCT, how to submit
national stage applications under 35 U.S.C. § 371, how to file "bypass"
applications under 35 U.S.C. § 111(a), how to check the status of pending
applications, how to respond to communications issued in such applications,
and other PCT-related matters. The annual call volume at the PCT Help Desk
has been as high as 40,910 calls, with an average of over 23,000 calls
annually over the last three fiscal years. The PCT Help Desk is staffed by
experienced attorneys, legal examiners, special program examiners, and
paralegals from the USPTO's International Patent Legal Administration

   The IPLA is always looking to improve service to meet customer needs.
Recent customer feedback has indicated a desire to permit the use of email
to contact the PCT Help Desk. The new email address is being established in
response to this customer feedback.

   The email address is not intended for case-specific or time-sensitive
inquiries, such as those in which a petition may be the proper response or
an established deadline is imminent. Those inquiries should still be
directed by telephone to the PCT Help Desk. Rather, the email account is
intended to respond to general questions. It will permit those faced with
substantial time differences to submit queries outside of USPTO business
hours. Additionally, by taking general and non-time-sensitive inquiries out
of the PCT Help Desk's queue, the email account should enable customers to
experience improved response times.

November 5, 2021                                           ANDREW HIRSHFELD
                                 Performing the Functions and Duties of the
                  Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and
                  Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office

                              [1493 OG 212]