"The USPTO web site at http://www.uspto.gov/blog/ebiz/ reports that under this emergency situation, it will consider each day from Tuesday, December 22, 2015, through Thursday, December 24, 2015, to be a “Federal holiday within the District of Columbia” under 35 U.S.C. § 21 and 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 2.2(d), 2.195, and 2.196. Any action or fee due on these days will be considered as timely for the purposes of, e.g., 15 U.S.C. §§ 1051(b), 1058, 1059, 1062(b), 1063, 1064, and 1126(d), or 35 U.S.C. §§ 119, 120, 133, and 151, if the action is taken, or the fee paid, on the next succeeding business day on which the USPTO is open (37 C.F.R. §§ 1.7(a) and 2.196).
A subsequent notice is anticipated to be issued as needed if the USPTO’s systems are not fully operational by Monday, December 28, 2015.
Under 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6(a)(2), 2.195(a)(4), and 2.198, certain correspondence deposited in the Priority Mail Express® service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) in accordance with 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.10 or 2.198 will be considered filed on the date of deposit (as shown by the “date accepted” on the mailing label) with the USPS.
Thus, any paper or fee properly deposited in the Priority Mail Express® service of the USPS on Tuesday, December 22, 2015, Wednesday, December 23, 2015, or Thursday, December 24, 2015, in accordance with 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.10 or 2.198, will be considered filed on its respective date of deposit in the Priority Mail Express® service of the USPS (as shown by a “date accepted” on the mailing label).
Under 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.6(a)(4) and 2.195(a)(2), patent- and trademark-related correspondence transmitted electronically to the USPTO will be considered filed in the USPTO on the date the USPTO received the electronic transmission.
Thus, any patent- or trademark-related correspondence transmitted electronically to the USPTO on Tuesday, December 22, 2015, Wednesday, December 23, 2015, or Thursday, December 24, 2015, will be considered filed in the USPTO on the date the USPTO received the electronic transmission.
Patent correspondence successfully received by the USPTO through the Electronic Filing System (EFS-Web) and filed in compliance with the EFS-Web Legal Framework will receive the date indicated on the Acknowledgement Receipt.
Trademark filings properly filed through TEAS, TEASi, and ESTTA will receive the date indicated in the e-mail confirmation sent at the time of a successful filing.
Payment ProcessingThe 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 www.uspto.gov/patents-maintaining-patent/maintain-your-patent. 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 www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/fees-and-payment/deposit-accounts/deposit-account-replenishment-options. 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 Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) are also impacted.
Status updates will be issued on the USPTO systems alert page (www.uspto.gov/blog/ebiz/) as they become available, as well as on the USPTO Facebook (www.facebook.com/uspto.gov (link is external)) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/uspto (link is external)) accounts.
For further questions, contact the Patents Electronic Business Center (PEBC) by telephone at 1-866-217-9197 or by email at email@example.com. PEBC hours of operation Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to midnight."
Copyright © 2015 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.