Friday, August 17, 2018

Update on USPTO systems status and availability

As you may already know from our previous updates, the USPTO has been performing emergency IT maintenance since Wednesday morning due to an issue with the agency’s PALM database, which affects many of our patent filing and payment systems. This issue stems from an internal systems failure and is not the result of any external causes.
I realize this disruption is inconvenient and frustrating to our customers. With that in mind I am in constant contact with the leadership of Patents and our Patent Trial and Appeal Board about how the systems outage is affecting their customers and the work of our employees.
I am also in constant contact with our acting chief information officer and his team about the around-the-clock work they are doing to restore the full functionality of these systems. At this time it appears that our emergency maintenance will continue into the weekend. Until the issue is resolved we will continue providing updates on the Systems Status and Availability page of our website at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, I want to urge those affected to use the alternative filing and payment methods available to our customers. Given the availability of the alternative methods, we do not plan to extend deadlines. We know you have questions about paper filing fees, and we are examining our options to see how we can address those concerns.
Again, I regret the inconvenience and frustration this has caused to our Patents and PTAB customers, and I want to assure you that we are doing our utmost to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Andrei Iancu
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sign up for virtual training in September -- Clear Obviousness Rejections

Sign up to attend the Sept. 5 virtual training course entitled “Clear Obviousness Rejections: Important Lessons from Outdry v. Geox. USPTO trainers will lead this course based on recent training delivered to patent examiners.
This course has limited capacity, and selection for attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis. The USPTO is applying for CLE credit in Virginia for this course.
Information on upcoming training courses is available on the Virtual Instructor Led Training webpage on the USPTO website.

Inventor Info Chat

On Aug. 16, join USPTO for the next Inventor Info Chat webinar to learn about Global Dossier and how it can benefit you. The webinar will be held from 11 a.m. to noon ET.
Global Dossier is a set of services aimed at modernizing the patent system and delivering benefits to all stakeholders using a single user interface. At the end of the event, you may send questions to our Global Dossier specialist at inventorinfochat@uspto.gov.
More information, including how to attend, is available on our Inventor Info Webinar event page on the USPTO website.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Patent Quality Chat

USPTO's Patent Quality Chat webinar continues its 2018 series on July 10, from noon to 1 p.m. ET, with “Improving Access to Global Patent Data.”
Imagine free access to patent application information from patent offices around the world through one single, secure portal. Global Dossier, a concept delivered by the IP5 Offices (USPTO, EPO, JPO, KIPO, and SIPO), provides such access and more. Attend this webinar to learn about all the Global Dossier services, especially the Citation List for robust prior art searching, and to discuss potential new functionalities for Global Dossier in the future. Please send your input and questions to patentquality@uspto.gov before and during the event.
This webinar is designed for all those involved in patent prosecution and prior art searching.
No registration needed to attend. More information, including how to attend, is available on our event page.
The Patent Quality Chat webinar series is part of the USPTO’s continuous efforts to improve patent quality.

Agent/Attorney three-day course

Sign-up is now open for the Attorney/Agent 3-Day Course on Examination Practice and Procedure at our headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, Sept. 11-13. 
This training makes use of statutes, rules, and guidelines relevant to practicing before the agency. It is limited to those who have passed the patent bar, with priority given to those who recently passed. The course is led by USPTO trainers and is based on material developed for training patent examiners and other employees.
If you are interested in attending, please sign up here. More information, including a proposed upcoming course schedule, is available on the Stakeholder Training on Examination and Practice (STEPP) page of the USPTO website.