Systems Outage at USPTO

Posted Wednesday, December 23, 2015.

On the evening of Tuesday, December 22, electronic access to a number of systems at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was interrupted. The following morning, the USPTO announced via various channels that they had experienced a “major power outage” at their headquarters.

The outage reportedly resulted in damage to a number of their online data systems, including electronic filing, searching and payment systems. Patent examiners are affected, although it is unclear exactly what job duties examiners can and can’t perform during the outage.

As of this writing (Weds Dec. 23, 11AM PT), the USPTO believes the downtime may extend “through the Christmas holiday.”

For those with deadlines to meet (expiration of the one-year deadline for filing a non-provisional application which claims priority from a provisional application, for example), the USPTO does accept submissions by USPS Priority Mail Express or by first class mail.

A ripple effect is being felt as third-party systems and websites which pull data in real-time from USPTO systems are unable to connect.

More information will be posted as it becomes available on the USPTO Systems Status and Availability webpage.

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