Following from the recent political partisanship in the US there
has been a shutdown of non-essential government services. While
such a shutdown is not without precedence, there is a heightened
uncertainty in the present situation about a possible political
solution being readily forthcoming. While it is accepted that
politics is the art of the possible, the rhetoric from the
protagonists remains at this stage further apart than ever.
So far the USPTO remains open and is receiving documents for new
and existing applications. However, this is being sustained by
extra-ordinary measures, and will not be able to continue
indefinitely. The USPTO provided on its website the following
During the general government shutdown that began
October 1, 2013, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will
remain open, using prior year reserve fee collections to operate as
usual for approximately four weeks. We continue to assess our fee
collections compared to our operating requirements to determine how
long we will be able to operate in this capacity during a general
government shutdown. We will provide an update as more definitive
information becomes available.
Should we exhaust these reserve funds before the
general government shutdown comes to an end, USPTO would shut down
at that time, although a very small staff would continue to work to
accept new applications and maintain IT infrastructure, among other
While this shutdown should progress in an orderly manner and all
rights should be preserved, if you do have a pressing commercial
need for any of your matters before the USPTO to be progressed,
please contact one of our attorneys as soon as possible.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
Shelston IP has been awarded the MIP Global Award for
Australian IP Firm of the Year 2013.
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