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Posts Tagged: "postal emergency"

USPTO issues statement on Hurricane Irma

From USPTO: “We will publish a notice designating the interruption in service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the areas affected by Hurricane Irma, as a postal service interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a).”

USPTO declaring postal emergency due to Hurricane Harvey

The USPTO is in the process of publishing a notice designating the interruption in service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, beginning on Friday, August 25, 2017, as a postal service interruption and emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 21(a).

USPTO Director Lee sued for declaring federal holiday, allowing IPR filing after statutory deadline

It was only going to be a matter of time before Director Lee declaring a federal holiday without any statutory authority came back to haunt the USPTO. Here the defendants were served with the complaint on December 24, 2014, which means any IPR had to be filed on or before Thursday, December 24, 2015. The defendants filed their IPR petitions on Monday, December 28, 2015. The patent owner argues in a recently filed federal complaint that the IPR petitions would be considered untimely but for Director Lee declaring December 22-24, 2015, federal holidays due to the catastrophic failure of the USPTO’s electronic filing systems.

The USPTO Director can legally extend filing deadlines for emergencies

In retrospect, the proper thing for Director Lee to have done would have been to declare an emergency under the powers vested in her by 35 USC 21(a). Under §21(a) the Director of the USPTO can declare that a paper was filed on a day that it would have been filed but for a disruption in mail service or emergency. The net effect is that the filing is treated the same as under the Saturday, Sunday or Federal holiday rule. It would be wise for the Patent Office to issue a clarification on this matter, explaining that Director Lee declared an emergency under §21(a) of Title 35 and did not attempt to create a new federal holiday in honor of a catastrophic power outage.

PTO Makes Accommodations Relating to Japan Catastrophe

The USPTO is offering assistance in the form of flexibility on deadlines to the full extent allowable under our laws to Japanese applicants. However, because this catastrophic event occurred outside the United States and did not result in a postal service interruption of the United States Postal Service, the USPTO has no authority to designate a postal service emergency as authorized by 35 U.S.C. 21(a). The fact that the USPTO cannot declare a postal emergency limits what allowances can be made because in the event of a postal emergency the USPTO can treat as filed any paper that would have been deposited with the United States Postal Service but for postal service interruptions or emergencies as designated by the Director.