The USPTO and Government Shutdowns

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The USPTO and Government Shutdowns

On Friday of last week, the longest-ever partial government shutdown came to an end — or at least, an intermission. Unpaid air traffic controllers and TSA agents received the most press, but the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) also suffered under the shutdown.

The USPTO, unlike other parts of the government, actually charges money for filings — and at certain times, it’s been a source of profit for the government. However, during the shutdown, the USPTO has functioned using only reserve funds comprised of the fees allotted prior to the government shutdown.

That’s because without an appropriations bill the USPTO does not have the authority to access the fees that it has collected. So even though the USPTO was collecting fees during the shutdown, it was not able to access those fees for day-to-day operating expenses.

As of January 24, the USPTO expected their reserves to fund patent operations until around the second week of February — so it was a close call, and it might get closer. The spending bill that was signed by the president only funds the government for three weeks.

Contact me for more information.  

Bill Samuels
PHONE: 212-784-6939
FAX: 212-784-6935

By |2019-01-29T19:59:49+00:00January 29th, 2019|Patents, Trademarks|0 Comments

About the Author:

Bill Samuels is a seasoned intellectual property attorney who devotes his practice to tailoring strategies and protection plans to achieve each respective client’s goals and business objectives.

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