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.
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.