Disaster Recovery

Patent application systems could be offline through Christmas

closed sign

Need to file an electronic patent application before the holiday break officially kicks in?

You're out of luck.

A power outage struck the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office headquarters late on Dec. 22, and by the afternoon of Dec. 23, the agency still had not gotten major filing, payment and searching systems back online.

The Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) and TEASi, the web-based front end, will be unavailable for an indeterminate amount of time, the agency said in a Dec. 23 statement.

"We are working diligently to assess the operational impact on all our systems and to determine how soon they can be safely brought back into service in the coming days," the agency pledged. "We understand how critical these systems are for our customers, and our teams will continue to work around the clock to restore them as quickly as possible, though the impacts may be felt through the Christmas holiday."

USPTO's blog post directs applicants who are up against deadlines to use alternative filing methods, including snail mail -- which comes with a $400 non-electronic filing fee.

USPTO web apps are meant to be available 24/7.

When asked whether USPTO staff would be working on Christmas Eve or Christmas to get the systems back online, an agency spokesman declined to say, merely pointing back to the official statement.

About the Author

Zach Noble is a staff writer covering digital citizen services, workforce issues and a range of civilian federal agencies.

Before joining FCW in 2015, Noble served as assistant editor at the viral news site TheBlaze, where he wrote a mix of business, political and breaking news stories and managed weekend news coverage. He has also written for online and print publications including The Washington Free Beacon, The Santa Barbara News-Press, The Federalist and Washington Technology.

Noble is a graduate of Saint Vincent College, where he studied English, economics and mathematics.

Click here for previous articles by Noble, or connect with him on Twitter: @thezachnoble.


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