Data

Patent office restores service

Shutterstock image (by dencg): digital warning sign.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had all major application systems back up and running by Dec. 28 after a power outage crippled the agency's headquarters, officials said as they promised to learn from their mistakes.

The facility had a redundant power system meant to provide backup in emergencies, USPTO said, but the nature of the Dec. 22 outage hammered both systems.

"Power that comes into the USPTO's main building feeds two power filtration systems that provide steady, 'filtered' power so systems don't suffer from damaging surges or drops in power supply," said USPTO acting Chief Communications Officer Patrick Ross in a Dec. 24 statement. "A malfunction in the power supply lines feeding these two systems caused significant damage to both systems."

In a Dec. 30 blog post, Deputy Director Russell Slifer thanked "the hundreds of employees, contractors, and service providers who have been working around the clock, through the holidays, to restore operation of thousands of servers, network switches, firewalls, databases, and their connections."

He ruled out a malicious attack as the cause of the outage, and promised the incident would be a learning experience.

"We will take this opportunity to work with our service providers to ensure that lessons are learned and improvements are made," Slifer said.

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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