“EFS-Web and EFS-Web Contingency will be unavailable.” How will you handle your client’s patent application filings? – News from the USPTO Nov. 7, 2015


News from the USPTO*

Due to maintenance required on USPTO systems, access to Public PAIR, Private PAIR, EFS-Web and EFS-Web Contingency will be unavailable beginning 12:01 a.m. and ending at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, November 7th ET. 

EFS-Web Applicants:

During this outage period, patent applicants may file new patent applications and documents and fees for national stage entry under 35 U.S.C. 371 via Priority Mail Express® from the United States Postal Service (USPS) in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10.

Patent applicants may file other documents or fee payments by:

(1) facsimile transmission to the USPTO Central Facsimile (571) 273-8300,
(2) first class mail with a certificate of mailing in accordance with 37 CFR 1.8, or
(3) Priority Mail Express® from the USPS in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10

Please note that filing of a new application under 37 USC 111(a), except reissue, design or plant applications, via Priority Mail Express® requires payment of the non-electronic filing fee (37 CFR 1.16(t)) in addition to the other required fees. The non-electronic filing fee is $400 ($200 for small and micro entities).

Accordingly, if your practice is in a situation where you have to file via Priority Mail Express that Saturday or after operation hours of the USPTO, here are a few rules to consider:

  •  Any correspondence received by the USPTO delivered by Priority Mail from the United States Postal Service (USPS) will be considered filed with the USPTO on the date of deposit with the USPS.
  • Ensure the date of deposit is shown by the “date in” on the “Express Mail” label.
  • It is highly recommended to deposit the correspondence/documents directly with an employee of the USPS and ensure the receipt indicates the“date-in” is legible and clearly marked. [Our VIPP DOES NOT recommend depositing in an “Express Mail” drop box.]
  • A few scenarios of when to file a petition to correct the filing date with the USPTO:
    • Discrepancies between the filing date and the date of deposit as shown on the Express Mail mailing label
    • The “date-in” on the “Express Mail” mailing label was incorrectly entered or omitted by the USPS
    • The correspondence was deposited with the USPS but not received by the USPTO
    • The correspondence was deposited with the USPS but was returned by the USPS due to an interruption or emergency in “Express Mail” service

For the full stipulation of the USPTO rules on “Filing of Correspondence by Express Mail,” see 37 CFR 1.10 or contact us if you need further assistance.


*Update:  On October 29, 2015, the USPTO issued the Ninth Edition of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP).  One of the revised sections relates to Priority Mail Express:

Replaced “Express Mail” with “Priority Mail Express®” and “date in” with “date accepted” in light of the United States Postal Service (USPS) renaming Express Mail® to Priority Mail Express® on July 28, 2013 and the final rule Renaming of Express Mail® to Priority Mail Express®, 79 FR 63036  (Oct. 22, 2014) to make corresponding nomenclature changes in the patent regulations.