USPTO Updates Centralized Delivery Exceptions
On September 19, 2005, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a pre-OG notice entitled "Updated Lists of Exceptions to the Centralized Delivery and Facsimile Transmission Policy for Patent Related Correspondence." This notice replaces all prior Office notices specifying a fax number or hand carry address for certain patent related correspondence. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) requires most patent related correspondence to be either
- faxed to the Central FAX number (571-273- 8300),
- hand carried or delivered to the Customer Service Window (located at the Randolph Building, 401 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314),
- mailed to the mailing address set forth in 37 CFR 1.1 (e.g., P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313- 1450), or
- transmitted to the Office using the Office’s Electronic Filing System.
Exceptions to this so-called "centralized delivery" policy generally involve situations where special handling of the patent related correspondence is available. All the current exceptions are listed in this notice which explains that five significant updates have occurred to the lists of exceptions since they were last published on July 12, 2005:
- the Office of Public Records exceptions have been added.
- the PCT Operations facsimile number for correspondence permitted to be filed by facsimile in international applications has changed to 571-273-3201.
- the Office of Patent Publication facsimile has changed to 571-273-2885, the local area telephone number to check on receipt of payments transmitted by facsimile under that exception has also changed to 571-272-4200.
- the Assignment Branch facsimile number has changed to 571-273-0140.
- the Central Reexamination Unit (CRU) facsimile number has changed to 571-273-9900
USPTO Outsources PCT Patent Searching
On September 21, 2005, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it has awarded contracts to Landon IP, Inc., and IP Data Miner Inc., to participate in a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) search pilot program. This pilot will determine whether searches by commercial entities can maintain the accuracy and quality standards for searches conducted by the USPTO during the patent examination process while remaining cost effective.
The USPTO is also exploring contracting out some of its PCT-related work, on a pilot basis, to other established government intellectual property offices that currently perform PCT-related searches/examinations. This pilot is expected to begin next month.
If you are interested in discussing any of the above notices or staying current with the latest USPTO happenings, contact William F. Heinze (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley LLP in Atlanta, Georgia USA.
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