The USPTO has made the long-awaited announcement that it is now possible to hand-carry patent and trademark applications for filing in the Detroit, Denver, San Jose, and Dallas patent offices. Each office has a staffed receiving window open until midnight local time, Monday through Friday, excepting federal holidays.
Importantly this will permit filers who are located nearby to the patent offices in Dallas, Denver, and San Jose to hand-carry patent and trademark applications to the local patent office until midnight local time, which is past midnight in Alexandria, Virginia. Such an application will receive a filing date based upon the local time. Thus for example a filer could get a same-day filing date in San Jose by hand carrying an application to the San Jose patent office just before midnight Pacific time, which is almost three hours past midnight in Alexandria, Virginia.
In its announcement, the USPTO cautions filers that if a patent application (other than a provisional application) is filed by means of hand-carrying, a $400 fee is charged for paper filing. That fee is reduced to $200 for a small entity and is further reduced to $100 for a micro entity.
Likewise a hand-carried trademark application incurs a higher government fee than an e-filed application, namely $375 per class as compared with $325 or less per class for an e-filed application.
According to the USPTO’s announcement, the new filing options are available starting today, April 1, 2016.
Have you tried out the new hand-carry filing options at any of these patent offices? If so, please post a comment below and describe how it went.
(Updated to admit that this is an April Fool’s posting.)