USPTO has had another system crash. EFS-Web is broken again. It crashed at about 6AM this morning, Saturday, August 9.
Practitioners will recall the big USPTO system crash on Wednesday, May 14 (blog) in which EFS-Web was broken but also EFS-Web Contingency was broken.
In today’s system crash, EFS-Web is broken but EFS-Web Contingency is still working. So today’s crash at the USPTO is not quite as bad as the May 14 crash.
The USPTO maintains a USPTO Systems Status and Availability page which supposedly provides “the latest information on operating status and availability of Online Business Systems.” The USPTO failed that promise again today. At no time during this six-hour outage did the SSAA page give any acknowledgement that EFS-Web had crashed.
What are the workarounds when EFS-Web crashes like this?
I have prepared a web page of USPTO patent filing workarounds which you might want to bookmark now so that you can find it later when you need it. The web page reviews the possible approaches for getting things filed when EFS-Web crashes:
- E-filing to the EFS-Web contingency server which is https://epfportal.uspto.gov/efile/portal/efs-contingency .
- Faxing to the Central Fax Number which is +1 571 273 8300.
- Hand-carrying to the night-service window at the Randolph Building, 401 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.
- Mailing to the USPTO by means of Priority Mail Express (née “Express Mail”).
- Mailing to the USPTO by means of Priority Mail (née “First Class Mail”).
Each of these approaches has limitations and drawbacks. The web page lists some of the limitations and drawbacks.
(Update: USPTO finally got EFS-Web working again at about noon. The outage lasted about six hours.)