Conspicuous by its absence in the new USPTO Financial Manager system

us-loginA week ago USPTO launched its new Financial Manager system.  A core component of this FM system is The New Account system.  As explained on the USPTO web site, The New Account system “will one day be your single means of accessing USPTO services and applications”.  In other words, it will be a successor to the present-day system of logging in at EFS-Web and Private PAIR.timeout2

Unfortunately, the designers of the new USPTO FM system (who I guess are the same as the designers of The New Account system) failed to follow through on a promise that the USPTO made back in 2012.  I’m talking about a promise to let the customer pick how much time would pass before the customer would get forced into a logout from the system.

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USPTO relocates “contingency” EFS-Web server to Denver patent office

(Edited on August 15, 2018 to draw attention to the April 1, 2016 posting date.)

In an unpublicized move, the USPTO has relocated its “contingency” EFS-Web server to the Denver patent office.

This is, of course, welcome news.  Customers of the USPTO well recall the massive system crash in December of 2015, in which the main EFS-Web server and the “contingency” EFS-Web server both crashed and were unavailable for some six days.  That massive USPTO system crash reminded everyone of the many reasons why a backup server ought to be located at a geographically separate location from the location of the main server.  The backup server ought to receive electrical power in a completely different way than the main server, from a different electric company.  The backup server ought to be connected to the Internet in a completely different way than the main server, from a different Internet service provider.  Responsible system practice calls for the minimization of the number of “single points of failure” that could knock out both systems at once.

According to the USPTO, a single event at the USPTO on December 22, 2015 having something to do with a power conditioning system knocked out both the main server and the “contingency” server.

Customers of the USPTO also well recall the system crash on May 14, 2014 when both the main EFS-Web server and the “contingency” server crashed for some eighteen hours.

So as I say, today’s development is welcome news.  Starting today, April 1, 2016, any failure that were to knock out the main server in Alexandria, Virginia would be very unlikely to knock out the “contingency” server in the Denver patent office (or vice versa).  They have different power sources, for example, and different Internet connections.

Kudos to the USPTO for taking this important step!

Now you can hand-file applications in the four satellite patent offices!

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.

Detroit patent office:

300 River Place South, Suite 2900, Detroit, MI 48207

Eastern time zone

Denver patent office:

1961 Stout Street, Denver, CO 80294

Mountain time zone

Dallas patent office:

207 South Houston Street, Dallas, TX 75202

Central time zone

San Jose patent office:

26 South Fourth Street, San Jose, CA 95113

Pacific time zone


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.)