USPTO rolled out its FM (Financial Manager) system in April of 2016. One of the USPTO’s goals is to force every holder of a Deposit Account to migrate its Deposit Account into the FM system. To this end, USPTO has set a last possible date of June 30, 2016 (six days from now) for this task.
If you miss the June 30, 2016 date, USPTO says it will simply shut down your Deposit Account and drop a refund check in the mail to the last known mailing address for the Deposit Account. To be able to use a Deposit Account in future, you will have to create a new Deposit Account and load money into it. Very likely this would take a week or so. So you would have a gap of some days or weeks during which you would be unable to use a Deposit Account for paying USPTO fees. Hopefully the refund check would not get lost in the mail.
Clearly it will save you a lot of trouble if you can get your Deposit Account migrated into the FM system before the remaining six days have passed. To do this, you will need an “authorization code” that you don’t have and that USPTO probably never provided to you. To obtain this crucial “authorization code”, call up the Deposit Account Branch at 571-272-6500. When we called, a few weeks ago, the person who gave us our “authorization code” was a nice person named Rebecca.
I expect this migration process will be particularly difficult or impossible for USPTO customers with complicated Deposit Account arrangements. For example a large corporation with several outside counsel firms may have a single Deposit Account which it permits the outside firms to use. Each of the outside counsel firms might phone up Rebecca trying to learn the crucial “authorization code”. June 30 might come and go without the migration being successfully accomplished.
How did your Deposit Account migration go? Do you have any tips to share? Please post a comment.