USPTO closed Monday February 16

Just a reminder that the USPTO will be closed on Monday, February 16.  This is Washington’s Birthday* which is a federal holiday.

Anything that you might need to do by February 16 to satisfy some USPTO due date may be postponed until Tuesday, February 17 and will still be timely.

Years ago my firm would be closed on Washington’s Birthday.  Our thinking was, the USPTO itself was closed and the US Post Office (which was where we had to go if we wanted to file a patent or trademark application by Express Mail) was likewise closed.  So we figured there wasn’t any work to do, so we might as well be closed.

In recent years, however, we don’t look at it that way.  I guess one major shift is the globalization of patent and trademark practice.  Our colleagues in countries outside of the US are working on February 16 and we feel the need to be responsive to them regardless of whether the USPTO or US Post Office happen to be closed.

The other major shift is that we don’t rely upon the Post Office being open any more.  We e-file stuff.  And of course the e-filing can be done on Washington’s Birthday the same as on any other day.

*The federal Office of Personnel Management, which is the authority on federal holidays, says that this holiday is designated as “Washington’s Birthday” in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees. OPM explains that although other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is OPM’s policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law.

So no, it’s not “President’s Day” on February 16.  It’s “Washington’s Birthday”.

While we are being picky, we can also recognize that strictly speaking it is not “Daylight Savings Time” but “Daylight Saving Time”, also because of some obscure federal law.  I suggest saving this one up and using it to impress people at cocktail parties.


One Reply to “USPTO closed Monday February 16”

  1. Carl,

    If today is the 3-month deadline for response, doesn’t waiting until tomorrow cost a day of PTA? Of course, this doesn’t matter for many clients.

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