USPTO comes clean (sort of) to the CAFC about its “where you sleep at night” blunder

The Associate Solicitor of the USPTO today wrote a letter to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sort of coming clean to the Court about the USPTO’s recently revealed “where you sleep at night” blunder. 

By way of background, earlier today, the USPTO’s CIO Jamie Holcombe sent out email messages admitting to a programming blunder in nearly all of its external-facing computer systems that relate to the supposedly secret “where you sleep at night” domicile addresses.  It turns out that the USPTO has made these supposedly secret addresses available to the general public for over three years, from February 2020 to March 2023.  See my blog article here.

In a striking example of closing the barn door after the horse has departed, CIO Holcombe claims to have “fixed” the problem.

A court case fighting the USPTO’s demands to know where applicants sleep at night has been working its way through the USPTO and up to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where it stands now fully briefed and awaiting oral argument.  When the USPTO filed its brief at the CAFC to defend its requirement that applicants reveal to the USPTO where they sleep at night, the USPTO represented to the CAFC that it keeps the “where you sleep at night” domicile addresses secret within the USPTO and does not reveal them to the public.

Now it turns out that the USPTO’s representation to the court was false.  To her credit, the Associate Solicitor of the USPTO has written a letter to the CAFC admitting this.  You can see the Associate Solicitor’s letter here.

7 Replies to “USPTO comes clean (sort of) to the CAFC about its “where you sleep at night” blunder”

  1. Notice that Vidal’s letter says this really has nothing to do with the merits of the case.

  2. Recall too that the requirement for addresses began August 3, 2019. There was NO masking of addresses until February 2020. So the fact that this disclosure began in February 2020 is only to say it’s been there ever since they first claimed to be masking – in other words, there was never a moment in time from August 3, 2019 until April 1, 2023 when they successfully masked addresses.

  3. And what took so long – two months, from April 1 until June 9 (a Friday, so the news cycle runs over a weekend), to announce it?

  4. Gross, blatant, negligence. Stop giving these idiots any benefit of ANY doubt. If practitioners and their staff have to follow rules and procedures, just for the PTO to specifically take multiple craps on them and then have the audacity to call it immaterial, is criminal in my mind. Yes, I have read about the multitude of trespasses against the USPTO’s customer base, and IT IS NOW INSANITY TO —->PRETEND<—- they have the same in mind. (Head blowing up emochi)

  5. What is the impact of this security leak on Chestek Legal’s CAFC appeal, which including an argument about the likelihood of this happening?

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