USPTO fails to let me know that it fixed a defect that I reported in Assignment Center

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Three times in February of 2024, by three different communications channels to the USPTO,  I reported a defect in Assignment Center.   The defect, shown at right, was that Assignment Center refused to permit me to record an assignment against a PCT application number.

Now, three months later, the USPTO did fix this defect.  But the USPTO failed to let me know they fixed it.  I had to stumble upon it by accident that the USPTO had fixed it. 

On February 5 2024 I reported this defect by email to the email address that the USPTO specified for such defect reports, namely “assignmentcenter@uspto.gov”.  It took ten days for anybody at the USPTO to answer that email.  When they did, the person gave me trouble ticket number 1-850590464.  The person said:

Once it is resolve [sic] someone from our team will notify you.

I also reported the defect on February 6, 2024 by calling the telephone number that the USPTO specified for such defect reports, namely +1-571-272-3350.  The person gave me a trouble ticket number 1-849780117.  This was reported in my blog article dated February 6 entitled No responsiveness from the Assignment Branch on defect in Assignment Center.

When nobody got back to me on this, I eventually escalated to the manager of the Assignment Branch, a Joyce R. Johnson.   See blog article dated February 9, 2024 entitled Tech support failure at the Assignment Branch.

After some days Ms. Johnson returned my call and we discussed the defect in detail.  She promised to get back to me about the defect.

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A couple of days ago, in May of 2024, completely by chance, I stumbled upon a surprise.  It turns out that the USPTO did eventually fix this defect in Assignment Center.  You can see the fix at right.  Back in February of 2024 (as shown in the screen shot at the top of this article), any attempt to record against a PCT application number (for a PCT application that had been filed in a Receiving Office other than RO/US) failed.  Assignment Center refused to accept the PCT application number.

But now, three months later, the USPTO quietly fixed the defect.  Now Assignment Center says “if this is a PCT application that designates the US, as the Office under 35 USC 363, please check numbers you wish to record.”  And now it is possible to proceed in Assignment Center with such a recordation.

But the USPTO utterly failed to handle the defect report properly.

Whenever it was that the USPTO fixed the defect, what should have happened next (as quoted above), is that “someone from our team” should have “notified me” that it was “resolved”.  This would have been an appropriate closure to trouble ticket number 1-850590464.   But that never happened.  No one notified me that it was resolved.  I wonder if that trouble ticket is still open?

Failing that, what about trouble ticket number 1-849780117.  Again, when the defect got fixed, somebody at the USPTO should have gotten back to me about this trouble ticket number 1-849780117.  But nobody ever got back to me in response to this trouble ticket.  I wonder if that trouble ticket is still open?

Then we turn to the detailed telephone conversation I had about this defect with the manager of the Assignment Branch, Joyce R. Johnson.  She was going to have somebody at the USPTO fix that defect, and she was going to get back to me.  But the alert reader will be able to guess how this went.  No, Ms. Johnson never got back to me to let me know that the defect that she and I discussed had gotten fixed.

So yes, the good news is the USPTO fixed this defect in Assignment Center.  The bad news is, it took the USPTO some three months to fix the defect.  And the bad news is, nobody at the USPTO got back to me about either of the trouble tickets that had been opened.  And the bad news is, even the manager of the Assignment Branch, who had said she would get back to me, never got back to me.

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