USPTO Under Government Shutdown

Due to continuing budget battles in Congress, as of October 1, 2013 the US federal government is under a general shutdown. However, the USPTO reports that it will be able to continue operating uninterrupted for about four weeks using its reserves from fee collections. If their reserves are exhausted then they will execute a shutdown plan which would leave a small staff in place to maintain the USPTO's IT infrastructure and continue accepting new applications and processing patent and trademark applications.

As a practical matter patent and trademark applicants may notice a delay in some services if the USPTO were to shutdown; however, services for protecting intellectual property rights are regarded as "essential services" so applicants can be assured that their IP rights will not be compromised under a government shutdown regardless of duration.