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USPTO Proposes to Modernize Patent and Trademark Issuance graphic

Patent owners and trademark registrants soon will be able to protect their intellectual property more quickly and efficiently thanks to proposed changes to the way the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) operates.

On Dec. 10, 2021, the USPTO announced that it intends to transition away from mailing paper certificates of issued patents and trademark registrations. Under the proposed change, the USPTO would no longer physically deliver a patent by mailing it to the correspondence address. Instead, it would issue the patent electronically via its patent document viewing systems, Patent Center and Patent Application Image Retrieval (PAIR). Patentee holders also would be able to download and print electronically issued patents through these systems.

In addition to reducing paper waste, the USPTO expects these changes will reduce by about two week the length of the patent application process and by one to two weeks the length of the trademark registration process. Patent owners and trademark registrants who wish to obtain paper “presentation copies” of their certificates still would have the option to do so for a $25 fee.

“The proposed changes represent another step toward the full digitization of our patent application processing and streamlining of our services,” USPTO leader Drew Hirschfield said in USPTO’s announcement.

The comment period regarding the changes to the trademark process closed Dec. 15, 2021. The USPTO is expected to begin issuing trademark registration certificates electronically via the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system in the spring of 2022.

The comment period regarding changes to the patent issuance process remains open until Feb. 14, 2022.

Panitch Schwarze’s team of patent and trademark attorneys utilize their wealth of experience and knowledge to successfully guide clients through the patent prosecution and trademark registration process. Widely recognized as leaders in the field of IP law, our attorneys are adept at handling all aspects of intellectual property protection.

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