Effective April 18, 2023, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will transition to electronic patent issuance under which the official copy of the patent will be provided in an electronic format with a cover sheet having a digital seal and signature, and available on the day of grant. This applies to utility, design, plant, and reissue patents.
Notably, under the new issuance procedures, the pendency between issue fee payment and grant of the patent will be significantly reduced. Specifically, the Federal Register indicated that an issue notification may be published the “Wednesday or Thursday before the parent issues.” Thus, instead of the typical three week window between mailing of the Issue Notification and the grant date of the patent, there will now be only 2-3 business days. In view of this, we recommend filing continuation and divisional applications prior to or on the due date of payment of the issue fee when instructed by our clients. In light of the new rules being issued from the USPTO with respect to electronic patent issuance and the considerably shorter period between issue notification and the issuance of the patent grant, this will also entail a shorter period of time to file an Information Disclosure Statement (“IDS”) under the Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement (“QPIDS”) program. Likewise, there will be a shortened time frame to withdraw a patent from issuance.
We note that should you still wish to receive a printed ceremonial copy of the patent, that option is available upon request and for a nominal fee, along with current options to purchase paper versions of presentation copies and certified copies.
The USPTO has an informational website for e-Grants at: https://www.uspto.gov/patents/apply/patent-center/egrants
A summary from the USPTO can be found on the USPTO’s website at: https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/news-updates/uspto-ushers-new-era-introduction-electronic-patent-grants
Also, the full Federal Register can be found at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/02/28/2023-03809/uspto-officially-transitions-to-issuing-electronic-patent-grants-in-2023
Please contact us with any questions.