U.S. Government Shutdown Could Affect Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights
By: DEAN R. KARAU
April 8, 2011
At this moment, the United States government is on the verge of a shutdown. If it occurs, it may adversely affect your intellectual property rights in the U.S.
The good news is that the United States Patent and Trademark Office believes that in the event of a government shutdown, it can remain open and continue.
The bad news is that the USPTO believes that it will be able to operate as usual only for six business days.
After that, the USPTO says it will only have limited staff to continue its work. It will try to prioritize new electronic applications and otherwise maintain its IT infrastructure, but there are presently no guarantees.
If you have important dates coming up – priority dates, trade shows, and so on – you may want to instruct your IP attorney to file applications sooner rather than later to be sure to secure a filing date.
If you have other non-extendable deadlines, you should immediately consult with your IP attorney to discuss other implications of the shutdown.