February 3, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 34


February 02, 2023

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

February 01, 2023

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

January 31, 2023

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

USPTO Open for Some In-Person Business

After being closed for more than two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the USPTO has opened all locations to employees and resumed some public in-person events. That said, PTAB hearings and TTAB hearings are still being conducted by video/telephone only. The USPTO has not indicated when in-person hearings might resume.

Coronavirus Precautions

Still mindful of the pandemic, the USPTO is implementing some coronavirus precautions.

  • Visitors are to review a health questionnaire and “may not enter facilities if they answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions.”

  • In communities with low or medium Covid-19 transmission levels, wearing a mask is optional.

  • In communities with high Covid-19 transmission levels, wearing a mask is mandatory. 

The USPTO’s main campus is located in Alexandria, Virginia, which currently is experiencing a medium transmission rate according to the CDC website.

In-Person Events

It is not surprising that most upcoming USPTO events are still virtual, but there is one in-person event on the calendar already, at the Dallas Regional Office on June 15:

Learn How To Conduct A Patent Search
June 15, 2022 10:00 AM CT
USPTO —Texas
207 S. Houston St. #159
Dallas, TX 75202

Examiner Interviews?

The USPTO’s announcement does not specifically mention in-person examiner interviews, which of course would require the examiner to be present at a USPTO site. Even pre-pandemic the USPTO had a generous telework policy, so it will be interesting to see how many examiners return to work on-campus. Maybe those that do will welcome the opportunity to conduct in-person interviews with stakeholders who still believe face-to-face meetings can be more productive than video conferences.

© 2023 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 151

About this Author

Courtenay C. Brinckerhoff, intellectual property  law attorney, Foley & Lardner  Law Firm

Courtenay Brinckerhoff is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Ms. Brinckerhoff’s practice focuses on client counseling in all aspects of obtaining, licensing and enforcing patents and conducting freedom-to-operate and due diligence investigations. She is chair of the firm’s IP Law and Practice committee, immediate past vice chair of the firm’s Chemical, Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Practice and a member of the firm's Patent Trials group, Appellate Practice and Life Sciences Industry Team. She also is involved with Foley’s...