We have all read reports in the papers of the Republicans’ and the Democrats’ failure to agree on the 2014 budget (which was due to start on October 1). This agreement has caused the public administration departments to shut down.
But what about the US Patent & Trademark Office?
The USPTO is not a public administration like the others, as recalled on its website:
The USPTO will remain open and will be using its reserve funds for about 4 weeks (the average shutdown over the past few years has been of 3 days, and no shutdown has lasted more than 3 weeks).
However, we should keep a close eye on future developments, as these will certainly have an impact in terms of the examination of the application files, considering that the 7,800 examiners will not be working throughout the shutdown period…
In case of absolute emergency on a new project, it could be desirable to file a precautionary application in a member country of the Paris convention on industrial property rights, to at least benefit from a 6-month priority period and thus have time to see how the situation develops.