The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is proposing to amend the patent rules of practice so that the official receipt date of correspondence submitted electronically is the date in the Eastern time zone of the United States when the USPTO received the correspondence rather than the date the correspondence address in Alexandria, Virginia, received it. This is because the USPTO expects to provide physical servers for receiving electronic submissions in locations that are separate from the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. This proposed change will ensure consistency and predictability for correspondence receipt dates.
The USPTO is also proposing to amend the patent rules of practice to make other clarifying changes for the receipt of electronic submissions, including defining Eastern Time. These changes will harmonize the patent rules with the trademark rules and clarify the receipt date of electronic submissions.
The notice published on December 7, 2021, and the full text is available at the Federal Register and on the USPTO’s Patent Related Notices webpage. Comments must be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal by February 7, 2022, to ensure consideration.