At 12:01 AM on January 20, 2018, the United States Government went into shutdown based on impasse in congress over budgeting. Of course, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is an agency of the United States Government. The government shutdown applies to all “non-essential” government agencies. For example, agencies that are considered as “non-essential” include some National Parks, Smithsonian museums and the Library of Congress. Unlike the 2013 government shutdown, however, national parks with entrance fees will remain open.
The administration has encouraged any agencies that are funded outside of the annual appropriations process to remain open.
According to the USPTO, the agency will remain operational. The USPTO indicated that it is able to remain open as it has access to prior year fee collections. This will allow the USPTO to remain operational for a “few weeks.” If you have any questions regarding the effect of the government shutdown on the USPTO, please refer to their website, or feel free to give us a call.