The Patent Application Locating and Monitoring (PALM) database at the USPTO forms the backbone of an extensive number of USPTO systems. During some planned maintenance on the 15th August they “experienced an issue” that, five days later, doesn’t seem to have been resolved.

Systems impacted include the USPTO’s Electronic Filing System (EFS), the Public and Private Patent Application Retrieval (PAIR) systems and the Electronic Patent Assignment (ePAS) among others

After the first 36 hours, the USPTO began to allow users to use the function to file patents and access saved submissions. Users were skeptical but, unfortunately, for customers struggling to make their filings, the USPTO does “not plan to extend deadlines”, according to a statement by Andrei Iancu, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. Bad news for anyone trying to maintain their patent.

For its part,  the USPTO has called in “experts in databases, operating systems, and storage” to help solve the PALM issue. However, workers showing up at the office today, hoping to find things up and running, are likely to be disappointed. They’ve also begun using the old-fashioned fax machine again.

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