Trademarks, the USPTO & the Government Shutdown

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Hello and Happy New Year!

I just wanted to take a moment and let you know a bit more about the current state of affairs regarding the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the federal government shutdown and how this will affect Neon Esquire clients.

On January 16th the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that if the federal government shutdown continues, they will have to close their offices as of February 1, 2018. This means any trademark related correspondence will have to be drafted manually and sent in via snail mail. Once received, it will be time stamped but nothing else will be done to it until the government reopens. When the government does reopen, all mailed correspondence must be manually entered into the system by the USPTO. This presents two problems. First, the amount of correspondence will be backlogged. Second, it will take the USPTO much longer when the government reopens to manually enter in all the backlogged items.

So, for the next two weeks I will be focusing primarily on all pending current client trademark matters. My goal is to wrap up all current matters before February 1. This way, things are properly entered into the system in a timely manner before the possible shutdown. As such, my calendar will be blocked off and I will have less availability. Also, my response time to phone calls and emails will be delayed.

I truly apologize for the inconvenience. Obviously, this is out of most Americans’ hands. I appreciate your understanding and patience during this time. And as always, I appreciate your business. Thank you.

-Tara M. Murphy