How The Shutdown Affects Your IP.

Congresses failure to pass a budget before the October 1st deadline to fund the government has forced President Obama to initiate a partial government shutdown.  This affects some agencies immediately – national parks, including the Panda Cam at the National Zoo, have already closed.   Other agencies have gone into wind-down mode, and are making plans for a shutdown.

The USPTO will be able to remain open on funds that aren’t tied to government appropriations.  These funds, that have been reserved from fee collections, will allow the Office to continue to function as usual for as long as four weeks.  After four weeks, only a small staff would remain, and a shutdown plan would go into effect.  However, the Office will still receive new applications for patents and trademarks and maintain the IT infrastructure during any shutdown.

The Copyright Office has not offered any guidance as to its functioning during a shutdown, but it is likely that they will have to trim down to only essential personnel.  There is a notice posted on their home page stating that the Office is closed as of October 1st.  However, they continue to accept applications and monitor unauthorized online activity.

The Federal Courts have enough funds to remain open for ten business days.  After that time, the criminal courts would continue functioning as required in the interest of public safety, but the impact on civil cases in unclear.  The Department of Justice has published a contingency plan that provides for postponement of civil litigation.

How Can I Help?

While many government entities may be shutting down if you have a patent, copyright, trademark, or civil suit that you need to file before a critical date, don’t delay.  Please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +