Legal Alert: The USPTO’s Transition to Electronic Patent Issuance and Reduction in Period Between Issue Notification and Issue Date


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is transitioning to electronic patent issuance beginning on April 18, 2023 (88 FR 12560), with a goal of reducing pendency of patent applications. This change is expected to shorten the period between the issue notification and date of issuance from the current 19 days to as little as two business days, and it also may reduce the period between payment of the issue fee and generation of the issue notification. As a result, there will be little time after payment of the issue fee to file continuing applications, and the window for doing so will be uncertain.

In view of this change, we strongly recommend that you always send instructions regarding filing additional applications before the issue fee is paid. If instructions are received after payment of the issue fee, there is risk that it will be too late to file additional applications.