USPTO to Begin Issuing Electronic Patent Grants
Beginning April 18, 2023, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will begin issuing electronic patent grants (eGrants) rather than paper-issued Letters Patents. Once this change is implemented, the eGrant will be the official statutory patent grant.
The USPTO has noted that eGrants will be in portable document format (PDF), will mirror the appearance of the currently produced bound patent grants, and will use an encrypted certification/validation technology. The benefits of this new eGrant process will include an electronic grant to the patentee and public as a certified PDF on the day of issue, a streamlined patent grant process that will minimize paper waste, and will provide the opportunity to reduce the pendency of patent applications. During a transition period, the USPTO will provide a paper copy of the electronic patent grant as a ceremonial copy, delivered to the attorney of record.
The USPTO also has suggested that an eGrant patent may be issued shortly after paying the issue fee and therefore recommends that any continuing patent application be filed prior to payment of the issue fee so as not to jeopardize codependency. Please keep this in mind as you consider the timing for filing any continuing applications.
As the USPTO transitions to this new eGrant process, your Greensfelder patent attorneys will continue to assist you in strategizing the timing for filing any continuing patent applications. As always, please reach out to us if you have any questions.