by Miriam Samis, MSc, US Patent Agent and Israel Patent Attorney

The USPTO has recently announced that as of April 18, 2023, it will no longer be issuing paper granted patents. Instead, the USPTO will be transitioning to issuing certified electronic granted patents (eGrants). The eGrant will be the official statutory patent grant and will be available the day the patent is issued, as opposed to the paper patent, which was usually received weeks thereafter due to typical mail delays. 

In US patent practice, a continuing patent application (divisional, continuation, or continuation-in-part) can be filed until the day before the allowed patent issues. Whereas in the past we typically received notice of patent issue a few weeks beforehand, thereby providing our clients a relatively long time to make any final continuing application filing decisions, it is currently unclear when we would receive the issue notification in relation to the new eGrant. Although we will likely still receive a notice of issuance, the total time between payment of the issue fee and patent issue will likely be much shorter than has been previously. 

Given the above, come April 18th, our recommendation is to file any continuing patent application, either by the time of payment of the issue fee or within the immediate days thereafter to ensure that the continuing patent application is timely filed.  

Please be in touch if there are any questions about the USPTO’s new eGrant or the timing for filing a continuing application.

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