Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

Uncle Sam PTO Wants You (Or at Least Your Email Address)!

Posted in General Commentary, Practice Commentary by Jake Ward on May 30, 2006

According to a recent Notice, the USPTO is undertaking to collect the email addresses of each and every patent agent or attorney.   The PTO plans to implement “automated notifications” to registered practitioners of notices and IT system alerts, send invitations to attend conferences and other events facilitated by the PTO, and communicate other information of a “non-confidential nature.”

To enable the PTO to join the ranks of those who clutter your inbox daily, the PTO is implementing 37 CFR § 11.11, under which each “registered practitioner must notify the OED Director of up to three e-mail addresses where he or she receives e-mail.”

Thus, a practitioner is first required to send an e-mail addressed to PractitionerE-mailAddresses@USPTO.GOV with the practitioner’s last name, first name and middle name; the practitioner’s registration number; and up to three e-mail addresses. Secondly, a practitioner must send a confirmation letter addressed to Mail Stop OED with the same information as sent by email (isn’t there a hint of irony here?).

As the PTO states in the Notice, practitioner’s email addresses will not be disseminated to the public.  Therefore, there is no need to worry about spam and unwanted electronic communications . . . other than from your friendly neighborhood USPTO of course.