Best Practices on Patent Filing

It is a rule we all learned in school: don’t procrastinate, don’t wait until the last minute.  It is one I adhere to in my practice.  There are enough complexities in the practice of patent law – adding poor timing and stress to the mix is unnecessary.  A few weeks ago, I was filing a client’s document, I believe it was an Office Action.  We had several weeks still to respond, but adhering to my rule, I filed it early.  Or attempted to file it early.  I attempted to log onto my Patent Office web portal from home that night, just before 9:00, and received this message:

I was upset that I wouldn’t be able to file that night, but that was fine – I had weeks before the response was due.  But if the response had been due that night and those ten minutes had gone by, I would have been scrambling to revisit the fax or certificate of mailing rules and make sure the response was timely filed.  Planning ahead, working ahead, and purposefully not trusting technology to always be there are fairly easy, simple rules to employ.

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