CSG Law Alert: USPTO Transitioning from Paper to Electronic Patent Grants (eGrants)

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is transitioning from the traditional issuance of paper patents to electronically issued patents with a digital USPTO seal and the digital signature of the USPTO director. The older format was bound with a cover sheet that featured both an embossed seal and the signature of the USPTO director, but the new format incorporates those features into a Portable Document Format (PDF) document.

The new electronic patent grant is the official statutory patent grant and will be available to view and print from the USPTO website immediately upon issue.

During a transition period that begins on April 18, 2023, the USPTO will issue both paper and electronic copies of issued patents. The paper copy will be ceremonial, and the electronic copy will be the official statutory patent grant. Ceremonial paper copies will continue to be available for a fee after the transition period. The USPTO has not yet specified the duration of the transition period.

Under the new electronic issuance, the USPTO will issue the patent shortly after the payment of the issue fee. As a result, applicants will have limited time to file continuing applications, Information Disclosure Statements or petitions to withdraw an application from issue after payment of the issue fee. Therefore, best practice would be for applicants to file these submissions as early as possible. Preferably, continuing applications should be filed before the payment of the issue fee.

Please contact one of the authors if you have any questions regarding eGrants or any other patent related questions.