What to do when EFS-Web is broken
Important note: This page is intended only as a convenient reference
for patent practitioners who are registered to practice before the USPTO. This
page is not, and is not intended to be, legal advice for pro se filers.
If you are not represented by a registered patent practitioner, you should not
rely upon this page. You should instead consult competent patent counsel who
can help you with your patent filing needs.
When EFS-Web is broken, consider any of five ways of getting things to
- E-filing to the
contingency server which is
- Faxing to the Central Fax Number which is +1 571 273 8300.
- Hand-carrying to the night-service window at the Randolph Building,
401 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.
- Mailing to the USPTO by means of Priority Mail Express (née
- Mailing to the USPTO by means of Priority Mail (née "First
Keep in mind that each of these approaches has limitations.
- If you file a non-provisional patent application, or enter the US
national phase, you cannot do it by approach 2 or 5. If you do it by approach 3
or 4, the USPTO will hit you with a $400 penalty.
- If you use approach 4, you must comply with all requirements of 37
CFR § 1.10. This includes providing the tracking number on the document
being filed and getting today's date on a "date in" receipt from the US Postal
- If you use approach 5, you must comply with all requirements of 37
CFR § 1.8. This includes providing a Certificate of Mailing such as Form
PTO/SB/92 at http://www.uspto.gov/web/forms/sb0092.pdf
and dropping the emvelope into the drop box before midnight today.
- If you use approach 4 or 5, it is a Best Practice to include a
pre-stamped pre-addressed post card that the USPTO can use to acknowledge
receipt of your papers.
- If you use approach 3, it is a Best Practice to bring a receipt with
you for signing by the attendant at the night-service window.