The USPTO has indicated that it “remains in normal operating status” despite the Federal Government funding crisis.
The USPTO remains open for business as normal. This is possible because the agency has access to prior-year fee collections, which enables the USPTO to continue normal operations for a few weeks. Should the USPTO exhaust these funds before a partial government shutdown comes to an end, the agency would have to shut down at that time, although a small staff would continue to work to accept new applications and maintain IT infrastructure, among other functions.
The patent system may be helping with the Border Wall. Consider the following:
- U.S. Pub. No. 20180273288 — directed toward border wall or fence is constructed from a plurality of existing ISO steel shipping containers which are connected together both horizontally and vertically at their corners using conventional corner locks so as to present a continuous physical barrier of any selected length. (Note the 4th floor golf cart).
- U.S. Pub. No. 20180313200 — directed toward an underground wall that also detects “enemy” tunnels.