Shutdown for Years?

Although the PTO is permitted to spend its already collected fees.  It isn’t actually able to spend fees collected since the shutdown.  My understanding is that the Office is in cost-cutting mode based upon President Trump’s statement that the shutdown could last for “weeks or even years.”

Once funds run out, the PTO is looking for ways to keep the doors open enough to continue to accept new application filings — while shutting down examination and PTAB activities.  It is likely that a special PTO funding bill would receive bipartisan support — keeping the patent office rolling while other government services are shut-down.

31 thoughts on “Shutdown for Years?

  1. 9

    Ms. Sims… blamed Mr. Trump for the shutdown, a point on which she disagreed with her husband and most of her colleagues. “This definitely is making me more political than I have been in the past,” Ms. Sims said.

    Dare we hope that voters are waking up to the fact that we have elected a con man?

    1. 9.1

      The shutdown on top of the hurricane has caused Ms. Minton to rethink a lot of things.

      “I voted for him, and he’s the one who’s doing this,” she said of Mr. Trump. “I thought he was going to do good things. He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.”

      Well, in the cosmic justice sense, he is hurting the people that he is supposed to hurt—the voters who put him in office. As it happens, I am among those bleeding heart liberals who would prefer that these people not get hurt. Here’s hoping, therefore, that the women of the Florida panhandle (all the men quoted in the linked article are still 100% behind the President, and prepared to bear all this misery for the sake of the Wall) realize that voting for a con-man is the political equivalent of stepping on a rake. Only they can prevent another four years of this.

      1. 9.1.1

        Those men are the same guys who think they are “owning libs” when they throw their microwaves out the window because it was manufactured by a company who pulled ads from some rightwing foam fest.

        Stepping on a rake that smashes them in the face? “Take that, libs!” That’s about as deep as the li z ar d b r @in gets.

        It’s really the rest of the country — the decent people who aren’t p I g – ign 0rant — who need to get out and vote against this kind of cr @p. Meanwhile, glibs like “anon” and “centrist” grifters will be out there trying to “both sides” everything while they grab the cash.


          Stepping on a rake that smashes them in the face? “Take that, libs!” That’s about as deep as the li z ar d b r @in gets.

          This sentiment describes over 95% of Malcolm’s posts – with Malcolm stepping on the rake.

          His answer to posts that point this out? Take your pick from “who cares” “deep thinking” or the usual assortment of mindless ad hominem.

    2. 9.2

      They’re waking up to the fact that dems want hispanic especially and other illegal immigrants so badly for their votes down the line that they’d rather shut down the gubmit than make a simple wall and save hundreds of thousands of whamen from being rapped upon every year.

      1. 8.1.1

        It’s neither, @ h0le. It’s spot on and it’s f ked in the head hypocrites like you that are a large part of the problem.

        Great message for everyone who chose not to v0 te against or speak out against this shirt-for-b r @ ins d u mp s ter fire:

        link to


          and it’s f ked in the head hypocrites like you that are a large part of the problem.

          Accuse Others meme — in spades.


            Hey, if you like, Billy, I’ll clarify that glibertarians like you are typically even st 00 piter and more cl u e l ess than R epu k k k es. Will that make you happier?

  2. 7

    Shutdown for Years?

    How long before the TSA’s staff is mostly furloughed? I predict that the shutdown will last about one to two weeks past that point. Mid-March at the latest. Once the top 5% become impatient for the IRS to process their refunds under the new rates that were geared to give the rich a big kickback, the GOP will rapidly lose their stomach for the fight.

    1. 7.1

      The wealthiest don’t get refunds. If you are self-employed (as many of the wealthiest are), you pay tax withholdings quarterly. The first quarterly payment is due on Tax Day. So apply your refund to the next year, and then don’t make a payment for the first quarter. Voila, an immediate refund by shifting money around.

      1. 7.1.1

        Ha, good point. I suppose that I am being too sanguine about the possibility for pressure to end this farce. On the other hand, the President is certainly acting like a man under pressure lately, so maybe the logjam will break soon regardless of taxes or the TSA.

  3. 6

    The shutdown will last no more than 2 months. TSA agents (already ranked as one of the worst places to work in the federal government) who are working and not getting paid, will start calling out sick in droves (reports are trickling in that this is starting to happen, and they haven’t even missed their 1st paycheck YET), thus grinding air traffic to a near halt. Millions of taxpayers not receiving their tax refunds…since the IRS is effectively shuttered. The soon-to-be news coverage of SNAP recipients (formerly known as food stamps) not getting ANY benefits (such benefits come to an end in February when the funds run dry at the shuttered USDA); Military (Coast Guard) members not getting paid while working away from home and their loved ones, CBP agents (even those pro-wall) will be struggling mightily when it comes to paying their bills, ETC., ETC., ETC…Yep, methinks this is not gonna go on for more than several more weeks.

  4. 3

    So contrast a fee based government organization – pto – profit maker? Against, and extra Constitutional organization like CFPB? Stays open, since its non appropriated funds?

  5. 2

    Do I understand this correctly that patent examiners (like any other Federal worker) are not getting paid now and when the shutdown ends, they will not receive any type of reimbursement for the shutdown period? That’s pretty rotten.
    What if USPTO employees need to pay their mortgage/rent? In addition, when the shutdown ends, examiners will not meet their counts which would also affect their bonuses. There will be a bigger backlog when the shutdown ends so I would expect a lot of junk (rushed) office actions.

    1. 2.1

      Patent examiners are still getting paid, and at least for now, our paychecks will be on time.

      If we have to close our doors, then we will be in the same boat as the rest of the federal employees who are already furloughed – no paychecks until the shutdown ends. And back pay isn’t automatic, but is instead contingent on whether Congress approves it.

      The people getting hosed in this situation (and across the agencies affected by the shutdown) are our contractors, who do various tasks in computer support, mailroom, office management, etc. Their employers won’t be on the hook to pay their employees for hours not worked, even if Congress approves back pay for federal employees.

      As for the backlog, yes, it would increase. Examiners would generally not be affected in terms of their production, since the denominator is the number of hours worked, and furloughed examiners would log a big goose egg there. There are various other situations in terms of examiner performance that could potentially be affected, but there are ways to deal with those as well.

      1. 2.1.1

        Thanks Apotu -you always seem to post with the most “reason” of the regular examiner types that post here.

    2. 2.2

      That’s pretty rotten.

      Yes, the results of government shutdowns are rotten. In a world of sane legislators, this fact would serve to ensure that shutdowns not happen. Regrettably, in a nation where FOX news can climb into the #1 ratings slot, the number of sane legislators is sadly limited.

      1. 2.2.1 if one side of the aisle owns this mess of a system of politics that we have….

        Mein Gott, BOTH sides are to be blamed.


            I thought you meant this one:

            link to

            But we are in fact living a meme right now. This has mountains of evidence to back it up. Good news is though that at the end, Merica will be made Great ‘Gain!

  6. 1

    Scene: Multiple groups of men, women, and children are seen scaling fences and walls.

    Husband: Look honey, are those more foreigners trying to get into our Country?

    Wife: No dear, just tourists trying to get into our national parks.

    So if this wall foolishness continues, will we all be climbing our own wall . . . into the Patent Office to try to protect our American innovation (with our foreign compatriots right behind us)?

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