After being closed for more than two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the USPTO has opened all locations toemployeesand resumedsomepublic in-person events. That said, PTAB hearings and TTAB hearings are still being conducted by video/telephone only. The USPTO has not indicated when in-person hearings might resume.
Still mindful of the pandemic, the USPTO is implementing some coronavirus precautions.
Visitors are to review ahealth questionnaireand may not enter facilities if they answer yes to any of the questions.
In communities with low or medium Covid-19 transmission levels, wearing a maskis optional.
In communities with high Covid-19 transmission levels, wearing a mask is mandatory.
The USPTOs main campus is located in Alexandria, Virginia, which currently is experiencing amediumtransmission rate according to theCDC website.
It is not surprising that mostupcoming USPTO eventsare still virtual, but there is one in-person event on the calendar already, at the Dallas Regional Office on June 15:
Learn How To Conduct A Patent Search
June 15, 2022 10:00 AM CT
207 S. Houston St. #159
Dallas, TX 75202
TheUSPTOs announcementdoes not specifically mention in-person examiner interviews, which of course would require the examiner to be present at a USPTO site. Even pre-pandemic the USPTO had a generoustelework policy, so it will be interesting to see how many examiners return to work on-campus. Maybe those that do will welcome the opportunity to conduct in-person interviews with stakeholders who still believe face-to-face meetings can be more productive than video conferences.
2022 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 151