HBCUs ADDED AS RESOURCE CENTERS: Three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were designated as Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs) in 2023, and the USPTO plans to add more. The three are the John B. Cade Library at Southern University and A&M College, John B. Coleman Library at Prairie View A&M University, and Miller F. Whittaker Library at South Carolina State University. Howard University’s Founders Library was designated a PTRC in 1986.

PTRCs are part of a national network of public, state, and academic libraries designated by the USPTO to offer trademark and patent assistance to the public.

PILOT DEADLINE EXTENDED: The First-Time Filer Expedited Examination Pilot Program has been extended. The extended pilot program will run from March 11, 2024, until either March 11, 2025, or the date the USPTO grants a total of 1,000 petitions since the start of the pilot program, whichever occurs first.

The program permits patent applications from eligible first-time filers to be advanced out-of-turn for examination and reviewed earlier (also known as being “accorded special status”). Eligible applications will receive expedited initial written feedback from patent examiners, known as the “first office action.”