On April 18th, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is set to introduce a significant change to the way patent grants are issued. In a move towards greater efficiency and sustainability, the USPTO will transition from printing and mailing paper copies of patent grants to issuing them exclusively in electronic format, through a system called eGrants.
With this change, patent grants will be immediately available for viewing and printing in the Patent Center, which has recently been updated to support this new feature. Digital versions of the USPTO seal and the Director’s signature will also be included in the electronic patent grant. This initiative will save nearly $2 million in annual printing and mailing costs while promoting a green economy.
During the transition period, which has yet to be established, ceremonial paper copies of granted patents will be mailed free of charge, and they will be available for purchase for a nominal fee after that period. The shift towards electronic patent grants represents a significant milestone in the USPTO’s efforts to modernize and streamline its operations. The new system will enhance accessibility, speed up the delivery of patent grants, and reduce the environmental footprint of patent processing.