Beginning April 18, 2023, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will start issuing electronic patent grants (eGrants) as a means to reduce paper waste and move toward “more environmentally-conscious operations at the USPTO.” During a limited transition period, a bound paper version of each patent will continue to be provided as a ceremonial copy, but after the transition period a nominal fee will be charged.
The move to eGrant patents is expected to result in patents issuing more quickly after the payment of the issue fee. It is expected that issuance of eGrant patents could occur in as little as two (2) weeks. As a result, there will be a shorter period of time to make any decision to file a continuing application (a Continuation, Divisional, or Continuation-In-Part). Because of this short time period, we recommend that any decision to file a continuing application be made and communicated to your patent attorney prior to payment of the issue fee.