Tuesday 1 October 2013

U.S. Government Shutdown Will Not Immediately Affect USPTO, Federal Courts

Due to the failure of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to pass either a budget or a continuing spending resolution before the start of the 2014 fiscal year, President Obama has initiated a partial shutdown of the U.S. government on October 1. (Never thought I would be saying that). Because the USPTO and the federal courts have some non-appropriated funds available, however, the shutdown will not affect those offices for at least 10 days.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that:
The USPTO has sufficient funds from other than FY14 appropriations to continue full operations for approximately 4 weeks.  Therefore, all 11,789 employees of the USPTO will be excepted [from furloughs] for approximately up to 4 weeks following a lapse in appropriations.  After this time period, the USPTO will execute [a shutdown plan].
The U.S. Court System also has reserves to keep the doors open, but for a shorter period:
In the event of a government shutdown on October 1, 2013, the federal Judiciary will remain open for business for approximately 10 business days. On or around October 15, 2013, the Judiciary will reassess its situation and provide further guidance. All proceedings and deadlines remain in effect as scheduled, unless otherwise advised. Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) will remain in operation for the electronic filing of documents with courts.
So, the national parks and Panda Cam are closed, but the USPTO and  federal courts are open (for now).

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