USPTO Change the Internet Usage Policy to Permit Oral Authorization for Video Conferencing Tools by Patent Examiners.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) permit patent examiners to communicate via the Internet (according to Internet Usage Policy) only with individuals who have a written authorization in the application. This Internet usage policy also applies to USPTO video conferencing tools such as WebEx for use by patent examiners.
The USPTO has now updated its Internet usage policy by modifying the authorization requirements to oral authorization for video conferencing tools, such as WebEx, to be provided by the patent applicant/practitioner to patent examiners before an interview is conducted.
All Internet communications between UPSTO employees and practitioners must be made using USPTO tools. Video conferencing communications regarding a patent application must be hosted by USPTO personnel. No personal phones, non-USPTO email, PDAs, etc. may be used by USPTO employees for official communications.
This change to the Internet usage policy is effective from April 29, 2015.