Patent office: Outage investigation ‘eliminates any concerns of foul play’

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said the systems outage that began on Dec. 22 and extended into this week was not the result of malicious activity.

“Analysis of the damage over the last week confirms our earlier assessments and eliminates any concerns of foul play,” wrote Deputy Director Russell Slifer in a blog post Wednesday. He added that the the agency will “work with our service providers to ensure that lessons are learned and improvements are made.”

The outage occurred when damaged power supply lines took out the agency’s data center and forced people wanting to file patents to send their applications, which can be hundreds of pages long, via snail mail. In the post, Slifer said the agency returned to nearly 100 percent operations on Monday.

Slifer thanked the hundreds of employees, contractors, and service providers who worked through the holiday weekend to restore thousands of the USPTO’s servers, network switches, firewalls, databases, and their connections.

“Thanks to the tireless dedication of so many people, the USPTO is again operating on an uninterrupted power supply,” he wrote.

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Commerce Department, Departments, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
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