Emergency Paid Sick Leave under Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
The link to the time codes is in Laura Peter's email (5/11/2020). The codes are also copied at the end of this message. The ADCSs sent these out to TC employees yesterday.
Extension of Excused Absense for Dependent Care (EADC)
We have been informed an extension is pending. We requested that it be announced ASAP since EADC expires this Saturday.
Paid Parental Leave (FEPLA)
In the last update, we mentioned that several congressional representatives wrote a letter to congressional leaders encouraging them to make paid parental leave retroactive to December 20, 2019. Go to POPA News Feed to find out how you can help.
Management will be sending out a reminder with a deadline for requesting a printer. If you have not done so and want a printer, please get your request in by the deadline.
PE2E Phase One Search Deployment
POPA has agreed to an early adopter program for the new Search Tool. A first deployment of 500 examiners and then a second deployment of 750 examiners will start sometime in May. This will be a volunteer only deployment for examiners who have two external monitors provided by the Agency. This requirement is to ensure that any problems with the toll are not because of examiner-owned equipment or settings. Withdrawal from the program is available at any time. Request for an additional monitor for a total of 2 external monitors provided by the agency may be available depending on the availability of monitors. OPIM is eager to present Examiners with the Search Tool in development. More features are in the works; however, OPIM is confident that it is ready for the deployment and that examination can be performed by using the tool. Both Management and POPA want to see how the tool performs and need your feedback.
CARES Act Extensions
POPA is working with management to get FAQs out to examiners. How the extensions affect examining is complicated since they change due dates between March 27, 2020 and May 31, 2020 to June 1, 2020. Examiners will not have to evaluate the statement accompanying the response.
Time, Routing, and PAP (TRP)
The rest of TRP is set to be implemented on October 1, 2020. POPA is working with management on routing and training. The training is slated to start next month. Examiners are encouraged to ensure that they have a working camera. The camer can be either an external USB webcame or the internal laptop webcam. The new PAP will require you to use the collaboration tools, including the camera. Contact the service desk for assistance. POPA is working with management on a new Designs PAP for implementation on October 1, 2020.
Prioritized examination for COVID-19 related applications
The USPTO has reserved up to 500 places in Track 1 for COVID-19 related applications. These applications will be examined under the Track 1 rules. The application must include a statement that the application is COVID-19 related. This statement will be reviewed by support staff before a COVID-19 related application is placed on the Examiner's docket. Management will be sending out an email to examiners who are likely to receive these applications, providing a POC and how to get training on Track 1, if needed.