US Patent and Trademark Office confirms one other leak of filers’ handle knowledge


The federal authorities company liable for granting patents and emblems is alerting 1000’s of filers whose non-public addresses had been uncovered following a second knowledge spill in as a few years.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) mentioned in an e mail to affected trademark candidates this week that their non-public domicile handle — which may embody their house handle — appeared in public data between August 23, 2023 and April 19, 2024.

U.S. trademark regulation requires that candidates embody a non-public handle when submitting their paperwork with the company to forestall fraudulent trademark filings.

USPTO mentioned that whereas no addresses appeared in common searches on the company’s web site, about 14,000 candidates’ non-public addresses had been included in bulk datasets that USPTO publishes on-line to assist tutorial and financial analysis.

The company took blame for the incident, saying the addresses had been “inadvertently uncovered as we transitioned to a brand new IT system,” based on the e-mail to affected candidates, which TechCrunch obtained. “Importantly, this incident was not the results of malicious exercise,” the e-mail mentioned. 

Upon discovery of the safety lapse, the company mentioned it “blocked entry to the impacted bulk knowledge set, eliminated information, applied a patch to repair the publicity, examined our answer, and re-enabled entry.”

If this sounds remarkably acquainted, USPTO had the same publicity of candidates’ handle knowledge final June. At the time, USPTO mentioned it inadvertently uncovered about 61,000 candidates’ non-public addresses in a years-long knowledge spill partially by the discharge of its bulk datasets, and advised affected people that the problem was fastened.

When reached for remark Wednesday, USPTO’s deputy chief data officer Deborah Stephens advised TechCrunch that the brand new publicity was found as a part of the company’s efforts to modernize its IT infrastructure.

“The repair we had in place was all in place, and stays in place,” mentioned Stephens. “As we’re modernizing and taking the legacy methods from the totally different a long time of requirements and protocols, the system error occurred within the creation and modernization of that bulk knowledge set.”

Stephens mentioned USPTO put in place new checks when collating and publishing its bulk knowledge units that embody “error correction with file creation,” which ought to forestall future spills of non-public data.

“We’re taking a look at our legacy-to-modern strategy of with the ability to determine methods during which we will enhance our IT growth, processing and supply by taking extra of a holistic strategy to our knowledge, and particularly externally or publicly dealing with methods,” Stephens mentioned. 

USPTO advised affected people that the company has “no motive to imagine” that uncovered addresses have been misused.



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