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Tuesday Nov 07, 2023

Improving our service to America’s innovators

Vaishali Udupa, Commissioner for Patents

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As we announced in September, as part of our modernization efforts to provide more extensible technology and functionality, the EFS-Web and Private Patent Application Information Retrieval (Private PAIR) tools are being retired after their decades of use as electronic filing and application management systems for our Patents customers.

Starting November 15, 2023, the Patent Center system will fully replace EFS-Web and Private PAIR.

Making this transition to Patent Center is essential to ensuring that our tools evolve, that we stay up to date on the latest digital capabilities, and that we continue to deliver excellent customer service to meet your needs.

We are postponing the original transition date (previously November 8) to better respond to and incorporate additional valuable stakeholder feedback into the Patent Center system. Specifically, we are working to increase usability for sponsored accounts with large amounts of customer numbers and address any related issues. We are also ramping up coverage to our Electronic Business Center to respond to questions in real-time and help ensure a smooth transition for our stakeholders.

A one-stop shop for Patents customers

Patent Center pulls all the steps of filing and managing a patent application together into one central system. It offers a next-generation user interface and better overall system performance and security. Patent Center also includes new features to streamline the application process:

  • No need to create a new account: you can use the juliemarsh.net accounts and sponsorships that you’ve already created for EFS-Web and Private PAIR.
  • The ability to upload your patent application specification, claims, abstract, and drawings in a single DOCX document without having to manually separate sections.
  • The ability to upload multiple documents at once using the drag and drop interface.
  • The ability to download multiple documents at one time in a single PDF or ZIP file.
  • The ability to confirm the status of submitted documents and successful payments with separate submission and payment receipts.
  • In addition, if you want to get familiar with Patent Center’s features without actually submitting anything, you can explore Training Mode, an interactive simulation to safely practice filing DOCX and PDF documents. You’ll also receive real-time feedback.

Future updates


We’re not stopping here. Since its launch six years ago, we’ve rigorously tested Patent Center and made improvements based on your feedback. We will continue to use your input to enhance the system’s functionality. If you have a suggestion or an idea for new functionality or performance improvement send them to [email protected]. We review these ideas weekly. Retiring our legacy EFS-Web and Private PAIR systems ensures that we are better protecting confidential application materials and investing patent user fees responsibly. Maintaining these legacy systems during the development and testing of Patent Center made sense to ensure there was no interruption in service. Patent Center is now ready to become the sole system, and it is time to turn off the legacy systems so we can reinvest recovered resources into developing your ideas for new functionality and performance improvements. You can access instructional guides, resources, our on-demand webinar, a list of top 25 questions and answers from previous training sessions, and contact information for technical assistance all on the Patent Center information webpage. Thank you for all the feedback you’ve provided in Patent Center’s six years of operation. We appreciate your continued engagement as we seek to improve our service to you.

Comments:

How are we going to be able to update application/fee address? It's not available in Patent Center.

Posted by Mitzi Booth on November 07, 2023 at 03:13 PM EST #

Is the USPTO working on letting paralegals submit eTerminal Disclaimer and eIssue Fee payments by adding an external signature request similar to that of the ePCT functionality in Patent Center?

Posted by Lani on November 07, 2023 at 03:37 PM EST #

I'm impressed with the USPTO's dedication to modernizing their services with the introduction of the Patent Center. It seems like a significant step forward in streamlining the patent application process. The commitment to incorporating stakeholder feedback is particularly commendable. I'm curious about how the transition will be managed to minimize disruption for users. Also, the Training Mode feature sounds like a great way to get accustomed to the new system without risk. Looking forward to the additional updates and improvements that will come from ongoing user feedback!

Posted by Ekani on November 09, 2023 at 03:46 PM EST #

Unfortunately there does not seem to be any functionality for Plant Patent applications in Patent Center. That is, it is not possible to successfully file a plant patent application, nor is it possible to pay an issuance fee for a plant patent application. This puts us (patent agents/attorneys/pro ses) in an untenable position. We have been promised for years that Patent Center would have functionality for plant patent applications. When will the system be able to accommodate plant patent applications? In the meantime, would you please provide insight on how to continue to practice plant patent application preparation & prosecution? Thank-you. C.A. Whealy, Ph.D.

Posted by CATHERINE ANNE WHEALY on November 14, 2023 at 05:02 PM EST #

Thanks for your question Mitzi. You can update the application address in up to 20 applications simultaneously in Patent Center as a signed-in user. You can accomplish this in two ways. The first is by selecting the “Manage” dropdown, then selecting “update application address,” and entering the application numbers you wish to update. The second is from the “Workbench” screen. Under the “applications” tab, check off the application(s) you wish to update, and in the drop down menu displaying the number of applications selected (on the far right of the screen) select “update application address”.

Posted by OCCO on November 15, 2023 at 10:40 AM EST #

Thank you for this question Lani. Currently Practitioner support (including paralegals) are able to prepare eTerminal Disclaimer, Corrected ADS, and Web85b for Practitioners to sign and submit. Patent Center signature requirements are based on legal requirements and current business rules. If you’re having trouble accessing or using these functions please contact our Electronic Business Center (EBC) at 1-866-217-9197 (toll-free) or by emailing [email protected].

Posted by OCCO on November 15, 2023 at 10:41 AM EST #

What a joke! All of this talk, and yet you turn OFF the only systems that work well Good thing I'm retiring soon, PatentCenter is poorly constructed and does NOT exhibit 100% of the functionality of private PAIR and EFS-Web

Posted by Wendy Koba on November 15, 2023 at 10:44 AM EST #

Catherine, thank you for your question. A plant patent application can be filed in Patent Center as a new utility application along with the plant transmittal forms and other required forms. Your application will then be assigned the appropriate application type. We plan to add the plant application submission type permanently into Patent Center in Spring 2024. If you have any other questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Posted by OCCO on November 21, 2023 at 09:58 AM EST #

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