Contact (media inquiries only):
Maria V. Hernandez
The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) Patent Electronic Filing System (EFS) today received the E-Gov 2001 "Trailblazer" honorable mention award at the E-Gov 2001 International Electronic Government Conference and Exposition at the Washington Convention Center for saving customers time and convenience in filing and approving patent applications.
On October 27, 2000, EFS was brought online allowing all patent applicants to author and file applications electronically. USPTO maintains an electronic business center on its website, in support of EFS (http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/index.html). The business center provides customers with the software needed to write and file applications using the Internet. EFS software assembles all application components, calculates fees, validates application content, and compresses, encrypts and transmits the filing to USPTO.
"The USPTO is very pleased to be selected for this recognition," noted Nicholas Godici, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property. "The Electronic Filing System saves time and offers the convenience of Internet filing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
EFS offers useful features not found with paper filing. The system sends filers an automatic electronic receipt, checks application content for errors, and calculates fees. The state-of-the-art software used in the EFS system saves applicants time and money by converting application data into electronic form, and ensures patent filings are securely transmitted to USPTO, using the latest public key infrastructure (PKI) technology. EFS software also feeds application information to other USPTO production and financial systems, thus improving overall data quality.
The third annual E-Gov Pioneer Awards program recognizes public sector professionals who have developed electronic government programs that increase productivity, save limited public resources, and improve the quality, timeliness, and accuracy of citizen services. E-Gov 2001 puts on six annual conferences and is sponsored by 101 Communications, publisher of Federal Computer Week.
USPTO administers patent and trademark laws protecting intellectual property and rewarding individual effort. Intellectual property is a potent force in the competitive free enterprise system. By protecting intellectual endeavors and encouraging technological progress, USPTO seeks to preserve the United States' technological edge, which is a key to our current and future competitiveness. USPTO also disseminates patent and trademark information that promotes an understanding of intellectual property protection and facilitates the development and sharing of new technologies worldwide.
Over 6 million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790 and more than 2.3 million trademarks have been registered since the first in 1870. Last year USPTO issued 182,223 patents and registered 127,794 trademarks.