|Web Basics||Navigating USPTO.GOV||Special Features||Special Requirements|
A browser is a software application that is used on your desktop to open and view web pages and related files.
Different browsers may not have the same display capabilities, causing differences in the formatting, fonts and other display characteristics that a designer has included on a web page. Very old browser software may not be able to take advantage of advances in web page coding. You should consider regularly upgrading your browser to keep current with web technologies if you want to take full advantage of what may be offered on the internet.
Browsers can also differ in included (already bundled) plug-in capabilities, and may require an extra effort on your part to download and install current viewers for files other than the simplest web pages.
You can often make changes to the settings for your browser to improve accessiblity of web material. Such changes include altering the default font size, subsituting your own cascading style sheets, changing default colors, and changing how alternative text tags for images are displayed. There may be other changes that you can make to personalize your web experience. Read your browser's online help for instructions.
Navigating previously viewed pages:
Refreshing your screen:
Printing and saving files:
Another way to save files that are viewed with plug-ins is to locate the original link on a web page and "right click," then choose the "save target" option to save the file. >> See Downloading Files
Printing a selected "page" or range of "pages" from a single HTML file:
|Display Resolution||The screen display resolution for your PC controls
how much information you can see at one time and can affect
on your browser's screen. You may want to consider increasing or decreasing
the resolution (number of pixels) for you screen to improve usability
of web pages. Many webpages are designed with a minimum 600 x 800 pixel
screen resolution in mind.
NOTE: a "pixel" is a single dot of color on a computer display screen -- a 600x800 display can display a grid of colored dots that is 600 dots high by 800 dots wide.
There are two ways to download files in a browser. The first way is to simply click on a link and let your browser's download function take over.
Sometimes, however, your browser may try to open a file in your browser window. If this happens you can always try a "right click" on the link and use the pop-up menu to save the targeted file of that link. Please note that "Right-clicking" will not work when a link goes to a script that generates a pop-up window.
|Plug-ins and Viewers||
All files have "MIME" type extensions that appear as the last 3 or 4 characters following the "." in a full file name (example: tutorial.htm). Depending on your operating system, you may not normally be able to see this extension, but may instead see a simplified file name without the extension and an icon that indicates what kind of application or program is used to view and/or edit the file.
Your system may attempt to associate a newly encountered file type with an existing application on your local PC that may or may not work. You may get a small icon on your screen and a message that the file cannot be opened using a particular application on your desktop. This standard error message may be misleading. An example of one type of file on the USPTO site that may not open properly with your existing applications is a patent image. Patent images require special viewers: >> LEARN MORE about viewing patent images
Once you have downloaded and installed a plug-in, or even if a plug-in came with your system, it does not mean you are finished with maintaining your plug-ins. Almost all software goes through cyclical improvements, resulting in the release of new versions with improved display and file handling capabilities. Be sure to regularly check vendors' sites for newer versions of plug-ins, including the free versions.
Another action that can affect your viewers is upgrading or installing software on your local PC. When software updates and installations occur, existing file-type associations can be overwritten, breaking the relationship of that file-type to the viewer that you were using previously. If you are comfortable locating the MIME type extensions and changing the associations for programs to be used to open them, then you can try that. If manually changing the associations does not work for you, then your only choice may be to download and install the required plug-in again.
>> Links to available free plug-ins and viewers used for USPTO.GOV files
A search engine is a web application accessed through a website that you can use to locate files by typing in a word, phrase or a more extensive query. Many commercial search engines are available that have different capabilities, and there are search engines that specialize in certain industries and interests. Although a browser usually has a default search engine already associated with it, you can access a different search engine by typing in its domain name address into the address bar of your browser or locate lists of available search engines by conducting a search on the term, search engines.
The USPTO uses the Federal Government's search engine and portal, USA.gov, to provide search query support for our web page content. Both simple and complex search queries are available to aid in your search.
A USA.gov search does not, however, search everything that is offered via our website. There can be a delay of about two weeks or more between when new items are posted and when USA.gov checks our site for new material. In addition, neither USA.gov nor any other search engine can be used to conduct interactive searches of USPTO databases provided through our eBusiness systems (patent text, images, and status; trademark text, images and status; TTAB proceedings and decisions; assignments, and more).
|Hyperlinks, URLs and IP addresses||
Hyperlinks are used to connect web pages to other websites, to other pages, to material and systems in the same site, and to specific places or "bookmarks" within the same page or on another page. A link is created by embedding the web address that includes the file path for a specific page into code that is activated when you click on text or an image.
URLs specify a website's domain name but the term is often misused to refer to a entire file path. File paths can be be either absolute (spelled out to specifically include the domain name and the full chain of directories leading to a specific file name) or relative (using a kind of link notation to "walk" up or down a file directory tree to access another file placed relative to the first file on the same tree). Many link errors (404 -- address not found) occur because of faulty relative addressing.
[HINT: You can sometimes "fix" a link by changing the file name in your browser's address bar or by removing directories from the file path to "walk" up the chain of directories in the hope of locating an index page that has correct links on it.]
IP addresses are numeric codes that indicate specific servers or network locations. Domain names are mapped to IP addresses to make them more understandable and to facilitate working with groups of IP addresses affiliated with the same domain.
|Launching E-mail with a web page||
Hyperlinks can be used to launch your local e-mail application with a preloaded address and even a pre-loaded subject line. If you are at a computer that does not have e-mail capability, you can make a note of the link by "right-clicking" the link and viewing the shortcut so you can write it down for later. The shortcut will look like this:
where USPTOinfo@uspto.gov is the e-mail address and the suggested subject is patents
|Viruses and other computer threats||
Security exploits such as the "KLEZ" family of worms take advantage of vulnerabilities in E-mail programs to infect a user's computer, locate E-mail addresses in files (such as cached copies of webpages) and ship themselves out with fake "from" addresses derived from those files. There are also publicly available mailing scripts and other things that can be easily done to fake an originating address. You can find out where an E-mail "really" came from by checking something called an" internet header " (not the same thing as a message header). What you'll see is a chain of server domain names and IP addresses (a set of numbers separated by periods in the form 172 . ## . ### . ## ) that identifies servers and routers involved in transmitting and receiving the E-mail.
If you unexpectedly receive an E-mail with an attachment from any uspto.gov address, do not open the attachment without first determining that it is safe to open it. Make sure it is an attachment that you expected to receive and take a few precautionary steps to make sure that the attachment will not launch a "payload" virus or worm.
How to determine what kind of attachment you have received:
Best advice - if you aren't sure about something then don't open it!!!
You can help prevent the spread of the computer worms and viruses by keeping your anti-virus programs up to date and by downloading and installing the latest security patches for your E-mail and other software programs.
You can find out more about computer security threats such as viruses and worms, and also learn about computer hoaxes at the Computer Security Resource Center operated by the U.S. Department of Commerce - National Institute of Standards and Technology.
|Spyware / Adware||
Occasionally we hear from customers who are annoyed because they are receiving commercial ads whenever they visit the USPTO.GOV website. The USPTO does not have any such advertising arrangements in place. You may be a victim of spyware.
Spyware is tracking software installed on your pc that reports your website surfing patterns to its originator. This information is often used to generate popup advertising on your pc based upon the site you are visiting - hence the term "adware."
It can be difficult to detect and remove this kind of software on your own, but commercial products are available to do this, some of which offer free trials. You can locate assistance online by using your favorite search engine to hunt for "spyware" or "adware."
|Web Sites vs. Systems||
A web site can represent a set web pages, images and associated features, and can be linked to free-standing systems that are included within the same or different domain names. The line between a web site and a system is often not very apparent to an end-user.
The USPTO uses a single server to host most of the web site's content or informational pages and files. We provide eBusiness systems that enrich the user experience by offering more search support, enabling e-filing and facilitating tracking of progress for specific applications or cases.
|USPTO Home Page||
. top navigations to reference resources, all eBusiness, news, help and search aids
|USPTO Navigation Bar||
Other standard navigational cues for USPTO web pages:
|For First Time Visitors||
It has two columns, the "Content Overview" and "Hot Stuff," that provide expanded previews of what kind of information can be found within the following key navigational groupings:
Products & Services
|eBusiness and the USPTO||
eBusiness Center - public access point for all online systems
eBiz Alerts - announcements of planned system events and long-duration system problems
eBusiness Systems - descriptions, operating requirements and availability - 20 systems are currently available
• Washington DC area Federal Government Closures
• Mailing Addresses
• Correspondence by topic
• Customer Support
|How to ...|| Find ...
• Get ...
• Report ...
• Become ...
• Get answers ...
|Policy & Law|| Boards & Counsel
• Strategic Planning
• Site Disclosures
just Patents & Trademarks out there...
• Federal Register
• Consumer Alerts
• News Archives, Mailing Lists, and more...
|Guides|| FAQ (questions
• USA.gov reference portal
• Data dictionaries / information technology
• USPTO Site help
|Help|| UCC (USPTO Call Center) via e-mail, phone, U.S. mail
• Other Points of Contact
• Help for special customer groups
• Products & Services
|How to search||
Includes both web page clusters or index pages and searchable databases (systems)
|Search via USA.gov||The USPTO website can be word-searched using the USA.gov search
engine. Use the Search button in the toolbar above to conduct a text
search of informational pages on the USPTO website. You can
restrict your search to some selected portions of the site by choosing
a folder of related webpages from the dropdown menu on the advanced
site search page.
Patents, Trademarks and information about large groupings of very similar items are not contained on web pages but are accessed through online database systems that are linked to from our web pages and cannot be searched using USA.gov.
In order to search each database you must connect and follow its
|Site Index||A linked topical index of materials on the USPTO web site.|
|Customer Profiles (interest portals)||
New content suggested by customer e-mails to webmaster.
|Global/ international intellectual property||
property (IP) organizations
• Department of Commerce Export Portal
|Related Web Sites|
FAQ - single point interface for growing number of questions
FTP (file transfer protocol) is a simple way to download files that is usually faster than the HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) that is used to send and receive web pages with a browser.
To subscribe send an e-mail to email@example.com with "subscribe" as
Operated by the Inventors Hall of Fame
Trouble viewing a video?
If you are unable to launch one of these videos in RealPlayer from your browser, you may want to try to locate your RealPlayer software on your desktop or program library and launch it outside of a browser window.
Copy the video's URL address (right click on a link and copy the link location) and paste it into the RealPlayer sofware as follows:
In order to take advantage of secure electronic filing and viewing of patent records, you must obtain a Customer Number and link that number to all relevant patent status tracking records in the PAIR system.
A deposit account can be used to pay fees to the USPTO. It is particularly helpful for people who conduct a lot of business with the office. You can also use a credit card to pay fees.
|Digital PKI Certificate||
In order to take advantage of secure electronic filing and viewing of patent records, you must read the Subscriber Agreement and request a digital PKI certificate.
|Patent Image Viewers||
About Searching and Viewing Patents:
Our website provides full text for patents issued from 1976 to the present. We provide TIFF images for all patents from 1790 (YES, REALLY 1790) to the present.
You can search on text in all elements (fields) of the patent or select those fields you wish to search only for patents issued since 1976. You can only search on patent numbers and/or classification codes for the pre-1976 patents.
To view the images for any patent you must(1) download a TIFF image plug in (viewer) and
(2) run the downloaded executable file to install a TIFF image plug in that supports G4 compression;
(3) when you get a text search result based for a patent number, locate the image button near the top of the screen to launch the viewer.
The system will download the images one page at a time. More extensive Instructions for obtaining and using a free plug-in from different vendors are contained on "How to Access Full Page Images• "
The biggest problem people have when installing a viewer is that they forget to close the browser application and run the viewer program's executable file after downloading it in order to actually install the viewer plug-in. If you have run the file and still have problems, try restarting your PC.
For experienced users, you may lose or change the MIME-type file association for TIFF images when performing a system upgrade or installing new software. If that happens you may need to reinstall your chosen viewer.
|Registered Patent Attorney/ Agent||
You do not need to be a registered patent attorney or agent to represent yourself in the patent application process, but you must be registered to represent others in the prosecution of patents with the USPTO if you will be representing someone else other than your minor child. There is no similar USPTO registration requirement for trademark attorneys.
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