All customers are encouraged to register so they are ready to use the full features of EFS-Web for Registered eFilers and Private PAIR.
For questions/comments or further assistance on any announcement below, please send an e-mail to email@example.com or call the Patent Electronic Business Center at 1-866-217-9197 (toll-free) or 571-272-4100 from 6 a.m. to 12 Midnight Eastern Time, Monday - Friday.
|New Applications:||24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year|
|Follow-on Submissions:||23 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year . Unavailable daily from 4:30AM - 5:30AM ET|
|Fee Payment:||24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. May be unavailable on Sundays 2:00AM - 6:00AM ET|
Web-ADS Saved Submissions (25NOV2015): EFS-Web will use a revised Web-ADS starting on November 30, 2015 to facilitate applicant's authorization of access to unpublished U.S. patent applications by foreign intellectual property offices. If you saved a Web-ADS form prior to November 30 and retrieve it on or after November 30, your Web ADS saved submission will display in the revised Web ADS version.
Application Data Sheet (ADS) Form PTO/AIA/14 Revision (16NOV2015): The Application Data Sheet (ADS) form PTO/AIA/14 has been revised and is now posted on the USPTO patents forms page for submission on or after November 30, 2015. The changes to the ADS form were announced in the Federal Register. See Changes to Facilitate Applicant’s Authorization of Access to Unpublished U.S. Patent Applications by Foreign Intellectual Property Offices; found on http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-10-27/pdf/2015-27335.pdf Final Rule (October 27, 2015).
Applicants are no longer required to select an opt-in check box on the ADS form to provide the USPTO with authorization to permit a foreign intellectual property office participating in the priority document exchange (PDX) program access to a U.S. priority application. Instead, the revised ADS form contains by default the authorization to permit access to the U.S. priority application via the PDX program. Including a properly signed ADS form on filing will provide applicant’s authorization for the PDX program. Should applicant wish not to provide authorization for the PDX program, applicant can select the opt-out check box for this authorization on the ADS form. The revised ADS form also contains by default the authorization to permit access to the search results from a U.S. priority application by the European Patent Office (EPO). Like the PDX program, should applicant wish not to provide the EPO access to the search results, applicant can select the opt-out check box for this authorization on the ADS form.
Please note that a revised ADS form submitted after the filing of an application CANNOT be used to provide or revoke any of the authorizations to permit access discussed above. Instead, forms PTO/SB/39 and PTO/SB/69, as applicable, should be used to provide or revoke these authorizations to permit access after the filing of an application.
New Feature (27SEPT2015): Based on user feedback, registered patent practitioners granted power of attorney in an application now have a new option when submitting the Issue Fee Transmittal (PTOL/85b) to pay their issue fee. This new Web 85b feature offers the ability to complete and generate the 85b transmittal form using our Electronic Filing System (EFS-Web). In conjunction with this new filing option the following automated processes have been included:
- Change of Correspondence Address,
- Change of Fee Address, and
- Change in Entity Status
These changes are updated immediately upon successful submission.
The Web 85b feature is available in EFS-Web for Registered eFilers, in the Main Functions menu under “Existing application/patent/proceeding”, “eProcessing”, “Web Based Issue Fee Payment (Web 85b)”.
For more information, see Quick Start Guide for EFS-Web Issue -Fee Transmittal (Web 85b).
For assistance with filing Web 85b or to suggest improvements, please call the Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) at 866-217-9197 (toll-free) or send an email to EBC@uspto.gov.
Advisory (03SEPT2015): In response to user feedback, the Web-based ePetition to Make Special based on Age (37 CFR 1.102) is now available for both Registered and Unregistered EFS-Web filers. This feature can be accessed from the Main Functions menu by selecting "Existing application/patent", "ePetition", and "Petition to make special based on age" under the Web-based ePetitions section. Information for this ePetition is entered into a secure Web interface, so petitioners are not required to download, complete, and attach the SB/130 PDF form. Submitted ePetitions are automatically processed and immediately granted upon submission if all requirements are met.
The PDF-based "ePetition to Make Special based on Age" remains available.
If you have questions about filing this ePetition, please contact the Patent EBC at (866) 217-9197 or send an email to EBC@uspto.gov.
Advisory (03AUGUST2015): For users who are updating their operating systems to Windows 10, please be aware that Windows 10 comes installed with a new web browser, Microsoft Edge, that does not support plug-ins and will not run Java. Because Java is required for authentication to EFS-Web and Private PAIR, this impacts your ability to access EFS-Web and Private PAIR via Microsoft Edge.
To access EFS-Web and Private PAIR using Windows 10, Oracle is recommending the use of alternative browsers such as Firefox and Internet Explorer. IE11 will also be available on Windows10. For additional information regarding Java compatibility and instructions on how to access IE11 on Windows 10, please visit: http://www.java.com/en/download/faq/win10_faq.xml
The USPTO is working on a longer term plan to improve the overall authentication process. For USPTO updates regarding this issue please visit either of our Announcements pages:
• EFS – Web Announcements: http://www.uspto.gov/patents-application-process/applying-online/efs-web-announcements
• PAIR Announcements: http://www.uspto.gov/patents-application-process/checking-application-status/pair-announcements
If you need assistance with this matter, or have questions on any eFiling topic, please visit the Patent Electronic Business Center webpage: http://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/support-centers/patent-electronic-business-center for comprehensive contact information, FAQ’s, and other eFiling resources.
Advisory (10JUL2015): Due to emergency maintenance required on USPTO systems, access to Patent, Trademark and Finance’s electronic systems will be unavailable beginning 8:00 p.m. Saturday, July 18th and ending at 5 p.m. Sunday July 19th ET.
During this outage period, patent applicants may file new patent applications and documents and fees for national stage entry under 35 U.S.C. 371 via “Priority Mail Express®” from the United States Postal Service (USPS) in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10.
Patent applicants may file other documents or fee payments by:
(1) facsimile transmission to the USPTO Central Facsimile (571) 273-8300,
(2) first class mail with a certificate of mailing in accordance with 37 CFR 1.8, or
(3) "Priority Mail Express®" from the USPS in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10.
Please note that filing of a new application under 37 USC 111(a), except reissue, design or plant applications, via Priority Mail Express® requires payment of the non-electronic filing fee (37 CFR 1.16(t)) in addition to the other required fees. The non-electronic filing fee is $400 ($200 for small and micro entities).
New patent applications, copies of the international application and basic national fee necessary to enter the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371, and documents that are required to establish the filing date of an application (e.g., a missing drawing figure or page of the specification) cannot be submitted by facsimile transmission, and certificate of mailing procedures under 37 CFR 1.8 do not apply to these documents. Patent correspondence, including new patent applications and documents or fee payments, cannot be submitted via e-mail. Please contact the USPTO Inventor’s Assistance Center during business hours (Mon-Fri, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM ET) at 1-800-786-9199 if you have any questions regarding alternative filing methods. Information regarding filing by first class mail with a certificate of mailing or by “Priority Mail Express” can also be found in the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP), Sections 512 and 513, available on the USPTO Web site at http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/index.html.
Applicants are strongly advised to transmit their electronic filings prior to the outage period to ensure that the submissions are correctly completed.
Advisory (22JUN2015): In April 2015, Google Chrome removed the default ability to use the Java plug-in for browser version 42. This impacts your ability to access EFS-Web and Private PAIR because Java is required for your authentication into these systems. Currently, Chrome has a temporary workaround that will allow you to use the Java plug-in so that you can continue to log into EFS-Web and Private PAIR: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/6213033
This workaround will only work through September 2015, when Google Chrome plans to end their support for Java plug-ins with their newest browser, Chrome versions 45 and above. Therefore, Chrome users using version 45 and above will no longer be able to use the workaround and thus will not be able to log into EFS-Web or Private PAIR. Oracle is recommending the use of alternative browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. For additional information regarding Java and Chrome please visit https://java.com/en/download/faq/chrome.xml
Although the above browsers should continue to work with EFS-Web and Private PAIR, there is always a possibility that these providers may decide to discontinue support of Java plug-ins as well. The USPTO is closely monitoring for any changes, and is committed to keep the IP Community informed accordingly.
Furthermore, the USPTO is investigating if there are possible strategies to mitigate the impact. The Agency is working on a longer term plan to improve the overall authentication process. For USPTO updates regarding this issue please visit either of our Announcements pages:
If you need assistance with this matter, or have questions on any eFiling topic, please visit the Patent Electronic Business Center webpage for comprehensive contact information, FAQ’s, and other eFiling resources.
Advisory (06MAY2015): Effective May 13, 2015, U.S. applicants will be able to use EFS-Web to file international design applications through the USPTO as an office of indirect filing. Learn more at the EFS-Web Announcements Page and the Hague Agreement resource page.
Registered efilers will also be able to use EFS-Web to file submissions in international design applications designating the United States that are in the U.S. examination phase.
Advisory (15APR2015): The USPTO is preparing to launch Financial Manager, a new and easy-to-use online fee payment management system. You will be able to store and manage payment methods online, generate and download transaction reports, receive administrative notifications, and assign user permissions.
Later this year, customers will be able to pay fees from EFS-Web using a stored payment method. The existing EFS-Web payment process will continue to be available in the short-term to allow customers to transition to Financial Manager, but will eventually be phased out.
Advisory (16DEC2014): “In view of public feedback, the USPTO has enhanced the dedicated EFS-Web interface for third-party preissuance submissions. The enhancements include:
1.) The text box length for the Concise Description of Relevance has been expanded from 250 to 1000 characters, which may eliminate the need to upload a separate PDF document for the concise description of relevance.
2.) A new fee radio button for resubmissions has been added. The new radio button permits a third party to request that the USPTO apply the fee that accompanied an earlier filed non-compliant submission to the resubmission, or to again state that the fee exemption set forth in 37 CFR 1.290(g) applies to the resubmission.
3.) A third party now has the option to request email notification regarding whether the submission was found compliant or non-compliant.
See the EFS –Web Quick Start Guide for Third-Party Preissuance Submissions for more information.”
Advisory (09DEC2014): New Maximum Daily Limit for Credit Cards – Effective June 1, 2015
The maximum daily limit per credit card account is currently $49,999.99. Effective June 1, 2015, the daily limit per credit card account will be lowered to $24,999.99. Debit cards will continue to have no daily limit.
All credit card and debit card payments are processed through the Department of the Treasury’s Pay.gov system. The new daily limit for credit cards will automatically be enforced through the Pay.gov system. If cardholders exceed the daily limit, a message will indicate that the maximum daily limit has been reached and the payment will be rejected.
Advisory (29SEPT2014): Applicants requesting participation in the Global/IP5 Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program are advised to use the PTO/SB/20GLBL form to ensure timely processing.
Advisory (SEPT2014): The After Final Consideration Pilot (AFCP) 2.0 and the Quick Path IDS (QPIDS) pilot have been extended through September 30th, 2015. Please visit the Patent Application Initiatives webpage for further information about these pilots. Check out the new features of AFCP 2.0 as well as learn about additional options for compact prosecution and increased collaboration between examiners and stakeholders.
Advisory (04AUG2014): The instructions for Private PAIR Publication Review Data Changes have been revised. Submitted requests that comply with the instructions will be entered into IFW and will be processed by the appropriate division. For detailed instructions, please visit http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/status/private_pair/pub_review_instructions.jsp .
Advisory (28MAY2014): Parties in court proceedings filed against the Office have, at times, improperly served the Office with district court complaints or notices of appeal to the Federal Circuit, or have improperly filed notices of election, by electronically submitting the document directly into the file of an application, patent, or Office proceeding via EFS-Web. Such documents may NOT be filed and/or served on the Office via EFS-Web for the purposes of any court proceeding conducted against the Office. See MPEP 1216 for instructions on how to properly serve, and/or properly file, such documents. For additional information, please contact the Solicitor's Office at 571-272-9035.
The Office will, however, accept the electronic submission via EFS-Web of copies of documents that have already been filed in court (and, in the case of a court proceeding being conducted against the Office, that have already been properly filed and/or properly served on the Office) in the file of an application, patent, or Office proceeding, if the submission is in accordance with all applicable rules and Office procedures. For example, a copy of such a document may be filed as an exhibit or attachment in conjunction with a notice of concurrent proceedings, a petition, or a declaration under 37 CFR 1.132; as part of an information disclosure statement; or as an item of information in a supplemental examination proceeding.
Advisory (12DEC2013): The ABXPDF Writer software is obsolete and no longer supported.
Contact the Patent EBC for assistance: 1-866-217-9197 or EBC@USPTO.GOV
Advisory (25NOV2013): Are you filing an RCE that includes an information disclosure statement? If so, please assist the USPTO in our efforts to reduce RCE filings by completing our brief survey.
Advisory (22NOV2013): USPTO is pleased to announce the release of EFS-Web 1.8 on November 24, 2013. This release contains a number of new features and improvements, including:
1. A web-based version of the ADS (AIA/14). Applicants have the option to use the new Web-ADS or continue to attach the ADS as a PDF.
>>For more information, please see Quick Start Guide for Web-based ADS
2. Prior Art and Written Statement Submission into a Patent File under 37 CFR 1.501 may be filed by selecting the appropriate option via EFS-Web.
>>For more information, please see Quick Start Guide for Citation of Prior Art under CFR 1.501
3. New web-based ePetition to Accept Unintentional Delayed Payment of the Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(c)). The PDF-based version of this ePetition remains available but was not updated to support micro entity fees. Pertinent small and micro entity fees can be paid in Web-based ePetitions. Petitioners also have the ability to claim micro entity in web-based ePetitions and eTerminal Disclaimer.
>>For more information, please see Quick Start Guide for ePetitions
4. Selecting the Track 1 fee no longer auto-selects the additional required fees.
>>For more information, please see Quick Start Guide for Prioritized Examination (Track One)
5. Third-Party Preissuance Submission under 37 CFR 1.290 may enter U.S. patent numbers 4,000,000 and below.
>>For more information, please see Quick Start Guide for Third-Party Preissuance Submissions under 37 CFR 1.290
6. 17 character international application numbers may be entered when filing a 371 National Stage application, which permits an applicant to identify an international application series number that does not begin with a zero (e.g., PCT/DE2012/100001, PCT/JP2006/300001).
NOTE: ePetition usage is unavailable for:
(1) ePetition to Withdraw from Issue when a Micro Entity Issue Fee is paid;
(2) ePetition to Accept Payment of Issue Fee when a Micro Entity Issue Fee is paid;
(3) When indicating that a required fee has previously been paid, the following fees cannot be selected:
- RCE 1st Request (micro entity fee code: 3801)
- RCE 2nd and subsequent (1820/2820/3820)
(4) PDF-based ePetition to Accept Unintentional Delayed Payment of the Maintenance Fee when paying either Micro or Small Entity Fees.
Advisory (19NOV2013): A new Patent Application Initiatives Timeline web page is now accessible to applicants and displays information on important patent programs and initiatives during each phase of the application process.
Advisory (30SEPT2013): Current operating status for the USPTO
Advisory (26JUL2013): The fee code 1053/2053/3053 with a fee description of "Non-English Translation" can now be found in the "Miscellaneous Fees" section . A new fee code, 1830/2830/3830, with a fee description of "Processing fee, except in provisional applications" can now be found in the "Newly Added Fees" section.
When filing a Track I request, the correct processing fee is "Processing fee, except in provisional applications" (fee code 1830/2830/3830); current Regular Undiscounted fee amount is $140. On the EFS-Web Fee Calculation screen, the old fee code (1808) is auto-selected when the Track I fee is checked. Please unselect "Other publication processing fee" and select "Processing fee, except in provisional applications."
Contact the Patent EBC for assistance: 1-866-217-9197 or EBC@USPTO.GOV
Advisory (23MAY2013): On May 3, USPTO changed the fee descriptions for fee codes:
(1) 1053/2053/3053 to "Processing fee, except in provisional applications" (previous description was "Non-English Specification")
(2) 1808 to "Other publication processing fee" (previous description was "Processing fee, except in provisional applications")
When filing a Track I request, the correct processing fee is "Processing fee, except in provisional applications" (fee code 1053/2053/3053); the current Regular Undiscounted fee amount is $140.
On the EFS-Web Fee Calculation screen, the old fee code (1808) is auto-selected when the Track I fee is checked. Please unselect "Other publication processing fee" and select "Processing fee, except in provisional applications".
Contact the Patent EBC for assistance: 1-866-217-9197 or EBC@USPTO.GOV.
Advisory (23APR2013): When filing the Fee Transmittal (Part B) of the Notice of Allowance and Fee(s) Due form (PTOL-85b) via EFS-Web, please be sure that the second page of the 85b with the authorized signature is included.
Advisory (11APR2013): Filing an ePetition or eTerminal Disclaimer is a fast and convenient process via EFS-Web. For more information on how you can file an ePetition or eTerminal Disclaimer, please visit www.uspto.gov/terminaldisclaimer or www.uspto.gov/epetitions
Advisory (19MAR2013): For micro-entity filers submitting Extension of Time fees, only the exact fee amount can be paid at this time. Previously paid extension of time fees cannot be applied to the current extension of time payment. Applicants with deposit account may select to authorize over-payments to be credited to their deposit account by selecting the appropriate checkbox on the Fee Payment screens.
Advisory (11FEB2013): Notice of Clarifying Modifications made to the USPTO's Public Key Infrastructure ("PKI") Subscriber Agreement
The USPTO's Public Key Infrastructure ("PKI") Subscriber Agreement has been modified to clarify that it is strictly prohibited for a PKI certificate(s) holder using Private PAIR, to access any nonpublic patent application or documents owned by another, absent specific authorization. The Agreement modifications also clarify the procedures to be followed in the case of any such access, and the grounds for revocation of the certificate(s). Lastly, the modifications make clear that PKI certificate(s) issued are not licenses required by law.
You can download the modified PKI Subscriber Agreement at: http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/status/private_pair/PKI_Subscriber_Agreement.pdf
Continued use of the system after posting this notice will constitute agreement to the updated terms.
For assistance, please call the Patent EBC at (866) 217-9197 (toll free) or send email to EBC@uspto.gov.
Advisory (05NOV2012): EFS-Web filers may use Adobe Reader 11 to complete EFS-Web Fillable Forms (eADS, eIDS, etc.). Previous versions remain compatible:
* 7.0.8, 7.0.9, 7.1.0, 7.1.1, 7.1.2, 7.1.3, 7.1.4
* 8.1.1, 8.1.2, 8.1.3, 8.1.4, 8.1.5, 8.1.6, 8.1.7, 8.2, 8.2.1, 8.2.2, 8.2.3, 8.2.4, 8.2.5, 8.2.6, 8.3, 8.3.1;
* 9.0, 9.1, 9.1.1, 9.1.2, 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1, 9.3.2, 9.3.3, 9.3.4, 9.4, 9.4.1, 9.4.2, 9.4.3, 9.4.4, 9.4.5, 9.4.6, 9.4.7, 9.5, 9.5.1, 9.5.2;
* 10.0, 10.0.1, 10.1, 10.1.1, 10.1.2, 10.1.3, 10.1.4
Advisory (19SEPT2012): Effective September 16, 2012, Supplemental Examination requests and Third-Party Preissuance Submissions under 37 CFR 1.290 may be filed by selecting the appropriate options via EFS-Web.
For more info, please see:
* Supplemental Examination Quick Start Guide [PDF 2.4MB]
* Third-Party Submissions Quick Start Guide [PDF 1.83MB]
* EFS-Web Legal Framework - update will be posted soon
Some Patent forms have been updated due to the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA).
Please see the Patents Forms page for more info.
Petitions for Inter Partes Review, Post Grant Review, and Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents cannot be filed via EFS-Web and must be filed via the new Patent Review Processing System (PRPS).
Advisory (30July2012): Delivery of U.S. Pre-Grant Search Results to the EPO Without Delay Requires Timely Consent From Applicants
Current EPO regulations require that search results from an application, to which a European patent application filed on or after January 1, 2011 claims priority, must be filed with the EPO without delay after the search results are made available to applicants. See Amended Rule 141(1) EPC (European Patent Convention). For the time being, U.S. applicants are exempt from personally providing search results for a U.S. priority application to the EPO as a result of an arrangement worked out between the USPTO and the EPO, whereby the USPTO will electronically deliver search results from priority U.S. applications to the EPO, as a no-charge service to applicants. See Electronic Delivery of Search Results From the United States Patent and Trademark Office to the European Patent Office, 76 FR 82279 (December 30, 2011).
Maintenance of the exemption, however, is dependent upon delivery of search results by the USPTO to the EPO as soon as they become available, including when search results are available prior to publication of the U.S. application. Because 35 U.S.C. 122 prohibits the USPTO from providing information about an as-yet unpublished application to a third party without the applicant's consent, timely delivery of pre-publication search results requires applicant cooperation in providing the USPTO with the proper consent to release the search result information to the EPO. Failure of applicants to provide the USPTO with the required consent will prevent the USPTO from delivering the search results in a timely fashion and could result in EPO rescinding the exemption, which would require all U.S. applicants to provide the search result information to the EPO at their own time and expense.
Therefore, applicants are strongly urged to timely file the Certification and Authorization form PTO/SB/69 (available at http://www.uspto.gov/forms/sb0069.pdf) in each application that is intended to form the basis for a claim of priority to a corresponding application filed with the EPO. This form provides applicant's consent for the USPTO to deliver to the EPO the search results from an unpublished U.S. application. Applicants should file the form prior to filing a European application that claims priority to the U.S. application in order for search results to be delivered to the EPO without delay should they become available prior to publication of the U.S. application.
When filing form PTO/SB/69 using EFS-Web, applicants should be careful to select the correct document description "PTO/SB/69 - Authorize EPO Access to Search Results," which can be found under the General Transmittal category. Identifying form PTO/SB/69 using any other document description will significantly delay or prevent delivery of the search results from an unpublished U.S. application to the EPO.
Advisory (24MAY2012): New Maximum Daily Limit for Credit Cards - Effective June 30, 2012
The maximum daily limit per credit card or debit card account is currently $99,999.99. Effective June 30, 2012, the daily limit per credit card account will be lowered to $49,999.99, and the daily limit for debit cards will be eliminated. All credit card and debit card payments are processed through the Department of the Treasury's Pay.gov system. The new daily limit for credit cards will automatically be enforced through the Pay.gov system; if cardholders exceed the daily limit, a message will indicate that the maximum daily limit has been reached and the payment will be rejected.
Advisory (3MAY2012): Learn more about the eOffice Action program at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/status/e-Office_Action.jsp which will notify you via email that an Office communication is available for viewing and downloading in Private PAIR
Advisory (6APR2012): The online fee payment amounts in EFS-Web are set to the current fee schedule. The transmittal fee, international filing fee, international search fee or other fee amounts payable for a PCT international application may not equal the online fee payment amount. As a result, online fee payment in EFS-Web is not available when the online fee amount is not equal to the fee amount that is desired to be paid. See MPEP 502.05(II)(E) for alternative means of fee payment.
Advisory (5APR2012): Tell your friends and family USPTO is hiring patent examiners in a variety of engineering, science & IP law disciplines. Amazing benefits and opportunities to support economic growth in an exciting field of work. Visit www.USPTOcareers.gov for more
Advisory (21FEB2012): The Office is no longer accepting Petitions to Make Special Under the Green Technology Pilot Program or requests for reconsideration based solely on a defective original petition. The program will meet its limit based on petitions that were previously filed and are awaiting decision.
The pending petitions will be taken in turn as set forth in the original Notice, i.e., in the order that the applications are in condition for examination. The Office will treat any pending petition in an application that is in condition for examination on or before the cut-off date, i.e., the date that the 3,500th application for which a petition is granted was in condition for examination. Pending requests for reconsideration based upon a defective original petition will only be considered if they were filed on or before the cut-off date.
Requests for reconsideration based solely on an erroneous decision may continue to be filed and will be considered.
More information on the program can be found at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/green_tech.jsp.
e-Biz Alerts - Check current status, planned events, descriptions, operating requirements/compatibilities and standard hours of availability for online business systems
e-Commerce Patents Alerts - Receive up-to-date information, including news and system enhancements, regarding the USPTO Patents e-Commerce programs