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Patents Alerts Archive

Patents Alerts provide the most up-to-date information on the USPTO’s e-Commerce programs via email. The Patents Alert Archive provides featured stories, event announcements, and tips for using EFS-Web, e-Office Action, PDX and other e-Commerce initiatives since 2007.

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 Please send an e–mail to EFS.Training@USPTO.gov if you have suggestions for future Alerts.

 

2011

November 2011
November 15, 2011 - Please refrain from installing Java 6 Update 29 and Java 7

Java 7 (released on 7/28/11) and Java 6 Update 29 (released on 10/18/11) are incompatible with the current Entrust software version used by EFS-Web and Private PAIR for authentication. Unlike previous Java updates which were backwards compatible with Entrust authentication software, these particular updates require a software patch. The USPTO immediately contacted Entrust and received the necessary software patch for Java 6 Update 29 a few days later. The USPTO then commenced testing to ensure that EFS-Web and Private PAIR would work properly with the Entrust software update. At the time of this communication, the testing of EFS-Web and Private PAIR is near completion and the fix for Java 6 Update 29 is expected to be deployed into production within a week. The USPTO is still working with Entrust to test the Java 7 patch.

As soon as the problem was identified, the USPTO posted an advisory to the public via EFS-Web and Private PAIR announcement pages. Furthermore, the same advisory was posted within EFS-Web and Private PAIR systems upon login to warn users not to accept the latest Java update. In retrospect, due to the severity of this problem, the USPTO should have sent an email notification to all e-Commerce e-Alert subscribers and provided more detailed information along with the advisory announcement.

If you are unable to authenticate to EFS-Web and Private PAIR due the affected Java updates, please contact your IT department or follow the instructions provided at the Oracle URL below to uninstall the affected Java update and install the supported Java 6 update 26.

Applicants who have installed Java 7 or Java 6 update 29 will have the following error in their Java console:

Error authenticating user com.entrust.m.b: TruePassIOException: INCORRECT_STATE (AuthenticationServlet)

The most recent compatible version is Java 6 update 26. It can be downloaded from the following link: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javasebusiness/downloads/java-archive-downloads-javase6-419409.html#jre-6u26-oth-JPR

Applicants should select the "Windows Offline Installation" download option.

Contact the Patent EBC at 1-866-217-9197 (toll-free) or ebc@uspto.gov if you need further assistance.

October 2011
October 15, 2011 - e-Commerce Alert: USPTO Survey Announcement

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is requesting your participation in an online survey to collect information about software tools used in the preparation of filing patent documents.  As a valued USPTO customer, your opinions are important and the results of this survey will help in the future modernization of our e-Filing systems. 

This brief questionnaire will require no more than 12 minutes of your time. All responses will be held in the strictest confidence.  The USPTO would appreciate your response to the survey by 8:00 p.m. (EST) on October 25, 2011, at which time no further responses will be accepted.

To participate please click the link below:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9S8L7DP

 

Thank you for your time and assistance,
USPTO Office of Patent Information Management’s
Office of Patent Information Resources

If you have any questions about EFS-Web, PAIR or other e-commerce initiative, please contact the EBC Customer Service Center at 866-217-9197 (toll-free), 571-272-4100 or by e-mail at ebc@uspto.gov.

September 2011
September 8, 2011 - PAIR Updates

Outgoing correspondence docket checkbox no longer automatically checked

In response to user feedback, the USPTO has modified Private PAIR’s Outgoing Correspondence docket checkbox so that it is no longer automatically checked upon viewing or downloading a document that is listed on the Outgoing Correspondence search page.  Beginning on September 10, 2011, this docket checkbox will need to be manually checked. 

WIPO publication hyperlink updated

The hyperlinks to WIPO publication documents have been updated so users can access them via WIPO PatentScope from Public and Private PAIR.

If you have questions about the PAIR enhancements, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) at 866-217-9197 (toll-free) or 571-272-4100 from 6 a.m. to 12 Midnight Eastern Time, Monday - Friday or e-mail the EBC at ebc@uspto.gov.

June 2011
June 10, 2011 - New PAIR Enhancements

USPTO Announces Enhancements to Public and Private PAIR

Beginning on June 18, 2011, PAIR users will notice several new system enhancements.

Public PAIR

Display References

A new Display References tab will be available in Public PAIR where prior art forms and documents, PTO-892, PTO-1449, IDS, NPL and FOR, are listed.  These forms and documents, with the exception of NPL, can now be easily viewed and downloaded from this new tab. Note: These same forms and documents are still available on the Image File Wrapper tab.

Private PAIR

Fee Payment History

Private PAIR users will have access to fee payment transaction history via the Fees tab for all applications associated with their Customer Number. Users will still be able to access Patent Maintenance Fees via the Fees tab. Note: Fee payment information will include Accounting Date, Fee Code, Fee Amount, Mailroom Date and Payment Method

Outgoing Correspondence – Docket checkbox

In response to numerous requests from e-Office Action participants, the View Outgoing Correspondence search has been enhanced to include a new column labeled “Docketed.”  This column of checkboxes provides users the option to integrate their internal workflow with the downloading or viewing of new correspondence. When users download or view a document, the corresponding checkbox is automatically checked indicating that document has been internally processed. Private PAIR users also have the option to manually check or uncheck any checkbox as desired.

Public and Private PAIR

Patent Maintenance Fees

The Patent Maintenance Fees window accessed via the Public and Private PAIR Fees tab has been enhanced to prevent users from inadvertently paying fees to the wrong patent.  Users will now need to manually enter one of the two mandatory number fields (application number or patent number).

Attorney Docket Number

The Attorney Docket Number has been added to the right-hand side of the title banner for any active tab as well as all printer friendly pages.

Certified Copies

Public and Private PAIR have been enhanced to prevent invalid ordering of “Certified Applications as Filed” and “Certified File Wrappers” for applications that do not have an official filing date. When this situation occurs, the hyperlinks to order certified copies will be disabled.

If you have questions about the PAIR enhancements, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) at 866-217-9197 (toll-free) or 571-272-4100 from 6 a.m. to 12 Midnight Eastern Time, Monday - Friday or e-mail the EBC at ebc@uspto.gov.

More than 10 million submissions received through EFS-Web

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is pleased to announce that it has received more than 10 million submissions (including new patent applications and follow-on documentation filings) electronically through EFS-Web. Launched in March 2006, EFS-Web is the USPTO’s Web-based patent application filing system.

Today, more than 90 percent of new patent applications are submitted through EFS-Web, which allows for huge cost and time savings for both patent applicants and the USPTO. We’re not the only ones who benefit—the 10 million submissions received electronically to date has saved more than 879,000 reams of paper, which equates to 5,643 trees.

EFS-Web was developed based on input from the intellectual property community, and the USPTO is continuing to make enhancements to the system to ensure system reliability and improve customer service. In March, the USPTO increased the self-service options in EFS-Web by adding eight ePetitions that are automatically processed and instantly granted when requirements are met. For more information, see the ePetition Resource Page.

The USPTO would like to recognize Jeffery Wong, EFS-Web project manager, whose work and dedication to enhancing EFW-Web has made reaching this milestone possible.

If you have any questions about EFS-Web, or to suggest improvements, please contact the EBC at (866) 217-9197 (toll free) or EBC@uspto.gov

April 2011
April 2, 2011
- Eight New e-Petitions Added to EFS-Web

 The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is pleased to announce the addition of eight new e-Petitions to EFS-Web. In addition to the two existing e-Petitions, Petition to Make Special Based on Age (37 CFR 1.102) and the Petition to Accept Unintentionally Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(c)), the following e-Petitions will be available to users beginning on March 27, 2011:

  • Request for Withdrawal as Attorney or Agent of Record and Change of Correspondence Address (37 CFR 1.36)
  • Petition to Withdraw from Issue after Payment of the Issue Fee (37 CFR 1.313(c)(1) or (2))
  • Petition to Withdraw from Issue after Payment of the Issue Fee (37 CFR 1.313 (c)(3))
  • Petition to Withdraw from Issue after Payment of the Issue Fee (37 CFR 1.313(c)(1) or (2)) with Assigned Patent Number
  • Petition to Withdraw from Issue after Payment of the Issue Fee (37 CFR 1.313(c)(3)) with Assigned Patent Number
  • Petition to Accept Late Payment of Issue Fee - Unintentional Late Payment (37 CFR 1.316)
  • Petition for Revival of an Application for Patent Abandoned for Failure to Notify the Office of a Foreign or International Filing (37 CFR 1.137(f))
  • Petition for Revival of an Application for Continuity Purposes Only (37 CFR 1.137(b))

Unlike the existing e-Petitions, which require a fillable PDF petition form to be completed and attached in EFS-Web, the new e-Petitions are filled out completely online through Web-based screens. e-Petitions are auto-processed and granted immediately upon submission, if the petitioner meets all of the requirements. Feedback is given to the petitioner as the screens are completed.

By using e-Petition, petitioners will also now have more control over when their petitions are filed and answered. This is especially advantageous for critical petitions, such as petitions to withdraw from issue. Further, deciding petitions electronically will decrease the need for renewed petitions, since petitioners will know instantly whether all requirements have been met.

The e-Petition to Withdraw from Issue after Payment of the Issue Fee must be filed and granted by the USPTO prior to Midnight (Eastern Time) on the Monday before the Issue Date. The online e-Petition option for a Petition for Revival of an Application for Continuity Purposes Only (37 CFR 1.137(b) may only be filed in an existing U.S. national application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) or U.S. national stage application under 35 U.S.C. 371. Therefore, this option is not available for reviving a PCT international application for purposes of continuity with a later filed 35 U.S.C. 111(a) application. Similarly, the online e-Petition option for a Request for Withdrawal as Attorney or Agent of Record and Change of Correspondence Address (37 CFR 1.36) is not available for PCT international applications, including those filed in the United States Receiving Office (RO/US).

For more information, please see the e-Petition Resource Web page: http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/file/efs/guidance/epetition-info.jsp.

To ask questions about ePetitions, or to suggest improvements, please call the Patent Electronic Business Center at (866) 217-9197 (toll free) or send email to EBC@uspto.gov

January 2011

January 27, 2011 - Update Your EFS-Web and Private PAIR Bookmarks

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is upgrading the infrastructure of EFS-Web and Private PAIR in order to increase system capacity and stability.  As part of the upgrade, EFS-Web and Private PAIR will have new URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) beginning on Monday, January 31, 2011.

If you have bookmarks to EFS-Web and Private PAIR, please update your bookmarks on January 31 to the new URLs below. The new URLs will not be active until January 31. 

  1. EFS-Web for Registered eFilers:
    https://efs.uspto.gov/efile/myportal/efs-registered
  2. EFS-Web for Unregistered eFilers:
    https://efs.uspto.gov/efile/portal/efs-unregistered 
  3. EFS-Web Portal homepage:
    https://efs.uspto.gov/efile/portal/home
  4. Private PAIR:
    https://ppair.uspto.gov/epatent/myportal/privatepair
  5. Private PAIR Portal homepage:
    https://ppair.uspto.gov/epatent/portal/home

After the system upgrade, applicants who access the old URLs, which start with “https://sportal.uspto.gov,” will be redirected to a Web page with the new URLs. Applicants who access EFS-Web and Private PAIR using links on the www.USPTO.gov homepage may continue to do so, as URLs on the homepage and EFS-Web and Private PAIR landing pages will be automatically updated.  The change will not affect any EFS-Web or Private PAIR functionality. 

Additional information regarding this enhancement will be posted on the EFS-Web and Private PAIR announcement pages:

http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/file/efs/announce/index.jsp

http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/search/public_pair/announce/index.jsp

If you have questions about the URL change, EFS-Web, or Private PAIR, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) at 866-217-9197 (toll-free) or 571-272-4100 from 6 a.m. to 12 Midnight Eastern Time, Monday - Friday or e-mail the EBC at ebc@uspto.gov.

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Last Modified: 8/23/2013 5:24:11 PM