Public Records Division/Public Information Services Division
Public User's Meeting
June 18, 2008
2:00 p.m. Jefferson Building Conference Center
The Public User's Meeting was held at 2:00 p.m. in the 1st floor conference room 1D70/1D80 of the Jefferson Building at 500 Dulany Street on the USPTO campus in Alexandria, Virginia. Martha Sneed, PISD Manager, chaired the meeting. There were seven members of the public in attendance.
The outdated USA Mark application on the UPWS menu will be removed on June 30, 2008. It is replaced by the TM Registration Certificate application on UPWS, available since December 2007, which provides access to registration certificates. A notice will be posted on June 19.
The mold problem in the PSF has been resolved. The carpet where mold was found (under the old examiner shoe case) has been cleaned. A leaky window has been identified as the probable cause of the mold problem and has been sealed.
A problem in the restroom this morning has also been addressed and resolved.
Building Security Update
At last month's meeting, there was a request for a representative from the USPTO Security Office to attend the next Public User's Meeting. Mr. Lewis, a security specialist with the office, attended today's meeting and addressed some concerns about building access on the USPTO campus.
He reminded public users that in order to attend the monthly Public User's Meeting, they only have to show their yellow badges in order to gain access to the building where the meeting is held. Security will not ask for an individual's driver's license to attend the Public User Meeting. At any other time Security will hold the person's badge and return it upon their departure from the building.
There has also been a change in the process of exiting the Public Search Facility (PSF). The process for entering the PSF remains the same; members of the public should use the turnstiles on the left and USPTO employees should use the turnstiles on the right. But upon exiting, any turnstile may be used by anyone, and a badge does not need to be swiped on the reader in order to exit.
This is also a good time to remind everyone about badge renewal. Each year during the month of December, the public must request to have their USPTO Security badges updated in the USPTO Security Office. No new badges will be issued, but the badge will be updated for access for the next year.
Finally, during emergencies the PTO Security is responsible for the safety and well being of members of the public, not the PSF staff.
User Comments: Access is still pretty inconsistent for the public. Is there a way to give the searchers easier access to the facility? Why is it that delivery people are not screened as intensely as members of public? Some users would be willing to submit to and pay for the extra security check required to obtain a red contractor badge. Users would still like to speak with Mr. J.R. Garland, head of USPTO Security, about issues of access to areas of PTO space, especially in Alexandria.
Answer: Mr. Lewis indicated that any follow up questions should be directed to him. He provided his contact information.
At the last public user's meeting, some members of the public asked about having access to commercial databases in the PSF. In light of requirements for accelerated applications, and because USPTO would like more of these applications to come in, it would be useful to have ready access to resources that USPTO is requiring of applicants. SIRA Administrator Dave Talbot was invited to speak on this topic. He said there are no plans to provide free public access to commercial databases by way of USPTO, other than Derwent, which is already provided. It is a per minute charge, very costly. There is no budget to support commercial database access through USPTO for the public searchers.
Then a request was made for a sample of a published and successful accelerated application, and a published and unsuccessful accelerated application. Mr. Talbott indicated he would check into providing this information.
Public Search Facility Update
The problem with abnormal EAST shutdowns has possibly been pinpointed. Testing will be done to confirm the cause of the problem and a fix implemented. As soon as the test results have been evaluated, users will be notified.
Question: How will users access the FIU with the move to Shirlington? Can the public order patent files from Alexandria campus? Martha will refer question to John Hassett.
Question: Has the air quality in the PSF been checked recently? An air quality check was done in January 2008. Another one will be requested.
Public Records Division Update
The front entrances to the South Tower building are still not open for access. Amanda Putnam will check with building management to find out when they will be open.
Question: Will the customer boxes and the customer windows now in South Tower be available at Shirlington? Yes, they will be on the same floor with the FIU.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 pm.
Next meeting is scheduled for July 16, 2008 at 2:00 pm in the Jefferson conference room 1D70/1D80.