Public User's Meeting
Public Records Division/Public Information Services Division
Public User’s Meeting
June 20, 2007 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 in the Jefferson Building at 500 Dulany Street on the USPTO campus in Alexandria, Virginia. Martha Sneed, Manager of PISD, chaired the meeting. There were 6 members of the public in attendance.
Text transfer enhancements in UPWS are due to take effect by July 14.
Update on the USPTO's Plan to eliminate the paper search collection of TM registrations including design elements. Special briefing by Cynthia Lynch from Trademarks.
Removal of paper TM registrations with design elements will not take place until the ability to add codes electronically and make them searchable through current electronic search systems is implemented. Everything should be up and running in July. A 60-day Federal Register Notice will be posted to inform the public about the removal.
The scenario where an earlier Report to Congress prompted an investigation may happen again because of these changes Trademarks is implementing.
Users were not asked to participate in the beta testing of the new electronic coding system.
Questions: Was a study done for accuracy? Yes. Is a hard copy of the study available? There would probably not be an objection.
Will new coding system be applied to the back file? (Back file is very important to the users.) No plans to apply system enhancements to the back file.
Why are there no plans to apply database enhancements to the back file? It is a cost issue. Cost benefit analysis shows it is not feasible to include the back file. The back file is available on microform so there is no obligation to apply system enhancements. Access to the back file is available through the use of microfilm readers. Resources are channeled into improving the quality of the Trademark database.
There is an issue of data quality with the Trademark database. Trademarks have not proven that it can produce an accurate and reliable electronic system. Errors are costly to the public users. Coders who will be working on the database enhancements are the same who have done previous work in that area and are familiar with the Trademark systems. Also, TMs has implemented different ways for the public to give feed back on the new enhancements under Vienna classification. Trademarks has undertaken many, many quality efforts since the last Certification to Congress in 2003. We have solicited public input for corrections, increased contractor oversight, contractors subject to 100% quality control, have made significant improvements. Public Comment: You have, but I'm still uncomfortable.
Question: Are the microfilm on cassettes? The microfilm is on reels.
Public Search Facility Update
Concerning the issue of cleaning in the PSF – attempts are being made to get more assistance and also looking into getting another cleaning contract.
The microfilm cabinets are being upgraded and the collection is being rearranged for more efficiency.
UPWS – EAST problem has been resolved. It was a problem with the firewall but should be working properly now. Applications full text on the web problem has been solved.
We are working to increase signage appropriately for improved use of facility.
Assignment reels lagging a bit behind AHD.
Data mining limitations - have they been removed? Limits have not been officially changed. A task force has been created to look into problems with PAIR. The outcome on that is not yet determined.
Other Comments: Flip rate problem – set by EAST application. Auto rate is ½ second. Manual flip rate determined by keying speed. The users say no, keying flip rate should be faster. A faster flip rate is necessary for searchers.
A user describes not being able to get to the employee locator in the PSF while using his laptop. However, when he is at home there is no problem linking to the employee locator.
Many of the public users complained that it is too hot in the PSF, but cooler in the GIPA area.
Restroom cleanliness has improved. Contract proposals are out for more cleaning help.
A new lighting pattern will be tested in the PSF. They will try having the lights off on half the room. One row of lights will all be off. A notice will be issued when the PSF implements lighting changes.
The refresh rate for the monitors should all be the same. At 60Hz, it should be higher.
Public Records Division Updates
Some problems have been encountered when downloading large files above 2gigs.
Turnaround times have improved for ordering files from Suitland.
Question: What is the current plan for South Tower? The lease runs out in March 2009. PTO will probably vacate the building by fall/winter of 2008.
The meeting was adjourned around 3:00pm. Next meeting date is July 18, 2007 in the Jefferson Building Conference Center, 1D70/1D80.