Top of Notices Top of Notices   (331)  December 27, 2011 US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE Print This Notice 1373 CNOG  2347 

PAIR, EFS-Web, Electronic Submission Referenced Items (327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 333, 334, 335, 336, 337, 338, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343)
(331)         Electronic Notification of Outgoing Correspondence
                              (e-Office Action)

   On December 16, 2006, the United States Patent and Trademark Office
(Office) began a pilot program to provide a limited number of Private PAIR
users with the option of receiving electronic notification of some outgoing
correspondence related to their US patents and US national patent
applications retrievable through Private PAIR instead of a paper mailing of
the correspondence. Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications are not
included in this pilot.

   Participants in this pilot program no longer receive paper mailings for
most correspondence originating from a Technology Center. However, since
several areas of the Office have independent mailing processes, pilot
participants continue to receive paper mailings for correspondence
originating from several areas of the Office including, but not limited to:
Office of Initial Patent Examination, Office of Petitions, Office of PCT
Legal Administration, Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, Office of
Patent Publications, and Central Reexamination Unit.

   Pilot participants receive e-mail notification if new electronic
outgoing correspondence is prepared for patents or patent applications
associated with the participant's Customer Number.

   The pilot program was originally announced in the notice entitled
"Electronic Notification of Outgoing Correspondence (e-Office action),"
1314 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 1321 (January 16, 2007).

   The Office has received informative feedback from its pilot participants
since the pilot program began December 16, 2006. As a result, the Office
has made modifications to the pilot program as discussed below.

   First, during the first few months of the pilot, the Office sent e-mail
notifications for all outgoing correspondence, including paper mailings.
However, receipt of both an e-mail notification and a paper mailing has
caused confusion for some users. Accordingly, as of April 28, 2007, the
Office no longer sends e-mail notifications for paper mailings of outgoing
Office correspondence.

   Secondly, as of February 10, 2007, new electronic outgoing correspondence
is available for viewing and downloading through Private PAIR immediately
upon transmission of the e-mail notification. Prior to this date,
participants sometimes had to wait for up to two business days before the
outgoing correspondence became available through Private PAIR.

   The Office will continue to monitor pilot participant feedback and may
make additional amendments to the pilot program as warranted.

   For further information, please contact the Patent Electronic Business
Center (EBC) at 866-217-9197 (toll-free) or 571-272-4100 Monday through
Friday from 6 a.m. to 12 Midnight Eastern Time or send e-mail to

June 4, 2007                                                   JOHN J. LOVE
                                                    Deputy Commissioner for
                                                  Patent Examination Policy
                                   United State Patent and Trademark Office

                                 [1319 OG 145]