As recently announced as part of our modernization efforts to provide our customers with more efficient and effective IT tools, today we are officially retiring the decades-old EFS-Web and Private Patent Application Information Retrieval (Private PAIR). The Patent Center system will fully replace these legacy tools, providing a one-stop shop for our patents customers for filing and managing their applications, offering a next-generation user interface with better overall system performance and security.
“This is an important milestone in our efforts to offer customers a better service through enhanced technology,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Kathi Vidal. “We appreciate that change can be difficult for those accustomed to and with internal systems built around Private PAIR, but we are ready to make this leap with our customers into a new era of technology that will lead to better processing and more efficiencies. We are grateful to all those who have provided constructive feedback on Patent Center since its launch in 2017 and we look forward to working with all our stakeholders on IT improvements that meet their evolving needs.”
Since we announced our intent to transition from EFS-Web/Private PAIR to Patent Center back in September 2023, we have trained more than 1,800 customers on Patent Center throughout more than a dozen trainings, with more than 30,000 customers trained in total over the past few years. Further, USPTO has worked directly with more than 25 stakeholder groups in the past two months to answer questions and take their feedback. As a result, more than 60% of all filers now use Patent Center to help file and manage their applications, with that number continuing to grow daily as more users get comfortable with the system.
To address concern among stakeholders regarding certificate of transmission language, the USPTO is formally waiving its relevant rules and will accept a certificate of transmission on a pre-printed form provided by the USPTO and submitted by applicants via Patent Center. Learn more in the Official Gazette Notice.
We will continue to use the feedback received from stakeholder listening sessions, Patent Center training programs, and other events to further refine Patent Center to meet users’ needs.
Please read our recent blog by Commissioner for Patents Vaishali Udupa on the Patent Center transition, and contact firstname.lastname@example.org with additional suggestions and ideas for improvements. Recent enhancements we have made to the agency's tools, including expanded chatbots and a better search tool – and opportunities to volunteer for our web improvement surveys – are available on the USPTO website.