Improving our service to America’s innovators
Vaishali Udupa, Commissioner for Patents
As we announced in September, as part of our modernization efforts to provide more extensible technology and functionality, the EFS-Web and Private Patent Application Information Retrieval (Private PAIR) tools are being retired after their decades of use as electronic filing and application management systems for our Patents customers.
Starting November 15, 2023, the Patent Center system will fully replace EFS-Web and Private PAIR.
Making this transition to Patent Center is essential to ensuring that our tools evolve, that we stay up to date on the latest digital capabilities, and that we continue to deliver excellent customer service to meet your needs.
We are postponing the original transition date (previously November 8) to better respond to and incorporate additional valuable stakeholder feedback into the Patent Center system. Specifically, we are working to increase usability for sponsored accounts with large amounts of customer numbers and address any related issues. We are also ramping up coverage to our Electronic Business Center to respond to questions in real-time and help ensure a smooth transition for our stakeholders.
A one-stop shop for Patents customers
Patent Center pulls all the steps of filing and managing a patent application together into one central system. It offers a next-generation user interface and better overall system performance and security. Patent Center also includes new features to streamline the application process:
- No need to create a new account: you can use the USPTO.gov accounts and sponsorships that you’ve already created for EFS-Web and Private PAIR.
- The ability to upload your patent application specification, claims, abstract, and drawings in a single DOCX document without having to manually separate sections.
- The ability to upload multiple documents at once using the drag and drop interface.
- The ability to download multiple documents at one time in a single PDF or ZIP file.
- The ability to confirm the status of submitted documents and successful payments with separate submission and payment receipts.
- In addition, if you want to get familiar with Patent Center’s features without actually submitting anything, you can explore Training Mode, an interactive simulation to safely practice filing DOCX and PDF documents. You’ll also receive real-time feedback.
We’re not stopping here. Since its launch six years ago, we’ve rigorously tested Patent Center and made improvements based on your feedback. We will continue to use your input to enhance the system’s functionality. If you have a suggestion or an idea for new functionality or performance improvement send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We review these ideas weekly. Retiring our legacy EFS-Web and Private PAIR systems ensures that we are better protecting confidential application materials and investing patent user fees responsibly. Maintaining these legacy systems during the development and testing of Patent Center made sense to ensure there was no interruption in service. Patent Center is now ready to become the sole system, and it is time to turn off the legacy systems so we can reinvest recovered resources into developing your ideas for new functionality and performance improvements. You can access instructional guides, resources, our on-demand webinar, a list of top 25 questions and answers from previous training sessions, and contact information for technical assistance all on the Patent Center information webpage. Thank you for all the feedback you’ve provided in Patent Center’s six years of operation. We appreciate your continued engagement as we seek to improve our service to you.