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Tuesday Jul 12, 2022

Modernizing the management of patent applications with Patent Center

Blog by Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO

Graphic of Public PAIR retirement

As we recently announced, on August 1, we will replace the Public Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) tool with the new user-friendly Patent Center. With a unified interface for electronically filing and managing patent applications, Patent Center is yet another step forward in our efforts to modernize USPTO systems and tools.

Patent Center provides independent inventors, registered patent attorneys and agents, and other patent professionals with real-time status information, application documents, and transaction history for pending patent applications.

If you are a Public PAIR user who is new to Patent Center, you will recognize many of the same features. For example, Patent Center still provides capabilities to access publicly available patent documents as a guest by application, patent, Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), publication, and/or international design registration numbers. Users are also able to sort documents and transaction history based on column headings.

Patent Center also offers improvements that will simplify how you file and manage your patent applications. Those improvements include:

1. Streamlined accounts in a single interface: Allows you to use existing USPTO.gov accounts from EFS-Web and Private PAIR in a single streamlined interface.

2. Increased uploading and downloading options: Using the drag and drop interface, you can upload multiple files at once. We’ve also added new options to download patent references, documents in DOCX and XML formats, and bibliographic information in XML format.

3. Simplified document submissions: You can submit the specification, claims, abstract, and drawings in a single DOCX document without having to manually separate sections.

4. Clear submission and payment receipts: By separately providing submission and payment receipts, you will be able to separately track the status of submitted documents and successful payments.

5. Integrated sponsorship management: Allows you to switch between sponsors without signing on and off.

These are just a few of the benefits Patent Center offers. To help familiarize you with Patent Center, we are hosting frequent training sessions which include opportunities to ask detailed questions. The Patent Center page of the USPTO website also has information on the latest releases and upcoming features. There, you’ll find a thorough Patent Center user guide and list of Patent Center frequently asked questions. Using the interactive simulations in Patent Center training mode, you can also safely practice filing DOCX and PDF documents without saving or submitting to USPTO systems.

Since its launch in 2017, Patent Center has been rigorously user-tested, and we have made many improvements based on public feedback, but we are never done listening. We welcome further feedback on Patent Center functionality by email at emod@uspto.gov and through our Ideascale page.

For other Patent Center questions, technical assistance, or troubleshooting, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) from 6 a.m. to midnight ET, Monday through Friday, by phone at 866-217-9197, or by email at ebc@uspto.gov.

Comments:

It’s unfortunate that Patent Center doesn’t work on mobile devices like the iPhone. Public pair does. Patent center is better on the computer but until the mobile functionality is created this is a step backwards.

Posted by AH on July 12, 2022 at 11:39 AM EDT #

Could both Public PAIR and Patent Center be made available in parallel so that mobile users can use Public PAIR and computer users have a choice between the two, i.e., two UIs for the same data until Patent Center is as functional as Public PAIR with the same if not better speed.

Posted by Eugene M Lee on July 12, 2022 at 12:41 PM EDT #

As a Micro Entity we are impacted in a major way by the long time before a patent reaches Office Action. For us, the business opportunity may very well have passed by the time Office Action is even initiated. WE NEED FASTER ACTION! What opportunities are there? The related concern is Commercialization. There seem to be no avenues that do more than discuss this. Establishing contacts to the appropriate industry organizations usually is virtually impossible. What can be done to help us?? I search for "Open Innovation" but find very few organizations that are truly Open to Outside Innovation. What programs open doors for us? Jim Carmichael The Carmichael Group, LLC james@carmichaelgroup.com.

Posted by James Howard Carmichael on July 15, 2022 at 06:27 PM EDT #

Thank you for your feedback! We are always looking for potential improvements to Patent Center, including greater accessibility on mobile devices. Patent Center functions on many mobile devices. The screen view may be dependent on the resolution of your device, and rotating it to a landscape view may help you better view the content. We will continue to work to optimize Patent Center for the mobile experience.

Posted by USPTO on July 22, 2022 at 10:56 AM EDT #

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