Patents > Patents EBC> e-Alerts > UUSPTO e-COMMERCE e-ALERT [05 June 2008]
  • First Action Interview Pilot
  • Managing Digital Certificates

First Action Interview Pilot

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is hosting a First Action Interview Pilot that provides an opportunity for eligible participants to receive and discuss the results of the examinerís prior art search before the first Office Action is issued. By increasing communication between patent examiners and applicants, this pilot program will contribute to the USPTOís goals of improving patent quality and reducing pendency.

An interview under this pilot program would advance prosecution of the application because it would enhance the interactions between the applicant and the examiner, provide the applicant with the opportunity to resolve patentability issues one-on-one with the examiner at the beginning of the prosecution process, and facilitate possible early allowance.

To view the eligibility requirements and to learn more about the First Action Interview Pilot, please visit:

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Managing Digital Certificates

Digital certificates can expire if the proper steps arenít taken to maintain them. Below are steps you can take to ensure you always have access to USPTOís e-Commerce systems.

  1. Within 120 days of receipt, use the authorization code and reference number received from the Electronic Business Center (EBC) to create and download your digital certificate. After 120 days, the authorization code and reference number will expire and require replacement.

  2. Immediately after downloading your digital certificate, go to to create your digital certificate self-recovery codes. Save these codes in a secure location. These codes allow you to immediately recover your certificate should any problem occur. Remember, without creating self-recovery codes, recovery by the EBC is your only option and will take several business days.

  3. Active digital certificates are automatically renewed for indefinite access. This renewal occurs automatically while you are using your certificate. Therefore, it is important to use your certificate regularly, at least every 90 days.

  4. If you have copied your digital certificate on multiple computers, be sure to document the locations of each copy. After automatic renewal, only the copy in use at that time of renewal will be valid; all other copies must be updated separately. If you experience problems with your certificate, try the following steps before contacting the EBC: review the modification dates of all certificate copies; determine the most current copy; and then simply replace all outdated copies with the most recent certificate.


If you have any specific questions about EFS-Web, PAIR, PKI or any other component of our e-Commerce initiative, please contact the EBC Customer Service Center at 866-217-9197 (toll-free) or 571-272-4100 or send an e-mail to "”.

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