Patents > Patents EBC> e-Alerts > The USPTO Has Implemented a Verification System in Public PAIR [11 January 2008]

The USPTO Has Implemented a Verification System in Public PAIR

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has implemented a two-word verification code to improve data access for Public PAIR users. Public PAIR users are now required to manually enter a two-word verification code into the reCAPTCHA validation screen before accessing Public PAIR data.

The USPTO takes seriously its responsibility to promote the progress of science by providing free access to patent data via Private and Public PAIR. The USPTO implemented a CAPTCHA security response.

CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart) is an industry-accepted security feature to ensure that humans, and not bots, are accessing computer programs. The version of CAPTCHA that the USPTO implemented is named reCAPTCHA (for additional details, a project of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. The reCAPTCHA deployment was an immediate response to a system outage problem caused by bots. The USPTO continues to explore long-term solutions to address the need for open access to the data by the Intellectual Property community.

The USPTO has not implemented reCAPTCHA in Private PAIR. Unlike Public PAIR where inquirers can be anonymous to the USPTO and thus unidentifiable when causing system problems, applicants and other users of Private PAIR are registered and receive a digital certificate from the USPTO. (For information on becoming a Registered User, see “Register Now” at

We are committed to providing access to all available patent data to the public whenever required, and we are continuing to explore all alternatives to meet that goal.


If you have any specific questions about EFS-Web, PAIR, PKI, or any other component of our e-Commerce initiative, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) at 1-866-217-9197 (toll-free) or 1-571-272-4100 or send an e-mail to "”.

To receive regular e-mail updates from the USPTO on Patents e-Commerce and other e-Commerce related developments, please subscribe to the e-Commerce e-Alert using the following link: