Mozilla has announced plans to release Firefox 52 in March 2017. This iteration drops support for NPAPI (including the Java plug-in), which impacts your ability to access EFS-Web and Private PAIR as Java is required for authentication into these systems. To continue using Firefox to access EFS-Web and Private PAIR, please use the new interim authentication method Java Web Start, which requires the latest Java 8 version.
EFS-Web and PAIR system requirements
EFS‐Web Unregistered, EFS-Web Contingency and Public PAIR
EFS‐Web Registered and Private PAIR Users
- Browsers/workstations must accept Entrust security applets, for download and use, at least for the length of a particular communications session. Workstations must run the latest Java Runtime Environment/Java Virtual Machine (JRE/JVM) version.
Supported Operating Systems (OS) and web browsers combinations
Supported web browsers
Supported web browsers
* The Microsoft Edge internet browser is currently unsupported. For users of Windows 10, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center (PEBC) for assistance with alternative browser options.
Please note that each browser version (major and minor releases) may have specific issues that USPTO cannot always address. If you install a later browser version, please be sure to maintain one of the supported browsers in order to ensure access to our systems. Additional browsers and Java versions are not supported. However, a workaround may be available. Please contact the Patent EBC for general support. Please check the vendor website for additional information relating to vulnerabilities and end of life support.
Although the above browsers should continue to work with EFS-Web and Private PAIR, there is always a possibility that these providers may decide to discontinue support of Java plug-ins as well. The USPTO is closely monitoring for any changes, and is committed to keeping the IP Community informed accordingly.
Furthermore, the USPTO is investigating if there are possible strategies to mitigate the impact. The Agency is working on a longer-term plan to improve the overall authentication process. A new permanent authentication method is currently under development by the Agency and additional information will be released shortly. For this and other system related issues, please visit our Announcements pages:
If you need assistance with this matter, or have questions on any eFiling topic, please visit the Patent Electronic Business Center web page for comprehensive contact information, FAQ’s, and other eFiling resources.
For use of Java Web Start it is strongly recommended the user have the latest Java Runtime Environment installed on their machine. Upon selecting Java Web Start, the user will be required to download a JNLP file and run it. This must be done each time that the user wishes to log in, or access the Digital Certificate Management tool, using this method. Pending the internet browser that the user is using, the behavior of this download may be different. For instance in some browsers the file will automatically launch once it has downloaded, however in others the user will need to click on the downloaded file to launch it.
For authentication into EFS-Web and Private PAIR, once this file is launched, a new window will appear, and the customer will authenticate within that window in the same manner as they would with the Java Applet. Once the customer has successfully input their .epf file, password, checked the box next to the “I understand…” statement, and clicked Authenticate, this window will close and the customer will be returned to their web browser and the USPTO system that they were attempting to access.
For access to the Digital Certificate Management tool, once this file is launched a new window will appear in which all functions of the Digital Certificate Management tool will be accessible. Some aspect of using this tool will require that the user authenticate their Digital Certificate to continue. In these instances the authentication will be performed in the same window, and the user will continue with their selected operation. Once the user has completed all desired operations with regard to managing their Digital Certificate, the Java Web Start window can be closed by clicking the red "x" in the top right corner of the window.
The USPTO will be receiving electronic patent application documents in the PDF (Portable Document Format) format, from which images will be produced for the Image File Wrapper (IFW) system. For PDF specifications please view the EFS‐Web PDF Guidelines page.
Please ensure that the following settings are applied to your computer and/or network.
NOTE: System administrative rights may be required.
- Networks and Firewall infrastructures must allow outbound communication to USPTO via port 443/https.
- Networks and Firewall infrastructures must not strip packet header contents.
- Workstations must run a supported Operating System version.
- Browsers/workstations must accept cookies, at least for the length of a particular communications session.
Cookie and Java Configuration Details
A “session cookie” is information sent by a website server to your computer while you are connected to that site. Session cookies expire once all browser windows are closed. EFS‐Web and Private PAIR’s cookies temporarily store information about your interactions that may be needed later for the system to perform a function. As you move from page to page in our eCommerce systems, cookies allow your specific Name, Documents, Fees, etc. to be retrieved. No persistent cookies are used.