Public User's Meeting

Public Records Division (PRD)/Public Search Services Division (PSSD)
Public User's Meeting
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 2:00 p.m.
Remsen Building Conference Center

The Public User's Meeting was held at 2:00 p.m. in the 1st floor conference room 1D04/1D14 of the Remsen Building at 400 Dulany Street on the USPTO campus in Alexandria, Virginia. Martha Sneed, Director of PSSD, chaired the meeting. There were 2 member(s) of the public in attendance.


  • A change was proposed to the monthly Public User meetings, first, to hold them in the Global IP Academy (GIPA) for a more convenient location, and second, to make them quarterly instead of monthly since monthly attendance is very low. The caveat of moving from a monthly to quarterly schedule is that extra meetings would be held if an urgent topic needed to be discussed. More information will be forthcoming and distributed to the public for feedback. Such a change will mean that attendees will not have to go through security a second time to attend the meeting because GIPA space resides within the Public Search Facility. Changes in the meeting schedule/arrangements could take place as early as the July 2010 meeting.
  • The USPTO will be closed on Monday, May 31, 2010 in observance of Memorial Day and will re-open on regular schedule June 1, 2010.

Public Search Facility Updates

The PSF is conducting a Customer Satisfaction Survey starting May 24, 2010 and going through June 4, 2010. The one page survey form will be available to the public at each of the public service desks within the Public Search Facility. The completed forms may be placed in one of the boxes located at a service desk.

Trademark and Patent bound volumes will be relocated to create shelf space for continuing collections of Trademark Official Gazettes and the Trademark Register. During the project, temporary signs will be posted to alert searchers to the new location of each bound volume collection. Updated signs will be placed on shelving units to indicate the bound volume set that is now located in the unit. Shifting of the collection will continue through July and early August 2010. Project updates will be posted. Public Search Facility employees are available to assist public searchers in locating a specific collection or bound volume.

As a reminder Public Search Facility employees are not responsible for missing papers or other items. Recently a public user was concerned about lost paper work, which may have been left at a workstation desk. If PSF staff members find items left at workstation desks the next business day, the item is given to PSF Management or turned over to the Security Services Center.

UPWS - a public user accessed the system the morning of the public user meeting but was unable to retrieve information saved from the previous day although he had experienced no problems logging off. When he logged in a 'red message' popped up and he could not recover his file. It was the same workstation from the previous day. UPWS System Administrator investigated this incident and was unable to duplicate the occurrence of the error or provide an explanation for why the incident occurred. If the user is forced off the system automatically, there is the risk that a user's last used workspace may not be recovered.

There were some objections to the recent banner notices on UPWS reminding customers about specific rules of conduct. With the recent change in service hours, damage has been reported to furniture, and there has been an up tick in gum and other trash cluttering the workstations. Management felt that timely reminders would help keep customers from infractions potentially impacting their ability to use the facility.

Public Records Division Updates

No updates at this time.

A user notified Sandra Bigsby, Director of PRD, that the user's company's general counsel will authorize two people to have access to copies of their pending applications for purposes of obtaining certified copies when needed. This user also said she was having difficulty obtaining copies of some patents from 2008 and was not able to get anything from 2009. Sandra said she would research the situation and give an update.


The Public User's Meeting was adjourned at 2:25pm. Next meeting is scheduled for June 16, 2010 at 2:00pm in the Remsen building conference center, room 1D04/1D14.