Public User's Meeting

Public Records Division (PRD)/Public Information Services Division (PSSD)
Public User's Meeting
Monday, August 30, 2010 2:00 p.m.
Global IP Academy

The Public User's Meeting was held at 2:00 p.m. in the Global IP Academy, at 600 Dulany Street on the USPTO campus in Alexandria, Virginia. Diane Lewis, Public Search Facility Branch Chief, chaired the meeting. There were 4 members of the public in attendance.


USPTO will be closed on Monday, Sept. 6, 2010 in observance of the Labor Day holiday. Regular business will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010 for normal business hours.

2010 Public Search Facility (PSF) Customer Satisfaction Survey Results

Martin Rater, Office of Patent Quality Assurance, reviewed the results of the Public Search Facility 2010 Customer Satisfaction Survey. The purpose of the survey was to gauge current customer satisfaction levels and assess changes since the last survey was conducted in 2008. Overall, 87% of the respondents were satisfied with the products and services offered through the PSF. Survey responses highlighted the fact that search guides and training guides available in the search facility were not as useful as they could be. It was noted that the PSF management has an initiative underway to revise both instructional materials and search guides. Respondents expressed the highest level of dissatisfaction with the wireless service available in the search facility.

John Owens, Chief Information Officer

CIO John Owens attended the Public Users Meeting to field questions from users and give updates on questions/concerns:

  • WIFI capability - new wireless repeaters will be installed by the end of FY2011. Bandwidth for cell phones and computers will also be expanded.
  • Network is being upgraded.
  • Infrastructure improvements are ongoing/forth coming in near future.

Question: When using search tools provided on the USPTO web site - Is there a way to contact USPTO for an explanation as to why the system is not available? I was unable to access the website trademark search tool for 2 hours and did not know when the system might be accessible.

Response: Yes, there is an 800 number to call for help, check at the service desk in the Public Search Facility. Need Help? Call 800-786-9199 or 571-272-1000 and select option "3" or send an E-Mail to our Customer Service Representatives. The USPTO website also publishes system alert information that provides users with current search system status information.

Concern: EPO & JPO data views have been impacted by a change in the PubEAST EPO & JPO database interface.

Response: Public Search Facility Management Team will arrange meeting between Patent business IT liaison and public user to replicate the user's experience and determine a possible cause for the data view change.

Public searcher shared his finding that a patent document image he located in the search facility's microfilm collection was not available in the patent search system. Public Search Facility Management has taken an action to have the patent document image loaded into the patent search system.

Question: Will there be any changes/improvements to EAST?

Response: There are plans in place to replace EAST no later than 2013.

USPTO has contracted with an independent expert on systems and infrastructure in order to achieve the best possible results with upcoming future changes and improvements. Group sessions are being held with examiners and other Patents End to End stakeholders.

Question: Is it possible for some users to be included in some sessions?

Response: Mr. Owens will have to check with USPTO Director Kappos' office to determine if it is possible for members of the public to participate in Patents' End- to- End development.

Question: Maintenance fee database record information is inconsistent for the same record.

Response: Public Search Facility management will follow-up with public searcher for more details regarding his findings. It might be a PALM system database refresh issue.

PSF Updates

  • IE8 has been successfully installed on UPWS.
  • Bound Volume Collection relocation project has been completed.
  • Effective Oct. 1, 2010 proposal to remove power-to-inspect workstations from PSF space becomes official. However, the power-to-inspect workstation will still be available in the File Information Unit (FIU) located at the USPTO Randolph Square campus (Arlington, VA). There is more usage of the FIU workstation as this is the most appropriate location for requesting access to application file contents.

One public searcher expressed his concern that the power-to-inspect workstation located in the File Information Unit is not maintained for public use. For example, the printer is sometimes not operational. If the power-to-inspect workstation were to be removed from the Public Search Facility the public would need to have the FIU workstation in working order during business hours.

Follow on update: The workstation in PSF will be moved to the FIU so that they will have two power-to-inspect workstations.

PRD Updates

No updates at this time.

Question: Is it possible for assignment documents notice of recordation to be delivered electronically instead of only by fax?

Response: No, not at this time.

The Public User's Meeting was adjourned at 2:51 p.m. The next meeting will be November 2010, exact date to be announced.