Public User's Meeting

Public Records Division (PRD)/Public Search Services Division (PSSD)
Quarterly Public User's Meeting
April 1, 2014

The Public User's Meeting was held at 2:00 p.m. in the Global IP Academy, Madison East, 2nd floor, at 600 Dulany Street on the USPTO campus in Alexandria, Virginia. Martha Sneed, PSSD Director, chaired the meeting. There were five members of the public in attendance.

CIO John Owens was present at the meeting to handle Q&A.

Public Search Facility (PSF) Announcements

Attendees were reminded that this meeting was rescheduled due to the March 17 closing of the USPTO as a result of inclement weather.

Ms. Sneed announced that Terry Howard, current Acting Branch Chief, has been selected as the new Branch Chief of the Public Search Facility.

Attendees were informed that dual monitors will be deployed in the Public Search Facility in June. There is a set up in the PSF Beta area for testing to ensure that the dual monitors work correctly within the UPWS platform. The dual monitors will be rolled out gradually in groups and the public will be kept informed as to when the rollout will occur. The second monitor will be like the first.

Question: Why is there a problem with the Wi-Fi system in the Public Search Facility? It does not seem to work as well in the rear of the facility as it does the front. The public user mentioned port 443 was closed.

This will be explored immediately for resolution.

Question: Several of the attendees asked questions concerning the foreign data available through EAST and the recent download into the FPRS database. What do they have access to? What was loaded into the FPRS database? One user indicated that the staff is not knowledgeable about the foreign data.

STIC retains the expertise on foreign patents. We will request a speaker for a future public user meeting in 2014.

Question: Follow-up on the many questions about the foreign data. Will the UPWS have some way to access the Chinese data that is now available to the Patent Examiners?

Public users will have to wait until after Patent End-to-End is deployed to examiners. They are on time for an end-of-next-year (2015) deployment date. The public could expect a web-based search tool 12 months later, e.g. in 2 ½ years from now.

Question: Anything new coming down the pike? (No specific item mentioned.)

There are changes coming to both Patents and Trademarks including new tools which the public will get after the examiners. A reminder that all major projects are listed on the OMB website.

Question: Will the new Search tool be replacing some of the applications?

Derwent might be replaced in the future with an in-house foreign data source. However, for now Derwent is convenient and has the functionality to supply the foreign data.

Question: Will the new search tool be simple like a one line search or will it allow advanced searching?

Both will be available.

Question: Will the new search tool have a search history where the searcher can refer back to a query done earlier? Will the public be asked for input on the Search Tool?

The public will be allowed to save queries into a file. The Patent Business area is overseeing the project so if they decide to obtain public input, they will orchestrate it.

Question: Is the FPRS a stop gap measure? Will it get better?

FPRS will improve and we will continue to add foreign data while working on upgrades. But XML has not been universally adopted, so other countries formats may not be compatible with ours. This does cause difficulties. However, improvements to data quality are expected once new systems are implemented.

Question: One attendee asked about how to print out an Assignment record. They had tried printing it out and were getting a blank sheet. Do we have a handout explaining how to do it?

Not sure. Will check this out and develop one if there is not one currently available.

Question: If you want to move from the Assignment record to EAST without closing the other application, will you be able to do that at some point?

We don't know at this time. Functionalities are examiner-based and there is little interest on the part of examiners for assignment information.

Public Records Division Status

There were no status updates to report at this time.

The Public User's Meeting was adjourned at 3:10 pm.

Next meeting date: TBD