Public User's Meeting

Public Records Division (PRD)/Public Search Services Division (PSSD)
Quarterly Public User’s Meeting
December 1, 2015


The Public User’s Meeting was held at 2:30 p.m. in the Madison Auditorium North at 600 Dulany Street on the USPTO campus in Alexandria, Virginia. Donna Cooper, Director of the Public Records Division, chaired the meeting.

John Owens, Chief Information Officer, was present at the meeting to field any questions the public may have concerning any technological issues.

PSF Status

Terry Howard, Manager of the Public Search Facility, announced that additional shelving for the PSF would be arriving in December and described where it will be located and warned that there might add some noise during the installation. There are currently very little changes in the air for the UPWS.

Terry introduced Kevin Lewis, Special Agent, USPTO Security Office, who was there to address security questions. Mr. Lewis introduced Sharrieff Nashid, Special Agent, and Ray Patten, Deputy Director of Security, and asked for any questions.

Q: Why do public users need to be screened every time they enter the PSF?

A: Mr. Lewis responded that any member of the public entering a Federal building has to be screened.

Q: A follow-up question was why couldn’t there be something for the regular users similar to the TSA PreCheck so they wouldn’t have to go through security every time they go out for coffee or lunch.

A: Mr. Lewis stated that there is nothing in place like that at the present time but that he would raise it to those in higher positions in the Security area.

PRD Status

Donna reported that the new enhanced version of Assignment Search will roll out soon, perhaps in December. This update will include the ability to download PDF images of assignment documents.

Q&A With John Owens, CIO

There were questions about the next version of a Patent search tool. Mr. Owens indicated that it will go to the Patent Examiners first and then to the public. It is very likely at least two years away. The tool will be in the Cloud and on the USPTO website and will be an enhanced hybrid of EAST and WEST.

There was a question about access to information about the conversion of USPC to CPC. Any idea of a timetable of which classes have been converted? Mr. Owens said it would be discussed with Patents.

Are there any plans to upload additional information such as full documents for foreign patents instead of just the abstract? Mr. Owens said that with the new system would be able to do it but it would have to be something that was requested by Patents.

Mr. Owens mentioned that there will not be any development performed on UPWS as the focus is on Patents End to End. When completed, everything will be available on the web.

Another question was about OCR and the fact that some of the characters are not accurate. Mr. Owen said that they are not going back to clean up the errors but with newer and better documents moving forward the information will improve.

Question about access to cited references. Currently they have to type in each reference to view it. Mr. Owen responded that there is no plan to improve this with the current system.

Mr. Owen said they have upgraded the Blue Coat but it will remain.

There was a question about why the old Wi-Fi account was available earlier in the day. Mr. Owen said that they turn on the old Wi-Fi account when they have large public functions in order to increase the coverage and then turn it off when that the function is completed.

There was a general question about markings in the parking garage. It’s not always clear which floor you are on and could be improved. Mr. Owens said that it would be looked into.

The Public User’s meeting was adjourned at 3:15 pm. Next meeting date TBA.