EFS-Web and Private PAIR users now have a new, safer, and simpler log-in through a USPTO.gov account. Below is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the the changes. For more information, see Authentication Change for EFS-Web and PAIR. What is the new authentication method? The new authentication method is a two-step authentication using USPTO.gov accounts. Why did the USPTO replace PKI certificates? The USPTO is moving from using PKI certificates for two-factor authentication because the PKI software vendor will no longer support the authentication software product. With this in mind, the USPTO now offers users better security with the new, two-factor authentication method using USPTO.gov accounts. Will I be able to access my patent application when using a USPTO.gov account? Upon successful migration, Customer Numbers that were associated with the PKI certificate will automatically be available with the USPTO.gov account. Are applications still required to be associated to a customer number with the new USPTO.gov accounts? Yes, applications will continue to be associated based on Customer Numbers. Will the acknowledgement receipt issued via EFS-Web be different when using a USPTO.gov account to sign in? EFS-Web acknowledgement receipts will remain the same in EFS-Web Registered, whether the user has authenticated via PKI certificates or USPTO.gov account. Is it possible to use the same USPTO.gov account to access multiple USPTO tools and systems? Yes, you will be able to use the same USPTO.gov account to access Patent Center, PAIR, EFS-Web and Financial Manager. Is it possible for multiple users to use the same USPTO.gov account? No, each user must log in using their own USPTO.gov account as a part of the one-user-one-account model. What code generators will work with a USPTO.gov account? Any code generator that meets the RFC 6238 (TOTP) standard. Please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-217-9197, Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. ET for further assistance. Are there any plans for an application programming interface (API)? Yes, however, our focus at this time is to have EFS-Web and PAIR parity for Patent Center. API plans are exclusive to Patent Center and scheduled for after 2020. Are support staff required to have a USPTO.gov account prior to being sponsored by the attorney? Yes. Support staff must have their own USPTO.gov account in order to be sponsored by a practitioner. As an attorney, can my support staff use my USPTO.gov account? No. The practitioner account will be able to sponsor support staff (who will have their own account) to do work on their behalf. Once the support staff have been sponsored, they will be able to access the customer numbers associated to the practitioner account. Can support staff view a saved request from a different sign-in account? Yes, access to Customer Numbers is based on sponsorships by practitioners. As long as the support staff has access to a common Customer Number, they will be able to view the saved data from different sign-in accounts. Is there an administrative account that can handle sponsorships? No, support staff are able to suggest other support staff to be sponsored by a practitioner. The practitioner must sign in to approve and grant sponsorship to the support staff. Is there a way for practitioners to sponsor multiple support staff at once? The practitioner is able to sponsor multiple support staff at once. Additionally, any sponsored support staff is able to request sponsorships for other support staff so that the practitioner can quickly approve all requested sponsorships at once. If the support staff’s employment or an attorney is terminated, how can their access be revoked? For practitioners, the process remains the same through the management of Customer Numbers, including removing the practitioner’s registration number from the appropriate Customer Numbers as needed. In addition, the practitioner can use the Sponsorship Tool to remove sponsorship for any support staff whom they have sponsored. Support staff can use the Sponsorship Tool to remove sponsorships between themselves and sponsoring practitioners as well. Where can I find additional information on sponsorship? Basic information about the sponsorship process is provided in the Patent Electronic System Access Document. Additionally please see the Sponsorship Tool FAQs for more information.