Patent Center FAQs

The frequently asked questions (FAQs) found on this page are initially for the retirement of EFS-Web and Private PAIR. Additional Patent Center FAQs will be added to this page in the future. Until then, you can find Patent Center specific frequently asked questions on an alternate webpage. 


You will need your account, password, and one-time pin. 

For information on creating a account, go to MyUSPTO account creation

For step-by-step instructions on how to become a registered user, go to the Getting Started - New Users page. From the page, select Find it Fast and Patent Center for patent filing.

Patent Center is the next generation patent filing/retrieval and account management system. Patent Center enhances the user experience by incorporating filing, application, and customer self-administration management within a single user interface. Visit the Patent Center page or download the Patent Center Quick Start Guide for more information.

Yes, you can use the same account to access Patent Center. Guest users are not required to log in to Patent Center to conduct searches or to file new applications.

The Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) is available to answer questions regarding how to access, file, and view applications in Patent Center. They can be reached by phone at 866-217-9197 from 6 a.m. to midnight, ET, Monday through Friday or by email at Additional information can be located on the EBC webpage.

To comply with NIST Special Publication 800-63B: Digital Identity Guidelines for all federal information systems, Patent Center must terminate user sessions after 30 minutes of inactivity. However, users will receive an alert after 25 minutes of inactivity and will be prompted with option to extend their session for an additional 30 minutes.

Please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) to report any issues. They can be reached by phone at 866-217-9197 from 6 a.m. to midnight, ET, Monday through Friday or by email at Additional information can be located on the EBC webpage.

You can find more information about using Patent Center on the Patent Center reference guide webpage. More information specifically about docx filing can be found on the File patent applications with docx documents webpage.

Saved submissions will be stored for 14 days.

As a learning tool, Patent Center has a training mode where users can anonymously go through the steps of uploading documents for various filing types without actually submitting the application for processing.

For PDF, the maximum file size is 25MB.

For DOCX, the maximum size is 10MB,

For .zip and .txt files, the maximum size is 50MB.

As a registered user, you can upload PDF, .docx, .txt, and .zip files into Patent Center.

You can explore Patent Center using Training Mode. Training Mode is an interactive simulation where you can safely practice filing DOCX and PDF document submissions. When using Training Mode, you cannot be logged in, and nothing is really submitted to the USPTO—it's a "sandbox" to explore Patent Center.

To access Training Mode, visit Patent Center, and scroll to the bottom of the page to see the “Training Mode” option.

When applicants are required to submit drawings in patent applications, black and white line drawings as prescribed in 37 CFR 1.84(a)(1) are required except as follows: 

Pursuant to 37 CFR 1.84(a)(2), color drawings are permitted in design applications filed under 35 U.S.C. chapter 16. As stated in 37 CFR 1.84(a)(2), color drawings are not ordinarily permitted in utility patent applications, and, as stated in 37 CFR 1.84(b), photographs are not ordinarily permitted in utility or design patent applications, but the USPTO will accept photographs in utility or design patent applications or color drawings in utility patent applications, if they are the only practicable medium for illustrating the claimed subject matter. The photographs and color drawings submitted in utility or design patent applications must be of sufficient quality such that all details in the photographs and drawings are reproducible in black and white in the printed patent. See Legal Framework for Patent Electronic System, section K, for additional information.

Currently Practitioner Support can prepare Web 85b submissions, but will need the Practitioner's signature to submit. In accordance with MPEP 37 CFR 1.4(d)(4), only registered patent practitioners and pro se inventors may sign correspondence. These include ePetitions, eTerminal Disclaimer, micro-entity certification forms, and other web forms, which allow for signing by S-signature. As such, Practitioner Support users are unable to enter the s-signature on behalf of patent practitioners.


You can use Patent Examination Data System (PEDS) to search and download large sets of data. For more information, go to the Patent Examination Data System.

Applications can be saved on all pages throughout the submission process in Patent Center.

Up to 60 documents can be uploaded into Patent Center in a single submission.

Yes, a single document that contains a specification, claims, and abstract can be filed in Patent Center.

Any program that will create and save in Office Open XML (e.g. Microsoft Word 2007 or higher, Google Docs, Office Online, LibreOffice, etc.).

Specifications, claims, abstracts, and drawings are the only application parts that can be submitted in .docx.

No, .docx documents can only be filed in new utility nonprovisional and provisional applications.

Click on the link IFW Doc Code and Document Description to download the latest list in excel.

Patent Center provides the Submission Receipt and Payment Receipt as two separate documents. This benefits the applicants by providing an immediate Submission Receipt upon submission and another receipt when payment is made. This fixes a problem where applicants are not able to tell that their submission had been received by the Office when the fees system is unavailable or slow to respond.

The first calculate fee screen is to capture the attributes relevant to the applicant's submission and the second screen is to choose the desired fees.

Yes, In the first calculate fees screen, enter the previous amount paid for the EOT under the application related information section, and verify on the next page under Patent Extension of Time Fees.

Yes, multiple documents can be selected by either opening the directory or dragging and dropping documents into the upload field.

Visit the Getting started - new users page for instructions to become a proofed user. Contact the Patent Electronic Business Center (PEBC) for assistance at 1-866-217-9197 or 571-272-4100 from 6 a.m. to midnight ET, Monday through Friday, or email

As a proofed user, you will be able to view your pending applications(s) and file follow-on submissions. When you use Patent Center as a guest user, your scope is limited to fewer filing options and accessing only public applications. You also will not be able to see the Workbench and Manage Tabs.

A guest user is a user who accesses Patent Center without logging in with a registered, or "proofed," account. You will not have full access to manage your account or review your unpublished submission.

EFS-Web retirement

EFS-Web is a decades-old tool, and was replaced by Patent Center, the next generation patent filing and retrieval system. Patent Center provides all the functionality of EFS-Web, Public PAIR, and Private PAIR.

Patent Center allows all filing types that were available in EFS-Web. You can find a list of available filing types in this document. Patent center also provides new functionality, such as being able to file multi-section documents and generate feedback documents.

Patent Center allows you to save for up to 14 daysan improvement over EFS-Web, which allowed for saving a submission only up to 7 days.

Up to 100 documents/PDFs can be uploaded at a single time in Patent Center. The documents can be either selected or “drag and dropped.”

Patent Center does not have an EFS-Web Contingency equivalent. However, Patent Center achieves high system stability and availability through upgraded technology.

The USPTO doesn't support third-party vendor software. You will need to contact your vendor with any questions on how their software works with our systems.

Contact the Patent Electronic Business Center, 1-866-217-9197 (toll-free), 571-272-4100 (local), 6 a.m. to midnight ET, Monday through Friday.

Private PAIR retirement

Private PAIR is a decades-old tool and was replaced by Patent Center, the next generation patent filing and retrieval system. Patent Center provides all Public and Private PAIR functionality.

The customer number management is provided under the "Manage" menu when logged in.

No. Guest users can search available public applications.

Control number search (Reexam) has been incorporated within Application search, which reduces the number of search selections. 

If you are a registered attorney with power of attorney, under the "Manage" menu, there is an option to update addresses. Navigate to that page and enter the applications that you would like to update the correspondence or maintenance fee address for.

Under the "Manage" menu, there is an option to "Manage Customer Number." From there, you can edit customer numbers associated with your account with options to change the correspondence method. accounts

A account is created when a user registers or links their email address with the USPTO. Visit MyUSPTO, then select the “Create a account” button.

For assistance with creating a account, contact the USPTO Contact Center (UCC) at 1-800-786-9199 or 571-272-1000 from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. When prompted, choose option 3, then option 4 for accounts.

Yes, you can use the same account to access Patent Center and Financial Manager.

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 with the practitioner 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.

Any code generator that meets the RFC 6238 (TOTP) standard. Please email the Patent Electronic Business Center at or call 866-217-9197, Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. to midnight ET for further assistance.

Yes, applications will continue to be associated based on customer numbers.

No, each user must log in using their own account as a part of the one-user-one-account model.

Yes. There are API plans for Patent Center in the future. The timeline for achieving that has not yet been determined.

Yes, support staff must have their own account in order to be sponsored by a practitioner.

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.

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.

Yes, you can use the same account to access Patent Center and Financial Manager.

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.


In Patent Center, registered attorneys can create new sponsorships and update sponsorships as needed under “Manage Sponsorships.”

You can find basic information about the sponsorship process in the Patent Electronic System Access Document.

Yes, you must be sponsored by each practitioner for whom you will be conducting business on

Sponsoring practitioners can remove their support staff, or the support staff can remove themselves from each sponsoring practitioner.

Attorneys will need the account email address that belongs to their support staff.

Each practitioner needs their own account. A practitioner cannot sponsor another practitioner.

Currently, there is no limit to the number of support staff members that a registered practitioner can sponsor.

Fifty support staff members can be sponsored in a single request.

Yes, once a support staff user is sponsored by a practitioner, they can request that additional users be sponsored by the same practitioner. The practitioner will need to approve these requests.

No, only practitioners can sponsor other users.

The sponsoring attorney can remove sponsorship, or the departing support staff can leave the sponsorship of the practitioner.