You may not know it, but November 8, 2023, marked a significant end date for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Particularly, that was the date that the USPTO’s EFS-Web system and corresponding Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) online modules officially went offline. For patent practitioners across the world, this system had been widely used for electronic filing and management of U.S. patent applications.
Those well versed with the EFS-Web and PAIR online pairings likely already encountered the free-access Public PAIR module being taken down on July 31, 2022. For many, that event likely kick-started their efforts in getting affiliated with and accustomed to working with Patent Center, the USPTO’s replacement system. Now that the curtain has dropped on the EFS-Web system and limited-access Private PAIR module, there is no turning back.
In shifting to Patent Center, the USPTO has indicated the move was essential to ensure their tools continue to not only meet, but also evolve, with user needs for patent application filing and retrieval. To that end, the USPTO has further expressed a dedication to providing the most reliable tools to offer a seamless approach.
Patent Center was officially launched in 2017 and has undergone significant trial testing and improvement stages and has been further shaped based on public feedback. From my own experience, I have encountered perhaps too frequently pop-up messages denying my searches based on too much traffic on the new system. Being a little impatient, I often retyped my search a few seconds later and my request was promptly processed. Thus, I’ll hold any off on providing any feedback concerning Patent Center for now. However, if you are a frequent user of Patent Center and have suggestions and/or ideas for improvement, you are encouraged to contact the USPTO directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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