137 Intellectual Property Professionals write to OIRA re Patent Center

One hundred thirty-seven intellectual property professionals have written to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, asking for regulatory action regarding the USPTO’s handling of Patent Center and Private PAIR and EFS-Web.  The letter is dated today, October 9, 2023.  You can see it on SSRN (https://ssrn.com/abstract=4597405) and it is archived here.  The letter asks that OIRA do three things:

    • Remind the USPTO that it may not impose a burden of this magnitude without an ICR clearance.  Decommission of incumbent, working software should be postponed until the USPTO’s new replacement software demonstrates a level of reliability that provides practical utility. Decommission should be postponed until the PTO has a clearance obtained after full public comment. The PTO has done none of these things.
    • Remind the PTO that Information Quality principles govern the PTO’s decisionmaking.  Readiness and quality reviews of the new software on which the PTO relies are “influential,” and should meet requirements for objectivity, utility, integrity, and reproducibility, and public consultation. Software utility, quality, and readiness must be assessed from the point of view of the PTO’s users, not the PTO’s staff. The PTO has not done so.
    • Exercise its authority under 44 U.S.C. § 3504(a) and (h) to “oversee the implementation of policies, principles, standards, and guidelines for information technology functions and activities of the Federal Government, including periodic evaluations of major information systems” to ensure that the PTO’s major information systems are designed to achieve agency missions. As we note below, the PTO’s software engineering and quality processes are suspect.

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