USPTO admits it cannot shut down EFS-Web

The USPTO has announced it plans to shut down EFS-Web (and Private PAIR) on November 8.  This is because, supposedly, Patent Center provides “100%” of the functions of EFS-Web and Private PAIR.  (This is a pants-on-fire lie, as the 187 signers explain to Director Vidal.)  So anyway, the real situation is that the USPTO actually admits that it must not shut down EFS-Web, as will now be described.  Continue reading “USPTO admits it cannot shut down EFS-Web”

AIPLA survey says Patent Center is not ready

The USPTO announced last Wednesday, September 20, 2023 that it has picked November 8, 2023 as the date that it will shut down Private PAIR and EFS-Web.  In doing so, the USPTO was communicating its view that supposely Patent Center is ready to be taken out of beta test, and is ready to be placed into production service, supposedly doing everything that Private PAIR does and everything that EFS-Web does.

One hundred seventy-eight members of the Patentcenter Listserv have sent a letter to USPTO Director Kathi Vidal (details here) today telling her that the USPTO is mistaken about this.

But the Patentcenter Listserv is not the only group that is trying to get USPTO Director Kathi Vidal to realize that Patent Center is not ready.  The American Intellectual Property Law Association has also tried to get her to realize this.  AIPLA carried out a survey in June of 2023 of actual users of Private PAIR, EFS-Web, and Patent Center.  Here are the results of the survey (presentation slides).  Here are some of the findings of the survey.  Respondents were asked:

Would you be comfortable with Private PAIR and EFS Web being shut down in favor of PatentCenter by sometime later this summer?

    • 455 respondents (89%) said no, they would not be comfortable with that.
    • only 58 respondents (11%) said yes, this should be fine.

Respondents were asked:

In your opinion, how ready is PatentCenter for full day-to-day use (without Private PAIR or EFS Web as a backup)?  The possible answers were on a scale of 1 to 5 where 5 means “fully ready”.  Here are the responses:

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A mere 2% of respondents said that PatentCenter is “fully ready”.  Even the next step down, a response of “4”, elicited a mere 6% of responses.   A staggering 92% of responses were in the bottom three values of 3, 2, or 1.

These slides have been presented to Director Vidal by AIPLA representatives.  To say this plainly, Director Vidal has seen these slides.  But despite the Director having seen these slides, the USPTO announced on September 20, 2023 that it is shutting down Private PAIR and EFS-Web on November 8, 2023.

An Open Letter to USPTO Director Vidal about Patent Center

Here is a PDF copy of a letter that got sent today to USPTO Director Kathi Vidal about Patent Center.  The letter, dated September 29, 2023, is from One Hundred Seventy-Eight Members of the Patent Center Listserv.  An HTML copy of the letter, with clickable links, may be seen here.

The emailed PDF copy of the letter got sent early in the morning of Friday, September 29th.  The paper copy of the letter to Director Vidal, sent by USPS, got delivered this morning, Monday, October 2 (click here to see tracking).  Here is the opening paragraph of the letter:

This is an urgent matter for your personal attention.  We write to ask that decommissioning of the USPTO’s two main software systems for patent applicants, Private PAIR and EFS-Web, currently announced for November 8, 2023, be delayed until Patent Center is complete and robust.  These software systems are the USPTO’s primary interface, critical-path linchpins for the entire US patent system.  This letter identifies a number of individual defects in the Patent Center software.  The pattern of software defects suggests something larger and more important—defects in the USPTO’s software development process.  We suggest that the USPTO’s current process trajectory cannot bring Patent Center to acceptable functionality or quality in six weeks.  These issues require your personal attention, and cannot be delegated.

I certainly hope that Director Vidal will read the letter carefully and will give much thought to the letter.

Where is your EV or PHEV charging port?

I am hoping to collect some fairly comprehensive information about where the charging ports are on EVs and PHEVs that are used in the US.

At this article you can see information about charging port locations on European vehicles.  My hope is to do the same for America vehicles.

Are you in the US?  Do you have an EV or a PHEV?  If so, I would be very grateful if you could share the location of your charging port.  To respond, click here.

The questionnaire also asks if you have an EV charger at home, and whether you have any adapters for charging at other kinds of charging stations.

Thank you for helping.

Please sign a letter to Director Vidal about Patent Center

Update:  the letter has been sent.

Hello dear readers.  At you can see a letter that is now “locked” for you to sign.  This is about the USPTO’s scheduled shutdown of Private PAIR and EFS-Web on November 8, 2023.

As of right now the people who have already signed add up to over seventy signers.  They have between them paid over $38 million to the USPTO in the past decade.  They have between them prosecuted more than 32K US patents to issuance in the past decade.

I plan to close the signature system by about the early morning of Friday the 29th.  I plan to send out the letter in the middle of the day on Friday the 29th.  If you are willing to sign, please do so now rather than postponing your signature until Friday the 29th.

To learn more about the Patentcenter listserv, or to join, click here.

Please provide comments and suggestions for a letter to Director Vidal

Hello dear readers.   At you can see a letter that I plan to post for signature by members of the Patentcenter listserv. This is about the USPTO’s scheduled shutdown of Private PAIR and EFS-Web on November 8, 2023.  I welcome corrections and suggestions for improvement of the letter.  Please post proposed corrections and suggestions on the Patentcenter listserv, or send them to me privately.  Please do this by about the morning of Tuesday, September 26.

To learn more about the Patentcenter listserv, or to join, click here.  If you want to be able to sign the letter once it gets finalized, and if you are not already a member of the listserv, please join the listserv.


Patentcenter is not yet ready for general release

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The USPTO announced a couple of days ago that it has picked the date (November 8, 2023) on which it plans to shut down Private PAIR and EFS-Web, leaving its paying customers with nothing to use except the bug-ridden Patentcenter.  (See USPTO announces shutdown of EFS-Web and Private PAIR, September 20, 2023.)  This decision by USPTO management to shut down Private PAIR and EFS-Web would, perhaps, be a sound decision if several things were true:  Continue reading “Patentcenter is not yet ready for general release”

USPTO won’t fix the missing “corrective ADS” features in Patentcenter

It is recalled that one of USPTO’s stated goals for Patentcenter is that before it shuts down EFS-Web (scheduled to occur on November 8, 2023), the USPTO will bring forward all of the functions and features of EFS-Web into Patentcenter.  It is also a matter of common sense that each function and feature in Patentcenter that works for one application type needs to be implemented for all other relevant application types.   This blog article reports that the USPTO is now doubling down on a baffling refusal to implement the “Corrected Application Data Sheet” function for 371 applications.   USPTO’s position is, apparently, that so long as the USPTO documents the defect, then this relieves the USPTO of any need to actually correct the defect. Disappointingly, the USPTO extends this refusal to Hague and provisional applications as well. Continue reading “USPTO won’t fix the missing “corrective ADS” features in Patentcenter”