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:

click to enlarge

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.

4 Replies to “AIPLA survey says Patent Center is not ready”

  1. Questions:

    When did AIPLA present these slides to Director Vidal?

    TESS will be retired in November and the beta is not ready for production, in my opinion. Are the backend IT personnel or physical facilities for patents the same as for trademarks? If so, November is going to be a mess.

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