EBC even now tells users to use EFS-Web as workaround for Patent Center bugs

Okay, folks, let’s try to figure out if Patent Center is actually “ready” so that the USPTO can shut down PAIR and EFS-Web.  The USPTO decisionmakers have made it very clear that the views of actual USPTO customers (many of whom say the answer is “no”) are not to be credited on this point.    But suppose there were an actual USPTO employee who communicates, by the employee’s own words and actions, that they do not think Patent Center is “ready”.  Would that be enough to convince the USPTO decisionmakers otherwise?

On October 31, 2023, USPTO customer Victoria O’Conner was trying to file a PCT application in Patent Center.  But Patent Center stopped working at the fee payment selection page.  So she called the EBC.  The EBC representative said “use EFS-Web instead”.    This was EBC ticket number 1-842304670.  This is also CP ticket number CP176.

4 Replies to “EBC even now tells users to use EFS-Web as workaround for Patent Center bugs”

  1. Yes! I filed a Broadening Reissue yesterday, 11/2, on the final deadline. The ADS would not populate in Patent Center after two tries. EFS at one point had a server error but at least I was able to submit and know the filing was correct. Next week could get hairy.

  2. I have been experiencing problems with Patent Center, including not being able to go back to edit an ADS, and not displaying either a patent application or issued patent. I’ve called the EBC and even the USPTO’s staff agree and have stated that Patent Center is awful and not fully functional, but that there is nothing they can do.

  3. Recently, my colleague experienced issues with paying extra page fees. She couldn’t find it listed and called the EBC to ask about it. The work around that they recommended was for her to file a credit card authorization instead IN PAPER since the fee wasn’t there. At this point, she called me to ask about this and if I could file the document since I live close to the USPTO. I asked if she had filled out the page count in Patent Center. She had not so I walked her through it and the excess page fee popped up and she was able to file electronically. Crisis averted.

    However, there are 2 major issues here. First, the person at the EBC clearly was not sufficiently trained to know to ask her about this. Second, the interface is less than intuitive and there are not very good instructions to tell a less experienced user on how to troubleshoot these things themselves.

    And in the vein of not being ready for release, the electronic patent assignment filing system is not fabulous. Why would you have options that are not ready yet in the release and not at least greyed out?

    As I see it, one of the major failures is the lack of input but high level users and beta testing by the public. Since the inception of Patent Center, there seems to be a disconnect between what the USPTO thinks we want/need and what we actually want/need because they are not asking for our input.

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