Get rid of or correct or improve the “boy who cried wolf” nag message about paying fees

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Get rid of or correct or improve the “boy who cried wolf” nag message in Patentcenter about paying fees.

This is Feature Request FR25.

Every user of Patentcenter has by now gotten very accustomed to the warning that always appears just above the “submit” button in every Patentcenter filing in which you fail to pay money.  The warning goes on at some length about how maybe you need to pay money now, or maybe you don’t, and Patentcenter isn’t saying whether you need to pay money now or whether you don’t, but anyway no you are not paying any money now, and so for that reason alone we are going to spray this warning onto the screen.

The problem with this is that users catch on very quickly that the warning is not tied to any actual validation activity.  It’s not like you were ordering window blinds and the system noticed you failed to order the brackets that you going to need.  It’s not like Patentcenter looked to see whether you are four months into your response period, and so you need an extension of time, and you haven’t paid for any extension of time.  No.  Users catch on that the designers of Patentcenter did the absolutely simplest and stupidest and least helpful thing in deciding whether or not to display a warning, namely “look to see if the person is paying any money, and if if the answer is no, then spray the warning onto the screen.”

Which absolutely guarantees that any repeat user of Patentcenter will soon be numbed to this message and it will serve no purpose other than to waste some electrons and occupy some screen real estate that could have displayed something that could actually have benefited the filer.

It would be easy enough to devise some business process rules for actual meaningful “do you need to pay money?” warnings.  Yes, when a brand 111a new application is being filed, probably a nag message about money makes sense.  When a 371 filing is being done and you are at or past the 30-month date, yes a nag message about money makes sense.  But when a 371 filing is being done and the 30-month date is still in the future, maybe no nag message at all would be appropriate.  Or at least it should be worded differently.  Yes if I need an extension of time and have not paid for it, a nag message about that would be most welcome.

But throwing a nag message on the screen absolutely every time anybody gets ready to file anything, for no better reason than that they are not also paying money … that’s bad.  It is the boy who cried wolf.

This is Feature Request FR25.

4 Replies to “Get rid of or correct or improve the “boy who cried wolf” nag message about paying fees”

  1. Related to this issue, if one is not paying fees, the system should offer the option to preauthorize selected charges in the event that it is later determined that fees should have been paid. EFS offers preauthorization check boxes only when one is already paying fees, it does not offer preauthorization for all payments that might be desired, and it lumps together payment types in ways that could be improved. I have not yet paid fees in patentcenter, so perhaps some of these issues have been addressed.

    1. Carl, the link to this article in the Feature Requests page is broken. The link goes to the Feature Request page, not to this article.

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