How things are going with bug fixes in USPTO’s Patentcenter

Patentcenter is still nominally in beta test, but USPTO seems to be plowing ahead with its plans to force all applicants to e-file patent applications in Microsoft Word format (the Microsoft Word dialect of DOCX) and has long ago stopped any development or feature enhancements for EFS-Web or PAIR.  USPTO has said it will shut down EFS-Web and PAIR and users will have no choice but to use Patentcenter to do the things that have in the past been done through EFS-Web and PAIR.  So what is the progress at the USPTO with fixing the known bugs in Patentcenter

There is a Patentcenter beta tester user community, tied together by the Patentcenter listserv.  (Interested persons should join that listserv.)  A committee from the listserv met last autumn with some USPTO developers and it was hoped that this might lead to some progress with fixing some of the bugs in Patentcenter.  It was also hoped that USPTO would listen to users and implement some of the enhancements and features requested by users.  

About four months ago, it was explored that the committee might meet again with USPTO people to review the bug list and to see what progress USPTO had been made with the bug list.  Some time has passed and the meeting had not yet happened.  So to save time, I have prepared this report that summarizes my best assessment of USPTO’s progress with the bug list.  Maybe some time soon the meeting will be able to take place and there will be an opportunity for further dialog.  In the mean time, this blog article reviews USPTO’s progress in this area.  (Preview:  things look grim.) 

In a subsequent blog article I will review USPTO’s progress with the list of requested feature enhancements for Patentcenter.  (Preview:  things look grim in that area as well.)

The executive summary for USPTO’s progress on Patentcenter bug fixes is as follows.

Out of 58 serious bugs reported to USPTO in Patentcenter, the approximate status is:

  • six have been fixed,
  • six have a “UPD” status, meaning that the USPTO says it cannot reproduce the bug,
  • three have a “WAI” status, meaning that the USPTO does not consider the bug to be a bug even though users consider the bug to be a bug, and
  • 43 remain outstanding.

As for the six bugs that got fixed, the average delay between the bug report and the USPTO fix was 195 days, or just over half a year per bug fix.

The average pendency for an outstanding bug is 342 days.

The detailed results appear in the table below.

It seems to me that the average bug pendency of 342 days does not really give a good sense of the pendency.  A visual presentation of the pendency in this bar graph gives a better sense of the bug pendency, I think:

click to enlarge

What the bar graph helps to show is that really a lot of the older bugs have been pending for really a very long time.  Lots of bugs have been outstanding for almost 500 days.

At half a year per bug fix, the bug list would be cleared in about the year 2042.  (That figure assumes of course that no new bugs would get identified during that 21-year period.)

Has It
Date It
Got Fixed
How Long
It Took
To Get
How Long
It Has Been
CP1 04/30/20 yes 05/12/20 12  
CP2 04/30/20 no     488
CP3 04/23/20 no     495
CP4 04/30/20 no     488
CP5 04/30/20 no     488
CP6 04/27/20 no     491
CP7 04/26/20 no     492
CP8 04/23/20 yes 05/12/20 19  
CP9 04/23/20 yes 07/01/20 69  
CP10 12/28/20 no     246
CP11 04/30/20 UPD      
CP12 04/30/20 no     488
CP13 05/03/20 no     485
CP14 05/03/20 no     485
CP15 05/03/20 UPD      
CP16 05/04/20 no     484
CP17 05/04/20 UPD      
CP18 05/06/20 no     482
CP19 05/06/20 no     482
CP20 05/06/20 WAI      
CP21 05/06/20 no     482
CP22 05/09/20 yes 07/01/20 53  
CP23 05/11/20 yes 09/23/20 135  
CP24 05/18/20 no     470
CP25 05/26/20 no     462
CP26 06/05/20 no     452
CP27 06/08/20 UPD      
CP28 01/31/19 WAI      
CP29 01/31/19 yes 07/01/21 882  
CP30 06/08/20 no     449
CP31 06/23/20 no     434
CP32 06/29/20 no     428
CP33 07/05/20 no     422
CP34 07/08/20 no     419
CP35 08/01/20 no     395
CP36 08/03/20 no     393
CP37 08/09/20 no     387
CP38 08/09/20 WAI      
CP39 08/19/20 no     377
CP40 08/22/20 UPD      
CP41 08/22/20 UPD      
CP42 09/21/20 no     344
CP43 09/22/20 no     343
CP44 09/23/20 no     342
CP45 09/23/20 no     342
CP46 10/09/20 no     326
CP47 10/24/20 no     311
CP48 11/30/20 no     274
CP49 05/27/21 no     96
CP50 05/27/21 no     96
CP51 05/27/21 no     96
CP52 05/27/21 no     96
CP53 05/27/21 no     96
CP54 05/29/21 no     94
CP55 06/14/21 no     78
CP56 06/14/21 no     78
CP57 07/27/21 no     35
CP58 08/31/21 no     0


One Reply to “How things are going with bug fixes in USPTO’s Patentcenter”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *