NAPP met with USPTO about Patent Center yesterday

The last thing you heard from me about this was on Saturday, November 4, when I reported that the National Association of Patent Practitioners (NAPP) had been invited by the USPTO to attend a videoconference meeting about Patent Center.  The USPTO made this invitation after receiving NAPP’s October 31, 2023 letter to the USPTO asking that the USPTO’s planned shutdown of PAIR and EFS-Web be postponed.  The meeting was scheduled for 11AM yesterday (ET).  Now NAPP has posted a readout of the meeting on LinkedIn. 

You can see the LinkedIn posting by NAPP about the meeting, and the posting is archived here.    Here are some highlights of the readout:

    • The NAPP people pointed out that the USPTO’s own Electronic Business Center had been telling callers to use EFS-Web as a workaround for various bugs in Patent Center.   They said that this was a strong indication that the shutdown needs to be postponed.
    • The USPTO people said they have stress-tested Patent Center and are confident that it will be able to handle the greatly increased workload on November 8, despite all of the present-day PAIR and EFS-Web being forced onto Patent Center on that day.
    • The USPTO people said they will provide increased staffing at the EBC to handle the anticipated higher call volume.
    • No agreement was reached.   Long before the meeting took place, USPTO had made its plans to shut down PAIR and EFS-Web on the evening of Tuesday, November 7.  At the end of the meeting, the USPTO did not say that its plans had changed.

6 Replies to “NAPP met with USPTO about Patent Center yesterday”

  1. It is impossible to get through to the EBC right now (unless you have nothing better to do and can wait on hold for hours–make sure your phone is plugged in while you’re on hold). I can only imagine that the wait time will increase substantially once EFS-Web/Private PAIR are discontinued and everyone is forced to use the PC.

  2. The front page of Patent Center appears to have been quietly updated to move the EFS/PAIR retirement date from November 8 to November 15, 2023…!

    1. Well, I’ve been complaining left and right to anyone at the USPTO each time I call about how much PATENT CENTER needs major tune-up, and also voiced my complaints to examiners I’ve talked to. I have been trying to talk to someone at the EBC about issues with patent applications, but it has been impossible to get through to them no matter what time I’ve called during the last few days/weeks. In trying different numbers, I somehow ended up talking to a tech person at the branch in charge of Patent Center maintenance (and complained to them too). I finally had to call someone at the Ombudsman line to get some answers. The Ombudsman lady named Deirdre was extremely helpful and knowledgeable (a rarity at the USPTO).

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