USPTO hosts PAIR forum, doesn’t invite PAIR users

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(Update on March 1, 2020:  A month has passed and I have still heard nothing back from Mr. Holcombe’s office in response to my telephone and email inquiries.)

Today I learned that yesterday the USPTO’s Chief Information Office, Mr. Henry Holcombe, hosted a forum on the topic of Private PAIR.  I don’t know how Mr. Holcombe chose his guest list.  But what astonishes me is that no invitation was extended to the PAIR listserv.

The PAIR listserv is a community of over four hundred patent practitioners who make daily use of the PAIR system. My guess is that many or most of the “coalition members” who got invited to this forum are companies that make money by scraping data from USPTO systems, not by paying money to the USPTO.  In contrast, the members of the PAIR listserv are paying customers of the USPTO, who collectively pay tens of millions of dollars to the USPTO annually.

Mr. Holcombe’s stated goal of addressing recent concerns, gathering input, and sharing some details about his path forward would have been well served by reaching out to the PAIR listserv.

I contacted Mr. Holcombe’s office about this but have not gotten any response.

5 Replies to “USPTO hosts PAIR forum, doesn’t invite PAIR users”

  1. Hi Carl,
    The coalition is open to anybody and everybody who are being negatively impacted by PAIR. We would love to have you and every member of the Listserv involved. I reached out to you about it on LinkedIn last month.

    All the details here:
    and here:

    1. Hello Chad thank you for posting your comment. If I have understood you, the coalition that you have organized is largely speaking for companies that make money by scraping data from USPTO databases, right? It strikes me that such companies might well have interests that are not necessarily directly aligned with those of ordinary patent applicants and the practitioners who serve them.

      Anyway I did not mean to suggest that it was your coalition that was excluding anybody. My concern was USPTO’s failing to invite ordinary PAIR users (for example by way of the PAIR listserv and its hundreds of members) to its forum about PAIR.

      1. Hi Carl,
        No.I would not say we largely speak for service providers. Many practitioners and in-house attorneys have signed the letters, and several joined the meeting yesterday. Of the 10 or so live attendees yesterday, about half of us were from law firms, one was in-house, and the other half were service providers (I count myself in the firm group and the service provider group). Also, most of the people chatting on the livestream appeared to be attorneys working at law firms.

        Everybody wants the same thing: PAIR to stop being a waste of our time and money. The problem with PAIR is that there is simply more demand for the data than PAIR can handle. Attempts to further lock down PAIR have only made everyone’s experience worse/more costly. A total rebuild of PAIR would be great, but would probably take a decade. Therefore one of the main recommendations of the Coalition is for them to finish what they started with PEDS — make it a complete, up-to-date, cloud-based mirror of public PAIR. That alone would take a massive load off of PAIR, thus greatly improving its stability and usability for the relatively small list of things that PAIR would still be needed for (i.e., anything only in private PAIR).

  2. Hope Mr. Holcombe and his team can get the USPTO systems updated soon. This has been a nightmare for all stakeholders (applicants, practitioners, vendors, etc.)

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