What is a “UPRD application”?

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I was clicking around in Patentcenter (become a beta tester! — join the listserv!) and saw something that I had not seen before – a “Transaction Description” saying:

Dispatch from OIPE to Corps – U-P-R-D Application.

which prompted me to ask “what does ‘UPRD’ mean?”

It turns out that “UPRD” means “utility, plant, reissue and design”.  It is an adjectival initialism (not an acronym) which the USPTO uses to modify two nouns — “examiner” and “application”.  So for example the USPTO uses the phrase “UPRD examiner” as a way of distinguishing from other kinds of examiners such as Supervisory Patent Examiners (SPEs) or Quality Assurance Specialists (QASs).  The USPTO uses the phrase “UPRD application” as a way of distinguish from … what?  Trademark applications, I guess, or applications to sit for the patent bar exam.

But what strikes me is that this text phrase for the Transaction History must have been in USPTO’s computers for a very long time, and it must simply be that for a very long time I never noticed this particular phrase.  The way that you can see this is that in the same phrase is another initialism “OIPE”.  This stands for “Office of Initial Patent Examination” which is an office that ceased to exist in about 2015.  That office got absorbed in about 2015 into what is now known as the Office of Patent Application Processing (“OPAP”) which, I will admit, might count as an acronym.   So that text string in TH has been around since at least as long ago as 2015.  And indeed if you click around on the USPTO web site you can see the initialism UPRD used at least as long ago as 2009.

I clicked around to look at other pending cases in my firm’s patent docket and lots of them do not contain this item of transaction history.  In particular I found quite a few utility cases in my docket that did not contain this entry “Dispatch from OIPE to Corps – U-P-R-D Application.”  And I found quite a few design cases in my docket that did not contain this entry “Dispatch from OIPE to Corps – U-P-R-D Application.”  So now I am puzzled how the USPTO decides which UPRD cases are deserving of this TH entry and which are not.

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