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USPTO Announces Retirement of Public PAIR System

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently announced the retirement of the Public Patent Application Information Retrieval tool, also known as Public PAIR” effective July 31, 2022. The legacy system was first launched in the early 2000s and originally featured information and documents concerning the file history of roughly 500,000 patent applications. As new applications became eligible for publication (18 months), they were added to the expanding database. 

Effective August 1, 2022, the USPTO announced the Patent Center system, available to the public since 2017, will fully replace the Public PAIR tool. Private PAIR will remain operational and available to registered practitioners. 

We are committed to providing our users with reliable tools that offer the best experience possible,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. As America’s Innovation Agency, our systems need to be nimble, intuitive, and seamless for our users. Not only are we dedicated to improving Patent Center, but we are also focused on examining all our systems to ensure that they meet the high-quality standards that our users deserve. This is the first step.”

Since its initial launch, the Patent Center system has undergone rigorous user testing and iterative improvements, based largely on the public’s input. The USPTO will continue to use the feedback received from stakeholder listening sessions, Patent Center training programs, and other events to further refine Patent Center to meet users’ needs. 

Patent Center provides a drag and drop interface for electronic filing and allows filers to upload multiple files at once. Filers may also safely practice filing DOCX and PDF documents using an interactive simulation provided as a part of a training mode setting. In addition to providing improved system performance and a more intuitive user experience, Patent Center additionally incorporates all the existing functions of Public PAIR, as well as several enhanced features that allow users to:

  • Search publicly available information as a guest by application, patent, Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), publication, and/​or international design registration number;
  • Sort documents and transaction history based on column headings;
  • Perform a quick document preview;
  • Download multiple documents at once within a single PDF file or in a ZIP file (new);
  • Download patent references (new);
  • Download documents in DOCX and XML formats (new); and
  • Download bibliographic information in XML format (new).

Users should be aware of some issues with Patent Center of which the USPTO is aware and working to address, such as:

  • Web-based corrected application data sheet (ADS) is temporarily unavailable;
  • Some applications may not display all assignees;
  • Amendments and responses cannot be submitted in DOCX; and
  • Some ad-blocking software may erroneously block some functionality.

Please visit the Patent Center information webpage for additional information, including workarounds to the issues above.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for general informational purposes only. This post is not updated to account for changes in the law and should not be considered tax or legal advice. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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