May 03, 2007

In a press release from Tuesday, the USPTO announced that use of its web-based filing system (EFS-Web) exceeded expectations set for its first year of use. Since its inception, over 700,000 documents have been filed using EFS-Web, and was noted that “for the first time in USPTO's history, more new patent applications are being filed electronically each week than through the traditional paper application process.” Several individuals with various interests in intellectual property protection, including the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO (Jon Dudas), a Senior Vice President for Motorola (Jonathan Meyer), the Director of Practice Systems for Fish & Richardson (Rolf Hille), and the President of CogniTek Management Systems (Michael Gurin, also an inventor), provided their own positive comments regarding EFS-Web in the USPTO press release (link below). According to the USPTO, “[t]he shift from a paper-based system to an electronic environment offers several advantages for patent filers,” including being able to “file applications and related documents virtually anytime and anywhere” using files in PDF format, further noting the additional advantage of the “practical flexibility to the intellectual property community by allowing staff to file documents prepared and reviewed by patent attorneys.” Once documents are filed through EFS-Web, they become available through the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system, allowing filers to “view their submissions online and confirm that documents have been securely and accurately received.” EFS-Web was launched in March of 2006 after a successful pilot program involving the USPTO and numerous inventors, companies and law firms.

USPTO Press Release: LINK
Public PAIR at the USPTO: LINK
USPTO EFS-Web Help and Tutorial Webpage: LINK
USPTO Patent Electronic Business Center Webpage: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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