USPTO to Replace EFS and PAIR

As part of its efforts to modernize and improve the patent filing system, the USPTO presented an overview of the rollout of its eCommerce Modernization (eMod) Project to the public last month.  At the heart of the eMod Project is the USPTO’s goal of building a new and unified system, Patent Center, to replace Electronic Filing System (EFS-Web) and Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR), which are separate systems.

Expected Benefits of Patent Center

According to the USPTO, expected benefits of Patent Center include:

  • Updated infrastructure to enable more efficient system integration
  • Increased functionality and overall system usefulness
  • Enhanced user experience through improved interface
  • Improved processes for patent submission, review, and management
  • Revamped authentication process to address current Java compatibility
  • Increased accuracy of application processing and publication.

USPTO Testing Improvements with Pilot Program

To test various features of the eMod Project, the USPTO launched an eMod Text Pilot Program, which began last year.  Pilot program volunteers can submit documents to the USPTO in .docx and/or .xml formats.   In particular, features tested in the pilot program include the ability to:

  • Accept structured text – applicants will be able to submit text directly (e.g., using a .docx file) into the USPTO’s application filing system
  • Delivery structured text – applicants will be able to access text for initial submissions and Office Actions
  • Download XML data.

Patent Center Expected to Release in 2018

Based on the success of the eMod Text Pilot Program, tested features are expected to be available to the public later this summer.  Pilot program participants will then work with the USPTO to test Patent Center features, which are expected to be released to the public in beta form by the end of 2018.
For more information on the eMod Project, please visit the USPTO’s website.


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