By Donald Zuhn --
USPTO Seeks Sample Applications for eMod Project
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office distributed a Patents Alert USPTO News e-mail last week requesting that stakeholders provide .docx sample applications for testing and validating text submissions as part of the USPTO eMod Patent Center Project. The USPTO eMod (eCommerce Modernization) Patent Center project is an effort by the Office to improve the electronic patent application process by modernizing the Office's eCommerce systems (EFS-Web and Private PAIR). Additional information regarding the USPTO eMod Patent Center Project can be found here.
At this stage of the eMod project, the Office is looking to obtain as many issued or published utility, design, and PCT (U.S. Receiving Office) patent applications, covering various technologies, as it can. Sample applications should include the specification, claims, abstract, and drawings, and be authored in Microsoft Word 2007 and above in .docx format. The Office is also requesting sample applications containing the following formatting characteristics or items:
• Indentation levels
• Special characters/symbols
• Ordered lists
• Unordered lists
• Embedded images or drawings
• Embedded math and chemical formulas
• Sequence listings
• Computer code
The Office is requesting sample applications as part of its efforts to expand the types of file formats the USPTO will accept for patent application submissions. Stakeholders wishing to submit sample applications should send such applications to email@example.com. The Office has requested that stakeholders submitting applications also provide the application number of any samples that are provided so that the Office can compare the sample to the as-filed application in the Image File Wrapper (IFW).
USPTO Promotes Video Conferencing Interviews
In a Patents Alert USPTO News e-mail sent out in December, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reminded stakeholders about the use of video conferencing for conducting examiner interviews. The Office noted that video conferencing gives applicants and their representatives the ability to conduct face-to-face meetings with examiners regardless of the location of the examiner, applicant, or representative. The Office has posted a one-minute video, that can be found here, in which patent practitioners share some of the advantages of conducting video conferencing interviews. Additional information and resources on how to schedule and join a USPTO-hosted video conference can be found here. Readers may recall that at Office's May 2014 forum on the Mayo-Myriad subject matter eligibility guidance, an Office representative encouraged attendees to seek video interviews with examiners, noting that such interviews had been gaining popularity at the Office (see "USPTO Holds Forum on Subject Matter Eligibility -- Part IV").
USPTO Provides Update Regarding EFS-Web and Private PAIR Authentication
In January, Oracle announced that plugin support was being removed from many browsers, thereby eliminating the ability to embed Flash, Silverlight, Java and other plugin-based technologies in those browsers. Oracle noted that application developers relying on the Java browser plugin would need to consider alternatives, such as migrating from Java Applets to the plugin-free Java Web Start technology.
In view of Oracle's announcement, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office distributed a Patents Alert USPTO News e-mail last month pointing out that Java 9, which will be released in March 2017, will still have Java plugin functionality. As a result, the Office indicated that users will be able to authenticate in the EFS-Web and Private PAIR until Oracle removes the Java plugin in a future release. The Office also noted that is actively pursuing an alternative authentication technology that does not use the Java plugin.