The USPTO unveiled yesterday a revised version of private PAIR (PAIR 6.0). A highlight of the updated system includes a direct login feature that allows access to Private PAIR through a web browser window, rather than having to access through USPTO Direct. In theory, this would allow one to access PAIR from a remote computer as long as he or she has copied their EPF file to that particular computer. Another noted feature is an estimated date for issuance of a first Office action. This is intended to save practitioners from having to make status inquiries to the Office by mail.
A replay of yesterday's USPTO presentation can be viewed at: http://webex.client.ninesystems.com/uspto
Also announced in yesterday's presentation, but not in detail, is a new electronic filing system that will allow applicants to file electronically using PDF files. This electronic filing system is scheduled for a March 17 release. The program will also provide nearly instantaneous verification and validation of applications, an option to pay fees by deposit account charge, and a printable filing receipt which will have the same force as an Express Mail filing receipt and stamped postcard. The PTO should have more information on the new electronic filing system in the coming weeks.
NOTE: This USPTO News Update was written by Christopher Singer. Chris has a PhD in bio-inorganic chemistry from Northwestern University and is a patent attorney at MBHB. [Singer Bio]