Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at March 27, 2007 03:55 PM
Erik J. Heels has an excellent post (Uncool: USPTO Breaks Millions Of Patent URLs Without Public Notice) talking about how the USPTO broke URL links to patents and trademarks over the weekend and how it is making him pull his hair out. Definitely worth a read!
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at February 7, 2007 12:00 PM
Anyone have an idea what’s up with the http://des.uspto.gov page? If you click on that link, you get this page:
It also appears that there is an OED page: http://des.uspto.gov/OEDCI/query.jsp and IP Newsflash’s links to BPAI decisions use a des.uspto.gov domain (with an interesting FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) subfolder) (i.e., http://des.uspto.gov/Foia/ReterivePdf?flNm=fd10548102-07-2007.pdf)
Perhaps this is part of the open application/peer review project? [the comments are open]
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at December 5, 2006 12:50 PM
Newest addition to our list of things we wish would change about the uspto.gov website: Use of RealPlayer.
Everyone dislikes it. PC World Magazine even went as far as to label it as "#2 in its list of the 25 worst tech products of all time." (#1 was AOL, #3 was Syncronys' SoftRAM ((RAM "doubling" software))
Yet everytime the USPTO releases a video I want to watch I am forced to install RealPlayer, watch the video (and then uninstall RealPlayer). Argh.
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at September 6, 2006 05:16 PM
From a reader:
The PTO really needs to figure out how to do one thing one way, instead of having multiple unrelated systems doing parts of the same thing in different ways. Like, how many leading zeros do you need? PATFT, PAIR, EPAS all work differently. Are slashes OK, or not? Can you put commas in, or not? They're even inconsistent within a single system - the ADS form for EFS-web has two different places for entering a customer number - one has a leading zero, the other rejects it. Go figure.
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at May 3, 2006 01:51 PM
Not a “hot totty” but a signatoty:
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at April 28, 2006 03:06 PM
Anyone know why Official Filing Receipts don’t show up in patent image file wrappers?
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at March 22, 2006 11:52 AM
One thing that is annoying (about using TEAS) is when you file a Response or other document, the "Success!" confirmation page you receive never wants to print right. Whether I print it portrait or landscape or to PDF...it doesn't matter. I still end up with text that falls off the screen. See the right edge of the below pic for an example of what I am talking about:
Any idea why it does this? Is it just me?
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at March 17, 2006 01:14 AM
Well...I did it. After much deliberation, we've changed the "Hate uspto.gov" category to read "uspto.gov feedback." These are things we want the USPTO to do...improvements we wish they'd make. Our previous feedback posts can be found here.
As grandma would say..."you catch more flies with honey than vinegar." (of course, I always thought flies ate BS...but we'll try grandma's way for a while)
Posted by J Matthew Buchanan at March 15, 2006 09:55 AM
Quick – when does the new USPTO electronic filing system go live? Is it this Friday, March 17th (as originally reported by the Office in the online training session for the new private PAIR), Thursday (as suggested by yesterday’s press release), or next Monday (the day of the online training for the new system)?
The Office has sent several mixed messages, and now I am left wondering when I can use the new system. Guess what? I have an application due on Friday. Can I file it electronically? Who knows….
Not a great way to introduce revolutionary technology to the bar…
This has caused me to reflect on several annoying practices of the Office when it comes to press releases…inconsistency being only one of them.
For example…today’s announcement regarding the Office’s call for suggestions on the forthcoming strategic plan for 2007–2012. The announcement appears on the front page of the web site, but not on the main news page. The front page always changes, and this content will eventually be replaced by different, newer content. So, we can’t link directly to it. Problem.
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at February 23, 2006 11:21 AM
The MPEP is provided zipped up in three nice "chunks"...ready for easy downloading. http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/index.html
The TMBP is provided in a zipped format too. http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/dcom/ttab/tbmp/
However, the TMEP isn't provided like that. If you want a local copy of the TMEP you have to download each chapter one at a time. Argh. http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/tmep/
Suggestion...provide the TMEP in one or more zipped files.
Praise: All appear to be saved in a PDF format with OCR (thus, you can load them into Acrobat/Acrobat Reader and do a text search within them...or, as the post at the EsqGear legal tech blog pointed out this morning you can have a desktop search program (X1, Google Desktop, Copernic, etc.) index it and have the ability to search the MPEP/TMEP/TBMP from your desktop on the fly. Very cool).
One benefit of doing this is that by encouraging users to download local copies...less bandwidth in downloading the same chapters over and over again each time you need it.
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at February 17, 2006 11:06 AM
Yesterday I received a phone call from a client who had just received a registered letter from the European Patent Office entitled "Noting of loss of rights pursuant to Rule 69(1) EPC." The letter went on to state that his "European patent application...is deemed to be withdrawn" for failing to pay the appropriate fees. He called me worried that I had somehow screwed up his application (the ONLY country he filed his PCT application in was Japan).
After not finding the answer using my Google-fu, I had my secretary call the EPO this morning. The answer she received on the phone: "this is a standard procedure of the European Patent Office. It is just to let the applicant know that they missed the deadline to file in Europe."
This whole thing annoyed me for a number of reasons: (1) it was sent by registered mail not to me but to my client; (2) it is misleading in that the client never had a European patent application; (3) I had to spend time which I didn't feel was billable to the client explaining to the client that the European Patent Office just does things like that; and (4) I'm not sure the purpose of the letter, other than reminding applicants that if they wanted to they could pay extension fees to still file (fishing????).
Is there a reason for any of this I don't understand? Please clue me in.
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at February 13, 2006 05:08 PM
Is it just me, or is the "things we hate" title quite hateful? I didn't really intend it to come out that way. It was originally intended as a way for us to list things we wished were different about the www.uspto.gov website. Suggestions. Improvements. Comments.
But yet it has that awful HATE tag.
What do you think? Should we retitle the series to not be so negative? Retire the "hate?"
Trivia question: Who is the current Commissioner for Trademarks?
Shouldn't the answer be on the USPTO's "Commissioner for Trademarks" page?
The correct answer is: Lynne G. Beresford.
At least the Commissioner of Patents page lists John Doll as the current Commissioner.
Our previous "Things we hate about the USPTO.gov website": http://www.rethinkip.com/archives/hate_usptogov/
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at December 12, 2005 01:11 AM
Rethink(IP) reader (and frequent commenter on our previous "hate" posts) Adam Rosi-Kessel [blog] brings you his www.uspto.gov annoyance:
The fact that you can't bookmark a trademark search page is a real annoyance. That is, if you go to http://www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm, click on "SEARCH trademarks," then "Free Form Search (Advanced Search)," and then attempt to bookmark that page and come back an hour later, you'll get a "search session expired" error. Similarly, you can't create a link to a particular search or to a particular trademark record. You are always required to navigate through from the USPTO trademark front page, with no value added but a few additional clicks.Thanks Adam!
My guess is that it would be a fair amount of work for them to fix this problem fundamentally because they have this whole back end "session based" design. That design, as far as I can tell, is totally unnecessary, but it is the design they have picked.
One workaround would be for their back end to automatically create a new session and redirect you to the page you requested when you attempt to access a deep link that relates to an expired session. They would have to change their URLs to encode information about what navigational steps had been taken to get to that point on the site, in addition to the session information they are currently encoding, but it might be easier than redoing the whole system.
Click here for our previous "things we hate."
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at December 7, 2005 07:55 PM
Here's one thing that drives me nuts...patent searching on the USPTO site.
Let's say I go to the USPTO's search page and search for patents to Idaho inventors. I would type "is/ID"
and hit the Enter key. That would give me the following results:
Whoa! Too many results (blame it on Micron and HP). I better narrow my search. I'll change the search to include "ic/Boise" and I'll hit the Enter key. What do I then get:
Say what? Result 51 of 100?
What happened? The focus didn't follow my cursor. When I selected the input box and added "ic/Boise" the focus remained on the "Next 50 hits" button instead of following me to the "Refine Search" box. Argh.
To complete my search I can't just hit Enter. I have to physically press the "Refine Search" button:
Is this something that ONLY annoys me?
Click here for our previous "things we hate."
Posted by J Matthew Buchanan at November 22, 2005 08:56 AM
Did you catch this? Last week, Steve posted another “thing we hate about the USPTO.gov web site.” In that rant, Steve detailed one of our favorite frustrations about the web site — the fact that, before Sunday, you had to include the dub-dub-dub (www) in the URL, or you were out of luck.
Then, magically, the problem was fixed on Sunday.
Hmmmm. It could be a coincidence, right? Yes, but highly unlikely. That problem has existed for as long as the three of us can remember. It’s nearly popped a vein in my head at least 100 times.
The better explanation is that they’re listening. That’s right, the big governmental agency that is the United States Patent and Trademark Office is listening to the blogosphere. And someone, somewhere inside the agency fixed, nay, changed, something as a result. How cool is that?
I wonder how long it would have taken to achieve this simple change had we submitted a letter or formal complaint of some sort?
It’s amazing that such a small technical change can be symbolic for something so big.
We love the USPTO. We really do. We want to see the agency improve…and we’re glad to help. We’ll keep talking, and hopefully they’ll keep listening. You can help with the talking side of the equation — If you have any suggestions, ideas, complaints, etc., let us know…
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at November 20, 2005 11:20 AM
Then,...guess what starts working? Try going to http://uspto.gov NOW. (hint: it works)
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at November 17, 2005 04:53 PM
USPTO's website is http://www.uspto.gov.
Guess what happens when you go to http://uspto.gov. If you guessed "The page cannot be displayed," give yourself 10 points. If you've ever typed in uspto.gov and received the same error before, give yourself and additional 10 points.
I'm not really sure what it is called..."domain mapping" maybe, but I'm pretty sure its an easy thing to fix. (maybe someone will leave a comment explaining how to fix it)
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at November 3, 2005 01:21 PM
Give me a button to Assignments please.
Posted by J Matthew Buchanan at October 14, 2005 02:12 PM
Let the uspto.gov bashing continue.
One of my biggest pet peeves about the site is the linkfarm structure of several key pages. Look at the main “Patents” page, for example:
Is there a better example of a web1.0 linkfarm out there? I think not. How is this helpful to anyone? I use the site all the time and still struggle to find what I’m looking for.
For those of you not familiar with the site, please visit the farm here, so as to see it in all of its glory.
Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at October 10, 2005 01:29 PM
We've joked a number of times internally about things we hate about the USPTO's website and how we should compile a list of grievances. Today I stumbled onto one of the things I "hate" and it spurred me to start the list...
Grievance #1: Why in the world is the "LOGOUT" button above the search form boxes on the trademark search page (picture below). I don't know how many times I have loaded that page in a hurry and clicked that button by mistake like it was a "NEXT" or "ENTER" button. I think it is akin to putting a "delete all" button right next to a "save" button. ARGH!
What drives me nuts is that the Logout button is the first thing you see when you come to the page...just in case you changed your mind before you do the search and want to logout.
Feel free to send your own grievances over and we'll add them to the list.