USPTO’s EFS-Web Electronic Patent Filing System Celebrates Successful First Year (02May2007)

Posted by Kristen Cichocki at May 2, 2007 12:13 PM

USPTO's EFS-Web Electronic Patent Filing System Celebrates Successful First Year

Today More than Half of All New Patent Applications Filed Through EFS-Web

The Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced today that EFS-Web, its Web-based filing system for patent applications, has exceeded the goals set forth for its first year.   Most notably, 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.   In addition, more than 700,000 applications and related documents have been filed using EFS-Web to date.

These milestones were celebrated today in a ceremony at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, where Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Jon Dudas also recognized the patent system users and USPTO staff who made EFS-Web’s first year a success.  Special guest speakers included representatives from EFS-Web users Motorola and the law firm of Fish & Richardson, as well as independent inventor Michael Gurin.  (See below for a full list of law firms, corporations and individuals who helped make EFS-Web’s first year a success.)

“EFS-Web has exceeded our expectations for its first year, and is a great step forward in making IP protection easier and more efficient, while improving patent quality,” said Under Secretary Dudas.  “As corporations, law firms and inventors alike discover the many benefits of filing patent applications electronically, we expect the adoption rate to grow dramatically.”

Jonathan Meyer, SVP for Motorola, said, “We have found using EFS-Web has helped us to greatly streamline the patent process, saving us both time and money.  We appreciate that the USPTO sought our input, and the input of other patent filers, as they were creating EFS-Web.  The result is a system that truly meets our needs.”

Rolf Hille, Director of Practice Systems for Fish & Richardson, said, “As we continue to shift toward a paperless operation, the availability of EFS-Web has greatly helped us in accelerating that transition.  In doing so, we are able to be more efficient and accurate in our day-to-day operations and in our efforts to secure patents for our clients.”

Inventor Michael Gurin, President of CogniTek Management Systems, added, “As an independent inventor in the rapidly changing worlds of alternative energy and nanotechnology, I have found that EFS-Web has become an important part of how I do business.  In fact, I’ve filed more than a dozen patent applications using EFS-Web in the last year alone.”

The shift from a paper-based system to an electronic environment offers several  advantages for patent filers.  Patent system users can file applications and related documents virtually anytime and anywhere.  Filers may use their existing software, and may submit documents by simply attaching PDF files.  EFS-Web offers additional practical flexibility to the intellectual property community by allowing staff to file documents prepared and reviewed by patent attorneys.  Filers may also pay filing fees over the Internet.

EFS-Web submissions are automatically processed through the USPTO.  Patent filers receive rapid access to their applications through the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system, so they can view their submissions online and confirm that documents have been securely and accurately received.  EFS-Web also offers visual proof that patent applications and documents have been received in the form of an automatic electronic receipt.

Developed with extensive input from the intellectual property community, EFS-Web launched on March 16, 2006, as a simple, safe, and secure way to file patents online.   More than 80 corporations, law firms and independent inventors participated in the EFS-Web pilot program.  Prior to deployment, nearly 200 pilot participants attended EFS-Web onsite and Web-based trainings.

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