Patent applications go online
- By Colleen O'Hara
- Nov 02, 2000
Patent Electronic Business Center
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is now receiving via the Internet the
first of what could be tens of thousands of patent applications filed electronically
One week ago, USPTO launched its electronic patent application filing
system that allows anyone to file confidential patent application over the
Internet. So far, USPTO has received three submissions via the system, but
the agency anticipates accepting as many as 30,000 applications this year
through the system.
In order to file, USPTO gives users a customer identification number,
a digital certificate to authenticate the user and secure the file, and
software applications to help users prepare the application documents.
The software assembles all components of the application, calculates
the fees, validates the content and compresses, encrypts and transmits the
file to USPTO. Filers receive immediate acknowledgment of the filing.
Electronic submissions are in Extensible Markup Language, which makes
them easier to process and publish, said Deron Burba, manager of USPTO's
patent re-engineering systems division. XML enables the definition, transmission
and interpretation of data between applications and organizations.
"By receiving intelligent and valid data, we don't have the data entry
errors we experienced in our data entry process," said Diane Lewis, a project
manager at USPTO representing patent customers. "The data comes in as a
standard presentation that's helpful in facilitating processing."
Patent applications are traditionally scanned, or manually re-keyed,
and stored as an image, which means they must be converted before the agency