Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Annual Technical Report 2007 on Patent Information Activities submitted by United States of America (SCIT/ATR/PI/2007/US)

Where URLs are requested below, it is preferred that either URLs which are likely to remain stable over time (three years or more) are provided, or home (main) page URLs are provided with a short explanation of how to access the corresponding information.

The term "patent" covers utility models and Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs). Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in their Annual Technical Reports on Industrial Design Information Activities.

I. Evolution of patent activities

Changes experienced in terms of application filings and grants with respect to the previous year

In calendar year (CY) 2007, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted 157,283 utility patents, a decrease of 9.5 percent from the number of grants for CY 2006. The share of grants having foreign origin, as determined by the residence of the first-named inventor, was 49.4 percent for CY 2007, up from 48.3 percent for CY 2006. The top five patenting organizations for CY 2007 are International Business Machines Corporation receiving 3,125 utility patents, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. receiving 2,723 utility patents, Canon Kabushiki Kaisha receiving 1,983 utility patents, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. receiving 1,910 utility patents, and Intel Corporation receiving 1,864 utility patents.

There were 456,154 non-provisional utility patent applications filed at the USPTO in CY 2007, a 7.1 percent increase as compared to CY 2006. The share of non-provisional utility patent applications having foreign origin, as determined by the residence of the first-named inventor, was 47.1 percent, down from 47.9 percent for CY 2006.

Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year

In calendar year 2007, the following active technology areas showed significant increases in utility patent activity as compared to CY 2006:
Chemistry: Natural Resins or Derivatives; Peptides or Proteins; Lignins or Reaction Products Thereof (up 18 percent), Optics: Measuring and Testing, (up 11 percent), Liquid Purification or Separation (up 11 percent), Electricity: Electrical Systems and Devices (up 10 percent), Illumination (up 9 percent), Electrophotography ( up 6 percent), Error Detection/Correction and Fault Detection/Recovery (up 6 percent), Static Information Storage and Retrieval (up 5 percent), Vehicles, Navigation, and Relative Location (Data Processing) (up 5 percent), Incremental Printing of Symbolic Information (up 5 percent).

URLs of web pages of the Office's website that provide statistics related to patents

General statistics relating to utility patents may be accessed from the following USPTO Web Site pages:
General calendar year utility patent statistics reports can be accessed from the following URL:
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/reports.htm

General fiscal year utility patent statistics and USPTO workload statistics can be accessed from the text and workload tables contained in annual USPTO Performance and Accountability Reports, which may be accessed from the following URL:
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/annual/index.html.

Trilateral Statistical Reports containing USPTO utility patent statistics may be accessed from the official Trilateral Web Site at the following URL:
http://www.trilateral.net/tsr/

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, distribution and use of primary and secondary sources of patent information

Publishing, printing, copying (main types of publications of the Office in the field of patent information, etc.)

The USPTO has made a business decision to emphasize online ordering and delivery of information products and services without abandoning the traditional delivery methods that include: paper copies, fulfilling fax and telephone requests, maintaining on campus search facilities, supporting the nationwide network of Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries (PTDLs), and providing information to private companies that are value added resellers reaching thousands of their own customers.

The USPTO is automatically loading electronic images of the Pre-Grant Publication Notifications and Patent Grant Issue Notifications into the Image File Wrapper. In addition, as these Notifications are outgoing correspondence, the automatic electronic mail notification exists if the customer has elected to participate in the electronic notification program. The office continues to mail conventional paper copies as well.

For its image products of issued Plant Patents, the USPTO has begun the creation and storage of electronic images of the issued plant patent drawings in color on DVD.

Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of patent information

There are no new developments to report for calendar year 2007.

Mass storage media used (paper, microforms, optical storage, etc.)

In 1998, the USPTO established an Internet database with access to the full-text and images of granted patents from 1976 forward, consisting of 2 Terabytes (TB) of full-page images and 120 Gigabytes (GB) of searchable full-text. In 2000, the USPTO acquired an additional 2 TB of storage and added images of all US patents from 1790 through 1975. Presently, almost 4 TB of full-page image data for all patents from 1790 to the present are stored on these devices at the USPTO and accessible from the Internet, along with a 200 GB file consisting of patent numbers and current US classifications for all patents from 1790 through 1975, as well as searchable full-text for all patents from 1976 to the present. In addition, 4.5 TB of storage have been deployed for published patent applications from March 15, 2001 forward. The published patent applications storage meets legislative mandates issued in 1998, in the American Inventor Protection Act (AIPA), which requires the timely granting of patents and the early publication of applications.

Each year the USPTO produces nearly 200 optical disc masters in the Cassis and USA product lines, containing a wide variety of patent and trademark text and image information. Cassis includes four patent text products, as well as two trademark text products and USA includes two patent image products and one trademark image product. Over 76,000 discs per year are sold to the public or distributed at no charge to Intellectual Property Offices (IPOs) around the world, to PTDLs, and to the USPTO search facilities. An additional 56,000 discs are distributed each year to Federal Depository Libraries directly from the Government Printing Office.

Bulk data products consisting of TIFF image data and XML files are also produced for exchange with other IPOs and for dissemination to commercial customers. The USPTO’s Electronic Information Products Division (EIPD) oversees the creation and distribution of over 250 data files each week. These data files are provided via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and Digital Linear Tape to approximately 50 external customers worldwide.

Word processing and office automation

Office Action Correspondence Subsystem (OACS)

The Office Action Correspondence Subsystem (OACS) is used by patent examiners and technical support staff to facilitate creation of written correspondence for both domestic and international applications. In calendar year 2007, OACS was modified to support Electronic Red Folder (eRF). OACS is a major component of eRF. eRF is an integrated file management process that enables electronic beginning-to-end processing of Office Actions. The eRF initiative is part of an ongoing series of efforts at USPTO working toward the Agency's vision, utilizing industry best practices and information technology to improve operations and further the goal of a paperless virtual environment. eRF supports other Agency initiatives, such as the Patent Hoteling Program (PHP), eOffice Action, and eSignature.

eRF process includes annotation of IDS and other documents in eDAN, NPLs, Bib Data Sheet from PALM, Search Histories from EAST and WEST, and Office Actions in OACS. These documents are created, reviewed, counted, processed, indexed, and scanned into IFW, and mailed to applicants in a seamless electronic process. By bypassing the need for manual indexing and scanning, eRF achieves huge potential cost savings. In addition to providing better oversight and accountability, and time savings for PHP examiners, eRF provides the opportunity to streamline Office Action processing as the Agency moves toward the implementation of Patent File Wrapper (PFW). Deployment of eRF began in July of 2007.

Patent Application Security System (PASS)

In 2003, PASS was introduced to support initial formalities review of domestic applications (replacing the earlier Patent Application Capture and Review System (PACR)).

PASS allows users to view documents that have been scanned into the Image File Wrapper (IFW) and, in conjunction with the PALM system, prepare correspondence related to formalities issues.

PASS also includes the web-based Classification Security Review (CSR) and Licensing and Review System (LARS) modules in support of, respectively, initial classification of new applications according to the US Patent Classification system and all stages of national security review of new applications stored in IFW.

CSR streamlines the initial classification and first-level security review processes into one new user interface. The LARS system provides the images of applications identified during first level security screening to Licensing and Review examiners who perform second-level security review. LARS allows the examiners to clear an application for foreign filing license or refer it to a defense agency for third-level security review. PASS writes applications referred for third-level security review to a CD-R which is subsequently made available to the appropriate agencies. CSR and LARS both use new PALM services which support real time updating of the security or classification status of an application in the PALM database.

PASS also performs the patent application exporting services. PASS extracts IFW images and transmits the content to contractors in support of Early Data Capture (EDC), Pre-Grant Publication (PG-Pub), and Grant and Pre-Grant Classification (PGCLASS). Since February 2007, PASS integrated the initial examination processing of international (PCT) applications and US applications into the same workflow.

PASS4.5 was deployed in December 2007. This release modified the workflow logic to support changes in the business process relating to electronic filing via EFSWeb and outsourcing of classification via PGClass. New features such as the deferring of incomplete applications and automatic reinstatement of deferred applications produced improved throughput, quality and eliminated manual intervention.

PCT Operations Workflow and Electronic Review (POWER)

POWER supports the administrative processing of PCT applications and related documents by the staff of PCT Operations. In October 2006, the USPTO abandoned POIS, a scanning and image storage system that was dedicated solely to international applications, in favor of merging international applications into the same process flow as that employed for domestic applications (see IFW, below). At the same time, the USPTO began accepting electronically filed international applications via the same system (EFS-Web) that is used for electronic receipt of domestic applications. The images of documents so submitted are directly loaded into the Image File Wrapper (IFW) system. If the applicant uses PCT EASY to author the request form, then this bibliographic data is attached to the electronic submission and directly loaded into a database for ultimate use by POWER. Otherwise, typists transcribe bibliographic data from the scanned image of the request form.

Also in 2006, POWER began automatically transmitting bibliographic data in text form to the International Bureau as a first step towards electronic transmission of Record Copies.

POWER conducts automated formalities reviews based on this bibliographic data, prepares drafts of necessary correspondence and electronically routes the application to the next available formalities officer. Via a number of user interface screens, the formalities officer confirms or rejects the system’s indication of errors and completes any necessary correspondence. Based on pre-programmed business rules, the system automatically routes the electronic file to the next work step. If the applicant requested that the USPTO prepare a certified copy of the priority document, an order is forwarded to the OEMS system at the appropriate time. POWER also updates PALM with data changes, provides management reporting, and allows for exception processing. All new international applications and follow-on documents are processed by the POWER system.

Completion of USPTO’s PCT electronic transmissions effort was implemented in 2007 with POWER transmitting Record Copies, as well as later submitted sheets, to the IB.

Image File Wrapper (IFW)

In 2006, the focus of the USPTO was to minimize the amount of hard scanning that was required in order to capture document images within the Image File Wrapper (IFW) system. To this end, the USPTO enthusiastically promoted use of its web based Electronic Filing System (EFS-Web, q.v.) through which documents created by the applicant could be directly loaded. Further, substantial work was done in 2006 to prepare for soft scanning outgoing correspondence prepared by patent examiners, formalities reviewers and other staff directly into IFW. These features were successfully implemented in 2007.

Further, the USPTO implemented a new interface to its IFW system that allows the images and metadata contained on “Communication on Request” CDs from the International Bureau to be directly uploaded. Previously, these documents, which pertain to international applications entering national stage in the USPTO, had to be printed and hard scanned.

Also in 2006, the USPTO replaced its original document scanning system, an adaptation of the EPO EPOScan system. The new system was developed by RTIS, the contractor responsible for conducting the scans, and supports the functions of:
• Document image and metadata capture
• Document titling (assignment of the appropriate document code (“Doc Code”))
• Quality control
• Delivery of document images and document metadata to IFW or SCORE via the EAI Hub, and
• Delivery of application status or other management information to PALM or other USPTO systems.

In addition to being used for all domestic applications, this new scanning system also replaced POIS, the scanning and image storage system that had been dedicated to processing international applications. Coupled with the migration of images from the POIS database for international applications filed on or after 01 January 2004, this change completed the incorporation of international application images into the USPTO general image storage system, IFW. This permits applicants to monitor the progress of their international applications through Private PAIR as well as making published international applications generally available through Public PAIR.

During 2006 modifications and improvements were made to the IFW examiner interface (eDAN) to provide added user capabilities. These included enhanced OCR capability and File Wrapper Access (FWA) to office actions and other application documents for published applications from the JPO. FWA with the EPO was established in 2005.

Patent File Wrapper (PFW)

As part of the USPTO Patent File Wrapper (PFW) efforts, studies were conducted and a multi-year strategy was developed for replacing the current Image-based file wrapper system (IFW) with the next generation, text-based file wrapper system (PFW). PFW will enable smart text handling of all patent application documents. PFW will also incorporate document management and workflow control. This will result in significant improvements in efficiency and file integrity.

In 2006, substantial effort was expended to document the as-is process and develop the to-be process for the PFW environment. Replacement of eDAN and MADRAS, the interface tools used by the examining corp. to view and act on patent applications will be the first step in the implementation of the PFW. The first component deals with electronic routing of work while also providing the first look at the new interface for viewing applications. In 2008 full replacement of the eDAN and MADRAS functionality is expected. The Action Authoring Tool will be the next step in the implementation of the PFW. Scheduled to be deployed in mid 2010, AAT will automatically route work that has been completed by patent examiners to the appropriate reviewing officials and ultimately soft scan approved office actions into PFW’s document management system. Electronic notification of office action preparation to at least some applicants is also expected to be part of the early implementation of PFW which carries on functionality recently added to legacy systems as a precursor to the service to be offered by PFW.

Patent Training Academy (PTA or Academy)

The Patent Training Academy (PTA) exceeded its goal of professionally training the more than 1000 newly hired Patent Examiners in FY-07. During FY-07, 1,196 new patent examiners were hired and placed directly into the new examiner’s training program. Supervisory Patent Examiners, who have completed a comprehensive train-the-trainer workshop, supervise a lab of 16-18 new examiners during the nearly 8-month training program. The new examiners attend lectures created by a curriculum committee of senior patent managers. These lectures are presented by patent subject matter experts. The new examiners return to their labs to apply the lecture material, conduct searches, and complete live office actions. Under the direct supervision of their Lab Trainer and Training Assistants, who were senior examiners with expertise in specific technologies and art, new examiners complete their new examiner program with a three-hour Proficiency Exam. A formal graduation exercise, attended by the senior executives of the Agency, is held and the new examiners transition to a Technology Center to continue their career development.

The overwhelming success of the PTA is partially due to the collaborative direction of the senior executives of the USPTO Patent Office. The Director of the Office of Patent Training frequently meets with the Assistant Commissioner of Patents to assess progress and to review goals and objectives. In addition the senior management team meets weekly with the senior directors of the USPTO Patent Office to identify new examiner training and development concerns and to offer solutions to program and administrative issues.

The management team continually assesses the performance of the new examiner training program and identifies and recommends opportunities for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the PTA. The team also works with new technology center Supervisory Patent Examiners (SPEs) to help them develop their leadership skills. In FY-08 the PTA will be the first USPTO organization to apply for the prestigious ISO9000 certification.

Search Systems

Examiners have access to two search clients, both of which provide text and image search and display capabilities. One is a browser-based client called WEST (Web-based Examiner Search Tool); the other is a coded client called EAST (Examiner Automated Search Tool). WEST is designed for ease of use and rapid deployment of new functionality. EAST has a more complex interface, designed for greater user customization, more rapid retrieval of images, and greater use of the keyboard. Through these search clients, all USPTO patent examiners have access to full U.S. patent images from 1790 and full U.S. patent text search from 1920. The 1920-1970 segment of the U.S. database is the U.S. Patents OCR database. Access to another segment of the U.S. Patents OCR database covering the period from 1790 to 1919 was planned for 2005. Since the introduction of U.S. Published Applications in March 2001, the full text and images of these documents have been made available. Also available are the contents of the First Page DataBase (FPDB) project, IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletins, and the Derwent World Patents Index (WPI). The FPDB consists of the English-language Patent Abstracts of Japan (PAJ) from 1976, and five European Patent Office (EPO) member states (EP patent documents, France, Germany, Great Britain and Switzerland), and WIPO patent documents (PCT Publications), from 1978. Additionally, examiners have access to full patent document images from 1920 for these same intellectual property authoring countries and organizations. The addition of full English-language text of EPO documents and full patent document images for additional intellectual property countries and organizations is planned.

In 2006, the full text search databases for US Patents and Published Applications migrated to using the International Common Element (ICE) Red Book for Patent Grant Data/XML and Patent Application Data/XML publication format as the input source content. See http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/sgml/st32/redbook/rb2004/rb2004.html for more information. Both search clients were updated to facilitate search and display of additional data content.

International Patent Classification (IPC) Reform was implemented for both newly issuing US Patents and newly publishing US Published Applications effective January 1, 2006. Additionally, IPC Reform data was applied to existing US Patents and US Published Applications to supplement the IPC data existing at the time of their original dissemination. Both search clients were updated to present both the old and new IPC data.

The USPTO Internet Patent search web site (http://www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html) was transitioned to being hosted on the USPTO campus.

The Public Search Facility at the USPTO campus was provided access to the USPTO internal Derwent World Patents Index (WPI) text searchable database previously provided only to examiners.

Automated Biotechnology Search System (ABSS)

The USPTO relies heavily on nucleic acid (i.e., DNA, RNA) and amino acid (i.e., protein) sequence information supplied in biotechnology patent applications. This information is used to assess whether the claimed invention complies with the statutory requirements of utility, novelty, non-obviousness, and provides an enabling disclosure of the technology behind the invention. As well as internal USPTO databases, claimed sequences are searched against publicly available nucleotide and amino acid databases for relevant prior art and other information. The USPTO keeps pace with the rapid expansion in sequence information filings by continuing to enhance the ABSS system. The ABSS system comprises a network of Sun Microsystems hardware and Biocceleration Bioaccelerators and an IBM Blade Server added in 2007, which utilize the Smith-Waterman algorithm. Databases included in searches performed by the ABSS system are: GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ, GeneSeq, PIR, and UniProt public databases, as well as the internal USPTO databases: Pending, Published, and Issued.

STIC searching staff, and biotechnology examiners can access the ABSS system 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The searching staff is available to perform searches on behalf of the more than 400 examiners from Technology Centers 1600 and 1700.

Supplementary Complex Repository for Examiners (SCORE/PSIPS)

SCORE, the Supplemental Complex Repository for Examiners, was deployed in August 2005 to provide Examiner, Trilateral partner and public access to supplemental file wrapper data through the electronic Desktop Application Navigator (eDAN) and the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system. The repository comprises the entire biosequence database, biosequence search results back to June 2005, and other selected supplemental file wrapper information. In 2008, SCORE will begin supporting a pilot allowing applicants to submit “native” or “source” files for complex data in more usable formats (including text documents in InChITM, MathML, and PDB formats), which will assist in clearer examination, fewer printer queries, and more streamlined publication.

SCORE stores and displays Sequence Listings, design drawings, color drawings, sequence search results files, query-by-example search results files, 3-D protein crystal tables, mega tables, mathematical equations, computer source code, and other supplemental file information or mega sections of applications in the native electronic formats. SCORE allows specialized viewing software to be applied to application data, if necessary.

The Publication Site for Issued and Published Sequences (PSIPS) is the electronic publication site for supplemental file wrapper data from U.S. patent grants and pre-grant publications. PSIPS is being modified to be the repository for all published DNA and protein Sequence Listings, including sequence data back to 1990.

PatentIn and Checker

Since October 1990, the USPTO has made available to customers a set software tools to for creating biosequence listings: PatentIn and Checker. PatentIn and Checker provide customers with an efficient means to create and validate the Sequence Listing that must accompany, in paper form, or approved paper equivalent, and computer readable form (CRF), each biotechnology patent application that contains biological sequence information.

PatentIn, designed and developed in-house by the USPTO, is used by over 60 percent of customers who submit Sequence Listings. Several modifications and improvements to make PatentIn compatible for international use have occurred since 1990. Particularly, in 1996, the USPTO and the EPO began a cooperative effort to develop a Microsoft Windows-based version of PatentIn that would satisfy WIPO Standard ST.25. As a result of these efforts PatentIn 2.0 was released in 1998. In 2006, PatentIn 3.4 was released that was in compliance with section 508 of the Disabilities Act and droped support of Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, Win2000.

In 2007, PatentIn 3.5 was released in November using the latest Microsoft .NET technology to provide better software performance, accessibility, and reliability. Now a PatentIn-generated ST.25 Sequence listing file can be imported to the PatentIn system for further sequence data modification and can be regenerated to produce a new sequence listing. It can also process a sequence as large as 12 MB and generate a sequence listing up to, but not limited to, 12 MB.

Checker, also designed and developed in-house by USPTO, is a module of the validation and data entry system used by STIC technicians to check and load Sequence Listings into the in-house USPTO sequence database. The software allows public users to check completed Sequence Listings before submitting them to the USPTO. Use of Checker prior to filing Sequence Listings has resulted in fewer Sequence Listing errors discovered by USPTO, therefore fewer Sequence Listings returned to Applicants for correction. The last release of Checker was in December 2006.



(New) techniques used for the generation of patent information (printing, recording, photocomposing, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), etc.)

There are no new developments to report for calendar year 2007.

III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents

Abstracting, reviewing, translating

Abstracting

The Scientific and Technical Information Center (STIC) does not abstract technical information from patent documents.

Reviewing, Translating

The STIC translators and translation contractors provide full or partial English-language versions of patent documents upon request by USPTO staff. The annual workload in FY2006 was over twenty-one million written words, the majority of which were in the Japanese, German, and French languages. In addition, the translation staff reviews with examiners the general contents of patent documents and provides partial oral translations prior to or in place of written translations. Human-edited machine-assisted translations for Japanese patents issued since 1993 are being provided to examiners as a method of improving translation turnaround time and controlling costs. USPTO also began making use of the KIPO machine translations of Korean patents and the EPO German machine translation tool.

Classification1, preclassification2 (if applicable), and reclassification3 activities; Classification system used, e.g., International Patent Classification (IPC), other classification (please indicate whether or not patent documents are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification is used)

In 2007, approximately 302,787 patent documents were reclassified and 2,059 new subclasses were established in 8 classes in the US Patent Classification (USPC) system. Of this total 113,666 were Pre Grant Publications and 189,121 were United States patent original or cross-reference classifications.

The Classification Data Systems automated classification desktop tool was deployed to additional classifiers and examiners in 2005. Classifiers and examiners use the system to create new classification schemes and associated reference materials for the USPC, and to reclassify patent documents into the new scheme.

The Office of Patent Classification coordinated with other USPTO automated internal systems to update as needed in preparation for IPC reform implementation and continued to maintain a concordance between the United States Patent Classification System and the International Patent Classification (IPC 8) system. USPTO also implemented an IPC8 valid symbols file and a new US to IPC8 concordance to PALM for proper IPC symbol assignment for documents published since January 2006.

Foreign Patent Classification (FPC) - The USPTO continued to develop automated systems and processes to assist with the classification of non-US patent documents in USPC. In association with unilateral, bilateral and/or trilateral classification harmonization projects, USPTO has developed a process for assigning USPC codes to unique non-US patent documents. This process will be expanded for incorporation with IPC Reform. The USPTO continues to investigate linguistic tools, namely, the USPTO’s text search engine and query-by-example (QBE) technology to further assist with the classification of the documents. Non-US patent documents that have USPC codes can be retrieved by those classifications using the Examiner electronic search systems “EAST” and “WEST”. The “family patent processing” tools developed to identify members of simple families of documents are currently used to produce the working list of documents to be classified for the Trilateral projects. The FPC databases contained approximately 5,145,294 distinct simple families of foreign documents classified in USPC, of which approximately 179,418 were either newly classified or reclassified in USPC during 2007.

All utility patents issued from 2002 on include both a US Patent Classification designation and an International Patent Classification designation. The electronic search systems EAST and WEST available within the USPTO and at selected Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries provide the capacity for searching US Patent documents with either a US or IPC classification designation.

Further information about the use of the US Patent Classification System is available at:
http://www.uspto.gov/main/patents.htm

Coordinate indexing (domestic deep indexing systems, keyword indexing)

No new activities have been initiated under this topic.

Hybrid system indexing

No new activities have been initiated under this topic.

Bibliographic data and full-text processing

Patent search capabilities provide text search of US Patent Applications (PGPub), US Patents, JPO and EPO abstracts, the Derwent World Patent Index Database, IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletins, and OCR text of US Patents issued between 1920 and 1971. For the OCR file, examiners identify relevant documents by text searching the OCR file and use the document images to determine applicability to applications under review.

Trilateral Document Access: File Wrapper Access (TDA:FWA) facilitates access by US patent examiners to the content of particular patent applications stored in participating foreign IP offices’ application file wrapper systems that correspond to US applications. The first phase of TDA, File Wrapper Access, was implemented with the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2005 to allow US examiners to view EPO application document images for published applications using the examiner’s eDAN examination tool. In 2006, USPTO added File Wrapper Access with the JPO and examiners of both offices will be able to access the selected application documents in the file wrappers of the other office. In an effort to further expand accessibility to foreign patent applications, USPTO and KIPO plan to implement bi-directional access of TDA:FWA in 2008. USPTO is also supporting Mexico’s investigation into accessing US applications via TDA:FWA.

IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

File building

The file of classification symbols is maintained by OPC on a daily basis. Every week new patent grants are published on Tuesday, and new Pre Grant Publications are published on Thursday. By the end of 2007 the classification file contained approximately 7,913,345 OR classifications, of which 182,925 were added in 2007, and approximately 18,476,380 XR classifications for patent grants, of which 495,438 were added in 2007. The file of maintaining classification of Pre Grant publication classifications contained approximately 1,644,980 Primary classifications, of which 300,162 were added in 2007, and approximately 1,877,773 Secondary classifications, of which 286,434 were added in 2007.

OCR File

The USPTO has used OCR software to convert images of approximately 166,000 US patents issued between 1970 and 1976 missing from the current text file. It has also converted the US Patent backfile from 1970 to 1790, which is approximately 3.9 million additional documents. Work has been completed to load the converted text into the USPTO search engine, BRS/Search, for access via the search clients EAST and WEST. The load of the U.S. Patent OCR database is being implemented in two segments. One segment covers the time period 1790 to 1919, while the other segment covers the time period 1920 to 1971. As of January 2002, examiner access was provided through both EAST and WEST search clients to the 1920 to 1970 data. USPTO embellished these text records by obtaining and processing an electronic source of titles and inventor names. Providing access to the segment for the time period 1790 to 1919 has not been planned.

NPL

USPTO examiners have desktop access to over 17,000 journals in electronic format as well as nearly 6,000 electronic books. Such Internet-based services as the IEEE/IEE Xplore, Proquest, ScienceDirect, and the ACM Digital Library are also widely used by examiners.

Development of a database of examiner-identified NPL continued. The database currently contains NPL on business methods, telecommunications, computer software, nanotechnology, designs, and other technology areas. The types of documents submitted by examiners include journal articles, portions of books, Internet documents, press releases, images, and standards. The database contains bibliographic and full text information.

Non-US Patents

The USPTO has undertaken a goal of providing real-time access to patent documents of international Intellectual Property Offices to the Examining Corps, Partnership Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries, and Public Search Room users. Because of the volume of global patent documents, priority has been given to providing access to PCT Minimum (PCT Article 34) patent documents first.

JPO and EPO patent full images commensurate with the text searchable files associated with the Trilateral First Page Database Project have been loaded to magnetic storage devices and made available to examiners through EAST and WEST. Additional JPO and EPO patent full images have been loaded to magnetic storage devices and made available through FPAS (Foreign Patent Access System) and the Foreign Document Retrieval capabilities of WEST.

Updating

The USPTO has used OCR software to convert images of approximately 166,000 US patents issued between 1970 and 1976 missing from the current text file. It has also converted the US Patent backfile from 1970 to 1790, which is approximately 3.9 million additional documents. Work has been completed to load the converted text into the USPTO search engine, BRS/Search, for access via the search clients EAST and WEST. The load of the U.S. Patent OCR database is being implemented in two segments. One segment covers the time period 1790 to 1919, while the other segment covers the time period 1920 to 1971. As of January 2002, examiner access was provided through both EAST and WEST search clients to the 1920 to 1970 data. USPTO embellished these text records by obtaining and processing an electronic source of titles and inventor names. Providing access to the segment for the time period 1790 to 1919 has not been planned.

The USPTO’s Data Maintenance Branch and staff perform the data loading and maintenance of both text and image data for the following domestic databases:

Patent Image Retrieval System (PIRS), Patent Images on the Web (PIW), Application Image Retrieval System (AIRS), Application Images on the Web (AIW), Bibliographic Retrieval Service (BRS) Patent Grant and Application Text Database, Publication Site for Issued and Published Sequences (PSIPS), Patent Application Location and Monitoring (PALM - Tape Creation Process), Patent Application Services and Security (PASS Grants and Application - Tape Creation Process), Electronic Filing System (EFS - Tape Creation Process), CD-Rom Reference Library System and the Trademark Image Capture and Retrieval System.

ATRPatents2007Updatingcharts - USPTO Image and Text Repository Growth Charts

Storage, including mass storage media

In FY 1997 and FY 1998, the USPTO installed 42 Terabytes (TB) of Redundant Arrays of Independent Disk (RAID) magnetic disk storage to process patent, trademark, and other business data electronically. From FY 1999 through FY 2001 additional capacity was acquired that doubled the amount of online magnetic storage available. The USPTO is continuing its partnership with EMC Corporation for server attached and Storage Area Network (SAN) storage devices. With a long-term lease agreement, the USPTO has acquired over 400 TB of raw disk capacity at the end of FY 2004. Managing this storage will require continued vendor support, and implementation of storage management tools. In FY 2004 and FY 2005 the USPTO extended the SAN to support the agency move to Carlyle and to enhance disaster recovery capabilities.

Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file

The US Patent and Trademark Office receives, by means of exchange agreements, the patent documents of most countries of the World. The European Patent Office (EPO) provides the predominant number of patent documents for the majority of countries in accordance with WIPO exchange standards (WIPO ST.33 and ST.40). The USPTO has implemented production software to load these patent documents in electronic form to magnetic storage devices. Other countries, which provide independent exchange of documents in electronic form to the USPTO in compliance with the noted WIPO exchange standards, are also loaded to magnetic storage devices. These patent documents are available on the USPTO network through examiner search tools EAST and WEST. A number of countries, which provide independent exchange to the USPTO on CD-ROMs and/or DVD-ROMs but not in compliance with the WIPO exchange standards, are available in the Scientific and Technical Information Center (STIC) at a stand-alone workstation utilizing the source countries’ software for viewing and printing the patent documents when requested. STIC staff is making increasing use of the Internet sites created and maintained by national patent offices and multinational patent organizations. Access to Internet sites created and maintained by a number of national and multinational patent organizations is also publicly accessible in the STIC Main Branch.

The USPTO has undertaken an effort to assign USPC classifications to foreign patent documents, thereby facilitating electronic retrieval of the full document facsimile images through classified search techniques. A unique preferred foreign patent document from each patent family will be identified for inclusion in the foreign patent electronic database for retrieval using USPTO search tools. The initial phase of this project added the capability to search foreign patents by USPC to the examiner search tools, and loaded over five million foreign patent USPC legacy records. Subsequent phases currently being planned involve the use of patent family information to eliminate the retrieval of duplicates when searching multiple electronic patent databases, and automated language translation capability.

The USPTO’s Facility Operations and Production Services Division (FOPSD) staff are responsible for all text and image data load processes and maintenance of both domestic and foreign patent data. FOPSD staff perform the data loading and maintenance of both text and image data for the following foreign databases: Derwent WPI Data Load, Foreign Image Data Load (EPO/JPO Full Image Data, DOCDB, ECLA, JPO FI-Data File, JPO F-Term Data File, JPO IPC Converted and Concordance File, Canadian Mimosa and Australian Mimosa).

V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems

In-house systems (online/offline)

The Examiners Automated Search Tool (EAST) provides examiner search and retrieval capabilities from the desktop using a dedicated client application. It provides a single user interface that can be used to search for prior art of any type and integrates with other activities performed by patent examiners in order to reduce the time required to examine applications. EAST provides access to full text data, full image data, and clipped image data. EAST offers full text and abstract text data search and retrieval on the following databases, using the Bibliographic Retrieval System (BRS) search engine: U.S. Patent Office (USPAT), U.S. Pre-Grant Publications (US-PGPubs), Optical Character Recognition scanned US patents (USOCR), Japanese Patent Office (JPO), European Patent Office (EPO), Derwent World Patents Index, and the IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin (IBM TDB) database.

The Web-based Examiner Search Tool (WEST) allows US patent examiners to use an Internet Explorer 6 browser on their workstations to perform patent search and retrieve in the following databases: the Derwent World Parent Index (DWPI), US Patents Full Text (USPT), US Pre-Grant Publications (PGPubs), Optical Character Recognition scanned US patents (USOCR), Japanese Patent Office Abstracts (JPAB), European Patent Office Abstracts (EPAB), IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletins (TDB), and Foreign Image Data Load (FIDL).

The Automated Biotechnology Sequence Search (ABSS) system is the database, retrieval, and search system for the electronic form (CRF) of the biosequence submissions that are required of applicants who cite DNA, RNA, or protein sequences in patent applications. The ABSS system utilizes the Smith-Waterman algorithm to search public databases including: GeneSeq (Derwent), GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ, UniProt, and PIR, and internal USPTO databases, including: Pending, Published, and Issued. A project has been initiated to replace the current flat file databases with substantially more robust Oracle relational databases at its completion, which will allow for more efficient storage and search of the sequence data. The process of eventually retiring the older servers in the ABSS network by expanding the IBM Blade server array was begun in 2007

To assist examiners determine appropriate classifications where applications may be assigned for examination OPC maintains the Automated Routing Tool (ART). ART is a numerical linguistic tool that analyzes the text of an application in question, and along with optional user input makes available to the examiner the frequency distribution of classifications from the result set from a query generated from the analysis of the text.

In October 2000, the patent database on the Web was expanded to include additional U.S. patent image data back to 1790 and other ancillary documents. The patent image data can be accessed by a class/subclass search or by patent number. In FY 2001, the USPTO began electronically publishing for Pre-Grant Publication (PGPub) patent applications. Biosequence repository data was made available in FY 2002. In FY 2003, assignment data was added to the Web site.

In November 2007, the Patent Application Image Retrieval (PAIR) system on the USPTO Web site received 3.7 million search requests – nearly quadruple the number from just one year earlier – and USPTO initiated a study of the method and types of data needed by our customers in order to ensure access and availability.

Patent Document Image Retrieval System

Examiners have access to the text and images of US, JPO, and EPO patents, Derwent abstracts, US published applications and IBM technical disclosure bulletins through a browser-based client called WEST and a coded client called EAST. WEST is designed for ease of use, and rapid deployment of new functionality. EAST has a more complex interface, designed for greater user customization, more rapid retrieval of images, and greater use of the keyboard. WEST was deployed in May 1998, and EAST was deployed in August of 1999.

EAST was upgraded several times in FY 2000 to provide rapid improvements and increased functionality in order to ease the transition of examiners from the legacy Messenger-based tools. In FY 2001, PGPub data was deployed and in FY 2003, the OCR back file was deployed. Future enhancements to EAST will provide increased access to foreign patent images. Continuing system performance upgrades and integration with other examiner-automated systems are also planned for future releases of EAST.

In June 2000, WEST 2.0 was deployed; offering foreign patent searching by USPC, patent classification searching in Manual of Classification order, customizable display formats and a host of other enhancements. In 2002-2003 WEST was enhanced to include the OCR back file to support to browsers other than Netscape, and to provide automated classification search query building from the Manual and Index of U.S. patent classifications. Future planned enhancements include performance upgrades and integration with other examiner automation tools.

In October 2000, the patent database on the Web was expanded to include additional U.S. patent image data back to 1790 and other ancillary documents. The patent image data can be accessed by a class/subclass search or by patent number. In FY 2001, the Internet began electronically publishing for Pre-Grant Publication (PGPub) patent applications. Biosequence repository data was made available in FY 2002. In FY 2003, assignment data was added to the website. Beginning in FY 2004 and completing in FY 2008, perfection of backfile data will be accomplished and placed on the web.

Approximately 80% of the examiners use EAST as their primary search tool, with the remainder using WEST. EAST users also use WEST for retrieving foreign patent images. A future enhancement to EAST will provide this capability in EAST itself.

Telecommuting Program (PHP or Hoteling)

PHP is a flexible telecommuting program that allows eligible USPTO employees to perform their official duties at an alternative work site, predominately at home. The Patents organization launched a telecommuting pilot in FY2005 as a precursor to initiating PHP in January 2006. By December 2007, the USPTO had more than 1000 active PHP patent examiner employee participants. An additional 500 patent examiner employees are planned to be added each year through 2011 bringing the total number of PHP examiner participants to over 3000.

As a result of the popularity in the Patent examiners’ telecommuting program (referred to as the Hoteling program), the USPTO recently expanded the examiner’s Hoteling program by launching a pilot hoteling program to the positions of the technical support staff. That pilot was initiated in September 2006 and continued for two years. It was recently converted to a program that will include not only the technical support staff but also paralegals and petitions staff positions.

Major PHP elements include remote online access to all relevant USPTO patent business systems, collaborative communication technologies, and a hoteling component to reserve office space on the USPTO campus.

PHP incorporates a hoteling component whereby teleworking participants reserve time in an office suite physically located at the USPTO headquarters one day per week. This year the USPTO reduced the hoteling component office suite availability from the initial one suite per three telecommuters (1:3) ratio, to one suite per five telecommuters (1:5 ratio), to one suite per ten telecommuters (1:10) ratio of office space allocated to the hotelers. This significant reduction in hoteling space realized a savings of office space lease cost avoidance. The suites are outfitted with computers, printers, phones, and administrative resources for hoteling participants’ use during their on-campus time. PHP participants can reserve suites via an automated desk reservation system remotely accessible through the USPTO Intranet site.

Over the course of this program, the USPTO has responded to telecommuting program inquires from the following external groups:

• Federal Reserve
• Government Services Administration (GSA)
• Canadian Patent Office (CIPO)
• Department of Transportation
• Department Of Interior - Fish & Wildlife
• Library of Congress
• Internal Revenue Service
• Department of Justice
• Department of Treasury - Treasury Inspector General Tax Administration (TIGDA)
• Loudoun County Government
• Congressional Aides
• United States Senate Staff
• National Institutes of Health
• European Patent Office (EPO)
• Japanese Delegates for the Center for Advanced Study and Research in Intellectual Property (CASRIP)

External databases

USPTO patent examiners and trademark attorneys have access to over 1,000 commercially available databases including those provided by STN, Questel/Orbit, and Dialog

The content of the Derwent World Patent Index file has been brought in-house and is available via WEST and EAST. STIC searchers and patent examiners in the biotechnology field also have access to several public and commercial biosequence databases, including: EMBL, GenBank, Genseq, Swiss-Prot, PIR, and SPTREMBL, as well as the in-house Pending, Published, and Issued databases.

USPTO examiners have desktop access to over 17,000 journals in electronic format as well as nearly 6,000 electronic books. Such Internet-based services as the IEEE/IEE Xplore, Proquest, ScienceDirect, and the ACM Digital Library are also widely used by examiners.

Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics and administrative support)

Patents Location and Monitoring System (PALM) Migration

PALM continues to constitute the backbone for management information throughout the USPTO. PALM additionally tracks examiner and other employee production, case history and bibliographic data. Via PALM reports and ad-hoc reports, PALM data is used to manage and track the USPTO’s pending applications. Throughout 2007, the main emphasis was on making changes to provide services to other projects such as PFW, PAIR and the e-Office Action Pilot.

PALM on PTOnet

All managers, Patent examiners and support staff have been provided access to the current PALM System on their desktop PC via barcode readers and a web browser interface. Efforts at making more PALM interfaces web-browser-based have improved efficiency and increased case tracking accuracy.

Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), carriers used

PTOnet has an architecture consisting of a campus-wide Gigabit Ethernet switched backbone with closet switches providing switched Ethernet connection to individual workstations. Currently, PTOnet users have dedicated 100 Mbps switched Ethernet connections.

PTOnet

Since desktop applications require increasingly more network bandwidth (through the backbone server attachments), in 2002 PTOnet was upgraded to keep ahead of the requirements. Prior to the most recent network upgrade, PTOnet users had access to a 10 Mbps Ethernet segment. Currently, PTOnet users have dedicated 100 Mbps connections; industry analysis indicates this will be more than sufficient for any forecast client application.

PTOnet provides examiners and other staff with access to the Internet through dual-redundant firewalls. Access zones implemented via firewalls and proxy servers have been implemented to provide a limited amount of controlled access to PTOnet resources for external users. Additional external access capabilities are being developed through the implementation of a variety of access control mechanisms including digital certificate-based authentication supported by a full Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

Access to external databases

External databases are primarily accessed using software such as STN Express or DialogLink loaded on PTONet. Examiners also use secure communications and servers to search these services via the Internet. VPNs with STN and Dialog allow for fast, secure searching. Examiners establish connections to the external databases through sessions that are set up after logging into the PTO firewall. The USPTO’s Internet access line bandwidth has been upgraded to two full T-3 connections and two full OC-3 connections (a total of 390 Mbps).

Existing online thesauri; their structure, presentation and usefulness for computerized searches

Both of the Search Systems, EAST and WEST, have the Assignee Thesaurus and a general technical thesaurus from the US Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC).

VI. Administration of the industrial property office library, and information products and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, for assisting clients on searching procedures, for obtaining official publications and registry extracts)

Planning, administration, automation, security, buildings

Planning and Administration

The Scientific and Technical Information Center (STIC) is organizationally part of the USPTO Search and Information Resources Administration. Although providing a number of services to the public, the primary mission of the STIC is to serve the examining and professional staff of the USPTO. STIC is composed of four divisions – the Centralized Services Division, the Electronic Information Center Division, the Digital Resources Division, and the Search and Automation Support Division.

The Digital Resources Division manages access to commercial databases and also manages the STIC NPL intranet pages. The Information Access and Management Division, which provides acquisition, cataloging, and NPL web page management is part of this division.

The Centralized Services Division is responsible for assisting examiners and the general public in the use of the USPTO extensive collection of foreign patents as well as the scientific literature collections of the information center’s main branch. The Lutrelle F. Parker, Sr. Memorial Law Library provides access to legal information for examiners, USPTO staff, and the general public. The division also provides copies of foreign patent documents to the public for a fee. The staff maintains the USPTO collection of print and microform foreign patent documents. The Centralized Services Division is also composed of the Reference Delivery branch, which provides articles, books, and documents to examiners on request. The Translations Branch, which provides examiners with both oral and written English-language translations of foreign patent documents and technical articles, is also part of the Division.

The mission of the Search and Automation Support Division is to enhance patent examiner use of automation tools by providing training and one-on-one support. The training is focused on in-house and commercial tools that support patent search and examination.

Automation

STIC utilizes an automated library system accessible to examiners at the desktop. The catalog includes the post-1977 non-patent literature collection and the most active portion of the pre-1977 collection. The catalog allows searchers to hyperlink to electronic journals and books in the STIC collections.

STIC develops and maintains intranet pages providing access to Internet NPL tools and STIC services by art area. A Web page for each technology center presents links to databases, electronic books and journals, reference tools, and Web resources useful to examiners covering those arts. Specialized pages have also been developed in emerging areas of patent interest including business methods, traditional knowledge, and nanotechnology.

Security, Buildings

The main STIC print and microformat collection is housed in commercially owned buildings along with other USPTO offices. All STIC facilities are accessible to USPTO employees 24 hours a day via a ID card reader system, as are STIC-provided electronic tools and resources. Two STIC libraries are open to the general public during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. STIC takes various security measures to ensure the integrity of the STIC collection, including issuing USPTO security passes to all STIC employees and utilization of a book detection system.

Collecting, acquisitions, preparation

STIC has the mission of identifying, acquiring and maintaining non-patent literature (NPL) in electronic and print formats, devoting special emphasis to literature for new and emerging technologies. The NPL resources acquired focus on the applied science and technology fields, with special emphasis on creating special collections or systems for rapidly developing technologies, e.g. computer software, business methods, nanotechnology, and biotechnology. Staff also identify, evaluate and monitor expenditures for online commercial databases. In addition, STIC manages a support contract for the USPTO, which covers library services, facilities management, and information management functions.

The Centralized Services Division processes and distributes all foreign patent documents and journals received at the USPTO. The majority of foreign documents are now received in CD-ROM format.

Collection management, preservation

The majority of the collections is in electronic form. Those portions of the collection maintained in Main STIC and the Lutrelle F. Parker Sr. Memorial Law Library are open to the public. In accordance with the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), STIC meets minimum documentation requirements for foreign patent documents and non-patent literature and makes these documents available to the public.

Interlibrary lending, resource sharing, networks of patent libraries in the country

Interlibrary Loans

The STIC Reference Delivery Branch was established to expeditiously provide the Examining Corps with non-patent literature references. After an examiner requests a non-patent literature reference, the Branch locates the reference and requests document delivery from a vendor/supplier. This work is increasingly accomplished electronically via fax, Internet, Ariel, CARL/Uncover, and other services. The staff uses OCLC (a national on-line shared cataloging and interlibrary loan system) and an in-house CUADRA Star database as location tools and Dialog and STN for citation verification.

Reference and Copy Services

STIC provides reference assistance to examiners in the main facility, the Electronic Information Centers, Main STIC Library, and the Parker Law Library during regular business hours. Reference service for examiners includes assistance with technical and reference materials, commercial online databases searches, document delivery, and sequence searches on the STIC internal automated biotechnology search system. With appropriate USPTO user passes, the public may gain access to the main facility and the Parker Law Library and use the collections (on-site), public copiers, and microfilm readers.

The STIC foreign patent staff provides assistance with the foreign patent collection to USPTO staff and to the public. Computer searches on commercially available databases such as Questel/Orbit and INPADOC are provided for USPTO staff only. As part of the public services available, the foreign patent staff will help the public locate foreign patent information by providing advice regarding searching, databases, and collections. Public users can make their own copies of foreign documents, or remotely, can request copies of foreign patents from the extensive STIC collections. The copy services are available both directly from the USPTO and as a component of the special service mix at Patent Depository Regional Libraries.

Resource Sharing

STIC, a participant of the OCLC shared cataloging and interlibrary loan system, is a non-supplier for interlibrary loans. STIC is also participating with research networks via the Internet to complement the existing shared cataloging and interlibrary loan system.

Network of Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries (PTDLs)

The USPTO Patent and Trademark Depository Library Program (PTDLP) consists of 85 academic, public, state and special libraries, referred to as PTDLs, located in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. A list of PTDLs may be viewed at the USPTO Web site.

The 30th Annual PTDL Training Seminar held in Alexandria, Virginia from March 18-23, 2007 hosted 90 registrants representing 70 PTDLs and several national offices.

The PTDL Program was involved in a number of outreach activities during CY 2007. PTDLP sponsored and staffed exhibit booths at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Washington, DC, the American Association of Law Libraries in New Orleans, LA and the Special Libraries Association Annual Conference in Denver, CO. Public seminars and staff training were also conducted at a number of PTDLs throughout the year. Numerous briefings on the PTDL Program were also provided to international visitors attending the new USPTO Global IP Academy and to various USPTO Technology Centers.

Information on the Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL) Program is available from the PTDLP Web site located at: www.uspto.gov/go/ptdl. The Web site includes information about the Program’s mission, history, background, services, and core collections, as well as links to the Program’s publications, materials, and reference tools. Each of the 85 PTDLs is linked to the USPTO Web site PTDL List.

Automated Information in Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries

Web-based online searching for the patent text and image database via Pub West is available at all 85 PTDLs. All PTDLs also provide public access to the USPTO Web site.

The USPTO continues to provide optical disc products to PTDLs for direct public use. This includes all Cassis and USA optical disc products; Patents BIB, Patents CLASS, Patents ASSIST, Patents & Trademarks ASSIGN, Trademarks BIB, USAPat, USAApp, USAMark and the Patents (eOG:P).

Information services available to the public (including computerized services and search files contained in libraries remote from your Office and patent information posted by your Office on the World Wide Web)

Automated Patent Information in Public Search Facilities

The USPTO Public Search Facility (PSF) provides public users with access to over 20 software applications that provide full-text search and/or document retrieval capability. The primary information delivery channel in the PSF is the Universal Public Workstation (UPWS). The UPWS is a secured access computer providing a single platform and consistent interface to all databases. There are over 230 UPWS workstations available to the public and online system use during FY 2007 totaled over 198,000 hours.

Public versions of the patent examiner search systems EAST and WEST, and document image print WALK-UP are the heaviest used applications provided on UPWS. Other patent applications on UPWS include the USPTO Web site, Assignment Historical Database (AHD) and Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR). Both EAST and WEST retrieve all U.S. patent images and word search the text contained in U.S. patents granted since 1971. The Optical Character Recognition application allows searching of U.S. patents both text and images back to 1920. EAST and WEST also provide text searching of English language patent abstracts from the European Patent Office (EPO) and Japan Patent Office (JPO), and a set of foreign patent images formerly available only on CD-ROM. Public users search Re-exam file information by logging onto the PAIR application.

UPWS provides access to World Patents Index (WPI), a proprietary database that is also available to USPTO patent examiners. This search tool is accessed through EAST. UPWS users also access new text search indexes to retrieve U.S. patent grants and U.S. published patent applications associated with International Patent Classification (IPC) data in accordance with IPC reform.

The Public Search Facility is one of the USPTO wireless hot spots whereby facility customers may use their personal computers or communication devices in the facility to access Internet resources. This capability allows users to supplement or expand their intellectual property researching activities as they search/retrieve information using the Universal Public Workstation.

Training courses on EAST and WEST are offered monthly and on an as needed basis. Special one-page guides and Helpful Hints are available in the on-line search areas. Individual assistance is always available from staff.

Public users have opportunities throughout the year to participate in Beta testing of updated versions of software applications. Public users provide comments on how to improve access to patent information by making changes to software applications.

Data Products Provided to the Public

The USPTO Electronic Information Products Division (EIPD) continues to provide patent information products and services to the public in a variety of formats. The Products and Services Catalog on the USPTO Web site describes USPTO products and services, and contains details on how to obtain them.

The following DVD-ROM products are available for purchase by the public:

Patents BIB: Selected Bibliographic Information from US Patent Grant Publications and Patent Application Publications Issued 1969 to Present

This Cassis DVD-ROM is a two-disc set, (1) Patents BIB Grants contains bibliographic information for utility patent grants issued from 1969 to the present and for other types of patent documents issued from 1977 to the present; (2) Patents BIB Apps contains bibliographic information for patent application publications beginning March 15, 2001 to the present. There are more than 15 searchable fields including title, abstracts from September 1988 to present, current classifications, assignee at time of issue, date of issue, serial number, inventors’ names and full addresses (if not assigned at time of issue), and status (i.e., withdrawn, corrected, expired for failure to pay maintenance fees, reinstated, reexamined or term extended). Patents BIB provides images locations on USAPat discs for patents issued 1969 to date and USAApp discs for patent applications published March 15, 2001 to date. Depending on the user’s equipment, the two-set disc can be searched simultaneously. This DVD-ROM product is updated every two months.

Patents CLASS: Current Classifications of US Patents Issued 1790 to Present

This Cassis DVD-ROM contains current classification information for all utility, design, plant, reissue and X-numbered patents, as well as defensive publications and statutory invention registrations issued from 1790 to the present (over 6 million documents). Indexing of classification information has been optimized for rapid retrieval. This DVD-ROM product is updated every two months.

Patents and Trademarks ASSIGN: US Patents and Trademarks Assignments Recorded at the USPTO 1980 August to Present

This Cassis DVD-ROM includes data derived from assignment deeds for issued patents and registered trademarks, which were recorded at the Patent and Trademark Office after August 1980 for patents, and since 1955 for trademarks. The disc includes assignments recorded before and after the patent issued. This DVD-ROM product is updated every two months. (Note: In 2008, this product was discontinued and replaced by two separately titled products, Patents ASSIGN and Trademarks ASSIGN.)

Patents ASSIST: Full Text of Patent Search Tools

This Cassis DVD-ROM is a compilation of many patent search tools including the following: Manual of Classification, Index to the US Patent Classification, Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, IPC - USPC Concordance, and Attorneys and Agents Registered to Practice Before the US Patent and Trademark Office. In addition, Classification Definitions, a Patentee-Assignee Index, and a Classification Orders Index are included. The Patentee-Assignee Index shows ownership at time of issue for utility patents 1969 to present; for other patent types 1977 to present; and inventor names 1975 to present. The Classification Orders Index is a list of classifications abolished and established since 1976 with corresponding Classification Order number and effective date. This DVD- ROM product is updated every three months.

Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP)

This Manual is published to provide US Patent and Trademark Office patent examiners, applicants, attorneys, agents, and representatives of applicants with a reference work on the practices and procedures relative to the prosecution of patent applications before the Patent and Trademark Office. The MPEP is available in electronic form as an ASCII text file downloadable (no charge) from the USPTO Web site on the Internet at http://www.uspto.gov/, and as a searchable text file on the Patents ASSIST DVD-ROM product, which includes many other useful files. Each revision is fully incorporated into the base edition and republished as a whole.

USAPat: Facsimile Images of United States Patents

This Cassis DVD-ROM product contains facsimile images of US patents from 1790 to present. An image is an actual page of the patent, including all drawings, and looks just like the original printed document. The purpose of USAPat is to serve as a document delivery system, not as a search system. Retrieval is by document number only from a cumulative index. Excellent printed copies of actual documents can be obtained directly from a laser printer. Delivery of weekly discs is usually within 15 days from issue date.

USAApp: Facsimile Images of United States Patent Application Publications

USAApp contains facsimile images of the U.S. patent application publications filed on or after November 29, 2000 and published weekly beginning March 15, 2001. A law effective November 29, 1999, requires publication of patent applications approximately 18 months after the effective filing date. All utility and plant patent applications will be published unless the application is not filed in another country and the applicant expressly requests that the application not be published, or the patent has been granted. Design patent applications will not be published. An "image" looks like an actual page of the application, including all drawings. USAApp is a document delivery system, not a search system. Retrieval is by document number only from a cumulative index. Excellent printed copies can be obtained directly from a laser printer.

Trademarks BIB: Bibliographic Information from Abandoned, Canceled, Expired, Pending, and Registered US TradeMarks

This Cassis DVD-ROM contains the text of all abandoned, canceled, expired, pending, and registered trademarks from 1884 to present with 30 searchable fields. This DVD-ROM product is updated every two months. Trademarks BIB also refers to trademark image locations on USAMark, described below.

USAMark: Facsimile Images of United States Trademark Registrations

This Cassis CD-ROM contains facsimile images of U.S. trademark registration certificates issued from 1870 to the present. An image is an actual page of the trademark, including renewals and modifications, and looks just like the original printed document. USAMark is a document delivery system, not a search system. Retrieval is by document number only from a cumulative index that covers all issued discs. Excellent printed copies of actual documents can be obtained directly from a laser printer. USAMark is published monthly.

Electronic Official Gazette of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office – Patents (eOG:P)

The eOG:P began publication in July 2002 on both the USPTO Web site (free) and on CD-ROM (subscription). In September 2002, the eOG:P replaced the paper Official Gazette that had been published since 1872. The eOG:P contains the OG record, including an exemplary claim and a representative image (if applicable). Indexes by type of patent (e.g., utility, design), patentee name (both inventor and assignee), geographical location of the first listed inventor (U.S. state or country), and classification are provided. The eOG:P is available each Tuesday. A rolling calendar year’s worth of eOG:P are kept on the USPTO Web site.

The USPTO maintains World Wide Web (WWW) and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) sites on the Internet, which permit the public free access to selected information related to patents and trademarks through interactive search requests or downloadable data files.

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of patent documentation and information

International or regional cooperation in the exchange of machine-readable information, e.g., bibliographic data, abstract and/or full text information

Patent document exchanges are maintained with substantially all patent-issuing intellectual property offices. US patents images and information are provided to 102 intellectual property offices on optical disc products (mostly in DVD-ROM format - see descriptions of the products above). Copies of US plant patents are provided in paper form to 20 intellectual property offices.

The USPTO has been involved in a variety of discussions concerning the exchange of patent documentation and information. Principally, these efforts have taken place in the context of the Trilateral Partnership consisting of the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the USPTO. The Trilateral Partners continue to work with WIPO on a number of patent-related matters, e.g., developing and updating standards related to storage of patent data on electronic media, etc.

Trilateral Document Access: File Wrapper Access

In June 2006, Trilateral Document Access: File Wrapper Access (TDA:FWA) was established between USPTO and JPO. TDA:FWA facilitates access by patent examiners to the content of particular patent applications stored in participating foreign IP offices’ application file wrapper systems. In particular, TDA:FWA allows a US examiner to review office actions and search results developed by an examiner in another IP office who worked on an application corresponding to a US application. The USPTO implemented a first phase of File Wrapper Access in March 2005 with the European Patent Office (EPO) to allow US examiners to view EPO application document images for published applications using the examiner’s eDAN examination tool. Similar access to US files was granted to EPO examiners. The connection with the JPO operates in a similar fashion. The JPO makes robust use of FWA linkage to US applications with over 6,000 sessions per month. US examiners use FWA several thousand times per month to gain access to EPO or JPO applications. Both USPTO and KIPO anticipate high usage of TDA:FWA among examiners and plan to implement this service in 2008.

Trilateral Document Access: Priority Document Exchange

Throughout 2006, the USPTO and EPO worked to establish direct electronic office-to-office exchange of priority documents using Trilateral Document Access: Priority Document Exchange (TDA:PDX) culminating with deployment in January 2007. This system allows an Office of Second Filing to request delivery of a certified copy of an application to which priority has been claimed from the Office of First Filing.. The images of the priority documents retrieved from the EPO are loaded directly into IFW eliminating the need to handle any paper. These documents typically are not yet published but the system operates over TRINET thereby ensuring a secure connection. Further, the system is constructed in compliance with the latest version of the TDA Specification, which provides for the exchange of numerous error, fault and status messages that allow both the sender and the receiver to monitor the success of the transmission. TDA:PDX is proving popular with applicants who are exempted from any charge for the service.

A similar exchange was implemented in 2007 between USPTO and JPO and implementation between USPTO and KIPO is planned for 2008.

Bibliographic Data Delivery to IB

In late fall 2006, the US receiving Office (RO/US) began delivering the bibliographic data for international applications to the International Bureau (IB) in machine readable form. In particular, information authored by the applicants using PCT EASY or transcribed by typists within the USPTO (for those applications not accompanied by PCT EASY data) is now delivered electronically upon completion of record copy examination. The system relies on an EDI connection between the USPTO and IB with the data structured in accordance with the minimal specification requirements of Annex F. In 2007, the USPTO began sending image data to the IB, in particular record copies and certified copies of US applications (priority documents) to which priority is claimed in an international application filed in the RO/US.

Medium used for exchange of priority documents

In 2003 USPTO began providing certified copies of priority documents on CD-R media accompanied by a paper certification sheet when the size of the document exceeds 400 paper pages. Patent applicants now have the ability to order either certified or uncertified unpublished patent applications, if they are entitled, via Private PAIR (Patent Application Information Retrieval) on the web.

In 2007, the USPTO implemented electronic priority document exchange (TDA:PDX) with the EPO and JPO. Using the secure TriNet network connection, the images of applications-as-filed are delivered from one office to the other and directly loaded into the office’s image database. This service will be implemented between USPTO and KIPO in 2008. USPTO is exploring the potential for use of this service with patent offices in Mexico and China.

Medium allowed for filing applications

Electronic Filing System Web (EFS-Web)

In October 2006, EFS-Web began accepting International Applications (PCTs) at the US Receiving Office, which allowed for the inclusion of PCT-SAFE (in PCT-EASY format) ZIP files. During FY07, EFS-Web had three releases, which included new fillable forms, enhanced user interface, dynamic message to inform applicants of important news, and document descriptions viewed are specific to the filing type chosen from the initial EFS-Web screen.

Prior to the launch of EFS-Web, electronically filed utility applications remained below 2% of all utility applications filed. In FY 2006, the electronic filing goal for EFS-Web was to receive 10% of the patent applications electronically. EFS-Web exceeded that goal and received 14% of the patent applications electronically. In FY 2007, EFS-Web again met the presidential goal set at 40% by receiving 49.3% of patent applications electronically.

Patent Application Information Retrievel (PAIR)

The Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system was deployed in 1998, then was upgraded in 2000 when the USPTO database was ported to Oracle. PAIR displays a subset of data maintained in the internal Patent Application Location and Monitoring (PALM) system to Internet users via the USPTO web site. The PAIR site is securely isolated from the internal database and other internal systems. There are two versions of PAIR, Public and Private. Private PAIR displays status information for all USPTO applications whether they are pending, published or abandoned. Private PAIR uses the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to provide strong authentication and browser-independent session encryption when displaying pending patent application data.

Public PAIR displays status information for published applications and issued patents. Public PAIR only had two maintenance releases during 2005, 2.2 in April and 2.4 in May. These releases fixed known problems related to the listing of documents from the Information File Wrapper (IFW) database, the listing of customer correspondence addresses, display of parent continuity data, registered practitioner’s listings, and the display of USPTO publications.

The Private PAIR e-Office Action Pilot Program continues in 2007. The pilot currently sends out electronic notifications for 10% of the total outgoing correspondence from Patents. The pilot has had a couple of releases to implement valuable enhancements suggested by the pilot participants. To further test the new enhancements, the program will remain in the pilot mode until late 2008. In 2007, Private PAIR also implemented the XML download of application data by Customer Number. This new features has allowed Private PAIR users to efficiently download their application data and feed it directly into their docketing systems.



VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries (please indicate URLs of web pages of the Office’s website wherever appropriate)

Training courses for national and foreign participants, use of audiovisual means

The USPTO Office of Patent Training provided an eight-month Academy Training Program to Foreign Examiners-in-Residence (FEIR) from May 2007 through January 2008. This program paralleled training given to new US examiners. Fifteen government officials from six countries attended the program, which covered patents rules, laws, automation and procedural training and practical application. A field of expert lecturers from the USPTO and IP community gave presentations and led discussions. The foreign examiners were attended most lectures along with the US examiners. In addition, courses in state-of-the-art technology and USPTO automation software systems used to assist in the examination process where offered. The program is part of the USPTO’s ongoing commitment to share and educate our foreign counterparts of USPTO business operations.

Assistance to developing countries (sending consultants and experts, receiving trainees from developing countries, etc.)

The USPTO offers various programs to provide technical assistance to developing countries and to countries moving to a market economy. Programs focus on establishing adequate systems in these countries for the protection of intellectual property rights. They also provide intellectual protection enforcement training. The goal of the various programs is to provide advice and expertise to these countries with the desired outcome being the reduction of losses resulting from piracy of U.S. Intellectual Property.

A Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA) was created allowing the USPTO to increase its training and capacity building initiatives on intellectual property protection and enforcement. Through GIPA, the USPTO brings foreign government officials - including judges, prosecutors, police, customs officials, patent, trademark, and copyright officials and policy makers - to the United States to learn, discuss, and strategize about global IPR protection and enforcement. The USPTO completed final construction of the GIPA facility this year, a 20,000 square foot state of the art facility equipped to efficiently deliver targeted programs and training for foreign IP and law enforcement officials. With the establishment of this Academy, the USPTO also implemented a Foreign Examiners –in Residence training program, the first of its kind in international cooperation and training at the USPTO. Selected examiners from the patent offices in China, India, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, and the Philippines participated in this 8-month program. Overall, the USPTO conducted 77 GIPA programs in FY 2007, a 63 percent increase over programs offered the previous year. Fifty-eight percent of the FY 2007 GIPA programs focused specifically on IPR enforcement related topics, with a goal toward improving IPR enforcement regimes worldwide.

The USPTO partnered with numerous international and non-governmental organizations in designing and delivering technical assistance programs, including the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Secretariat for Central American Integration (SIECA), Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and carried out a range of capacity-building programs under the auspices of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).

In fiscal year 2007, the USPTO conducted several programs for intellectual property enforcement officials in the Latin America region. In partnership with the Secretariat for Economic Integration of Central American (SIECA), the USPTO conducted an intensive three day seminar for judges. The program covered an array of topics, including: the importance of intellectual property protection to a country’s economic growth, substantive copyright, trademark and patent laws in Latin America, case management, provisional measures, remedies and calculation of damages, criminal prosecution, evidentiary issues in criminal cases, and criminal remedies and deterrent sentencing. Judges from the DR-CAFTA region, Mexico, and Panama participated in the seminar.

The USPTO and SIECA also organized a road show on intellectual property enforcement for judges and prosecutors in February and April of 2007 for all DR-CAFTA members. In an effort to reach out to a larger audience of judges and prosecutors, the USPTO and SIECA, together with the Procuraduria General de la Nacion de la Republica Dominicana and the Judicial Schools in Guatemala and Costa Rica, conducted programs in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Costa Rica. These programs provided an in-depth analysis of intellectual property issues over a three day period. The first day addressed international obligations of intellectual property protection and enforcement under various international treatises, the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Agreement and the DR-CAFTA; the second day addressed copyrights and related rights issues as well as digital rights management and technological protection measures; and the third day addressed civil and criminal enforcement of trademarks. The participants also visited a federal court house in Miami and had the opportunity to interact on a one on one basis with a judge from the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida.

The USPTO and SIECA also held an intellectual property program for all enforcement officials responsible for intellectual property rights enforcement in the Latin America region. Participants included police officers, customs officers, prosecutors, and judges from both Central and South America. The program consisted of a series of lectures ranging from border enforcement to criminal enforcement, both at the federal and local levels. Most recently, the USPTO held a roundtable on border enforcement of intellectual property rights from September 17-21, 2007 in Miami and New York. The program was attended by a managerial and operational customs officer from each of the DR-CAFTA countries. The participants visited U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities in Miami and New York and had an entire day of product identification training from copyright and trademark holders.

In South America, the USTPO, together with the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay and the European Commission held a 2 day roundtable on border enforcement of intellectual property rights for Paraguayan and Brazilian customs officials.

Technical assistance programs were offered in Africa, which included: in cooperation with the International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI), the USPTO completed a three day IPR program in Gaborone, Botswana. This program focused on helping Botswana (via its relevant private and public sector stakeholders) organize and create its own "Copyright Society" -- essentially a royalty collection society -- that, once up and running, will work to ensure that artists are appropriately compensated when their copyrighted works are used, displayed, or performed.

In cooperation with the IIPI, the USPTO held a program in Windhoek, Namibia. This conference addressed the intellectual property laws and issues that confront artists and small business owners (particularly in the handicraft market) who would like to produce and sell their traditional goods both locally and internationally. The diverse audience participated actively in the discussions that ensued after several of the presentations and the interactive format provided a preliminary platform for further discussions amongst them regarding the current status of IP laws and practices in Namibia and how to best utilize them for local economic growth.

Through partnership with MEPI, programs were provided that focused on a variety of enforcement issues including an Enforcement Workshop held in Doha, Qatar, for Qatari IP and enforcement officials, and a Regional Workshop on IPR in Broadcasting and Effective Practices in Regulation and Anti-Piracy Enforcement held in Manama, Bahrain.

The U.S. embassy in Egypt, in conjunction with the USPTO, co-sponsored three seminars on "Intellectual Property in the Global Marketplace" in Cairo and Alexandria in February of 2007. Enforcement delivered a presentation entitled "Intellectual Property: Risks, Opportunities and the Importance of Intellectual Property Enforcement" at each of the three programs. The presentation focused on the strong corollaries between a healthy economy and strong IPR protection, the economic harms that result from rampant IPR theft, the public health/safety risks associated with counterfeit products, the use of IPR as a tool of economic empowerment, and development and substantive issues of IPR criminal, civil and border enforcement law. In June of 2007, the USPTO also conducted a GIPA program for 20 judges from Morocco, covering trademark and border enforcement issues. This was a follow-up to a similarly focused program in three different cities in Morocco in May of 2007.

In Asia, the USPTO conducted intellectual property protection and enforcement programs that included: USPTO-APEC Plus Workshop on IPR Border Enforcement held in Los Angeles, California, with participants from APEC economies, USFTA partners, Pacific Island Forum, and ASEAN; ASEAN-USPTO Workshop on IPR in Broadcasting and Effective Practices in Anti-Piracy Enforcement held in Bangkok, Thailand, for ASEAN officials; participated as speaker in the Vietnam IP Enforcement Conference held in Hanoi, Vietnam, for Vietnamese officials; ASEAN-ECAP II-USPTO Seminar on IP Digital Enforcement and Piracy Issues, held in Densapar, Indonesia for ASEAN and Indonesian officials; USPTO Program for Thai IP Court Judges, held in Bangkok, Thailand; US-Malaysia FTA IPR Public Forum Program, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for Malaysian officials and public; USPTO-STAR Vietnam Program on IP Enforcement, held in Hanoi, Vietnam for Vietnamese judges and public prosecutors; APEC-USPTO Seminar on IP Capacity-Building for SMEs held in Bangkok, Thailand, for APEC economy officials; participated as a speaker at an APEC Seminar on IP Guidelines, held in Hanoi, Vietnam, for APEC economy officials and public; ASEAN-USPTO Workshop for Judges and Public Prosecutors on IPR Enforcement, held in Bangkok, Thailand for ASEAN officials; ASEAN-USPTO Workshop on IP Enforcement and Combating Trade in Counterfeit Hard Goods, held in Bangkok, Thailand, for ASEAN officials; ASEAN-USPTO Workshop on IP Capacity-Building for SMEs held in Bangkok, Thailand, for ASEAN officials; APEC-PNG-USPTO Regional Seminar on IPR Enforcement held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, for APEC and PNG officials; and a USPTO-Pacific Island Forum Workshop on IP Enforcement Issues, held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, for Pacific Island Forum member country officials.

The USPTO continued to offer technical assistance in China, with a focus on providing the provinces with capacity-building programs relating to civil, criminal, and border enforcement. In addition to enforcement programs, the USPTO hosted various seminars on substantive intellectual property issues.

Other programs in China conducted during fiscal year 2007 included: Industry focused forums on IP Protection and Enforcement in the automotive sector and for the pharmaceutical drugs industry in Shanghai, telecommunications in Shenzhen, and apparel, and sporting goods in Guangzhou. Discussions were initiated with the Guangdong IP Office to present a second Pearl River Delta Seminar on Innovation and Intellectual Property Enforcement in southern China. The Office also assisted with a national Chinese Customs training program funded by the Trade Development Assistance Agency held in three separate two-week programs in Shanghai.

The USPTO also participated in the following programs: the Ambassador’s Roundtable Meeting and training in Beijing and Shanghai; U.S. Chamber IP Enforcement seminars in Guangzhou and Nanjing; meeting/training with local Chinese officials on IP Enforcement in Yiwu; a program with Temple University and Qinghua University on IP Enforcement for Chinese prosecutors in China, Beijing; American Chamber of Commerce Programs on IP Enforcement in Shanghai and Guangzhou; Consumer Electronics Association Trade Show in Qingdao; Department of Commerce Program on IP and Standards in Shenzhen; and a Trade Fair Enforcement and a Customs Training program, Guangzhou

The USPTO planned and carried out border enforcement workshops in Kaliningrad and Khabarovsk, Russia in March and May of 2007, respectively. The workshops focused on risk analysis, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations and experiences, Russian legislation, and right holder experiences. Within two weeks of the Kaliningrad workshop, customs officers reported seizing a fairly large shipment of counterfeit Levi’s wearing apparel and credited their attendance at the workshop as providing the necessary tools to interdict and seize the shipment.

In June of 2007, the USPTO planned and carried out a judicial conference in Kiev, Ukraine. The workshop focused on the role of IPR in emerging economies, interaction of law enforcement agencies, investigative techniques, evidence collection and maintenance, case processing, and sentencing guidelines. In addition to providing a foundation for the judges in attendance, it also provided them with an opportunity to discuss issues with other branches of government.

As part of a USTR-led delegation, the OIPPE’s Enforcement Group participated in several US-Russia IPR Working Group meetings in Moscow and Washington. With the formulation and eventual passage of Part IV of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, numerous enforcement issues arose, which required detailed review and analysis regarding compliance with the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS Agreement) and other international treaties and agreements.

Several enforcement programs were conducted in the Washington D.C. area for foreign officials including: six (6) GIPA Enforcement Programs on intellectual property enforcement for officials from fifty-six (56) different countries.

Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)

“Inspiring Invention” campaign

In April of 2007, the USPTO, together with the Advertising Council and the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation, launched a national, multimedia public service advertising campaign to engage children in innovation. The advertisements were distributed to 28,000 media stations with the message “Anything’s possible. Keep thinking”. Ultimately, the goal is to motivate children to pursue inventing and innovating as part of their educations, and later, in their careers. The advertisements also direct audiences to visit a new comprehensive website, www.InventNow.org. The site features interactive games and allows children to explore their inventive interests in space, sports, design and entertainment.

"The Cat Magnet," a television spot produced by the USPTO has won the New York Advertising Week Dove award at the Advertising Community Together (ACT) Responsible Exhibition held at the Time and Life Building. The public service announcement is part of a collaboration between the USPTO, the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation and the Advertising Council that seeks to inspire young people to invent and to protect their inventions. The campaign’s radio, television and print ads were created by the Publicis and Hal Riney Advertising Agency. The “Cat Magnet” was one of 200 finalists for the Award from 33 countries.

The “Inspiring Invention “campaign is one of several educational initiatives in which the National Hall of Fame Foundation and the USPTO partner to encourage children to think inventively. Among these initiatives are the National Hall of Fame’s Camp Invention and Club Invention programs, which are supported by the USPTO. Camp Invention is a summer day camp that fosters creativity and inventive thinking skills that allow children to learn through hands-on activities, subject immersion, and discovery. In 2007, more than 60,000 students attended Camp Invention in 47 states. Club Invention is an after-school program directed by the Hall of Fame that extends scientific inquiry-based education to after-school sites.

Public Awareness Campaign

As part of the STOP initiative, the USPTO continued its intensive national public awareness campaign by offering conferences targeting small and medium-sized businesses where participants learned what intellectual property rights are, why they are important, and how to protect and enforce these rights. New to 2007 was a critical partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce enabling the USPTO to share duties of agenda-building, funding, and outreach. The USPTO kicked off the year with a highly anticipated event in Raleigh, North Carolina for small and medium sized businesses designed to aid them in protecting their intellectual property in a global marketplace, and followed up with events in Detroit, Michigan; Burlington, Vermont; San Antonio, Texas; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Denver, Colorado; and Los Angeles, California.

Large companies presented “Lessons Learned” and “Best Practices” to small business attendees and small businesses discussed the importance of IP protection. More than 1,300 small and medium –sized businesses attended our conferences. As a new outreach and educational tool, the USPTO distributed more than 1,500 CD-ROM presentations on IP protection.

Inventors Assistance Program

In 2007 the Inventors Assistance Program (IAP) conducted a number of outreach efforts throughout the United States. The IAP conducted small focus sessions with inventors on proposed rule packages and elimination of the disclosure document program. Additionally, the IAP works with the National Inventors Hall of Fame to promote innovation and education to the independent inventor community through regional and annual inventors conferences. The Office coordinates events with grassroots inventor organizations throughout the United States to facilitate and participate in outreach efforts. The IAP began a new initiative establishing relationships with 25 science and engineering universities to educate students about the importance of intellectual property, the role the USPTO has in promoting the economy, and possibly encourage future careers at the USPTO.

The USPTO’s IAP conducts on-line chats with the independent inventor community. Education about invention promotion firms and AIPA is an ongoing effort. Assistance is provided through accessibility to the complaint roster from the USPTO homepage, distribution of a scam brochure to the public, and access to a “scam line”.

The USPTO has increased its outreach efforts both to inventors and to students. Regional and Annual Inventor conferences were held as well as IP workshops at universities across the country. Public awareness about invention promotion firms was increased via the USPTO web site. Participation and workshops were conducted at casting calls to talk to inventors in a show called “Everyday Edison’s”. The Office has also assisted in exhibiting and participating in Robotics Competitions for students.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization founded in 1989 by world-renowned inventor, patentee and entrepreneur Dean Kamen to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. In support of the FIRST Robotic Competitions, the USPTO has been contributing sponsors at 3 Regional events and the Championship in Atlanta. In addition to this sponsorship, the USPTO has provided speakers at each of the events, and had an exhibit table to talk to the students, mentors and teachers. The USPTO has had the opportunity to meet the students and learned of a couple of teams that had inventions with pending applications on file.


Studies to identify trends in new technology, e.g., by the use of patent statistics and preparation of monographs

The USPTO maintains the Technology Assessment and Forecast (TAF) database, which allows selected patent bibliographic information to be accessed, retrieved, and analyzed in a variety of ways. Time-series information by country, company, and technology may be obtained and used to identify trends. Specific information, such as patent titles and independent inventor names and addresses, is also available. A variety of prepared TAF database statistical reports containing calendar year data are available to the public.

Many TAF database calendar year statistical reports displaying overall trends by country, state, type of patentee (e.g., corporate, individual, or government), and patentee organization are available free of charge while other prepared reports are available for a nominal charge. Some reports present profiles of patenting activity in selected new and active technologies such as for the Internet, Semiconductors, and Telecommunications; other reports profile regional US patenting by state and locality; still other reports display trends by specific patenting group (e.g., US universities, US women). Many profile reports are updated once or twice annually, and new reports are added as necessary. In addition, customized patent trend reports may be obtained for a fee, subject to available resources. Many of the TAF database general statistical reports may be accessed at the USPTO Internet Web site; some reports are available only at the Internet Web site. These reports include several produced with support from The National Science Foundation.

Assistance furnished by offices to facilitate the changing over of receiving offices to electronic data carriers for the exchange of patent documents (see also fourth sub-item of item VI, above)

The USPTO began providing copies of its granted patent documents on the USAPat CD-ROM product (see description above) to all of its international exchange partners in 1994. The product is now provided on DVD-ROM. Production and distribution of USAApp, facsimile images of patent application publications, began on schedule in March 2001. Copying of the entire USAPat back file, 1790 through 1999, onto DVD-ROM was completed in October 2002 and distributed to exchange partners.

Offices currently receiving paper copies of color plant patents will continue to receive them until plant patents are available in color on a suitable electronic media.

In a related development, the USPTO began distributing its Official Gazette for Patents only in electronic format (eOG:P) on CD-ROM and on its website (see above for details) in 2002.

The USPTO closely cooperates with its exchange partners and provides detailed responses to requests for information regarding use of its USAPat CD/DVD-ROM products as replacement for paper or microfilm patent documents.



IX. Other general information related to the Office that is available on the Internet -- URLs of web pages of the Office's website that:

See: http://www.uspto.gov

X. Other relevant matters


1.Classification is allotting one or more classification symbols (e.g., IPC symbols) to a patent application, either before or during search and examination, which symbols are then published with the patent application.

2.Preclassification is allotting an initial broad classification symbol (e.g., IPC class or subclass, or administrative unit) to a patent application, using human or automated means for internal administrative purposes (e.g., routing an application to the appropriate examiner).  Usually preclassification is applied by the administration of an office.

3.Reclassification is the reconsideration and usually the replacement of one or more previously allotted classification symbols to a patent document, following a revision and the entry into force of a new version of the Classification system (e.g., the IPC).  The new symbols are available on patent databases.