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Annual Technical Report 2005 on Industrial Design Information Activities submitted by United States of America (SCIT/ATR/ID/2005/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 expression "industrial designs" covers industrial designs and models. Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in this series of Annual Technical Reports.


I. Evolution of registration activities


In 1998, USPTO established an Internet database with access to the full-text and images of patents from 1976 forward, consisting of two terabytes of full-page images and 120GB of searchable full-text. In 2000, USPTO acquired an additional 2 terabytes of storage and added images of all US patents from 1790 through 1975. Presently, almost four terabytes of full-page image data for all patents from 1790 to the present is stored on these devices at USPTO and accessible from the Internet, along with 200GB 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 terabytes of storage have been deployed for patent pre-grant data (PGPub). The PGPub storage is needed to meet 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 Cassis optical disc masters containing a wide variety of patent and trademark information including design patents. It is possible to search exclusively in the design patents by selecting designs as the document type for the search tool.

Databases and office automation

EAST and WEST search clients provide access to text information available back to 1920. Images of all USPTO Design Patents are available in either EAST or WEST with access through domestic and/or international classification assignments.

III. Matters concerning classifying, reclassifying and indexing of industrial design information according to the classification systems applied


All design patents that issued between 1970-1984 and from 1997 onward include both a US Patent Classification designation and a Locarno International Classification designation. The EAST and WEST search systems available within the USPTO and at selected Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries provide the capability for searching for US design patent documents issued from 1997 onward with either a US or a Locarno classification designation.

The USPTO maintains a concordance between the United States Patent Classification System and the Locarno International Classification System, 8th edition. This concordance is updated to reflect new subclasses established in the design patent search file as part of the reclassification of US design patent documents. The USPC Index is also updated to reflect new subclasses established as part of the reclassification of US design patent documents.

Formal definitions have been published for all mainline subclasses and will be published for any newly established subclasses in design classes. The purpose of formal definitions is to clarify the type and scope of subject matter contained in a class or subclass. Formal definitions may include search notes that aid in locating additional areas in the USPC system pertinent to specific subject matter. Classification definitions are available at the URL below:

Further information about the use of the US Patent Classification System is available at:

Bibliographic data and processing for search purposes


Concurrent with the publication of each new Design Patent in the Official Gazette, copies are added to the electronic search files.

Also, see File Building, above.

Storage, including mass storage media

Currently the USPTO has a configuration of over two hundred servers attached to seventeen storage arrays containing almost 500 Terabytes of storage in four separate Storage Area Network (SAN) islands. The databases for USPTO’s six text search servers reside on the SAN. This Storage Area Network (SAN) is USPTO’s solution to the need for an infrastructure component to present storage efficiently at an enterprise level. In the last two years, a PTO an environment of isolated islands of direct attached storage and a limited SAN with less than 64 actual attached ports has evolved into an enterprise level network of over one thousand SAN ports. Efficient SAN infrastructure management will be a constant challenge as the new USPTO Data Center grows and the Disaster Recovery capability evolves in the future.

USPTO’s text search system for examiners is hosted on two load-sharing servers. Each server accesses its own separate 584 GB text database. USPTO’s patent and application search services on the web are each supported by a pair of load-sharing servers, each with their own copy of the database. A Master Data Server Europa2 with its own 2 TB database keeps the master copy of the text database, which gets updated on a weekly cycle.

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

Gazette type publications of design registrations from over 37 nations or international organizations are available to examiners. These publications are generally maintained in the Design Library or the USPTO Scientific and Technical Information Center (STIC).

A collection of non-patent literature is available to examiners in the Design Library and the main STIC facility. Non-patent literature includes commercial publications, catalogs, magazines, advertising fliers, technical publications and other information pertinent to the 33 classes for industrial designs in the United States Patent Classification system. Additionally, the Scientific and Technical Information Center provides complete library services that include links to libraries nation-wide, literature acquisition as requested, and cataloging of literature received. The literature in the collection can be searched via an on-line catalog maintained by the STIC.

V. Activities in the field of computerized search systems for industrial designs


Patents Location and Monitoring System (PALM) Migration

USPTO continued the phased subsystem delivery with successful delivery of the first subsystem (Infrastructure) in October 1998. The second subsystem (File Ordering) was delivered in October 1999. The third subsystem (Pre-examination system) was delivered in February 2000. The PALM project schedule has been impacted by implementation of the American Inventors Protection Act. All PALM related systems went through a major upgrade to support Legislation for the Pre Grant Publication of Application (PG Pub). This release was deployed throughout the USPTO on November 29, 2000. Exam Post-Exam (EXPO) is the project name for the final migration of the PALM system from the A-16 computer. EXPO encompasses the functionality of Examination, Post Examination and Patent Term Adjustment and was deployed in Fall 2001.

PALM on PTOnet

All Patent Examiners have been provided further access to the current Management Information System on their desktop PC via barcode readers and a Web browser interface. This system has been found to provide increased case tracking accuracy. No future enhancements are planned until PALM migration is completed.

Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), data 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 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 implementation of a variety of access control mechanisms including digital certificate based authentication supported by a full Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

VI. Administration of industrial design services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, registering designs, assisting clients with search procedures, obtaining official publications and registry extracts)


The Foreign Documents 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.

The collections consist of over 150,000 print monograph and serial titles and millions of foreign patent documents in print and microformats. Those portions of the collection maintained in Main STIC and the Chemical-Biotechnology 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.

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

The USPTO Web site at contains information about the office and information about patents and trademarks. It also provides access to searchable databases of patent and trademark information, and to tools that assist users in obtaining information.

In October 2000, the USPTO began accepting filing of Patent applications electronically from client-based software. The USPTO currently receives approximately 2% of all Patent applications from this software. The USPTO is exploring the use of web-based tools to enhance this e-filing project.

Patent and Trademark application status information are both available from the USPTO website. Both of these databases are searchable and are updated on a daily basis.

In November 1995, the USPTO began providing access to patent grant bibliographic information and abstract text on its Web Site. This raw data is available for FTP downloading with updates occurring each Tuesday issue date.

In March 2001, the USPTO began providing access to patent application bibliographic information and abstract text on its Web Site. This raw data is available for FTP downloading with updates occurring each Thursday publication date.

In November 1998, the USPTO began providing access to the searchable, full text of US patents granted from January 1976 to the present. Updates occur each Tuesday issue date.

In March 2001, the USPTO began providing access to the searchable, full text of US published patent applications from March 15, 2001 to the present. Updates occur each Thursday publication date.

Copies of Design patents continue to be provided to the 83 libraries in the USPTO’s Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL) Program in optical disc formats and online access to Design patents is available via Pub WEST. All PTDLs also provide public access to the USPTO web site that contains a searchable database of Design patents. A list of current PTDLs can be found at the PTDLP Web site located at 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 83 PTDLs is linked from the PTDL List available from the USPTO Web site.

Automated Information in Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries

Web-based online searching for the patent text and image database via PubWEST is available at all 83 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 optical disc products; Patents BIB, Patents CLASS, Patents ASSIST, Patents & Trademarks ASSIGN, Trademarks BIB, Trademarks ASSIST, USAPat, USAApp, and USAMark.

Automated Patent Information in Public Search Facilities

The USPTO Public Search Facility provides public users with access to over 20 types of software applications that provide full-text search and/or document retrieval. When logged onto one of the over 300 Universal Public Workstations located in the Public Search Facility users search multiple sources of patent information using common interfaces. The primary information delivery channel in the Public Search Facility is the Universal Public Workstation (UPWS).

The Universal Public Workstation (UPWS) is a secured access computer providing a single platform and consistent interface to all databases. 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, DVD-ROM Cassis titles, Assignments Historical Database (AHD) and Patent Assignment 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 and Japan Patent Office, and a set of foreign patent images formerly available only on CD-ROM. Public users search Re-exam file information by logging onto the UPWS Patent Assignment Information Retrieval (PAIR) application.

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

The Public Search Facility recently became one of USPTO’s 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.

Online search/retrieval system use during FY05 totaled over 196,000 hours. An eight-hour training course for novice or first time patent users is available to the public on the WEST system. A four-hour course for advanced users is available on the EAST system. Courses are scheduled once a month for a nominal fee, or more often as needed. 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.

Automated Products Provided to the Public

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

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

Patents BIB: Selected Bibliographic Information from US Patents Issued 1969 to Present

This Cassis DVD-ROM contains bibliographic information for utility patents issued from 1969 to the present, and for other types of patent documents issued from 1977 to the present. It includes inventor names and addresses (if unassigned at time of issue), assignee at time of issue, status (i.e., withdrawn, corrected, expired for failure to pay maintenance fees, reexamined or term extended), current classifications, patent title, and patent abstracts from September 1988 to date. Patents BIB also refers to patent image locations on USAPat, described below. 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. This product is the combination of two previous titles, Patents ASSIGN and Trademarks ASSIGN, now no longer published.

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, 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 new 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.

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 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.

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.

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of industrial design documentation and information


The USPTO maintains exchange agreements with many intellectual property offices for the exchange of industrial design registrations and gazettes and continually seeks to expand the number of such exchanges.

Intellectual property offices have access to the US patent documents, including design patents, on USAPat DVD-ROM. 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. Design patents are included in the Official Gazette for Patents.

The USPTO Electronic Official Gazette eOG allows Internet users to browse through the issued patents for the week. The eOG:P can be browsed by classification or type of patent, for example, utility, design, and plant. Specific patents can be accessed by class/subclass or patentee name.

Exchange of machine-readable information, e.g., data contained on CD-ROM or magnetic tape

CD/DVD ROM products including, but not limited to, design patent images and information are sent to 97 intellectual property offices (see descriptions of the products above).

The USPTO currently exchanges patent images and information on magnetic computer tapes with the EPO and JPO as part of a Trilateral Agreement.

VIII. Matters concerning education and training including technical assistance to developing countries


The USPTO provides technical training relevant to intellectual property law and patent and trademark practice for all attorneys and patent examiners. Additionally, a variety of technical classes are available dealing with search techniques on the USPTO automated system and methods of using a variety of custom computer software to assist in the examination process.

The Office of Patent Training also operates a televideo-conference facility. This has been used to broadcast live meetings and lectures with officials in foreign countries.

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.

Since 1985, the USPTO Visiting Scholars Program has provided participants from foreign countries with two weeks of classroom and hands-on study of the United States’ system for protecting intellectual property. The majority of those trained include personnel from industrial property offices. The goals of the program are: to foster a better understanding of international intellectual property obligations and norms; to expose participants to at least one method of providing TRIPs-level protection for a variety of intellectual property disciplines, and to promote discussion of intellectual property issues in a friendly and supportive environment.

In 2005, enforcement programs conducted in the Washington, D.C. area for foreign officials included: the USPTO Enforcement Academy, Central America Free Trade Agreement Enforcement Academy, and the USPTO-World Intellectual Property Organization Academy for the Judiciary on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights.

The USPTO, in coordination with the International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI), provided technical assistance in Russia for border enforcement officials in St. Petersburg and Vladivostok. These programs utilized a case study method involving discussions of problem solving exercises. Additional programs in Europe and Central Asia included the United Nationals Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Intellectual Property Advisory Group consultations with Romania; USPTO Intellectual Property Enforcement Conference in Azerbaijan; and WIPO-UNECE World Customs Organization Sub-regional Seminar on Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The USPTO was actively engaged on a number of fronts to strengthen intellectual property administration, protection, and enforcement abroad. Increased technical assistance was offered in China, with a focus on providing the provinces with capacity-building programs relating to civil, criminal, and border enforcement. The programs offered included the World Customs Organizational Regional Forum, Shanghai; Criminal Copyright Enforcement Seminar in Guangzhou; Seminar on new Chinese Judicial interpretation for Criminal Intellectual Property Infringements; Criminal Copyright seminar “ How to File a Criminal Case”, Beijing; and the Pearl River Delta Seminar on Intellectual Property Enforcement in Southern China.

The USPTO partnered with numerous international, governmental, and non-governmental organizations in designing and delivering technical assistance programs including the Association of South east Asian Nations (ASEAN), UNECE, IIPI, WIPO, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Secretariat for Central American Integration, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).

In Asia, the USPTO conducted intellectual property protection and enforcement programs that included the ASEAN-USPTO Workshop on Optical Media Regulation and Enforcement, Bangkok, Thailand; U.S. –Vietnam Trade Council Program in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; U.S. Consulate-United States Vietnam Trade Council Association of American Publishers Seminar on Copyright Licensing, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Support for Trade Acceleration Program and Vietnam-KI Asia-IIPI Judicial Education Program on IPR Protection and Enforcement, Hanoi, Vietnam; ASEAN-USPTO Workshop on “Effective Practices in Combating Trade in Counterfeit Hard Goods,” Bangkok, Thailand; ASEAN-USPTO Seminar on “IPR Capacity-Building for Small and Medium Size Enterprises” in Bangkok, Thailand; Combating Internet Piracy , Taipei, Taiwan; and intellectual property protection and enforcement workshops and public awareness seminars in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia.

Through partnership with MEPI, programs focused on a variety of enforcement issues that included a workshop in Tunis, Tunisia, for judges, prosecutors, and customs officials on best practices for effective IPR enforcement; Middle East regional program on intellectual property rights border enforcement in Amman, Jordan; training for Algerian judges, magistrates, and customs representatives in Algiers, Algeria; Enforcement Academy and United States Study tour for judges throughout the Middle East in Washington, D.C., New York, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, California; judicial training in Oran, Algeria; and IPR Border Enforcement Program for Moroccan customs participants in Rabat, Morocco.

Technical assistance programs included the IIPI-West Africa regional conference in Dakar, Senegal; Intellectual Property: Policy Priorities to Foster Economic Growth, Public Health and Culture; and Department of State/USPTO Program on Combating Counterfeit Medicines in Sub-Saharan Africa, in Johannesburg, South Africa. In addition, Enforcement programs were conducted in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Dhaka, Bangladesh.

IX. Other relevant matters