Patentcenter trouble tickets

These are critical problems, things that simply must get fixed in Patentcenter.  See also a list of Feature requests, things that would be nice, things that could be improved.  See also Good things about Patentcenter.  Please join the Patentcenter listserv.  See Patentcenter blog postings.

 

  1. CP1 – April 30, 2020 – CO – Web-based Form 85B loses initial capitalization for assignee city name (see article)
    PTO Response: fixed May 12, 2020.
  2. CP2 – April 30, 2020 – CO – Web-based Form 85B fails to auto-load into USPTO system for front page of issued patent (see article).  This is Ideascale idea number 491.
  3. CP3 – April 23, 2020 – CO – Web-based forms render into IFW in color and gray scale (see article).  This is Ideascale idea number 493.
  4. CP4 – April 30, 2020 – CO – Corrected ADS loses things (see article) – example is Patentcenter submission 60013473
  5. CP5 – April 30, 2020 – CO – Corrected ADS fails to auto-load into USPTO systems (see article)
  6. CP6 – April 27, 2020 – CO – “Send email” button missing (see article).  This is Ideascale idea number 495.
  7. CP7 – April 26, 2020 – CO – Supplemental content fails to match PAIR (see article)
  8. CP8 – April 23, 2020 – CO – Reel number displayed wrong (see article)
    PTO Response: fixed May 12, 2020.
  9. CP9 – April 23, 2020 – CO – EPO missing from priority claim drop-down menu (see article) – update July 2, 2020 we are told this will get fixed in a mid-July update to Patentcenter.
    PTO Response: Fixed in July 2020.
  10. CP10 – December 28, 2019 – CO – should say “fewer”, not “less”, for inventor count (see article).  This is Ideascale idea number 497.
  11. CP11 – April 30, 2020 – CO – The hourglass (the sort of wheel thingy) remains in view and keeps spinning long after the requested action has actually finished.  See article.  This is Ideascale idea number 499.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded on 9/23/2020 saying, “We are unable to reproduce this issue. If this problem persists, please contact the EBC to provide additional info, such as browser info and steps to reproduce.”
  12. CP12 – Search by attorney docket number needs to be just as easy as it is in Private PAIR.  This is Ideascale idea number 501.  See blog article.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded on 9/23 saying, “We plan to provide this enhanced feature in a future release.”
  13. CP13 – May 3, 2020 – KK – Unable to file change of address for expired provisionals.  This is Ideascale idea number 503.
  14. CP14 – May 3, 2020 – KK – Receive “wrong page size” error when correctly sized page is uploaded.  This is Ideascale idea number 505.
  15. CP15 – May 3, 2020 – KK – Blank window when reviewing document that was uploaded as DOCX and converted by USPTO to PDF.  Also, conversion from DOCX to PDF creates issues with formatting of document (headers, footers, title, error messages shown in converted document).  This is Ideascale idea number 506.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded on 9/23/2020 saying, “We are unable to reproduce this issue. If this problem persists, please contact the EBC to provide additional info, such as browser info and steps to reproduce.”
  16. CP16 – May 4, 2020 – CO – application has a First Office Action Prediction in PAIR but there is no First Office Action Prediction in Patentcenter.  This is EBC trouble ticket number 1-690814254.  This is Ideascale idea number 507.
  17. CP17 – May 4, 2020 – CO – application has a class and subclass in PAIR but has no class or subclass in Patentcenter.  This is Ideascale idea number 508.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded 9/23/2020 saying, “Thank you for providing your observation. Please contact the EBC with the specific application information.”
  18. CP18 – May 6, 2020 – KK – Continue button for accessing  Payment Window Status and Fees page is unselectable unless checkbox next to Statement by Small or Micro Entity of Delay Due to COVID-19 Outbreak is checked (to continue without checking this box, you have to click within already-populated Application Number and Patent Number boxes).  This is Ideascale idea number 509.
  19. CP19 – May 6, 2020 – KK – Pop-up windows (such as when selecting document types when uploading PDF documents to be split) are cut off/partially off-screen when viewing in an other-than-maximized window.  This is Ideascale idea number 510.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded 9/23/2020 saying, “We will investigate and address this issue in a future release of Patent Center.”
  20. CP20 – May 6, 2020 – KK – Fee payment process split among multiple pages.  It’s unclear from the first page that you can make additional selections for fee payment on the following page.  All available fee payment options should be presented on a single page.  This is Ideascale idea number 511.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded 9/23/2020 saying, “This feature is working as intended. Patent Center only displays the applicable fees based on user provided attributes about a submission.”
  21. CP21 – May 6, 2020 – KK – Should be able to directly access Patent Center home page when selected from USPTO home page.  Currently, selecting Patentcenter from USPTO home page brings you to landing page with information about Patent Center, and you must then click a further “Patent Center” link.  This is Ideascale idea number 512.
  22. CP22.  May 9, 2020.  CO — It is impossible to do a follow-on filing in any 35-series (Hague Agreement) case.  See blog article.  July 1, 2020 update.
    PTO Response: USPTO has now acknowledged this as a “known issue”.  See the known issues page.
  23. CP23.  May 11, 2020.  CO — Patentcenter wrongly says that every user is unable to access any customer number in Patent Center or in PAIR.  See blog article.  This is Ideascale idea number 513.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded 9/23/2020 saying, “This issue has been resolved.”
  24. CP24.  May 18, 2020.  CO — In the web-based issue fee payment form (85B), EFS-Web permits use of an umlaut in the city name for the assignee.  But Patentcenter pukes on an umlaut in the city name.  Patentcenter needs to be corrected so that it permits use of the same character set that EFS-Web permits.  This is Ideascale idea number 514.
  25. CP25. May 26, 2020. RB – PTO Form AIA 14 information is not automatically retrieved and populated into Patent Center when attempting to file a new patent application.  This is Ideascale idea number 516.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded 9/23/2020 saying, “The ability to load certain application data from another patent application into a new application has not been implemented. In a future release, we plan to provide the data retrieval capability, similar to that in EFS-Web.”
  26. CP26.  June 5, 2020.  CO — Patentcenter mishandles diacritical marks in PTO Form AIA 14.  See blog article.  This is Ideascale idea number 518.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded 9/23/2020 saying, “Support for special characters has not been implemented in Patent Center beta. This work is planned for a future release.”
  27. CP27.  June 8, 2020.  CO — Patentcenter converts a perfectly good PDF into a blank page in IFW.  See blog article.  This is Ideascale idea number 520.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded 9/23/2020 saying, “We’re unable to reproduce this issue. Please contact the EBC for assistance with specific application questions.”
  28. CP28.  January 2019.  CO — Patentcenter saves up any real or imagined defect in an uploaded file on the “upload documents” page, and only three screens later, on the “submit” page, only when the user clicks “submit”, does Patentcenter for the first time gripe about the real or imagined defect.  See blog article.
    PTO Response: It turns out (July 1, 2020 meeting update) that USPTO considers this to be a feature rather than a bug.  USPTO is going to add a warning on the upload page so that the user will realize they are only postponing the inevitable and will eventually have to return to this page to provide a document description.
  29. CP29.  January 2019.  CO — Patentcenter pukes on a virgule signature that is fully compliant with 37 CFR § 1.4.  For example “/s/” complies with Rule 4, but Patentcenter pukes on it.  This was first reported to USPTO in Ideascale in January of 2019.
    PTO Response: “Will be available in a future release. Work around: please continue to use the full name s-signature” See the known issues page
  30. CP30.  June 8, 2020.  CO — We e-file a new application in Patentcenter.  There should be 18 documents listed in IFW.  Instead there are only four documents listed in IFW.  You can look in Private PAIR or in Patentcenter, either place only four documents in IFW.  This is EBC ticket number 1-695641646.  They found the missing 14 documents.  But they loaded the drawings into Score twice!  I don’t know why they did that.  This is Ideascale idea number 521.
  31. CP31.  June 23, 2020.  CO — The default “outgoing correspondence” filter is three days since imaging, but quite often the USPTO clerks take four days after imaging a document to mail it.  This means that users will very predictably not be told about some eleven percent of their outgoing correspondence.  See blog article.  This is Ideascale idea number 523.
  32. CP32.  June 29, 2020.  CO — the Examiner lookup for an application needs to stop concealing the parenthetical title of the Examiner, and needs to stop making it impossible to copy the telephone number and other information from the pop-up screen.  See blog article.  This is Ideascale idea number 525.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded 9/23/2020 saying, “We are planning to provide similar enhanced feature in a future release.”
  33. CP33.  July 5, 2020.  CO — “Sort by patent number” in the workbench does not work correctly.  See blog article.  This is EBC trouble ticket number 1-701563481.  This is Ideascale idea number 548.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded on 9/23/2020 saying, “We plan to provide this enhanced feature in a future release.”
  34. CP34.  July 8, 2020.  CO.  Wrong words used to describe what to do to e-file something.  It says “file another patent application” when that link is really for doing lots of things in addition to or instead of filing another patent application.  It says “new submission” when that link is really for filing a new patent application, not “submitting” something in a patent application.  It says “existing submissions” when that link is really for starting a new submission into an existing application”.  If you want “saved submissions” you might think they are to be found at “existing submissions” but that is not where they are.  You have to go on a treasure hunt and it turns out that “saved submissions” are hidden under “workbench”.  See blog article. This is Ideascale idea number 597. See also Ideascale item number 366 and item number 375.
  35. CP35.  August 1, 2020.  CO.  The “signed-in” status in Patentcenter disappears abruptly and without notice, long before the end of the usual 30-minute forced logout.  See blog article. This is Ideascale item number 599.
  36. CP36.  August 3, 2020.  CO.  It is commonplace for Patentcenter to be “signed in” in one browser window and yet another browser window showing a Patentcenter page will be “signed out”.  It is weird to have Patentcenter be so inconsistent about the “signed-in” status across two or more open browser windows in the exact same browser.  See blog article. This is Ideascale idea number 601.
  37. CP37.  August 9, 2020.  CO.  The View Receipt History function of Patententer, which is clearly intended to try to replicate the “last 40 ack receipts” function of EFS-Web, fails at this because it has a guaranteed latency that is tied to the IFW latency.  See blog article. This is Ideascale idea number 605.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded 9/23/2020 saying, “We will investigate the functionality and plan to address it in a future release.”
  38. CP38.  August 9, 2020.  CO.  The View Receipt History function of Patententer, which is clearly intended to try to replicate the “last 40 ack receipts” function of EFS-Web, fails at this because it is visible only to the actual filer and not to others who are connected with the application.  See blog article. This is Ideascale idea number 603.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded 9/23/2020 saying, “This feature is working as intended. Filers can view their submission receipts and practitioners can view submission receipts filed on their behalf. We plan to continue improving this feature in future releases.”
  39. CP39.  August 19, 2020.  CO.  The signature block for the 85B form wrongly tells the filer that the filer must provide the filer’s name between the virgules of the S-signature.  See blog article. This is Ideascale idea number 607.
  40. CP40.  August 22, 2020.  JS.  Filer uses “Uploaded ADS”.  Filer uploads the ADS and uploads all of the other documents for a new patent application.  Filer then discovers there is a mistake in the ADS.  Filer goes back to the front of the filing screens.  Filer clicks to delete the ADS.  Filer gets a warning: Removing this application data sheet will result in all previously entered bibliographic data being removed.  Filer clicks the red Delete button anyway.  And waits…  and waits…  and waits…  Nope, nothing happens.  Apparently there is no way to remove the ADS once uploaded.  Canceling the submission and restarting is the only way to get out of that loop. This is Ideascale idea number 608.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded 9/23/2020 saying, “We are unable to replicate this issue. Please contact the EBC for assistance with specific application questions.”
  41. CP41.  August 22, 2020.  JS.  Filer uses Form AIA/14, the exact form that Patentcenter links to.  The filer then uploads this ADS to Patentcenter.  The filer then receives the warning:  “The attached version of the AIA/14 form is not the current version and data may not fully load to USPTO systems.. Please download the most recent version of the AIA/14 form , fill, and attach.” This is Ideascale idea number 458.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded 9/23/2020 saying, “We are unable to replicate this issue. Please contact the EBC for assistance.”
  42. CP42.  September 21, 2020.  KK.  Downloading IFW is non-intuitive.  A user downloads the IFW in PC by clicking on the box showing the number of documents selected and then selects the type of download.  After doing so, however, nothing happens – there is no pop-up message that informs the user a download is in progress or has been initiated, and the download is not indicated by any web browser icon/message.  The downloaded IFW eventually opens in a PDF viewer, but until then the user has no way of knowing whether the download request was successful. This is Ideascale idea number 611.
  43. CP43. September 22, 2020.  CO. The patent application that I just e-filed gets loaded into the “non-patent literature” section of “display references”.  The impression that one gets is that the Examiner could cite our own patent application against us to prove that our patent application lacks novelty.  See article.  This is EBC ticket number 1-718687424. This is Ideascale idea number 612.
    PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded on 9/25/2020 saying, “This issue will be fixed shortly,” and “Although the APP.TEXT information is available in the document and transactions tab, the APP.TEXT listed in the display references tab is not listed as a reference for consideration in our internal examiner tool.” See the known issues page
  44. CP44.  September 23, 2020.  CO.  The “Application Data” tab in Patentcenter lists the inventor names, each on a separate line.  This tab also has a “print” icon that can be used to generate a PDF file with the information from the Application Data tab.  The PDF file is named “Bibliographic Data – Application – Patent Center – USPTO”.   The bug is that when Patentcenter generates the PDF file, it runs two of the inventor names together in the same line.  So for example if there are four inventors, in the PDF file, there are three lines of inventor names.  The middle line has the names of the second inventor and third inventor run together. This is Ideascale item number 616.
  45. CP45.  September 23, 2020.  CO.  Practitioner e-files a new patent application on September 10, 2020 in Patentcenter using option 1, namely the web-based ADS that is generated by Patentcenter.  This is supposed to auto-load the bibliographic data into Palm.  We focus particularly on the Correspondence Address Customer Number (CACN).  The ADS definitely had the CACN in it;  you can see this in IFW.  The practitioner also paid a government fee in the application.  As proof that the ADS had the CACN in it, we note that the Acknowledgment Receipt shows the CACN in the ack receipt.  The only way that it could have gotten there is auto-loading from the ADS. Unfortunately Patentcenter crashed before the practitioner was able to print out the ack receipt.  The practitioner looked for the newly filed patent application in Patentcenter and in Private PAIR but it was not visible in either place.   The next day, the practitioner was still not able to see the newly filed application in Patentcenter or in Private PAIR.  The practitioner contacted the EBC.  The EBC person was skeptical about the caller and made it clear that the EBC person was not going to assist the caller unless the caller could produce an ack receipt.  The caller did not have any ack receipt, because Patentcenter fails to provide “last forty ack receipts”.  Eventually the caller convinced the EBC person to look in Financial Manager to see the government fee that had been charged to the caller’s credit card, and which showed the application number.  This forced the EBC person to admit that the caller was not making things up and that the caller had really filed a patent application.  Then the EBC person shifted ground, saying yes the application had been e-filed but the practitioner had failed to put a CACN on the application and this explained why the practitioner was not able to see the application in Patentcenter or in Private PAIR.  The EBC person said the only way to proceed was for a Form AIA/122 to be filed (change of address for pending application).  This was on September 11, 2020.  The EBC person said e-filing was not possible for the Form AIA/122 but it could be filed by mail or by fax or hand-carried to the USPTO.  The practitioner fax-filed the Form AIA/122.  The practitioner has a receipt from USPTO’s fax system admitting that USPTO received the fax.  This was on September 11, 2020.  A week later, on September 18, the practitioner still could not see the application in Patentcenter or in Private PAIR, and contacted the EBC again.  The EBC person said that the EBC would not assist further and it was up to the practitioner to try to get help from the Application Assistance Unit.  The practitioner emailed the AAU at its official email address on September 19, 2020.  By the end of the business day on September 21, 2020 the practitioner had still not heard anything back from the AAU.  And by the end of the day on September 21, 2020 the USPTO had still not acted upon the Form AIA/122 that the USPTO had received by fax ten days earlier.  So the practitioner played the Kevin Little card, which the practitioner hates to do unless there is no other choice.  Within a few hours the USPTO had acted upon the Form AIA/122 and the practitioner for the first time, eleven days after filing the application, was able to see the application in Patentcenter and in Private PAIR.  The Patentcenter developers need to figure out why it is that on September 10, 2020 the CACN failed to load into Palm.  This needs to be fixed in Patentcenter. This is Ideascale item number 615.
  46. CP46.  October 9, 2020.  CO.  We e-file in Patentcenter and we reach the page to pay money.  We click to pay the money.  What pops up next is an error message:  “This site can’t be reached.  patentcenter-passive.uspto.gov’s server IP address could not be found.”   USPTO now admits that there is a problem, as indicated in this October 14, 2020 banner:   “If you submitted a payment via Patent Center October 9-14, your Payment Receipt may be delayed. We are aware of this issue and working to make the Payment Receipts available in Patent Center and Private PAIR.  Please confirm payment status before submitting payment again. Filers who paid using a stored payment method established in Financial Manager can access it to confirm whether payments were successfully processed. You can confirm credit/debit card transactions via the credit card or bank’s website.”
  47. CP47.  October 24, 2020.  KK. When paying the issue fee through the Web Based Issue Fee Payment (Web 85b) in EFS-Web, it is easy to specify the customer number of a third party for maintenance fee purposes at the time of paying the issue fee.  In Patent Center, however, the “Edit fee address” requires selection of a customer number from a dropdown list, which is populated only with those customer numbers that list the party who is logged in.  The dropdown cannot be overridden with manual typing and the only solution appears to be performing two separate actions: (1) paying the issue fee in Patent Center, and (2) changing the maintenance fee address.  This is very inefficient, and we ask that Patent Center be modified to accept the entry of any customer number, even of a third party.