Patentcenter trouble tickets

See Open Letter to Director Vidal dated September 29, 2023 about USPTO’s scheduled shutdown of Private PAIR and EFS-Web on November 8, 2023.

New!   We are denoting some of the trouble tickets with “HPT” which means “high priority ticket”.

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.

You can do a deep link to a particular trouble ticket.  You do this by tacking on the pound sign and “CP” and the ticket number at the end of the URL.  So for example to deep link to ticket CP100 you use this URL:

Before about July 2, 2023, there were about 141 trouble tickets, numbered CP1 through about CP141.  Now this Patentcenter trouble tickets page has been subdivided into two parts.  The first part, which as of July 2 listed about 80 trouble tickets, is called “Open Issues“.  The second part, which as of July 2 listed about 61 trouble tickets, is called “Resolved Issues“.  This is the result of a bunch of hard work by Richard Schafer on about July 2, 2023.  Richard points out that some of the tickets listed as “open issues” may really be fixed, but he just doesn’t have the ability to test them for one reason or another.  Richard also points out that it’s also possible that something he marked as “resolved” is still actually open, if triggering the problem required some special circumstance he was not able to reproduce.

As we know, USPTO’s Ideascale system is “where good ideas go to die.”  On this Patentcenter trouble ticket page, we had been methodically providing deep links from each Patentcenter trouble ticket to its corresponding Ideascale idea.  It will be recalled that about 18 months ago, the USPTO people renumbered all of the Ideascale “ideas”.  It seemed pretty clear that the only purpose served by this renumbering was to break every link provided on this Patentcenter trouble ticket page.  Richard has methodically searched Ideascale and has found the new link numbers and has updated the Ideascale links on this Patentcenter trouble ticket page.

Open Issues

(You can also see Resolved Issues.)

    1. 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.
    2. CP3 – April 23, 2020 – CO – Web-based forms render into IFW in color and gray scale (see article).  This is Ideascale idea number 493.
    3. CP4 – April 30, 2020 – CO – Corrected ADS loses things (see article) – example is Patentcenter submission 60013473
    4. CP5 – April 30, 2020 – CO – Corrected ADS fails to auto-load into USPTO systems (see article)
    5. CP6 – April 27, 2020 – CO – “Send email” button missing (see article).  This is Ideascale idea number 495.  Update March 28, 2023 per Scott Neilson.  The “send email” button is visible on some ack receipt pages but not others.  For example it is missing from the ack receipt page for paying money.
    6. CP12 – April 30, 2020 – CO – 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.  It has still not been fixed as of March 24, 2023, see blog article.
      PTO Response: The Ideascale moderator responded on 9/23 saying, “We plan to provide this enhanced feature in a future release.”
    7. CP13 – May 3, 2020 – KK – Unable to file change of address for expired provisionals.  This is Ideascale idea number 503.
    8. 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.”
    9. 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.
    10. 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.”
    11. 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.”
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.”
    15. CP28.  HPT.  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.
    16. 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.
    17. CP31.  HPT.  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.
    18. 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.”
    19. 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.”
    20. 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.
    21. 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.”
    22. 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.
    23. CP49HPT.  May 27, 2021.  CO.  This ticket relates to 35-series applications (US designation from a Hague application).  When the user tries to pay an Issue Fee using the web-based tool for paying Issue Fees, the system refuses to do so, saying that the tool is not available for this kind of patent application.  The error message is “The application type entered does not allow for use of the Web-Based Issue Fee Transmittal.”
    24. CP50.  May 27, 2021.  CO.  This ticket relates to 35-series applications (US designation from a Hague application).  When the user tries to pay an Issue Fee by uploading a PDF Form 85B, what happens next is that there is no document description available for issue fee payments.  The filer is stuck having to choose some random document description such as “miscellaneous incoming letter”.  Update November 18, 2021.  Further clicking suggests that the bug is more subtle and is somehow linked to the user’s clicking history in the left-hand column of the document description selector user interface, and perhaps also linked to which particular browser the user is using.
    25. CP51HPT.  May 27, 2021.  CO.  This ticket relates to 35-series applications (US designation from a Hague application).  When the user tries to carry out any SFD (subsequently filed document) or follow-on submission, a wholly inappropriate warning appears that scolds the filer for thinking that the e-filed document might go to the International Bureau.  Patentcenter says:
      The entered application has been transmitted to the International Bureau. The USPTO will not forward, to the International Bureau, follow-on submissions that are received after an international design application has been transmitted to the International Bureau. Thus, for example, where the International Bureau has sent an invitation requiring compliance with a requirement under the Hague Agreement, the applicant must file any reply to that invitation directly with the International Bureau to avoid abandonment or other loss of rights under the treaty.The warning message should be scrapped since any filing in a 35-series case is by definition directed to the USPTO, not to the IB.
    26. CP55.  June 14, 2021.  CO.   I upload a document into Patentcenter as a subsequently filed document.  I carry out the selection of a document description.  Unfortunately the document description does not “take”.  I click “continue” and “continue” and “continue” and I reach the page for clicking “submit”.  I try to click “submit” and what I get is an error message in pink saying “a document description must be chosen for each attached file.”  But I did choose a document description for the file.  This is EBC ticket number 1-761431662.  At the request of the EBC person, I also tried clearing the browser cache and cookies and starting all over again.  This was no help.  At the request of the EBC person, I also tried using a completely different browser.  This was no help.
    27. CP56.  June 14, 2021.  CO.   I click “save” to save my submission.  Then when I close out of the browser and re-enter Patentcenter, I go into my workbench for my saved submissions.  It’s not there!  I check the box for “auto-saved” submissions.  Still it’s not there.  This is EBC ticket number 1-761431662.
    28. CP58.  August 31, 2021.  CO.   In a Subsequently Filed Document task (sometimes called a Follow-On Submission) the screen fails to display the application title or application number or inventor name or docket number or filing date.  Detailed report is provided here.  (First reported by Suzannah Sundby in the EFS-Web listserv on July 27, 2021.)
    29.  CP59.  September 13, 2021.  CO.  The “success” message displayed by Patentcenter after successful e-filing of a followon filing (subsequently filed document) is “application submitted”.   That message is incorrect.  It is false to say that an application has been submitted if the filer has filed an SFD.
    30. CP61.   October 21, 2021. RAS. User tries to file IDS, Form 1449, and 10 references. All of the documents are uploaded with drag and drop, then the Submit button is clicked. At this point, the error message “A document description must be chosen for each attached file.” There was no way to go back to the uploaded documents and add document descriptions. There does not appear to be any way to get back to the point of providing the missing document descriptions without canceling the submission and starting over. One of the things tried was the three dots “Upload documents Calculate fees Review & submit” in the upper right corner.  That didn’t go back to “Upload documents,” but to “review and submit.” See CP55 for a similar report.
    31. CP62.   October 21, 2021. RAS. Inconsistent nomenclature that invites user error.  One of the things I tried as a workaround for the “document description must be chosen” error message was (from the top row menu) Existing Submissions > Upload documents (hoping that would go back to a point where document description could be set).  The problem is that clicking here didn’t go to anything about “Existing submissions.”  It went to “New submission for existing application.” Then the user clicked “Save”  The message received is “Successfully saved application information.”  No, this saves a “submission.”  When the user came back, the list of things was “Saved submissions.”  It can’t be an “application” when the user saves it, and “submission” when the user retrieves it.  That’s gibberish.
    32. CP63.  October 22, 2021.  CO.  In a 35-series case, the applicant may need to upload Form SB/38 (request to retrieve priority document from DAS).  But Patentcenter fails to provide a document description for this document.  This is EBC ticket number 1-823950504.  (Note duplicate ticket at CP95.)
    33. CP65.  November 11, 2021.  CO.  In all of the links in all of the tabs in the blue bar across the top of Patentcenter, the links are defective.  If you right-click on any of those links with a goal of opening any of those functions in a new window, what you will find is that Patentcenter plays dumb and merely opens a new home screen of Patentcenter.  It is then up to you to click and mouse and click and mouse until you manage to drill down to the function that you actually wanted to reach.  This is described in detail here.
    34. CP67.  November 22, 2021.  CO.  (Reported by Andrea Jacobson.)  The tabular display of OCNs (outgoing correspondence notifications) does not scale properly for any normal user display screen.  No matter how you might try to scroll left or right, no matter what screen scaling you might choose, it is nearly impossible to make decent use of this tabular display.  In contrast, the similarly functioning tabular display of OCNs in PAIR is actually usable.
    35. CP71.  December 8, 2021.  CO.  Patentcenter generates Third-Party Preissuance Submissions that are blurry and faint and nearly unreadable.  This is EBC ticket number 1-783509075.
      click to enlarge

      At right is an excerpt from a Concise Description of Relevance generated by Patentcenter.  The problem is that Patentcenter generates this text as gray rather than as pure black and white.  If the filer previews the document, it looks perfectly clear on the filer’s screen.  It is a gray color with an RGB hex value of #444545.  (In RGB, pure white is #FFFFFF and pure black is #000000.  The font for “Foreign Patent Documents” is rendered with #040405 which is not quite pure black.)  When the filer clicks “submit”, the result is that the gray text gets halftoned and becomes blurry and faint.  The result is that the Third-Party Preissuance Submission is likely to fail as an advocacy document before the Examiner in the case.

      click to enlarge
    36. CP74.  March 25, 2022.  CO.  Continued failure of restfulness of Patentcenter.  I had three design patent applications with Notices of Allowance.  Running in parallel, I clicked each application through the web-based 85B workflow to the “submit” page.  I then clicked “submit” for all three design patent applications.  Only one of the three workflows permitted payment of the Issue Fee.  The other two workflows crashed, displaying a red error banner that the system was unable to process the payment.  Refreshing the page on either of the two errored workflows displayed a banner that the shopping cart was empty.
    37. CP75.  March 25, 2022.  CO.  Ack receipt lies about the files that I uploaded.  I uploaded two PDF files.  The ack receipt says I uploaded five files.  Three of the files have message digests that fail to match the supposedly corresponding file in IFW.  See blog article.
    38. CP78.  May 31, 2022.  CO.  In the web-based ADS for provisional patent applications, the dialogue wrongly offers the opportunity to add domestic benefit claims and priority claims.  The dialogue wrongly offers the opportunity to select whether the filer prefers an 18-month pub or no publication.
    39. CP79.  May 31, 2022.  CO.  In the web-based ADS, the dialogue wrongly demands that at least one inventor be identified.  The rules do not require identifying an inventor as a condition for getting a patent application filing date.
    40. CP81.  June 1, 2022.  KK.  PatentCenter’s Web 85B appears to be unusable for submission of an issue fee for a plant patent matter.  When a plant patent application number and confirmation number is entered in PatentCenter, the correct bibliographic information is shown; however, PatentCenter identifies the application as “Nonprovisional Application under 35 USC 111(a),” and requires payment of the utility issue fee (e.g., current small entity issue fee for plant patent is $420, but payment of the small entity utility issue fee is required at $600).  There does not appear to be any way to select a different application type or change the required payment amount.  PatentCenter Web85B issue fee submission should be updated for compatibility with plant patent applications.
    41. CP82.  June 13, 2022.  CO.  The user follows the click path for a subsequently filed document (SFD) which is the click path wrongly labeled “existing submissions” for a provisional patent application.  What pops up is a big warning banner that says “A provisional application must include a cover sheet required by § 1.51(c)(1) (e.g. form PTO/SB/16), which may be an application data sheet or a cover letter identifying the application as a provisional application that meets the requirements of § 1.51(c)(1).”  The warning banner is inappropriate twice over:
        1. This click path is for SFDs which means that by definition this warning is too late — the correct time to have provided this warning was in some previous e-filing submission.
        2. This particular application is an application in which a cover sheet was previously provided, and indeed an official filing receipt was already mailed, meaning that the USPTO already knows that the filer provided a cover sheet.
      1. What needs to happen is that this warning should be put in the face of the filer only if a cover sheet has not already been provided.
    42. CP83.  June 18, 2022.  CO.   Bad letter-case rendering during click path for web-based issue fee transmittal.  We click around in Patententer to pay an issue fee.  There are fields for entering the city and the country where the assignee is located.  The user enters the city and selects the country.
      click to enlarge

      In particular the user does not want to use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS for the city because that would be shouting.  The user wants to use normal Initial Capital Letters.  So in this case the user enters “Paris”.  This uses an upper-case “P” and a lower-case “aris”.  Then the user proceeds to a next screen and what appears is completely wrong.  The preview shows “PARIS” in all capital letters.  See the screen shot at right.  Unfortunately it is impossible for the user to bring about any change in this wrong ALL CAPITAL LETTERS shouting in the preview page.   So the user gives up and clicks “submit”.  Then later what we see in IFW is that somehow the city name has reverted to initial caps.  Of course what needs to happen is the Patentcenter developers need to fix the mistake in the rendering code so that the preview is not in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS for the city name.

    43. CP89.  January 9, 2023.  CO (reported by Victoria O’Connor).  Patentcenter unilaterally reorders the inventor list in a PCT application filed in RO/US.  The filer uploaded a PCT Request as part of a ZIP file, with inventors listed in a particular order.  Later, the filer looked into the file history and the inventors are ordered differently in the inventor list.
    44. CP91.  January 17, 2023.  CO (Reported by Gerry Peters.)  In the application list, if the user carries out the multiple mouse clicks to restore the “attorney docket number” column to view, this fails to be “sticky”.  After any subsequent activity the “attorney docket number” column disappears again.
    45. CP94. February 7, 2023. HPT.  RS (Reported by Christian Scholz.) When you file a CPA in a design matter, Patent Center automatically filters the fees you can pay so that they only include the fees that are presumably applicable to CPA applications. However, the fees that are listed DO NOT INCLUDE THE CPA SEARCH OR EXAMINATION FEE. This means if you file a CPA in Patent Center, you then have to go into EFS afterward and pay the two missing fees separately. This was first reported in Ideascale in July 2020.
    46. CP95.  Inadvertent duplicate of CP63.
    47. CP96.  HPT.   February 8, 2023.  CO.  In any case in the “35 series” (meaning a designation to the US from a Hague application), Patentcenter refuses to permit the filer to select a document description of “Request for corrected filing receipt”.  This is EBC ticket number 1-823950508.
    48. CP98.  HPT.  February 18, 2023.  CO.  Patentcenter refuses to provide web-based corrective ADS for provisional patent applications.
    49. CP99.  HPT.  February 20, 2023.  CO.  Patentcenter fails to check for two attempted entries into US national phase from a single PCT application.  See for example Patentcenter number 60947671 e-filed on September 8, 2022 and Patentcenter number 61618254 e-filed on February 19, 2023.
    50. CP101.  HPT.  March 5, 2023.  CO.  Patentcenter refuses to provide the web-based corrective ADS function for 35-series cases (US designation from a Hague application).
    51. CP102.  HPT.  March 5, 2023.  CO.  Patentcenter refuses to provide the web-based corrective ADS function for 371 cases (US national-phase entry from a PCT application).
    52. CP103.  March 13, 2023.  CO.  National-phase entry is e-filed in Patentcenter with patentcenter number 61724506.  There are two inventors in the ADS and for each inventor, a city and country of residence is listed in the ADS.  The city and state for the second inventor auto-loads into Palm.  But the city and state for the first inventor fails to auto-load into Palm.  This was reported to EBC agent 48 with ticket number 1-826155667.
    53. CP104.  March 17, 2023.  CO.  Outgoing correspondence table lists “page 2 of 1”.  See blog article.
    54. CP105.  March 19, 2023.  CO.  The March 17 version of Patentcenter is far less “restful” than the previous version.  In particular, if one right-clicks on “Upload documents / pay fees” and opens it in a new window, the link is a non-loadable link “about:blank#blocked”.
    55. CP108.  March 19, 2023.  CO, reported by Richard Schafer.  The March 17 version of Patentcenter still fails to include the attorney docket field by default in the Workbench/Correspondence page.
    56. CP109.  March 19, 2023.  CO, reported by Richard Schafer.  The March 17 version of Patentcenter breaks any normal sense of responsiveness for the Workbench/Correspondence page.  If for example the user’s window is only 10½ inches wide, the the entire list of correspondence has disappeared and the filter pane has mysteriously swollen to fill the entire window! Only if you happen to notice the vertical scroll bar will you realize that the correspondence list has been moved below the fold.
    57. CP110.  March 20, 2023.  CO, reported by Richard Schafer.  Appearance and function of column sorting arrows changes from day to day, having changed on March 17 and having changed again at least once after March 17.  Column sorting happens in several tables in Patentcenter, including Applications, Outgoing Correspondence, Receipt History, and maybe Saved Submissions.  Here are today’s findings:
      • Today, in the applications tab of the workbench, the arrows don’t act as toggles and the highlighted down arrow points down for an ascending sort and up for a descending sort, as the original poster said. It’s as if the PTO silently changed the behavior of the applications tab.
      • But if you do the same thing in the correspondence tab, the arrows behave differently. They point down for an ascending sort and up for a descending sort, but as I said in my email below, clicking on the highlighted arrow toggles the sort order and highlights the other arrow.
      • That’s not the only inconsistency. In the Applications tab, clicking on the column text heading or anywhere in the heading box other than the arrows does nothing. Only clicking on a non-highlighted arrow causes the sort to change. But in the Correspondence tab, clicking anywhere in the heading box (even on blank space) toggles the sort order.
      • And, of course, the Receipt History tab doesn’t allow sorting at all.
    58. CP113.  March 21, 2023.  CO.  In the March 17 version of Patentcenter, the “print” to PDF icons for Application data, Continuity, and Foreign Priority all generate identical operating system file names for the PDF files.  This means that each print to PDF overwrites the previous PDF files.  In the previous version of Patentcenter, the “print” to PDF icons for those pages generated distinct operating system file names so the print to PDFs did not overwrite each other.  The March 17 version needs to restore the functionality from the pre-March 17 version as to the distinct file names.
    59. CP114.  HPT.  March 21, 2023.  CO.  In the pre-March-17 version of Patentcenter, a user who is viewing the Continuity tab could copy the PCT application number for later pasting into some other document or application.  But in the March 17 version, it is impossible to copy the PCT application number.
    60. CP116.  March 24, 2023.  CO.  Patentcenter is supposed to bring forward all functions of PAIR.  PAIR provides the “status code”, for example as <pair:ApplicationStatusCode>17</pair:ApplicationStatusCode>.  But Patentcenter nowhere reveals the numerical “status code” for a patent application.  This needs to be corrected so that Patentcenter reveals the numerical “status code” for each patent application.
    61. CP117.  HPT.  August 9, 2020.  JS.  In EFS-Web each ack receipt gets a file name that is unique.  Patentcenter always tries to give the same name (N417) to every ack receipt.  What Patentcenter should do, as part of bringing forward features of from EFS-Web, is give a unique name to each ack receipt.  The source of uniqueness in the file name for the ack receipt could be the application number or the docket number or even the patentcenter submission number. This is Ideascale idea number 595. (Formerly FR40.)
    62. CP118.  August 9, 2020.  JS.  In EFS-Web, in a submission where money is paid, the ack receipt provides both the acknowledgment of documents filed and also the acknowledgment of money paid.  But in Patentcenter, this feature of EFS-Web is not brought forward.  To fix this, the second ack receipt (the one that tells you that yes you paid your money) should repeat all of the information that was in the first ack receipt (the one that tells you that yes you e-filed some documents).  This way, the second ack receipt can replicate the function of the single ack receipt from EFS-Web.  This way, the filer usually only needs to preserve a single ack receipt (the second one). This is a comment in Ideascale idea number 412.  (Formerly FR39.)
    63. CP121.  May 2, 2020 – CO – Patentcenter needs to be “restful”.  This is Ideascale idea number 533.  This is a bug rather than a feature request because USPTO promised “restfulness” in the first alpha testing of Patentcenter.  (Formerly FR8.)
    64. CP126.  March 28, 2023.  CO.  It was until now possible to copy the patent number.  In the March 17 version of Patentcenter, this function has been broken.
    65. CP127. March 28, 2023.  HPT.  RS – Patent Center requires entry of a state/province for certain countries that should not require it. The details of the bug are described below. This bug occurs anywhere in Patent Center that requires/allows entry of a mailing address: Web-ADS (inventor address, applicant address, assignee address), the first page when filing an international PCT application (where you enter the correspondence information), etc. For most countries, Patent Center does not require a state/province. However, Patent Center requires it for China, Oman, and the United Kingdom (and US and Canada but those make sense). It should not be necessary to enter a state/province for China, Oman, and the United Kingdom. In the case of China and Oman, Patent Center only gives a single option for the state/province even though many addresses in those countries are not in the listed “state/province.”In the case of the United Kingdom, Patent Center provides a confusing list of overlapping political subdivisions making it impossible to know which one to pick. For example, Patent Center lists: England, England and Wales, Great Britain (Great Britain is the combination of England, Scotland, and Wales), Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. If an address is in Wales, should the state/province be England and Wales, Great Britain, or just Wales? The address falls within any of these three. EBC ticket 1-827293068.
    66. CP128.  March 28, 2023.  CO, reported by Scott Neilson.  When you are on the ack receipt page, you see an orange box at right that says:

      The “file an assignment of ownership” link is temporarily broken.

      This has been “temporarily broken” for something like six months now.

    67. CP131.  March 29, 2023.  CO, reported by David Bernstein.  In the eTD (web-based terminal disclaimer), it is impossible for sponsored staff to prep the eTD.
    68. CP134. 
      click to enlarge

      April 7, 2023.  CO.  In Patentcenter, filer tries to do a “split document” upload in a 35-series case.  The drop-down menus for document splitting spill out of the screen display area.  See screen shot.  This is a responsiveness fail.

    69. CP135.  March 30, 2023.  CO.  Applicant filed an “auxiliary PDF” file that was 175K in size and contained scrapable text.  The Ack Receipt lists a message digest that matches the PDF file that the applicant uploaded.  But now suppose the applicant downloads from IFW the PDF file that is indexed as if it were the auxiliary PDF.  That PDF file is 500K in size and does not contain scrapable text.  The message digest for this PDF file does not match the digest listed in the Ack Receipt.  This is EBC trouble ticket 1-828414131.
    70. CP136.  April 23, 2023. CO. In the pre-March-17 version of Patentcenter, a user who is viewing the Application Data tab could copy the international design registration number for later pasting into some other document or application. But in the March 17 version, it is impossible to copy the international design registration number.
    71. CP137.  April 23, 2023. CO, reported by Ovis PC.   Patentcenter asks you to plug in the total claims and total independent claims. And, a handy pop-up box says Patentcenter will take into account what you previously paid. But, it didn’t. Two responses ago, filer paid for 10 excess claims. Today, filer used the autocalculate, plugged in 29 as the total number of claims, and it wanted to charge 8 excess claims. The independent claim calculation was off, so filer had to insert the wrong number to get the right payment total. Filer just left the total claims blank and skipped past the wording.
    72. CP138.  May 3, 2023.  CO, reported by Scott Nielson.  The filer paid an issue fee today for a client that previously qualified as a small entity but no longer does. The filer initially tried to change the entity size and pay the fee with the Web 85B-Issue fee transmittal in Patent Center. It let the filer change the entity size to regular, but the amount owed did not change (it was still the small entity amount). Even though the filer updated the entity size, Patentcenter would not update the amount owed to the fee for a large entity.  The filer cancelled the issue fee payment, changed the entity size in the main file wrapper in Patentcenter, and then went back and filled out the Web 85b form.  Only after these extra steps did Patentcenter correctly show that the entity was now a large entity and allowed the filer to pay the large entity fee.  The bug is that the Web 85b form should allow the filer to change the entity (it supposedly does this) AND at that moment Patentcenter should recognize the change and update the amount owed.  (Another user reports a similar defect in the web 85b form in connection with a shift from micro entity to small entity.)
    73. CP139.
      click to enlarge

      May 18, 2023, CO.  Filer uploads an IDS.  The filer clicks the “preview” button.  What pops up is a rendering of the IDS that says the application number is missing.  The rendering also shows the “patentee” name in an oddly elevated position in the table box.

      click to enlarge

      The filer clicks “submit”.  The document in IFW (see at right) fails to match the preview rendering.  The “patentee” name is now vertically centered and now the application number is visible.  This is EBC ticket number 1-830635911.  (Update: says this is “resolved” but it is not “resolved”.)

    74. CP140. May 25, 2023, RS. The PTO changed their login system today. Before, logging into MyUSPTO let me open PatentCenter without having to relogin.  Today, if I open a link to Patent Center or TEAS from the MyUSPTO page, I’m prompted to enter the authentication code before the Patent Center or TEAS page opens, even if I’ve checked the box saying “Don’t challenge me on this device for the next 24 hours.” If I open a new browser window and try to open Patent Center, TEAS, or anything else that requires a login, no further login was required before today, since I was already logged in. Today, each system appears to require its own complete login, and none of them recognize the “Don’t challenge me” option from any other system. That’s a significant step backward. This is EBC ticket 1-831159389.
    75. CP141. May 25, 2023, RS. Private PAIR now lies about Patent Center: “ADVISORY (19MAY2023) Patent Center has 100% of the functionality of EFS-Web, Public and Private PAIR, and is available to all users for electronic filing and management of patent applications.” That’s absolutely false. I requested the advisory be taken down or removed. The agent initially responded by saying I can use Patent Center for filing, etc. But I insisted he escalate it because the “100%” is a lie. This is EBC ticket 1-831173674.  See blog article.
    76. CP142.  July 4, 2023.
      click to enlarge

      CO.  If you are in Patentcenter, and if you click on “MyUSPTO”, it does not go to “MyUSPTO”. Instead, the screen refreshes and once again you are at Patentcenter.

    77. CP144.  July 7, 2023.
      click to enlarge

      CO, reported by Jeffrey Ingerman.  The USPTO has tried to clear trouble ticket CP66 but has replaced one bad UI (user interface) design element with another bad UI design element.  The previous problem was that to make use of, say, the attorney document search function, you saw a drop-down menu with fragments of the selections (part of the word “contains” instead of the entire word, for example).  At least then, the user could see that it was indeed a drop-down menu because one of the selections was peeking through, serving as a default selection.  The problem with the newly reshaped and resized drop-down box is that you have to sort of “already know” that it is a drop-down box and you sort of have to “already know” what the box is for. If you were a regular user of the previous (defective in a different way) design for the box, then you sort of “already know” what to do with the two boxes.  But a newcomer to this portion of the user interface will needlessly struggle to make sense of it. Is the top box (which is empty and which invites you to try to type something into the empty place) the place to type in the application number or maybe docket number? Or if not, then what is that box for? Yes it turns out it is an Easter Egg. You find out by random clicking and making it expand to show previously invisible drop-down selections that it is a drop-down for “Exact” or “Contains” or whatever.   This could be easily remedied by providing a default selection in the drop-down box.  Ideally the developers would check with the Patentcenter listserv community to find out which default value the users would prefer, and would then make that choice the default.  I predict, however, that the developers will instead wrongly think that they know better what the default value ought to be, and will pick “Exact” for the default value.

    78. CP145.  CO, July 6, 2023.  The unnecessarily short-fuse forced logout of the user from Patentcenter has switched from explicit and annoying to passive-aggressive and more annoying.  (The short-fuse forced logout is, for most users of USPTO systems, a bug, not a feature, see May 10, 2014 blog article.)  Until about two weeks ago, the Patentcenter forced logout was annoying in terms of how fast it happened, but at least it was explicit.  You knew that you had been forced to log out.  There was a message on the screen saying the USPTO had forced you to log out.  But as of around two weeks ago, the forced logout has changed to passive-aggressive.  The way you find out that the USPTO has forced you to log out is very indirect.  You simply click to “do something” and no matter what you try to do, you get some very unhelpful little red warning like the application number you are searching for does not exist.  The correct fix would be for the USPTO to permit the user to check a box to defer or disable the forced logout.
    79. CP146. RS, July 20, 2023. Patent Center splits an application filed in DOCX format as a single file into three files: Specification, Claims, and Abstract. In the process, Patent Center corrupts the page numbering, so that the Claims file and the Abstract file start with page 1 instead of being consecutively numbered with the Specification file as required by 37 CFR 1.52(b)(2)(5). Thus, Patent Center takes a rule-conforming file and makes it non-conforming.
    80. CP147.  CO, August 21, 2023.
      click to enlarge

      As may be seen from the screen shot at right, this application has a status of “non-final action mailed”.  So it is not an issued patent.  Despite this, Patentcenter provides a spurious link proposing to show the maintenance fee schedule for this patent.  Of course Patentcenter should show a maintenance fee schedule only for an issued patent.

    81. CP148. August 29, 2023.  CO.
      click to enlarge

      Attorney docket number is missing from correspondence table even though it is present in the actual application pages.  See screen shot at right, taken on August 29, 2023.  EBC ticket number is 1-838522518.

    82. CP149.  CO, reported by Margaret Polson, August 29, 2023.
      click to enlarge

      Practitioner uploads a fillable PDF ADS (official USPTO Form AIA/14) to Patentcenter, relying upon the expectation that the bibliographic data from the ADS will auto-load into Patentcenter and thence into downstream USPTO systems.  When the practitioner reaches the “submit” page, all the information that in theory auto uploads from the ADS was not showing up.  See screen shot.

    83. CP150.  CO, September 16, 2023.
      click to enlarge

      The “applications” screen in Patentcenter is supposed to provide the most recent “Submission Receipt” and the most recent “Payment Receipt” for each listed application.  As may be seen in the screen shot, however, this is often broken for some listed patent applications.

    84. CP151HPT.  September 18, 2023.  CO, reported by Robert J. Ross.
      click to enlarge

      The ellipsis has disappeared from Patentcenter Correspondence.  This means it is now impossible to display the attorney docket number.

    85. CP152.  Inadvertent duplicate of CP148.
    86. CP153HPT.  September 21, 2023.  CO.
      click to enlarge

      Capability to upload an ST.25 sequence listing is broken.  Error message is an unhelpful “Required resource is null.” See blog article.

    87. CP154.  September 21, 2023.  CO, reported by Rachel Watt.
      click to enlarge

      Patentcenter says (see screen shot) that the fee reduction for micro entity is 75%.  The correct figure is 80%.

    88. CP155HPT.  September 20, 2023.  CO.  In a US designation from a Hague application (“35-series application”) that the “International Registration Number (Hague)” information is incorrect.  Patent Center now lists only incorrect information in this field.
    89. CP156.  September 25, 2023.  CO, reported by Jeffrey Ingerman.  In EFS-Web, when you create a saved submission, you may then click to save or print a “submission record” which is a detailed receipt showing exactly what you saved in the saved submission.  (See exemplary screen shot at right.)  In an office with a collaborative work flow, this is very helpful because the receipt can be sent to a colleague.  The colleague might then carry out quality control or a review and then might click “submit”.  Patentcenter fails to provide this function.
      click to enlarge

      Instead you are given only a content-free banner (see screen shot at right) that says that nothing more than “Successfully saved application information”.  Patentcenter fails to provide “save” or “print” links and fails to provide any submission receipt.

      click to enlarge
    90. CP157.  September 25.  CO, reported by Scott Nielson.   The QPIDS document description cannot be found by typing keywords in document description field.  After uploading the QPIDS IDS form, the filer tried to find the correct document description by typing various keywords such as “quick” “path” “IDS,” etc. in the document description field. Nothing showed up. The filer eventually decided to use “Transmittal Letter.”  Later as the filer was manually shuffling through the document descriptions while dealing with the bug of trouble ticket CP158, the filer stumbled across “Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement.” Yeah, it’s there, but you must select it manually from the drop-down menu. Typing in keywords will not work. Apparently, when using keywords to find document descriptions, Patent center searches through a list of descriptions that is different than those that are available manually.
    91. CP158.  September 25.  CO, reported by Scott Nielson.  Cannot include patent term adjustment statement.  The PTO says in the QPIDS faqs (Q23 link) that “applicants are encouraged to include a statement under 37 CFR 1.704(d) so as to avoid a reduction in patent term adjustment pursuant to 37 CFR 1.704(c)(10).”  As some readers may recall, a recent rule mandated that patent term adjustment statements be coded with the correct document description or they might not be given effect. Given this and the statement in the faqs, you would think it would be possible to use this document description when filing a petition to withdraw form issue in Patent Center. Well, you would be wrong! Only certain document descriptions are allowed and “Patent Term Adjustment Statement under 37 CFR 1.704(d) filed with an IDS-PTA.IDS” is not one of them.  The document description shows up as being available when searched by keyword as shown in the image shown at right.
      click to enlarge

      But if you select it, you will receive the error shown at right.

      click to enlarge

      The filer ended up filing the patent term adjustment statement separately from the petition to withdraw from issue.   The filer is concerned that the USPTO personnel will fail to match up the two documents, in which case the attempt by the filer to prevent improper loss of PTA will be unsuccessful.

    92. CP159.  September 25.  CO, reported by Michael B. Comeau.
      click to enlarge

      EFS-Web has a very helpful feature that permits the filer, when constructing a web-based Application Data Sheet, to import selected bibliographic data from a previous patent application.  This feature is called “Application Information Retrieval” and may be seen in screen shot at right.   This feature is particularly helpful for continuations, divisionals, and continuations-in-part, especially if one lacks access to the originally filed PDF ADS.  In this particular case, Patent Center simply refused to accept the fillable form that was used three years earlier in the parent case.  The filer reports that Patent Center does not appear to have this functionality.

    93. CP160.
    94. CP161.
    95. CP162.
    96. CP163.
    97. CP164.

Resolved Issues

(You can also see Open Issues.)

    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. CP7 – April 26, 2020 – CO – Supplemental content fails to match PAIR (see article)
    3. CP8 – April 23, 2020 – CO – Reel number displayed wrong (see article)
      PTO Response: fixed May 12, 2020.
    4. 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.
    5. CP10 – December 28, 2019 – CO – should say “fewer”, not “less”, for inventor count (see article).  This is Ideascale idea number 497.  This got corrected at about September 28, 2023.
    6. 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.”
    7. CP14 – May 3, 2020 – KK – Receive “wrong page size” error when correctly sized page is uploaded.  This is Ideascale idea number 505.
    8. 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.”
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.”
    12. 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.”
    13. 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.”
    14. 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
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.”
    18. 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.
    19. 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.”
    20. 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.”
    21. 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.
    22. 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
    23. 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.
    24. 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.’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.”
    25. 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.
    26. CP48. November 30, 2020. RAS. If you login to Patent Center, logout, then try to login again, PatentCenter acts like the login attempt didn’t happen. Clearing the browser cache doesn’t help, but switching to a different browser works. I think the problem has to do with the code that is supposed to avoid the need to enter an authentication code for 24 hours, because if I don’t check the box saying “Remember this browser,” the problem does not occur, but if I check the box the problem always occurs. If I switch from browser 1 to browser 2 and login, then try again with browser 1, sometimes I can login, but other times I get a web page saying “{“requestId”:””,”responseTimeMs”:”17″}” (where the “17” varies from attempt to attempt). This was reported by a non-Listserv user as Ideascale item number 630.
    27. CP52.  May 27, 2021.  CO.  It is commonplace, when a logged-in user is trying to do “view applications”, to receive a red warning message saying “Search limit reached — please try again later.”    While it might be appropriate to impose search limits on users who are not logged in, it is completely unacceptable to impose any search limit on a paying customer who is a logged-in user.  This is Ideascale idea number 18.
    28. CP53.  May 27, 2021.  CO.  It is commonplace, when a logged-in user gets logged out due to USPTO’s system of forced logouts, to run into a situation where logging back in once is not enough to gain logged-in status.  The user is forced to log in a second time to gain logged-in status.
    29. CP54.  May 29, 2021.  CO.  The web-based issue fee payment form incorrectly states that the due date for payment of the issue fee is the same as the day upon which the issue fee is being paid.
    30. CP57.  July 27, 2021.  CO.  I look in Patentcenter at an issued US patent (patent number 9686641) that has expired for nonpayment of a maintenance fee.  And it has an “Estimated time to first action” of “3 months.”  This makes no sense to have a first action prediction for an expired patent.
    31. CP60.   September 15, 2021.  CO.   Logged-in user clicks on “Workbench” and then “View correspondence”.  Suppose that today happens to be a day that there is no recent correspondence.  What you would expect to see next is a report along the lines of “there is no recent correspondence”.  Instead what you get is a false statement “There are no customer numbers associated with the profile.  Create new customer number.”  The user, who almost certainly does already have many customer numbers, is told that he or she does not have any customer numbers, which could be cause for panic.  Update:  as of about May 20, 2022, it looks like the developers made an attempt to clear this trouble ticket.  Now the error message reads “No data available” instead of the panic-inducing “There are no customer numbers associated with the profile.  Create new customer number.”   The developers still got it wrong;  as this trouble ticket explains, the correct wording would be “There is no recent correspondence.”  But at least they tried.  Note that this took eight months for them to get around to the attempted fix, which was simply a text edit in one line of code.  Note that we had to find out by accident that they tried to fix it;  they did not get back to us in response to this trouble ticket.  And of course the underlying problem of CP31 (June 30, 2020) has still gone unaddressed.
    32. CP64. November 11, 2021. CO.  When using WebADS with Opera, the user cannot see anything.  It is simply a blank screen.
    33. CP66.  November 21, 2021.  CO. In the “Workbench” tab, in the “View Applications” sub-tab, there are buttons at the far left. One button apparently is intended to contain the word “Exact”. But the button is wrongly sized and the word is unreadable. The only letters visible are “E” and “x” and a portion of the letter “a”. See the screen shot at right. A second button apparently is intended to contain the word “Contains”. But the button is wrongly sized and the word is unreadable. The only letters visible are “C” and “o” and “n”. This was reported to the USPTO developers by the alpha testers in 2018. Three years have passed and these bugs have not been fixed.
    34. CP68. November 22, 2021. RAS. The pop-up window for customizing the columns in the Workbench is broken. The first time it opens, the last column currently displayed is missing from the list of possible columns to display. If you close the pop-up window without making any changes then reopen it (by clicking on the three dots at the right of the column headings), the list of available columns eliminates the last item on the previous list. If you do that often enough, the Customize Columns pop-up window lists no available columns, just the instruction to select the fields to be displayed. Reported to the EBC as reference no. 1-781143467 on November 22, 2021.
    35. CP69. December 3, 2021. RAS.  (closed per DS.) (Reported on Patent Center child continuity data is incomplete ( In Public PAIR (and Private PAIR), the Continuity tab for a given patent application lists, as Child continuity data, all US applications that claim priority to the given application. This includes children as well as grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. The Patent Center Child Continuity data shows only the immediate child(ren) of the given application and fails to show any grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc.
    36. CP70.  December 8, 2021.  CO.  The Patentcenter developers need to make up their minds whether they think that the presence of layers in a PDF is a warning or an error.  Right now it is a mere warning, meaning that the e-filing is permitted to proceed.  Patentcenter then flattens the image and any invisible layers are eliminated.  This eliminates the problem so far as the image itself is concerned.  But a USPTO employee in the Publication Branch will nonetheless mail out a Notice to File Corrected Application Papers solely because the Patentcenter Acknowledgment Receipt bears the warning about the presence of layers.  If the developers really feel that the filer must do the flattening rather than the USPTO doing the flattening, then Patentcenter needs to be reprogrammed so that the presence of layers is an error, not a mere warning.  The presence of the error would then block the e-filing process from submission.   The developers should either change the training and e-filing guidelines and warning message text to match actual practice (namely that Patentcenter does the flattening and so the filer does not need to do it) or should  change the handling from mere “warning” handling to “error” handling.  This is detailed in this blog post.
    37. CP72.  December 30, 2021.  CO.  I used EPAS to e-file an assignment with two assignees.  In Patent Assignment Search, the recorded assignment (at reel 058316 and frame 0699) shows up with both assignees displayed on the web page.  The same is true in PAIR in the Assignments tab.  But in Patentcenter, only one of the two assignees is displayed.  You can see this in the screen shot at right.  I suspect this is a systematic programming mistake in Patentcenter and that it consistently fails to display any additional assignee beyond just one assignee.  I reported this on December 30, 2021 to the EBC (agent 38) with ticket number 1-786917194.
    38. CP73.  March 5, 2022.  CO.  A set of amended claims is prepared in Microsoft Word format that is fully compliant with  37 CFR § 1.121, including strikethroughs and underscores showing deletions and insertions.  Using Patentcenter, the amended claims are uploaded in Microsoft Word format into US patent application number 15733061.  Patentcenter stripped out all of the strikethroughs and underscores.  The result in IFW is a PDF version of the claims that fails to comply with 37 CFR § 1.121.  See blog article.
    39. CP76.  March 26, 2022.  CO.  I am doing a follow-on submission in a 371 case.  Patentcenter reports an “Invalid date” for the international application filing date and it shows a blank for the international application number.  See screen shot.
    40. CP77.  May 10, 2022.  CO.  The “last 40 ack receipts” feature, such as it is, only lists ack receipts for newly filed patent applications but not for follow-on submissions.
    41. click to enlarge

      CP80.  June 1, 2022. CO.  User taps “Petitions” and an enormous dropdown/popup window appears, which spills past the user’s screen dimensions.  The coder probably had a screen the size of Vermont and failed to consider that not every screen is the size of Vermont.  The coder should have provided a scroll bar within this dropdown/popup window but failed to do so.  This is an accessibility failure since the only way to see the unavailable links is to resize the web page so that the text is too small for some people to read.

    42. CP84.  July 6, 2022.  CO.  Failure to provide throbber (hourglass) for SCORE downloads.   Files in SCORE are usually really big.  It is commonplace for a file in SCORE to be so big that it takes fifteen seconds to download, or sixty seconds to download, or longer.  For this reason, of course, the developers should provide a throbber (an hourglass) so that if you click on the icon to download a file from SCORE, you will get to see the throbber.  You will then know that you do not need to click again.  You will know that what you need to do is … wait.  Wait fifteen seconds, or sixty seconds, or longer, and eventually something will download.But that is not how it is with SCORE.  With SCORE, the developers do not provide a throbber.  So the user will click on the icon to download a file.  Nothing happens.  Maybe the user did not click in just the right place?  Okay, so the user clicks a second time.  Still nothing happens.  Did I not tap my touch-pad vigorously enough?  Okay, so the user clicks a third time, this time trying extra hard to tap the touch-pad very vigoriously.  Still nothing happens.  But wait!  Now finally a banner pops up at the bottom of the web browser, letting the user know that a file download has begun.  But wait!  Now a second file-name lozenge appears within the banner.  Oh no.  The file is being downloaded twice.  But wait!  Now a third file-name lozenge appears within the banner.  Oh no again.  The file is now being downloaded three times in parallel.  Let’s suppose the file that the user had hoped to download is a file that would normally have taken, say, sixty seconds to download.The practical consequence of this lack-of-a-throbber defect is that now, the limited bandwidth of the download is now split three ways.  Now the likely result is that it will take something like 140 seconds for the first download to finish, and then things will speed up a bit for the second and third downloads, and after about 180 seconds the third of the downloads will finish.The evil that flows from this design mistake is that a download that would only have taken sixty seconds, if there had been a throbber, will instead take 140 seconds.
    43.  CP85.  July 13, 2022.  CO.  Entity size change.  The entity size change feature from Private PAIR needs to be implemented in Patentcenter.
    44. CP86.  September 25, 2022.  CO (reported by DEB.)  No clear click path for changing ADS approach during filing process.  The filer was filing a new US patent application.  The filer selected one of the three ADS paths, namely “uploading an ADS.”  The uploaded some first document that was not recognized by the system as an ADS.  Let’s say it was an Abstract.  The filer then proceeded with uploading additional application papers, including specification and drawings and inventor declaration.    Now the filer wants to change the document description for the first document so that it is indexed as Abstract.  In EFS-Web this would be a straightforward matter — change the document description to Abstract.  The filer tries to do in Patentcenter the same corrective step that the filer would do in EFS-Web, namely changing the document description.  In Patentcenter the filer clicked on the three dots — and the link for “edit document description” is grayed out for this particular document.  The real answer about what to do next is not visible anywhere on the screen (the filer must abandon the entire filing package and start all over again in Patentcenter).  The filer is instead unable to proceed with any click path to move forward, even though in EFS-Web it would be easy to move forward at this stage.  At least two corrections are required in Patentcenter for this.  First, if Patentcenter has decided that the uploaded would-be ADS is not really an ADS, then Patentcenter should not allow the filer to continue with uploading (and indexing) any additional documents.  The reason is that Patentcenter is never going to allow the filing package to move forward.  The additional uploaded documents will have to be discarded eventually.  Second, if Patentcenter has decided that the uploaded would-be ADS is not really an ADS, then Patentcenter should make clear what the “path forward” is, namely discarding the filing package and starting over again with a new selection among the three ADS paths.
    45. CP87.  September 25, 2022.  CO (reported by DEB).  Document indexing dialog is defective after the filer chooses “All documents” in column 1.  The consequence is that there is no scroll bar in column 2.  (screen shot)
    46. CP88.  September 25, 2022.  CO (reported by DEB)  Document indexing dialog is defective after the filer chooses “Application part” in column 1.  The consequence is that there is no scroll bar in column 2 and it is impossible to reach “oath or declaration” in column 2.  (screen shot)
    47. CP90.  January 17, 2023.  CO (Reported by Gerry Peters.)  In the application list, USPTO has disappeared the “attorney docket number” column.  This needs to be restored as a default visible column.  (KJ reported this to the EBC on January 16.  Update:  EBC responded a day later, Agent 65, saying “I’ve gone ahead and sent up your suggestion to the developers of Patent Center so that way they can consider these changes for future updates within the system.”)
    48. CP92.  February 7, 2023.  CO.  This might seem like a feature request but it is actually a bug, because it is a failure to carry forward a feature of EFS-Web into Patentcenter.  It is recalled that in EFS-Web, if the filer indicates that the filing is a Track I filing, then EFS-Web automatically prompts the user to select and pay both of the government fees that are required.  This feature should of course have been carried forward into Patentcenter but the Patentcenter developers failed to carry it forward.  Patentcenter should do a validation in the case where a filer has selected the Track I workflow.  In that workflow, if the filer reaches the “submit” page and has not selected both of the Track-I government fees, then a warning should be provided.  See article detailing the failure in Patentcenter.
    49. CP93.  February 7, 2023.  CO.  (Reported by Jill Santuccio.)  (closed per DS.) Private PAIR uses human-readable document descriptions in its multi-document downloads from IFW.  This ought to have been replicated in Patentcenter.  Instead, Patentcenter prepends the document description with unhelpful strings of digits that do nothing to distinguish documents from those above or below in the list.  And Patentcenter fails to use the human-readable document descriptions, instead only using cryptic document codes.  See article here.  This is EBC ticket number 1-817731199 created on November 22, 2022.
    50. CP97. February 8, 2023. RS. (Reported by Andrea Jacobsen). PatentCenter windows are not properly responsive to changes in window size. Some pages are not responsive at all, and content that exceeds the width of the window is completely inaccessible. (E.g., the Outgoing Correspondence page in the Workbench.) Other pages are semi-responsive: they shrink the width of tabular columns in an attempt to be responsive, but fail when the window width falls below some minimum width. (E.g., the Documents & Transactions page.) Some pages are more responsive, by presenting a horizontal scrollbar when the table content is wider than the available space in the window. (E.g., Workspace Applications page.) Pages are not consistently responsive to vertical size, either. Some present long tables with vertical scrollbars, but the column headings disappear when scrolling. Other pages insist on a table of a fixed number of rows, so that the user has to move from page to page to see desired rows. The lack of a consistent design makes PatentCenter harder to use. UPDATED 3/17/2023: Patent Center now consistently provides horizontal scrolling that avoids the inability to see material beyond the window boundary, but now may push some material vertically below the fold, requiring both horizontal and vertical scrolling.
    51. CP100. February 20, 2023 RS.
      click to enlarge

      Patentcenter downloads a single file from the Workbench correspondence tab as an invalid zip file named It’s not really a zip file, but a pdf file with the wrong extension. This is EBC Ticket 1-824899487.  Augmented report on April 6, 2023 by CO.  Filer clicks on documents that were filed moments ago to download a copy of what the USPTO received.  Patentcenter provides a ZIP file.  When the filer tries to open the ZIP file, Windows says the ZIP file “is invalid”, see screen shot.  Filer renames the ZIP file with a PDF extension.  Now the file can be opened by a PDF viewer.

    52. CP106.  March 19, 2023.  CO, reported by Scott Nielson.  The March 17 version of Patentcenter refuses to permit the filer to edit the document description because it sees a text match somewhere in the file name, to some internal string list item.  His example is that if the file name contains “drawings” then Patentcenter refuses to permit the filer to change the document description to “non-BW drawings”.  Another example is that if the file name contains “claims” then Patentcenter refuses to permit the filer to expand the document description to include more than one document description.
    53. CP107.  March 19, 2023.  CO, reported by David Boundy.  The March 17 version of Patentcenter refuses to load normally, but instead does a refresh blink and blink and blink that never ends.  See screen capture video.
    54. CP111. March 20, 2023. RS, reported by Victoria O’Connor. When filing a PCT application with the ePCT zip file, the March 17 version of Patentcenter provides no way to pay the correct lower fee, but only allows paying the higher electronic, non-Easy Zip file fee.  Hidden on this page if you expand “Known issues & workarounds” and scroll way down, is “New PCT filings – New PCT filings does not show fee code 1710 when uploading the appropriate zip file. – As a workaround use EFS-Web to upload your PCT filings with a zip file. – This will be resolved in June.”  Yes the USPTO says it will take more than two months to fix this.
    55. CP112.  March 20, 2023.  CO, reported by Michael Nye.  In the March 17 version of Patentcenter, if you try to do the web-based terminal disclaimer, it will bounce any attempted e-signature that has more than fifteen characters.
    56. CP115.  March 21, 2023.  CO.  A user who is viewing the Continuity tab is invited to click on the PCT application number with the notion that it would link to Patentscope.  But the URL that results is which is a broken link.
    57. CP119.  April 30, 2020 – CO – This is a failure to bring forward a PAIR feature, so it is a bug report.  Patentcenter needs a user-friendly click-list for cases with recent status changes, just like PAIR (see article).    This is Ideascale idea number 529.  (Formerly FR3.)
    58. CP120.  April 30, 2020 – CO – last 40 ack receipts should have been brought forward from EFS-Web (see article).    This is Ideascale idea number 383.  (Formerly FR4.)
    59. CP122.  May 6, 2020 – RB – Application Bibliographic Data needs a link to order a certified copy of the application and an additional link to order a certified copy of the file wrapper.   This is a bug, not a feature request, because these functions are in PAIR and should have been brought forward to Patentcenter. This is Ideascale idea number 544. The PTO has responded, “This feature is planned for a future release of Patent Center Beta.” (August 28, 2020)  (Formerly FR18.)
    60. CP123.  May 11, 2020 – CO – the “update application address” function of Private PAIR is missing from Patentcenter.  See article.  This is Ideascale idea number 545PTO Response:  The Ideascale moderator responded on 9/23/2020 saying, “We plan to provide this enhanced feature in a future release.”  (Formerly FR19.)
    61. CP124.  March 27, 2023 – KK – When adding a new foreign assignee, Patent Center insists on having something in the “state/province” dropdown list.  However, the dropdown list does not include every state/province in that foreign country, and for some countries the dropdown list is grayed out.  This same bug exists for all foreign inventors and applicants in Web ADS in Patent Center.
    62. CP125.  March 27, 2023 – KK – The web issue fee payment function in Patent Center is unusable after most recent update.
    63. CP129.  March 29, 2023.  CO, reported by Paul Kaye.  There seems to be a new bug in Patentcenter. Within the “Documents” tab of the “Documents & Transactions” section for any given application, there is a check-box that allows the user to select all documents listed. This has existed since the days of Public PAIR. However, now, checking this box automatically also re-sorts the documents into reverse date order (newest first), irrespective of the order that the documents were sorted prior to checking the box. For example, I have frequently sorted documents oldest first before downloading, so that I can read through a PDF of the file history in a natural chronological order. The bug described here makes it impossible to do so any longer.
    64. click to enlarge

      CP130. March 29, 2023.  CO, reported by David Bernstein.  In the eTD (web-based terminal disclaimer), when you enter a prior patent, it correctly shows up correctly after you hit “add.” If you enter another prior patent, the second number shows up identical to the first (see photo at right with demo numbers). If you try to remove one, all heck breaks lose.

    65. CP132.  March 30, 2023.  CO, reported by Andrea Jacobson.  Nag popups keep asking “are you still working?” again and again within seconds of times that the user was undoubtedly working.  Four times in less than sixty seconds.
    66. CP133.  April 4, 2023.
      click to enlarge

      CO.  Preview of uploaded PDF is rendered in popup window as blank page. See screen shot at right. This is saved submission 61861491.

Note to editors.  This is not the correct place to insert a new trouble ticket.  The right place to insert a new trouble ticket is slightly above this place.