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[FYI] US: First Patent Application Filed Using the Internet


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PRESS RELEASE #00-04 January 12, 2000 CONTACT: Richard Maulsby 703-
305-8341 Moorie Goodman, Pat Woodward 202-482-4883  

       First Patent Application Filed Using the Internet 

The Department of Commerce has announced that the Patent and 
Trademark Office (PTO) unveiled EFS Pilot, the second
phase of PTO's evolving Electronic Filing System with the recent 
filing of the first new patent application over the Internet. 

EFS Pilot eliminates the cost and delay of physically handling, 
processing and delivering patent applications. This service also 
offers PTO's customers automated assistance in preparing their 
transmittal information and provides real time acknowledgment of 

"The Department of Commerce is using the web to entirely change the 
way we interact with our customers. What eBay has done for auctions, 
we are trying to do for government," U.S. Commerce Secretary William 
M. Daley said. "The EFS Pilot moves Commerce another step closer to 
going from a paper-based bureaucracy to an all-digital Deparment by 
the year 2002."  

Unlike trademark applications, patent applications are confidential, 
presenting the PTO a special challenge. EFS Pilot uses an electronic 
Packaging and Validation Engine (ePAVE,) developed by the agency to 
provide its customers with a means to enter transmittal and fee 
information, bundle it with the application's Declaration and 
Specification, compress the package, and transmit it to the agency. 
To address the confidentially and integrity of the information as it 
is being transmitted over the Internet, ePAVE leverages PTO's 
recently deployed Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) software to 
digitally sign and encrypt the information.  

"Our customers file applications for much of the world's most 
sophisticated advertising and technology and they expect state-of-the-
art service from the agency," said Q. Todd Dickinson, Commissioner of 
Patents and Trademarks. "  

EFS Pilot is restricted to a small group of participants and to new 
patent applications for inventions of limited complexity. EFS Pilot 
follows EFS BIO which inaugurated PTO’s Electronic Filing System in 
late September with the filing of a gene sequence listing for a 
pending biotechnology application. PTO patent customers can also 
track the status of their patent applications without compromising 
confidentiality or security using PTO's Patent Application 
Information Retrieval (PAIR) system. In 2000, the PTO plans to expand 
EFS Pilot.  

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