TAKEAWAY: The USPTO announced the Public PAIR tool for the electronic filing and management of patent applications will be officially retired on July 31, 2022, and replaced by Patent Center.

The USPTO recently announced the Patent Center system, available to the public since 2017, will fully replace the Public Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) tool on August 1, 2022. Private PAIR will remain operational and available to registered practitioners.

Patent Center provides a drag and drop interface for electronic filing with a training mode. Patent Center incorporates the existing functions of Public PAIR, as well as several enhanced features, including the ability to:

  • search publicly available information as a guest by application and patent number (including international PCT applications and international design applications);
  • sort documents and transaction history based on column headings;
  • download multiple documents at once as a PDF or ZIP file; and
  • download documents in DOCX and XML formats.

Users should be aware of some issues with Patent Center of which the USPTO is aware and working to address, such as:

  1. web-based corrected application data sheet (ADS) is temporarily unavailable;
  2. some applications may not display all assignees;
  3. amendments and responses cannot be submitted in DOCX; and
  4. some ad-blocking software may erroneously block some functionality.

Please visit the Patent Center information webpage for additional information, including workarounds to the issues above.