Tuesday, January 30, 2007

PubWest Downtime

From the Patent and Trademark Depository Library Program:

PubWest will not be available between 6:00-7:00 PM EST tomorrow,
Wednesday, January 31. The firewall server that handles the
authentication to USPTO will be replaced during this time. You will
need to reauthenticate after 7:00 PM, and access to PubWest will then
again be available.

Disclosure Document Program to be Eliminated

Effective February 1, 2007, the Disclosure Document Program will be eliminated. The Program was started by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1969 as a way to provide a form of evidence of the date of an invention. In the U.S. patents may be granted to the first person(s) to invent "...any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof", so proving the date of conception can be very important. Through the program, an inventor could have a description of an invention date stamped and filed at the USPTO for a period of time as a way of showing evidence of invention by that date.

Insufficient benefit to inventors and frequent confusion about the nature and effect of a Disclosure Document were cited as reasons for eliminating the program. The Final Rule eliminating the Program was published on November 3 in the Federal Register. All documents not received by January 31, 2007 at the USPTO will be returned to the application filer.