Public PAIR: The Newest Tool to Monitor the Filing and Prosecution of Competitor Patents
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently announced a new electronic database as part of its effort to make the patent examination process fully transparent to the public. The new database, known as the Public PAIR (Patent Application and Information Retrieval) system, allows anyone with Internet access to track the status of a public patent application as it moves from publication to final disposition. Public PAIR allows the public to view, download, and print an array of information including PDF files of all the documents contained in approximately 500,000 patent application files not covered by confidentiality laws. The types of documents available for viewing include Office Actions, Amendments, Information Disclosure Statements, Notices of Allowance, and similar prosecution documents. New applications will be continually added to the database, and at least 300,000 new application files are expected to be added annually. The Public PAIR database may be accessed on the internet at http://portal.uspto.gov/external/portal/pair.