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PTO 21st Century Strategic Plan Proposes Deferred Patent Examination, 4-Tier Fee System



EFS Vendors

USPTO Announces Electronic Filing Partnerships
As Part of Newly Unveiled Strategic Plan (06-18-2002)

   The USPTO today announced the award of partnership contracts for the electronic filing of patent applications as part of its strategic plan to five companies: Aspen Grove, Inc., AutoDocs, LLC, First to File, Inc., LegalStar, Inc and LexisNexis. The partnerships are "no cost contracts" which means that the companies will be providing their services to USPTO customers at no cost to the agency.
     USPTO Director Jim Rogan noted, "Two weeks ago when I unveiled our 21st Century Strategic Plan, I indicated we would be leveraging outside resources to assist us in moving toward a full paperless patent process by the end of 2004. This endeavor also fully supports President Bush's e-commerce goals by utilizing the private sector's business expertise to provide better, more efficient and less costly government services to our citizens."
     Each of the five companies will pursue its own business plan, and integrate technology of its own development for providing its customers with simple, convenient and secure electronic submissions to the USPTO. The awardees responded to a solicitation from the USPTO and demonstrated an ability to build and market systems that are technically viable and provide services and products of value to filers. All five companies presented a potentially successful business strategy and have documented experience in e-commerce product development.
     The partnerships will supplement USPTO's current Electronic Filing System (EFS). The EFS system proved the viability of the concept of electronic filing. Electronic filing can now be better addressed by vendors with a profit motive and market experience.

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