On February 1, 2022, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a new Patent Public Search Tool that purports to provide a “more convenient, remote, and robust full-text searching of all U.S. patents and published patent applications.”
According to the USPTO’s press release, the tool is ”based on the advanced Patents End-to-End (PE2E) search tool USPTO examiners use to identify prior art, this free, cloud-based platform combines the capabilities of four existing search tools scheduled to be retired in September 2022: Public-Examiner’s Automated Search Tool (PubEAST), Public-Web-based Examiner’s Search Tool (PubWEST), Patent Full-Text and Image Database (PatFT), and Patent Application Full-Text and Image Database (AppFT).”
Drew Hirshfeld, Performing the Functions and Duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, was quoted in the press release as stating that this “new platform represents a significant step forward in our broader efforts to meet stakeholders where they are, especially in the pandemic… [k]nowing that our previous tools did not provide users with the convenience or similar functionality as those used by our examiners, it is incredibly gratifying to know that now more stakeholders can search for patents using the resources of four powerful search platforms in one expansive tool.”
With the launch of the new tool, remote searching is now available to all users with internet access.
In conjunction with the launch of the Patent Public Search tool, the USPTO also unveiled a new Patent Public Search webpage that includes FAQs, training resources, and other information to help users transition to the new online tool. Public training session schedules should be posted soon.
For questions regarding Patent Public Search, users are being asked to contact the Public Search Facility at email@example.com or to visit the Public Search Facility and/or Patent and Trademark Resource Centers websites.
Written by Mark Bloom, Patent Agent and Senior Consultant, TechNomos, Inc.