Bringing Digital Government to the Patent Office
In order to file an application or view outgoing correspondence online, the practitioner must authenticate using a private certificate and password. The process relies on an antiquated browser plugin, Java, that has not been welcomed into the new operating systems that power modern smartphones and tablets. As a result, mobile prosecution is possible only through a traditional operating system running on a laptop or netbook. To rectify the situation, the PTO will need to break its dependence on browser plugins and on the proprietary authentication system it has licensed from Entrust. Rather than license another proprietary system, the agency should follow WIPO’s example and adopt a standard certificate format compatible with modern browsers’ built-in authentication capabilities.