Patent Application Status

Category: Patent Application


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) recently launched the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system, which makes it possible for applicants, and their designated agents or attorneys, to securely obtain up-to-the-minute information on their pending or abandoned applications.

PAIR makes it possible to quickly access patent application data in a few mouse clicks without compromising the confidentiality or security of pending or abandoned applications. Examples of information available from PAIR include whether a filing date has been recorded; current status of the application; the examiner's name and examiner contact information; the prosecution history; and other helpful information.

"We believe our customers will appreciate the ease of using PAIR as more and more of the agency's products and services become available on the Internet. It should be particularly helpful to small businesses and small inventors as it makes it more convenient to check the status of pending applications," said Q. Todd Dickinson, Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks.

In order to take advantage of the PAIR system for pending and abandoned applications:

    * A requestor must be either the applicant or an officially designated representative of the applicant.
    * The requestor must complete a PAIR access request form.
    * The requestor must also have a customer number. Only those cases that are associated with the requestor's customer number can be accessed using PAIR.
    * The requestor will need to install Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) software on their computer. Please note that pending and abandoned application information cannot be accessed without the PKI software. Functions of the PKI software include encryption and a digital signature. This is done in order to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of the application data. The PTO will provide the PKI software free of charge to those individuals approved for use of the PAIR system.

For more information on the PAIR system, including requests for the PAIR application form, please contact Terry Downey at 703-308-6845 or visit PTO's web site at If you would like to request a customer number, the customer number request form is available at the following web address in Adobe PDF format, . A free Adobe Acrobat reader can be obtained from the Adobe web site.