Patent application information retrieval (PAIR) is a feature available on the United States Patent and Trademark Organization (USPTO) website providing access to information such as examination documents, prosecution history, etc., pertaining to a patent application. The PAIR system provides access to file history of published patent applications, issued patent applications, and pending patent applications. The PAIR system has several advantages. One of the advantages of the PAIR system being it allows the patent attorney/ patent analyst to obtain key search results since the patent attorney/ patent analyst will have access to examination documents, for example, Examiner's search strategy and results of a prior art.
The PAIR system includes a Public PAIR option and a Private PAIR option. The public PAIR option provides access to documents pertaining to published patent applications and issued patent applications. The Private PAIR option provides a secure authenticated access to pending patent application documents in real-time. The Private PAIR option is essentially available to patent agents, patent attorneys, or someone who has a customer number.
The Public PAIR option allows the patent attorney/ patent analyst to search for published patent applications and issued patent applications using Application Number, Control Number, Patent Number, PCT Number, and Publication Number. An image file wrapper option in the PAIR system provides access to documents such as Abandonment, Examiner's search strategy and results, Search information including classification, databases and other search related notes, List of References cited by applicant and considered by examiner, Non Patent Literature, Amendment/Req. Reconsideration-After Non-Final Reject, etc., if any pertaining to published patent applications, issued patent applications, and pending patent applications. The Private PAIR option provides additional features than the Public PAIR option.