According to an unofficial summary of the USPTO's September 28, 2004 Electronic Filing Forum, Director Dudas noted that while e-filing of trademark and patent applications had been available for some years, trademark e-filing was at about 70% while patent e-filing was still only 1-2%. It is thus a very high priority of the Patent Office, the Director explained, to make plans to get the patent e-filing rate up to a comparable percentage.
Participants mentioned several factors as to why they do not e-file, including
- fear of malpractice liability due to risk of dropped content in an e-filing,
- concern that an e-filing can take hours longer than a paper filing, leading to costs that cannot be passed on to clients, and
- frustration with nonstandard data ports used by ePave leading to problems with corporate firewalls.
Terri Raines, EFS Project Manager, presented slides offering a proposed strategic plan for EFS: