There are numerous services to monitor Public PAIR. This is useful to monitor the status of one’s own cases, as well as the status of the cases of one’s competitors.
For one’s own cases, for example, if an After Final Amendment or a Petition is filed, it does not stop the clock for a response. Monitoring PAIR to ensure that any Advisory Actions or Petition responses are timely received is very helpful. Similarly, once an Issue Fee is paid, you have until the case actually issues to file a continuation application. While an Issue Notification is provided by the Patent Office, the Issue Notification is often provided days before the actual issue date. Therefore, it is worth monitoring PAIR to ensure that this information is obtained at the earliest possible time.
For one’s competitors’ cases, it is useful to know when cases are going to be issuing, or substantive office actions are received. As the post grant procedure comes into effect, starting on September 16 of this year, knowing right away that a competitor’s case is about to issue becomes even more important.
Of course, in any Reexamination, the timelines are tight, and having an extra few days by receiving the copies of any office actions or filings by the opposing party is useful.
These services range in cost. For example,
CE Status for example provides a PAIR monitoring for $180.00 per case per year.
Cardinal IP monitors public PAIR for $10 per case per month (e.g. $120 per case per year).
Questel provides PAIR monitoring, as well as monitoring international patent offices. I could not find pricing online. (If someone provides this data, I will update this)
Maxval also provides public PAIR monitoring for $60 per case per year.
Of course, it is possible to manually monitor PAIR as well. There is an advantage to doing so in-house, because it enables access to Private PAIR, rather than just to Public PAIR, as with the listed services. However, this is time consuming, and requires administrator time on a daily or weekly basis. Currently my Admin monitors PAIR on a weekly basis, on Mondays. The day of the week was selected because patents issue on Tuesdays, and I want to ensure I get even last minute issue notifications.
I’m working on writing a script to see if I can use Private PAIR with a script (though I may need to sign in manually). Does anyone know of a functioning script or application that works well, and isn’t too expensive?