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USPTO Sign-In and Authentication Changes - A Quick Guide

The USPTO announced a new authentication procedure for Private PAIR and EFS-Web, beginning in October 2018, transitioning from digital PKI certificates to a single, unified USPTO.gov (also known as the “MyUSPTO”) account. Benefits of the unified MyUSPTO account include:

- Eliminating shared PKI certificates and credentials - support staff will have their own accounts with granted access to practitioners’ accounts;
- Increasing account security with a two-step authentication process;
- Enabling access to multiple USPTO systems with a single sign-in;
- Reducing browser compatibility issues.

As a first step, PKI certificate holders should enable two-step authentication in their MyUSPTO account.1,2 To enable two-step authentication, follow these steps:

1. Sign in to MyUSPTO (or create a new account if necessary), then visit “Accounts” under your name in the top right of the menu bar.
2. Select the preferred authentication method (email, authentication app, or phone number)3 under “Two-step authentication,” and check the box stating: “I want to use the two-step authentication method every time I sign into MyUSPTO.”4
3. Verify that the other information in your Accounts page is accurate, and save the settings.

After enabling two-step authentication, the newly-released “Migration Tool” can be used to link the PKI certificate and MyUSPTO account.5 The Migration Tool simply requires signing in using the PKI credentials and the MyUSPTO account. Two-step authentication will be used to verify the MyUSPTO account sign-in at this point.

According to the USPTO, PKI certificates will remain valid for a period of time after the migration process to access Private PAIR and EFS-Web. New links for signing into Private PAIR and EFS Web are available now:6

- Private PAIR: https://ppair-my.uspto.gov/pair/PrivatePair
- EFS Web: https://efs-my.uspto.gov/EFSWebUIRegistered/EFSWebRegistered

Beginning in November 2018, registered practitioners will be able to add “sponsorship” access to support staff accounts. It may be advisable for support staff to create their own MyUSPTO accounts in the next few weeks and become familiar with navigating MyUSPTO before the sponsorship tool is released.

Finally, PKI certificates are expected to be retired by December 2018 in favor of the new authentication method.7

1 Accessible at: https://my.uspto.gov.
2 The username and password for the USPTO.gov account is the same as the Financial Manager account; thus, if a practitioner already has a Financial Manager account, there is no need to create a new account.
3 Practitioners may wish to consult their IT team to determine the preferred two-step authentication method.
4 This checkbox must be checked before using the Migration Tool; otherwise, an error message will appear when attempting to sign into the MyUSPTO account in the Migration Tool.
5 Accessible at: https://patentcenter-ssp.uspto.gov/ssp/.
6 Users are advised to update any old bookmarks for Private PAIR and EFS Web to the new links, as the previous sign-in pages using PKI authentication will be disabled when the PKI certificates are retired.
7See https://www.uspto.gov/patent/authentication-changes-efs-web-and-pair?MURL=AuthenticationChange.
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