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Old 04-01-2019, 12:36 PM
 
Location: SC
8,655 posts, read 5,437,327 times
Reputation: 12622

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So, I am in the process of completing and submitting a United States Patent application.

In order to do this, I must complete a Application Data Sheet PDF. Fine, No problem, the sheet is located on the USPTO website.
  1. I go to the form and click on the link and a PDF opens stating:
  2. "Please Wait...

    If this message is not eventually replaced by the proper contents of the document, your PDF viewer may not be able to display this type of document.

    You can upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader for Windows®, Mac, or Linux® by
    visiting http://www.adobe.com/go/reader_download.

    For more assistance with Adobe Reader visit http://www.adobe.com/go/acrreader."

    You can wait till you are old and in your grave for this message to be replaced.

  3. So, I assume that because I am using a very old computer, maybe my Adobe reader is way out of date, so I go to the Adobe site, upgrade, and try the download/open again. Still no soap!
  4. So, now, I decide to go to my new computer that I only work with to load and process secure items (I do not allow any updates from extraneous software - or load any entertainment programs onto this computer... and Voila! "Still the Same Message."
  5. So, I spend the weekend fiddling around and searching the web for another source for this form... The ones I found all link bad to this non-working form.
  6. So, finally, I decide to call the USPTO office today and a young lady answers and tells me that "Some of the forms will download with no problems, but, this and a few other forms (the one I am after) must be downloaded using special instructions."
    1. Right Click on the link and select "save as" to download the form to your computer.
    2. Then Open the form. I try this and the form downloads, but when I try to open it, I get another error message (I forget what it says, but basically something on my computer must be enabled.
    3. I tell the young lady this. She says to "click the Enable button." I do.
    4. She tells me that I should see the form now. I don't. I read to her what I see on the screen.
    5. She tells me to close the form, and then reopen it using a right click, "open with "Adobe Reader" which is already the default PDF reader for my computer.
    6. Finally the form opens!

I ask the young lady if she gets a lot of calls regarding this problem, she says yes, so I ask her why don't they (the USPTO) fix the download problem or put better instructions on the form. She of course has no answer she can give me.

I know a lot of people rant about how useless the US government is. I am not one of them, but when I come across things like this I have to wonder why these kind of peoblems are happening. Is it strictly because the lowest bid wins? Who is getting these government contracts, why they are so bad at programming (another example is the ACA Healthcare.gov site), and why, once the problems pop-up the companies that made the mess are not made to fix them.

Last edited by blktoptrvl; 04-01-2019 at 01:15 PM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 04-01-2019, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
5,872 posts, read 2,079,739 times
Reputation: 9098
The problem devolves, as I read it, to the increasingly standard practice of having browsers open PDFs directly, with their own (inferior) (quick-read only) engine. Setting everything up to force PDF opens only with Adobe Reader, preferably the most current version, bypasses frustrating events like this.
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:01 PM
 
4,552 posts, read 2,005,243 times
Reputation: 12917
Well, I can't say that the vast majority of commercial sites are better about crashing or requiring special ultra-secret codes to do what you want to do.


The people who design this stuff are apparently forbidden from reading anything about design for usability guidelines (probably because the best texts are 30+ years old and in computer-land nothing more than 30 years old exists). The problem is compounded by the extremely inbred way that software designers think:


"Well, all my friends and co-workers who spend 80 hours a week twiddling with exotic software think it's perfectly logical that you need to press "Ctr-Alt-F3-shift-F5" while simultaneously placing your left big toe exactly 1.035 cm into your right ear canal, and intoning the programmer's chant "O Wah Tah Goo Siam" six times forward, then three times backward. So if you don't agree then you must be one of those "old people" I've heard about who are deathly afraid of any technology more complicated than a pitchfork."
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
5,872 posts, read 2,079,739 times
Reputation: 9098
Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
The people who design this stuff are apparently forbidden from reading anything about design for usability guidelines...
As someone who was designing software interfaces before the web existed and doing usability/navigation/presentation optimization before the current specialists learned the letters U and X, I completely agree.

The problem here, though, is that the form in question uses high-end Acrobat features that are not supported in clones and browser quick-viewers. 90% of what PDF gets a bad rap for is end-user error (in, as the OP even admitted, not having a reasonably current version of Reader installed), and 9.9% of the rest is for developers and publishers using the tool wrong.*

Install Reader. Keep it updated. Set your browsers to use it as the default viewer. Disable every other half-assed quicky-cloney-reader on your system. It's free, fa chrissakes, and it's the info-world's gift from the gods.

Problem solved.


* Example: a long-time colleague who published a literary newsletter carefully scanned his final result and bundled the images into PDF for his e-distribution list. No matter how many times I carefully explained it to him, he completely rejected the idea that he could print/export directly to PDF and create not only a live, searchable file, but one that was scalable with perfect readability and 90% smaller than the ones he complained about emailing.
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:38 AM
 
38,740 posts, read 39,961,172 times
Reputation: 15755
Quote:
Originally Posted by blktoptrvl View Post
  1. So, now, I decide to go to my new computer that I only work with to load and process secure items (I do not allow any updates from extraneous software - or load any entertainment programs onto this computer... and Voila!


You can download a copy Knoppix for this if you want to secure this process even further, this boots Linux from CD/DVD. Linux is less likely to be targeted by malware/viruses and it's "fresh" install every time you boot it. It's alos useful for other things, for example if Windows will not boot you can use it to copy files from the drive before reinstalling Windows.
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Old 04-02-2019, 05:32 PM
 
Location: SC
8,655 posts, read 5,437,327 times
Reputation: 12622
God, this patent process keeps getting worse and worse. Now I come to create a login account. The create account screen accepts my email address (which ends with the sc.rr.com) domain; but it won't send the verification email because it won't recognize the domain as valid.

So, I use another email account I have and soon as I log in I get an error message stating that I cannot use this system. To find out why, I have to call a number.

I call that number and a guy tells me I have to fill out various areas on the website before my account can be verified. Ok, I fill out those areas and he tells me, now he has to email me a couple of forms that I will MAIL back to him. I said, do you mean mail or email and he says "mail."

So, now I have to fill out the forms, get them notorized, mail them to the PTO office and wait two weeks or so until all the verification process is completed.

How do you even find a notary anymore? Guess I have to check with my bank.

The Patent Process must be the most secure system in the world. You don't even have to go through all this to deal with the IRS!

I think I should record all the steps I have to take in vivid detail and write a book. Better yet, I will post here in case anyone in interesting in trying this themselves.

I certainly will have a story to tell when I am finished - thank god for all the time I have in retirement to work this.
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Old 04-02-2019, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
5,872 posts, read 2,079,739 times
Reputation: 9098
The patent process has never been easy. While they might have a less than optimal website, the non-online process is just as rigid and demanding. I would not be surprised if the online process is intended, in some small measure, to weed out the less-than-dedicated.
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Old Today, 06:35 AM
 
4,952 posts, read 2,039,887 times
Reputation: 15345
Personally, I would spend the money on a good IP attorney.
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