PAIR’s broken authentication scheme

It’s not new news that the USPTO’s private pair system utilizes a seriously fragile authentication scheme.  I get why they need something serious, but it’s time to replace the Entrust Java Applet.

I used to be able to get it to work on my Mac, but no longer.   When I couldn’t get it to work on Windows 7, with internet explorer, I had to call the EBC help center, which, thankfully, is open until midnight eastern time.   In order to get it working, I had to go to tools- (alt-t)-> compatability view settings, and add to the list of sites.   Even then, when successfully authenticating, it didn’t go to the PAIR page.  You had to somehow know that the authentication was successful, and open PAIR again by going to the menus… it just hangs on the successful authentication.

Come on guys, you’ve got money.   Let’s fix this thing and bring it into the new millennium.


Just learned how to get it to work on Safari, thanks to this post.

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