This is a detailed tutorial with a lot to explain, if you think this stuff is too much tech, by all means, give us a call (732) 444-8044, we’ll remote onto your PC and fix your EFS-Web or Private Pair certificate window.
With every Internet Explorer and Java update that comes along we usually get a dozen calls about how people can no longer load their digital certificates through Private Pair or the EFS-Web on the USPTO.gov website. Hold onto your hats because this article is for your patent attorneys. Those of you who use Private Pair or EFS-Web know how convenient it can be but you may also know how annoying it is when you hit the browse button when trying to load your certificate to login and nothing happens. This is most likely a Java issue but it also can be a browser issue. In the past week that I am writing this article, Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 10. If you can avoid this update, please do. If you notice that your USPTO certificate windows are not coming up, this may be your problem. To check which version your on, follow the picture below. If you have version 10, keep reading, if not, skip to the Java Update portion. Open Internet Explorer and click on the cog on the top right and then click about Internet Explorer. The next window will tell you your version. If you have Internet Explorer 10, it needs to be uninstalled.
To uninstall Internet Explorer 10, first click Start>Control Panel>Programs and Features, and then the View Installed Updates link on the top left of the window. If you scroll down toward the bottom, you will see an update called Windows Internet Explorer 10 which is under the Microsoft Windows heading. Click it and then click the uninstall button, let Windows do it’s thing and then restart. There’s a shot that when windows comes up the USPTO.gov website should work like it always did. If not, keep reading.
Sometimes getting the browse window to work within Pair or EFS-Web is as easy as updating Java which is really easy to do. Just Click Here or go to www.java.com. Click the big red Free Java Download button, and follow the instructions. Download the file and run it. Very important, make sure your browser is closed during the install otherwise it won’t install correctly. Your done! Now go to private pair or EFS-Web and click the browse button, by now the window should come up, letting you add your EPF certificate. Don’t forget to allow any and all Java pop-ups that may show up, without allowing Java on this site your certificate windows will never come up. But what if updating Java doesn’t work? There’s one more fix, downgrading Java.
You see, Java updates their software so often that often times it’s hard for websites to keep up. As always, upgrades come with benefits but they sometimes break fundamental functionality. In this case, we have seen Java update itself automatically only to update to a non-support version by USPTO.gov standards. At this point you have no choice but to uninstall Java and re-install your old version of Java back. To uninstall Java hit Start>Control Panel>Programs and Features> and then find Java in your list, it may sayJava 7 or Java 7 Update 17. Remember your update version, you need this info for the next step. Pick a Java, preferably the one with the update number, and hit uninstall, don’t worry, you won’t hurt anything if you pick the wrong Java.
At this point, you need a new, old version of Java to get going again.Click here or go to www.oldapps.com/java.php, this is a great site for old versions of software including Java. Right now as I write this, the latest version of Java SE is Java 7 Update 17. Now you need to download the last version of Java before 17 (in my case) when everything worked at the USPTO site. Keep in mind that if you read this sometime int he future and find that you have Java 8 Update 5, you’ll be looking for Java 8 Update 1-4. First thing we do is choose our operating system on the left side of the oldapps site. If your not sure which operating system you have, hit Start>Right Click Computer and hit properties. Your Interested in the Windows Edition at the top, and the System Type in the middle, x86 or 64-bit.
Now that you know your Windows version and type, click the corresponding version and type on the oldapps website so you have a list of Java versions tailor made for your operating system. For our example, we have Java 7 Update 17 so we want Java 7 Update 16 or 15, sometimes Java skips a number so there may be no 16. In any case, let’s be on the lookout for either one. Once you find the version, make sure it says (x64) if your operating system is 64 bit, it will say nothing if the file is for x86 systems so either look for the x64 or nothing within the file name. Use the pic below as a guide…
At this point, click the download link for the version that you need, in our example we’re going with Java 7 Update 15 (x64) because we have a 64 bit operating system. Your file will download, simply install the file, restart your computer and go back to Private Pair or EFS-Web. More than likely, your certificate box should pop up without any further issues. Keep in mind that there are many reason why this issue occurs with the USPTO website, these are just the 3 most popular that we deal with often. If you find yourself having this problem, feel free to give us a call. We’ve seen it all, we’ll straighten it out for you.