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The USPTO's Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) is provided in two flavors: public vs. private (for 'registered' customers).

  1. What is the difference between the two?
  2. Do they provide the same information? If not, what is the differnece?
  3. What determines which system is appropriate for an inventor seeking to submit and monitor his / her patent application?
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At the point in time you can see an application in both systems, you see the same thing. Private PAIR allows you to see applications you have filed that are associated with your customer number. An inventor, or anyone, can get a USPTO Customer Number. When an application is published it is visible on Public PAIR, before that it is only visible to the applicant in Private PAIR using the credentials associated with their customer number.

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