I was under the impression that the FILE HISTORY for a US Patent Applications appears on Public Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) contemporaneously with the publication of the application by USPTO. Is this correct and if not, when are US Application file histories supposed to appear in Public PAIR?

Many US Patent Applications appear to be published but do not appear in Public PAIR (at least I can't find them). For example:

US20130110640A1 Apparatus and Methods for an Application Process and Data Analysis.

This Application is available on FreshPatents.com and is also available on Google Patents. But when searching Public PAIR it seems to be missing when searching by Application Number or Publication Number.

My question is: when does the FILE HISTORY for a US Patent Application or a US Patent appear in Public PAIR?

2 Answers 2


In 2003 the PTO started and provided patent file histories on the PAIR electronic Image File Wrapper site. However the Non-Patent Lit (NPL) documents are not available due to copyright issues.

Also the older patent file wrappers/histories are not yet available on the PAIR system.

NPL and older patent file histories can be obtained from vendors such as Digital Patent Services www.dpsfiles.com, DPS Files www.uspatentfiles.com.
DPS Files has same day service at reasonable cost.

  • Copies of official file histories can also be ordered directly from the USPTO, though it takes several weeks.
    – JDMc
    Jan 8, 2015 at 17:38

I looked the example application up successfully both ways, just now.

If it happens to you again I would call the USPTO Electronic Business Center. They are open until midnight EST.

  • George, Thanks a lot and that's really weird. I just looked this morning for both publication number "US 20130110640 A1" and Application number "13/618,149" and both of them came up unavailable. Now they both return the file history for the subject application. The best explanation I have is that perhaps the USPTO PAIR database was lagging a few days from the publication database released on Tuesday. Thanks for verifying for me; I'll assume it is a database error. May 13, 2013 at 4:16
  • George, One observation since your answer and my comment is that apparently the publication number must be EXACTLY copied with spaces and trailing information. For example, another recently published application "US20130110664A1" could not be found on Public PAIR by searching "US20130110664A1", "US 20130110664A1", "US20130110664 A1" or "US 20130110664". I just now needed to use the string "US 20130110664 A1" to retrieve it. May 13, 2013 at 4:30
  • Although unforgiving, PAIR does provide examples of the number formats it likes. I never include the "US" or the trialing letter/number status indicator. Just because one part of the USPTO system gives you a number in a particular format doesn't mean another part of the system will accept it in that form as input. Also, mind the radio buttons. You need to tell it what you are giving it.
    – George White
    May 13, 2013 at 17:54

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