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Project Performance Corporation (PPC) architected, designed, engineered and implemented the PTOFAX project to electronically receive incoming fax documents, route those faxes to the appropriate examiner via email, and electronically archive the documents.

Improving the Speed and Reliability of 600,000 Faxes per Month

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) receives and processes over 700,000 patent and trademarks applications every year. While the number of electronic filings is increasing, most applications are still received in paper format. A large number of these applications are faxed to USPTO. The faxes must be cataloged, routed to the proper examiner, and archived in accordance with federal law. Additionally, there is a tremendous amount of official correspondence associated with each application including request for status, clarification on issues, changes to official classifications, and requests for expansion of protection.

Project Performance Corporation (PPC) architected, designed, engineered and implemented the PTOFAX project to electronically receive incoming fax documents, route those faxes to the appropriate examiner via email, and electronically archive the documents. Using multiple T-1 lines connected through seven Broadcom boardservers, incoming fax traffic is routed to highly-available, clustered servers running Captaris RightFax. The faxes are electronically cataloged and routed to the proper individual. Sophisticated algorithms are employed to eliminate junk (spam) and zero page faxes. USPTO also had a requirement for an 18-month search and retrieval capability. Since the faxes are stored as digital images, an Alchemy Gold search feature was incorporated to locate the specific fax stored on the EMC Storage Area Network (SAN).

Today, USPTO receives over 270,000 fax pages per month with another 250,000 - 300,000 outbound pages. The system has the capacity to process over 1 million fax pages per month and has proved its efficiency by eliminating the tedious manual labor previously associated with fax sorting. The PTOFAX has improved the speed and reliability of sorting paper-format applications. This efficiency has ultimately improved the USPTO's cabilities to search and retrieve application data.

TOOLS
Systems Engineering
Network Design
Broadcom Boardservers
Telecommunications Planning and Design
Captaris RightFax

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