Patents and Google Chrome

by Melanie Eich

While Google Chrome has become the go-to web browser in recent years that may be changing in coming months. Chrome will no longer support the Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) necessary to run Java applications. Google has made this decision in order to increase security and speed for the Chrome browser as Java has suffered many security breaches in the past few years. The Department of Homeland Security even issued guidance in 2013 for computer users to disable Java software because malicious coders have been able to take advantage of Java’s poor security so consistently. However, this may cause problems as some governmental agencies are still using sites that require Java for authentication purposes.

For instance, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires Java for their Electronic Filing System (EFS) and their Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) sites. The new version of Google Chrome being released in September of this year will no longer allow those using Chrome to communicate with the USPTO via these sites. The USPTO has suggested frequent users of their sites to begin switching to other browsers such as Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox now in anticipation of the September release. This may just be a temporary fix of the problem, however, as these other browsers may wish to follow Chrome’s lead and discontinue Java support.

The new version of Google Chrome won’t just effect those seeking to file with the USPTO. Business owners requiring or currently using Java for authentication to their sites or for other purposes will also be effected by this change. To see how this new version of Google Chrome may affect your business, please contact Clements & Shackle at 317-426-0581.