The USPTO has implemented a new verification system for users accessing Public PAIR (Patent Application Information Retrieval). Users must now enter a two-word verification code in order to access the system. The system is meant to block bots and spiders. Launched in mid-2003, Public PAIR contains bibliographic data, legal status and prosecution history information and facsimilie images of file wrapper documents for published applications and issued patents.
I'm the librarian for research services in the Engineering and Science Library at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. I've been working with patent information since 1991, including seven years at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. I believe that the dissemination of patent information is a public good and should be promoted, especially in the education of science and engineering students.