Tech giant Google continues to eliminate support on Chrome for the Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI), which is required to run Java applications. NPAPI plugins have been disabled by default, with complete removal of NPAPI support slated for September 2015. Representatives state that this decision was made to increase security and speed while reducing complexity. Java security breaches have victimized major tech corporations such as Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter in recent years. Critics point out the correlation to a legal dispute between Google and Oracle, which owns the intellectual property rights to the Java software platform.
Many government websites require Java. This will impact U.S. patent applicants as it reduces the digital resources offered by the USPTO website. EFS-Web (online submission) and Private PAIR (status inquiry) both utilize Java to authenticate users. The USPTO recommends the use of alternative browsers such as Firefox, Safari, and Explorer. Read the announcement here.