New temporary backup option to help ease transition to DOCX

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New temporary backup option to help ease transition to DOCX

As part of our efforts to use all available technology to strengthen patents and reduce pendency times, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is transitioning to the DOCX format for patent application filings. In our latest initiative to ease the transition to DOCX, and to address concerns that the new format might result in conversion discrepancies, we have announced an interim, optional procedure. 

Through December 31, 2022, applicants may upload a backup PDF version of their application with their DOCX version. There are no fees associated with this backup PDF. And, there is no obligation to provide a backup PDF. The backup PDF option will allow applicants concerned about the new format to gain confidence in the reliability and accuracy of filing applications in DOCX.  Applicants can be assured that, should there be any conversion discrepancies, they can rely on the PDF to verify the substance of their original filing.

To learn more about how the transition to DOCX will improve patent quality and speed the application process, please read our latest blog.  The Federal Register Notice announcing this process is available on our Patent Related Notices webpage. Please see the USPTO’s DOCX web page for more information about filing patent application documents in DOCX.

We encourage all applicants to start filing in DOCX so we can streamline the process for you and improve our ability to examine your application quickly and effectively.