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(266)		  USPTO Simplifies Electronic Filing System


   In the summer of 2004 the Office will make available EFS-ABX, a new
software client for electronic authoring of patent applications. This
software greatly simplifies the creation of an electronic patent
specification compared to the current USPTO Patent Application
Specification Authoring Tool (PASAT). A number of other improvements
address compatibility with newer operating systems and graphic issues.
EFS-ABX will be made available from the Office at the Electronic Business
Center, at


   The USPTO's Electronic Filing System consists of both client and server
software applications for the authoring, validation, and the transmission
of Patent Applications and related documents to the USPTO. Once received
and re-validated by the Electronic Filing System (EFS) server at the
Office, the application and related documents are routed to other internal
Automated Information Systems for further processing.

   The current authoring tool, PASAT, has reached the end of its life cycle
and is incompatible with some of the newest computer operating systems.
EFS-ABX is the USPTO's new Patent Application Authoring Tool and will be
available in the summer of 2004. It requires Microsoft Windows 2000 with
Service Pack 2 or later or Windows XP with Service Pack 1, and Microsoft
Word as provided in Microsoft Office 2000 or Office XP with Lucida Sans
Unicode font. For questions and additional information on the system
requirements, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center at

EFS-ABX is a customized Microsoft Word template provided by the USPTO for
authoring Patent Applications. It allows the author to create a patent
application completely in Microsoft Word using all the product's
flexibility and functionality. All text and graphics are saved as Microsoft
Word files instead of special customized files, as with the previous
composition software, PASAT. The submission prepared by EFS-ABX is further
processed by software called ePAVE (electronic Packaging and Validation
Engine) which is also used to submit documents to the Office.

Some of the benefits of EFS-ABX are:
   . Familiar easy to use Microsoft Word interface.
   . Flexible work flow for customers to share the EFS-ABX documents in
their draft stage -
   they can be read and edited by anyone
   that has Microsoft Word.
   . Dependable validation of application specification against USPTO
business rules and format requirements.
   . Secure application specification package creation.

   EFS-ABX generates both XML and PDF files. The secure PDF files become
the official versions of the specification, claims, abstract and drawings,
and XML files are used for the bibliographic information, 18-Month
Publications and certain other processes. ePAVE, the software used to
submit documents to the Office, will process applications prepared by
EFS-ABX only in these formats. EFS-ABX is the next step in the Office's
commitment to improve the ease of filing electronic patent applications and
conform to industry standards.


   More information, including revised manuals and guidelines, are
available from the USPTO Electronic Business Center on the Office web page
at, or 866-217-9197. Copies of EFS-ABX will be available
this summer, 2004 for downloading or by a mailed compact disc.

						           STEPHEN G. KUNIN
					     Deputy Commissioner for Patent
							 Examination Policy

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