Switch to DOCX filing
Switch to DOCX filing
Update: The USPTO has issued a federal register notice delaying the effective date of the non-DOCX surcharge fee from January 1, 2022 to January 1, 2023, giving applicants more time to adjust to filing their patent applications in DOCX format. Sections of this article have been updated to reflect the delayed effective date of the surcharge.
As a part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s continuous efforts to modernize and streamline patent application systems, the agency now offers applicants the ability to file patent application documents in DOCX format through EFS-Web, Private PAIR, and Patent Center. Use of any other format after that date will result in a surcharge.
DOCX is a safe and stable open source format supported by many popular word processing applications, including Microsoft Word 2007 and higher, Google Docs, Office Online, LibreOffice and Pages for Mac.
- Increases efficiency by eliminating the need to convert structured text into a PDF for filing
- Ensures higher data quality by reducing conversion errors that can occur when converting to a PDF file
- Provides a smarter interface that detects common errors, and provides instant feedback to prevent unnecessary delays in processing your application
- Secures privacy by providing automatic metadata detection (e.g., Author and Comments) and removal features to support the submission of only substantive information in the DOCX file
- Improves application quality by providing content-based validations pre-submission and identifying issues up front, allowing them to be addressed before examination begins
- Increases ease of use via automated document indexing
- Improves compatibility by eliminating the non-embedded font error, the most common obstacle in uploading a PDF
In response to helpful feedback the USPTO received after last year’s Federal Register Notice on DOCX, office actions are available in DOCX and XML formats with further enhanced features—including the ability to use DOCX for drawings.
The USPTO gives you useful information and non-legal advice in the areas of patents and trademarks. The patent and trademark statutes and regulations should be consulted before attempting to apply for a patent or register a trademark. These laws and the application process can be complicated. If you have intellectual property that could be patented or registered as a trademark, the use of an attorney or agent who is qualified to represent you in the USPTO is advised.