As a part of the eMod effort, filing formats for patent applications have been expanded to include DOCX format. The eMod Text Pilot Program was conducted August 2016 to September 2017 to gather feedback and continuously improve the new feature. In September 2017, text filing was made available to all EFS-Web Registered and Private PAIR users. Users who file in text will be able to access their submissions and Office actions in DOCX and XML formats, along with the regular PDF format. Currently, USPTO is only accepting DOCX for specific initial application parts for new utility nonprovisional applications:

  • Specification
  • Claims
  • Abstract

As of September 20, 2018, 2,000 filings have been submitted in DOCX format.

What is DOCX?

DOCX is a word processing file format based on open standards, including Extensible Markup Language (XML). DOCX is supported by many popular word processing applications, such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and LibreOffice.  As an open standard format, DOCX offers a safe and stable basis for authoring and processing intellectual property documents. DOCX allows users to file data and changes the USPTO from an Image filing process to Information filing. This enhances the user experience and benefits the USPTO.

Why file in DOCX?

  • Increased efficiencies—eliminates the need to convert structured text into a PDF for filing
  • Higher data quality—reduces conversion errors
  • Greater reuse of content and improved searching for patent applications and submissions    
  • Improves document identification by automatic detection
  • Original structured text document is within Private PAIR
  • Applicants are able to use structured text, such as copying and pasting from office actions which are available in DOCX format in Private PAIR to draft responses
  • Automatic metadata detection and scrubbing

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


More information/assistance

  • Quick Start Guides to assist with filing and retrieving in DOCX  can be found at Submit DOCX and Retrieve DOCX
  • For questions or assistance regarding DOCX filing, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) at 1-866-217-9197 or