File patent applications with DOCX documents

As a part of our USPTO application systems modernization effort, filing formats for patent applications have been expanded to include DOCX format. DOCX filing of the specification, claims and abstract are available to all EFS-Web Registered and Private PAIR users. Patent Center registered and unregistered users may file the specification, claims, abstract and drawings in DOCX format.

Currently, the USPTO is accepting DOCX for the following submission types .

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.

Why file in DOCX?

  • Increased efficiencies—This widespread format eliminates the need to convert structured text into a PDF for filing.
  • Higher data qualityaccepting original data instead of a PDF image reduces conversion errors.    
  • Smarter interfaceDOCX helps the USPTO automatically detect and provide instant feedback analysis to detect common errors that may otherwise delay processing your application.
  • Application Management—DOCX data allows future reuse of content and delivering new powerful features such as improved searching for patent applications and submissions.
  • Privacy—Automatic metadata detection and scrubbing ensures only the substantive information of the DOCX file is retained at the USPTO.
  • Compatibility—Uploading a DOCX with supported fonts eliminates the non-embedded font error, the most common error in uploading a PDF.

How does the DOCX engine work?

  • Warnings and ErrorsDOCX data is analyzed and feedback is generated for common mistakes and errors. While warnings will not prevent a user from filing an application, users are encouraged to review applications thoroughly before submission. 
  • Headings—DOCX data is further used to provide automatic doc code detection by analyzing headings of sections. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)