File patent application documents in DOCX

As a part of our continuous efforts to modernize and streamline our patent application systems, applicants have the ability to file patent application-related documents in DOCX format through Patent Center. Patent Center registered and unregistered users may file the specification, claims, abstract and drawings 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 2007 or higher, Google Docs, Office Online, LibreOffice and Pages for Mac.  As an open standard format, DOCX offers a safe and stable basis for authoring and processing intellectual property documents. Currently, the USPTO is accepting DOCX for these submission types .

DOCX benefits

  • Increased efficiencies: eliminates the need to convert structured text into a PDF for filing.
  • Higher data quality: reduces conversion errors that can occur when converting to a PDF file.    
  • Smarter interface: detects common errors, such as formatting errors, and provides instant feedback to prevent unnecessary delays in 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: provides automatic metadata detection (e.g. author and comments) and removal features to support the submission of only substantive information in the DOCX file.
  • Improved application quality: provides content-based validations pre-submission, identifying issues up front and allowing for them to be addressed before examination begins.
  • Ease of use: provides automated document indexing.
  • Compatibility: eliminates the non-embedded font error, the most common obstacle in uploading a PDF, by uploading your file with supported fonts.

How does the DOCX engine work?

  • Warnings and Errors: DOCX data is analyzed and feedback is generated for common mistakes and errors. While warnings (indicated by a triangle icon) will not prevent a user from filing an application, users are encouraged to review applications thoroughly before submission. Errors (indicated by an X icon) must be corrected before submission.
  • Headings: DOCX data is further used to provide automatic doc code detection by analyzing headings of sections. DOCX templates are available in the DOCX Resources section with some common section headings.

Applicants can file test submissions through Patent Center training mode, located at the bottom of the Patent Center dashboard to practice filing in DOCX.

DOCX templates

These templates are not required but are instead guides for filing new submissions and responses.

  • DOCX Template A: This is a template for new filings with a comprehensive specification section list. In Patent Center this template will autodect the Specification, Claims, Abstract and Drawings sections.
  • DOCX Template B: This is a simplified template for new filings with the most common specification sections. In Patent Center this template will autodect the Specification, Claims, Abstract and Drawings sections.
  • Response Template: Currently under development

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)