USPTO taking next step in transition to DOCX

Published on: 12/21/2023 14:01 PM


Patent Alert

US Patent and Trademark Office

USPTO taking next step in transition to DOCX

Non-DOCX filing fee to take effect in January

As a part of our continuous efforts to modernize our patent application systems to improve user experience, provide applicants a more streamlined process, promote harmony across patent systems globally, and strengthen our ability to examine applications quickly and effectively, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is taking the next step in its transition to DOCX format for the filing of patent application-related documents in Patent Center. Patent Center makes it easy for all users to file the specification, claims, abstract, and drawings in DOCX format and provides pre-prosecution checks that improve the robustness and reliability of patents.

Since we began accepting filings in DOCX, we have worked carefully and thoughtfully with stakeholders to shape the transition and its timing. As previously noted, we will continue to allow filings in non-DOCX filing formats for new, non-provisional utility patent applications until January 17, 2024. After January 17, those filing new, non-provisional utility patent applications with specification, claims, and abstract in non-DOCX filing formats will incur a surcharge. The option for applicants to provide a backup PDF, or auxiliary PDF, version of their application with their DOCX version remains available. There are no fees associated with providing the backup PDF. 

We are committed to ensuring a successful and smooth transition to the DOCX format for our patent applicants, and invite you to utilize the FAQs and other resources on the DOCX information page on the USPTO website. Additionally, we have a video explaining “How to file your patent application documents in DOCX” available, as well as free upcoming training webinars.

For questions or assistance regarding DOCX filing, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center at or 866-217-9197, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to midnight ET.


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