The USPTO filing systems have recently started accepting documents in DOCX format. In particular, DOCX filing was made available to all EFS-Web Registered, Private PAIR users, and Patent Center users. Users who file in DOCX text are able to access their submissions and office actions in DOCX and XML formats, along with the regular PDF format.
As part of the new DOCX filing process, the USPTO servers check applications for various non-compliance issues. Many of these checks have already been implemented in ClaimMaster for years (e.g., claim amendment and numbering issues, etc.). However, the USPTO also checks for a number of new DOCX-specific conversion issues, such as the use of invalid fonts, metadata, bookmarks, document backgrounds, page numbering, and so on. If one or more of these issues is detected during in the submission, you may get a bunch of warnings or your submission may even get rejected until you fix the issue. Hence, there is an obvious benefit to resolving all of the DOCX issues prior to filing and not waiting for the USPTO’s servers to kick back your application, especially when you may be working against a tight deadline or the person doing the filing may not have the authority to fix all of the identified problems.
To help avoid such last second issues, ClaimMaster now can check your document for the same DOCX conversion issues as the USPTO systems. As a result, you can fix or remove various DOCX issues from your patent application before you attempt to file it using the USPTO’s new system. You can access the DOCX patent proofreading feature in several different ways. From the Individual Tools, you can run the “Check Document for the USPTO DOCX Conversion Issues” feature, as shown below.
In addition, we’ve added several predefined All-in-One proofreading reports that also identify whether any DOCX issues are present in the document.
Below a screenshot of one such proofreading check:
For more information about this feature, please take a look at the Online Manual.