Okay, so what does this mean? In a nutshell, it means the USPTO is now accepting patent applications in Microsoft WORD format. Specifically, DOCX files (Microsoft WORD 2007 or later) which many applicants are already comfortable with.

The sections of the patent application affected by this update include the Specifications, Claims and Abstract (basically, the bulk of the application). This means you won’t have to convert each of those sections of your application into separate PDF files. However, the greatest benefit of DOCX filing is the instant feedback analysis. This feedback analysis is provided by the USPTO’s software which scans your DOCX application for errors. The software then marks your DOCX application with suggestions on how to correct your mistakes.

This is huge, imagine the confidence boost for a new or even experienced patent applicant! Remember, this all starts with a visit to the USPTO’s new Patent Center Beta. Click here to learn more about Patent Center Beta and DOCX filing and don’t forget to visit your local Patent and Trademark Resource Center to learn more about intellectual property protection and the free resources available to the public.

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