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Learn how to file DOCX documents in your applications using USPTO systems

Join the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a training webinar on how to file in DOCX through Patent Center or EFS-Web. Filing in DOCX provides many benefits in the patent application process, including:

  • eliminating the need to convert structured text into a PDF for filing
  • instant feedback analysis to detect common errors that may otherwise delay processing an application
  • automatic metadata detection and removal to support the submission of only substantive information in the file

The eCommerce Modernization (eMod) team will provide information and conduct a demo using the Patent Center training mode, followed by a question-and-answer session. Applicants are encouraged to use the Patent Center training mode to practice filing in DOCX without saving/storing data to USPTO systems.

Register to attend a May training webinar:

You will receive instructions for joining the webinar via email prior to your registered session.

For more information and to view frequently asked questions, visit the DOCX page of the USPTO website.

For assistance, questions, or feedback, please contact

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Modernizing patent filing with DOCX

 Guest blog by Acting Commissioner for Patents Andrew Faile and Chief Information Officer Jamie Holcombe

At the USPTO, we are continuously working to modernize and streamline our patent application systems. As part of that ongoing effort, you can now file patent application-related documents in DOCX format through EFS-Web, Private PAIR, and Patent Center. To improve application quality and efficiency, the USPTO will be transitioning to DOCX for all filers on January 1, 2022. 

Keep Reading.


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USPTO holding roundtables on notice of proposed rulemaking on the Trademark Modernization Act

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host two virtual roundtables to hear public input and questions about the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (TMA) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which was published on May 18. All members of the public are invited to participate, but registration is required:

Each roundtable will feature a presentation on the NPRM and will follow the same format. If you want to ask questions, provide informal comments, or receive clarity on a certain aspect of the TMA, these roundtables are for you.

For more information on the NPRM and details on submitting formal comments, visit the TMA page on the USPTO website.

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USPTO announces recipients of the 2020 Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate

WASHINGTON – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the recipients of the 2020 Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate, which recognizes individuals and law firms that assist financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses seeking patents. 

Established under the 2011 America Invents Act, the USPTO’s Patent Pro Bono Program is a nationwide network of independently operated regional programs that match volunteer practitioners with financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses for the purpose of securing patent protection. Each regional program provides services for residents of one or more states.

In 2020, the program shattered its previous volunteer participation record, as more than 100 patent practitioners and over 25 corporations and law firms reported 50 or more hours of patent pro bono service to a regional patent pro bono program. The recognized practitioners are listed on the Practitioner recognition page on the USPTO website. 

“I want to thank all of the recipients for their commitment to helping under-resourced inventors and small businesses in what was an especially challenging year for so many,” said Drew Hirshfeld, performing the functions and duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. "The work of these practitioners helped contribute to the 273 pro bono patent applications we received in 2020. Because of their service, the innovation economy is stronger.” 

To date, more than 1,800 patent practitioners have agreed to volunteer their time and resources to help make the Patent Pro Bono Program a success. Since 2015, these legal professionals have filed more than 1,500 patent applications on behalf of their pro bono clients.

For more information on participating, visit the Patent Pro Bono Program page and click on your state to identify a regional program in your area, or email

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USPTO seeks nominations for Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seeks nominations to fill upcoming vacancies on the Patent Public Advisory Committee and the Trademark Public Advisory Committee. Please submit nominations electronically on or before July 9, 2021. Submission details are available in the Federal Register Notice.

The Public Advisory Committees were created in 1999 through the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act to advise the Secretary of Commerce and the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO on the management of patent and trademark operations, including matters related to goals, performance, budgets, and user fees. Each committee consists of nine voting members appointed by, and serving at the pleasure of, the Secretary of Commerce. Each member serves a three-year term.

For more information, please contact the Office of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, at 571-272-8600.

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Webinar on trademark Post Registration Audit Program

Are you an experienced trademark filer who wants to learn more about the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) Post Registration Audit Program? Register today for a free webinar on June 3, from 3-4:30 p.m. ET.

You'll learn about: 

  • The significance of “use in commerce”
  • What happens during an audit and how to prepare for one
  • Responding to audits

The USPTO is applying for CLE credit in Virginia for this webinar. See the full event listing on the USPTO website for more information.

Please contact with questions.

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New tool available to help appellants prepare ex parte appeal briefs

In celebration of National Inventors Month, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has released a new tool to help inventors, pro se appellants, new practitioners, and those interested in learning more about the PTAB file an ex parte appeal brief.

The new appeal brief tool has two parts:

  • A Word document template that serves as the starting point for your brief; and
  • A PDF that provides general guidance on the various sections in the template.

Find these documents on the Preparing an ex parte appeal brief page on the USPTO website.

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TTAB introduces additional programs for COVID-related applications

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in view of the critical need to develop and help speed to market medical products and services to combat COVID-19, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) initiated the COVID-19 Prioritized Trademark Examination Program in June of 2020.

To further support efforts to combat COVID-19, the USPTO is now initiating a Pilot Prioritized Review Program for Appeals Related to COVID-19, in which the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) will expedite the review and issuance of ex parte appeal decisions for applications examined under the COVID-19 Prioritized Trademark Examination Program.

To further support these efforts, the USPTO will initiate a Conference Pilot Program for Oppositions Against Applications Related to COVID-19. With this program, a TTAB attorney or judge may participate in the parties’ mandatory settlement and discovery planning conference, as is always available upon request of a party, if the involved application was examined under the COVID-19 Prioritized Trademark Examination Program. Such conferences can be useful to the parties to provide clarity and procedural information.

For additional information on these programs, see the USPTO’s notice on the topic or visit the TTAB webpage on the USPTO website.

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