Patent e Filing is now the most efficient and fastest process to file a patent application in the USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office). The USPTO has its own Patent e filing system; it is termed as EFS-Web. It was designed due to the immense requirement from the IP community, people with small businesses and the rest of the independent inventors. Also, the EFS-Web electronically files more than 98% of all the patent applications. The EBC (Electronic Business Center) is an online technical support system of USPTO to help Patent e filing.
Moreover, you may avoid a number of filing mistakes if you have proper knowledge about the working of these systems. It also helps you to save time, money and unwanted headache.
Also, the electronic system charges fewer fees in comparison to offline paperwork.
However, you must avoid some common mistakes for better patent e filing.
Pitfalls to avoid during Patent e Filing
Patent e filing is an efficient and handy process but you must make sure that you do not commit any silly mistakes. They not only affect the process timings but also affect the process outcome. The 5 common mistakes that you must avoid are:
Unprepared Documents during Filing
The applicant must complete the documentation related to patent e filing before signing in to the EFS-Web. The EFS-Web transfers these applications to the USPTO. However, EFS-Web does not entertain authoring tools for patent applications. The patent applications are the combination of forms provided by the USPTO and documents created by the applicant (illustrations/drawings). Also, this configuration varies depending on the type of application, the invention and many more.
The patent application documents must follow the below requirements before you upload them through the EFS-Web:
- You must save the file in PDF format.
- Must keep the size of the sheet as 8½ x 11 inches/A4 size (portrait mode).
- Remember to keep all the fonts embedded.
Contact EBC for any sort of assistance with the PDF document. Try to follow every guideline.
PKI Certificate Missing
PKI refers to Public Key Infrastructure. It is a digital certificate that allows the applicant to enter the information about their patent application securely. Also, it helps in online communication with the USPTO.
You must obtain a digital certificate of PKI to become a registered user of EFS-Web. Also, the applicant must own a customer number to access Private PAIR. It is a secure medium of USPTO It is a secure medium of USPTO for the applicant to monitor the filed applications.
Moreover, a number of applicants get a notice from the USPTO to submit additional documents or fees if they do not own a PKI certificate. It may take 5-7 working days to get a PKI certificate or customer number. Thus, you must apply as soon as possible.
Always remember to request for self-recovery codes of PKI when you are done with the certificate. The codes help you in generating a new certificate in case your old certificate expires.
Improper Software Configurations
Make sure that the versions of JAVA, Web browser, and PDF user are all up to date. You may suffer an unwanted outcome if you continue to use outdated software or versions of the software.
Also, check whether the JAVA, Web browser and the PDF version is compatible with the requirements of the EFS-Web system when you experience problems while logging in. You may contact the EBC in order to check whether the version of the software that you are using is compatible with the system or not.
Incorrect Document Indexing
You must index every document with the help of accurate description for identification while you upload the documents in EFS-Web. This is so because; the internal system of the USPTO uses this index to define the suitable business units for every document.
Thus, you must choose the most suitable document description to make sure that your document reaches the right processing unit of the USPTO.
It’s true, patent applications are very complex. However, you may seek help from the document description list of EFS-Web if you find it difficult to understand the requirements of indexing. The list contains a business process for every description. Also, it has an “Indexing Guides” section on the resource page. You may contact EBC for further inquiries.
Moreover, you may select the closest document description if you are not sure of the correct description and unable to contact the EBC. Then you may coordinate with the EBC afterwards to select the correct indexing. You may also submit a re-indexing request in case of any potential problems.
Also Read: Patent filing Strategy: The Major Tips
Filing at the Last Moment
Never wait for the deadline to file the application. It is possible that the Applicant faces technical problems that are time-consuming while there are only hours left. You must try to file as early as possible to save enough time in order to correct any unwanted problem. Also, you may contact the EBC or USPTO Customer Support for assistance.
However, you must check the system status of the USPTO for any announcement about the system outages if you encounter any problem with the EFS-Web system.
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