Status of DOCX initiative as of right now

(Update:  the USPTO has blinked a third time about its $400 non-DOCX penalty.)

In this blog article, I will describe the status of the USPTO’s DOCX initiative as of today.  What I describe here is how it is going to get worse for patent applicants and patent practitioners over the next few months, absent the USPTO choosing to “blink” again and perhaps postpone some of the bad things that are imminent.  Continue reading “Status of DOCX initiative as of right now”

Paralegals! Try to get your attorneys to sign up for this webinar

This blog article is directed to paralegals and legal assistants and secretaries and administrative assistants.

I am going to make a stab-in-the-dark guess that at least one of your attorney bosses is avoiding learning about ePCT because they want to assume that you will be the one who keeps on top of knowing how to use ePCT.  Continue reading “Paralegals! Try to get your attorneys to sign up for this webinar”

What I sent to the USPTO today about DOCX

The USPTO appears to be digging in its heels on DOCX.   The USPTO published a Federal Register notice on December 29, 2022 entitled Setting and Adjusting Patent Fees During Fiscal Year 2020 (click here to see it) that provided an email contact.  On February 3, 2023 I wrote to the email contact, asking that my document The Fool’s Errand That Is DOCX (click here to see it) be placed in the rulemaking record.  He wrote back saying this:

Thank you for your message.
In accordance with Office Policy, I have not opened the attachment.

I wrote back the same day, saying:

Dear Mr Polutta —
You mention an “Office Policy.”  Could you please provide a cite or URL where it’s published?

I never heard back from him about this.  So I guess he was refusing to place the document into the rulemaking record in response to my email message.

So I guess there is no choice but to send it to him on paper, so as to eliminate the excuse of it having been an email attachment.  That is what I did today (click here to see what I sent).  Let’s hope that now he might place this document into the rulemaking record.

Which ePCT webinars are most popular as of today?

Here is the ranking as of today, from most registrations down to fewest registrations, for the next eight ePCT webinars:

  • 323 signups.  Thursday, March 16, 2023, 10AM Mountain Time.  Making sure your US priority documents are available to DAS, best practices for filing US priority documents, Certificates of Availability, setting up alerts.  Click to register.
  • 309 signups.  Thursday, April 20, 2023, 10AM Mountain Time.  Filing a new US PCT application in RO/US using ePCT.  Click to register.
  • 298 signups.  Tuesday, April 4, 2023, 10AM Mountain Time.  Getting to know your ePCT workbench, portfolios, office profiles, cloning, ePCT actions.  Click to register.
  • 292 signups.  Thursday, March 2, 2023, 10AM Mountain Time.  Intro to ePCT, why ePCT is important, getting a user ID and password, setting up 2FA.  Click to register.
  • 278 signups.  Thursday, March 23, 2023, 11AM Mountain Time.  Handshakes, eOwners, eEditors, eViewers, access rights groups, employee first day of work, employee last day of work.  Click to register.
  • 271 signups.  Thursday, March 9, 2023, 10AM Mountain Time. Why attorneys need to learn about ePCT, why you cannot simply delegate stuff to support staff.  Click to register.
  • 264 signups.  Thursday, April 13, 2023, 10AM Mountain Time.  Getting pending PCT applications into your workbench, going back to January 1, 2009, archiving old applications.  Click to register.
  • 264 signups.   Thursday, March 30, 2023, 10AM Mountain Time.  Shared address books, collaborative workflow, sharing with clients, sharing with outside counsel.  Click to register.

Trusting DOCX? Greek letter μ just became an m

click to enlarge

It is completely sensible for a patent office to be interested in receiving characters rather than images when a patent application is being filed.  There is the potential for everyone to benefit from successful submission of characters.  But DOCX is not (and never can be) the right way to do it, since DOCX fails as a way to communicate patent applications reliably or accurately.  See for example the letter that 82 patent practitioners sent to USPTO Director Vidal on December 28, 2022 urging her to read my paper called The Fools’ Errand that is DOCX.   I recently gave another attempt to filing a patent application using DOCX, and this time, one of the “DOCX fails” was that a Greek letter “μ” became an “m”.  Continue reading “Trusting DOCX? Greek letter μ just became an m”