Uploading JPG files to your Hague case

As patent practitioners have known for many years, if you were to try to upload a JPG file into EFS-Web, the system would puke on the file.

Until now, as I will explain.  It requires a bit of background.  In November of 2014 the USPTO answered a question that had been on everyone’s lips for many months, namely “What will the series code be for Hague cases?”  The answer turned out to be 35.  A year and a half passed, and in February of 2015 the USPTO assigned the first application number to a Hague case.  (It was 35/500001.)   What many people might not know is that if the application that you open in EFS-Web happens to be a “35” case, you can upload a JPG file.  Here is a screen shot that shows this:


What is the problem for which this new capability is the solution?  The USPTO isn’t saying.  Not anywhere on the USPTO web site.  And nowhere in the context-specific help in EFS-Web.

You might think that you could click on the “i” next to “attach JPG reproductions”.  And indeed you can click on it.  The help screen you will see is this:

ahgue02As you will see the help screen is pretty unhelpful.  Or you might think that you could click on the “i” next to “reproductions to be submitted”.  And indeed you can click on it.   The help screen you will see is this:

hague01This page says “Do NOT Publish yet.”  And it is likewise unhelpful.

My best guess is that USPTO has in mind that in an Office Action where the drawings are no good, the Examiner might invite the applicant or practitioner to upload better drawings as JPG files.

I have reviewed quite a few Office Actions in quite a few “35” cases and have not seen such invitations by Examiners.  But maybe I have just not looked at the right case to see such an invitation.

By the way, who exactly is able to log in to EFS-Web to reach this “upload JPG” screen?  The answer is, only a US registered practitioner or an inventor who has gone to the trouble to obtain a USPTO crypto certificate and EFS-Web login credentials.  So your ordinary Hague filer (a practitioner located outside of the US who picked the Hague filing approach out of a hope of not having to hire US counsel) would not be able to reach this “upload JPG” screen.

The Hague cases where our firm has filed a Power of Attorney are cases where we have not encountered a need to upload a JPG file.  But I wonder if any readers have uploaded JPG files.  If so, please post a comment about it.

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