Brief Notes

EFS – USPTO Electronic Filing System


This brief note is not legal advice and is for educational purposes only.

By now most individuals and professionals are using the USPTO Electronic Filing System – the EFS or sometimes called EFS-Web, for filing applications, documents, paying fees, etc.

Who can use EFS

You can use EFS either as a registered user or an unregistered user. A registered user has a customer number and a digital certificate. An unregistered user provides contact information before filing.

Both types of users can file the following documents:

Accelerated Exam Utility Patent Application
Design Patent Application Utility Reissue
Design Reissue U.S. National Stage under 35 USC 371
International Application for filing in the US receiving office Petition to Accept Unintentionally Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(c))
Provisional Patent Application Petition to Make Special based on Age

Only a registered user can file a Pre-Grant Publication under 37 CFR 1.211 to 1.221.

Quick Discussion

The EFS prefers documents to be in .pdf – Portable Document Format. There are many programs (often free) that can generate the PDF format required.

Note that the USPTO when you upload a PDF file checks it for acceptable form. So what is acceptable form and what are the typical problems encountered with PDF files?

Here you go:


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