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.
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: